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Driveways And Walkways

Driveways And Walkways
Curb appeal is more than just a stylish paint color and spectacular landscaping. A large part of your home's curb appeal is your driveway and walkway. Certainly your home is more desirable - and valuable - if the driveway is smooth, free of cracks and weeds, and distinctive. In fact, treating your driveway as part of the landscaping is one of the hottest new design trends.

But just because walkways and driveways are practical doesn't mean they can't also be good-looking. Begin your designing process by determining the natural paths people take to doors and any high-use areas. You want to avoid building a walk that will be bypassed in favor of walking on the lawn.

Today, an increasingly popular driveway design choice -- concrete pavers - combines this beauty with practicality. Pavers are easier to maintain than concrete and asphalt, and last longer without needing to be repaired.

Pavers also provide a safe, slip-resistant surface in beautiful beige, coral, variegated or darker blended colors, as well as blends to harmonize with a home's exterior colors.

Driveway Considerations
Here are some things to consider when redesigning your driveway:

Driveways And Walkways
  • Change the materials. There are a number of interesting paving options available. You can stain concrete or asphalt almost any hue. You can also choose pavers in a range of colors and in rectangles, hexagons or scallops. You can even edge the driveway with a contrasting element like bricks.
  • Build a screen. Low fencing or plants can hide areas where you park your cars.
  • Add plants. To soften the rigid lines, create a flowing path of flowerbeds along the driveway. You can plant annuals to add spots of color and use small shrubs or trees to vary the height.
  • Repeat materials. Carry the materials you used in the driveway into a sidewalk or patio to create a consistent look.
Don't Forget the Landscaping
You don't want your driveway and walkways to stand out in your front yard like a sore thumb. You want the whole look of the front of your house to seamlessly blend together. Your walkway and driveway offer ample opportunities to be creative with the landscaping. It is all about your personal taste. Think variety - differing but complementary plant colors and shapes, heights, textures - to break up what could be a monotonous view. arouse visual interest both horizontally and vertically. Make sure that the various forms, materials and open spaces of your landscape are in scale with one another - and with your house.

With proper planning, a walkway and driveway will help add excitement to your home. The design is limited only by your imagination. There're is really no right or wrong, it's just a matter of personal preference, as well as determining what works best for your property.

Driveways And Walkways     Driveways And Walkways

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Once you have a general plan, visit your building department to find out about the zoning regulations and building codes governing your project. Codes typically dictate the dimensions and type of concrete you must use for footings and slabs. They tell you how much and what type of metal reinforcement to use and if you need a sand or gravel base under the material. Building codes also spell out setbacks-how close to your property line you may build. Once your plans are approved, you can get a building permit. Plan the work schedule so you will be ready for each inspection.

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