We tend to take our driveways for granted. We just drive up to the house on them, and tend to only look at the other landscape features. When given a little extra attention, driveways can be a fantastic feature in your landscape.
A driveway can be done in many ways. You could just drive on unprepared ground, and you’ll be in a mud pit in no time. You could have a gravel driveway, and that’s ok, but has its issues such as gravel ending up in the lawn after plowing, weeds, and dirt tracking into the house. Then there’s blacktop and concrete driveways. For hard type surfaces, these are definitely an option. Keep in mind that these particular options do not generally fare as well in our harsh New Hampshire winter climates over time as a paver driveway will. Let’s consider paver driveways.
When driveway grade pavers are installed with the proper base methods, you have a surface that will stand up to our harsh winters. These pavers do a great job of flexing with the freeze-thaw cycles and you don’t end up with cracks such as you will with blacktop and concrete. Our opinion is that paver driveways are the best looking, longest lasting driveway surface you can do.
Let’s talk about two basic types of pavers for driveways: First, regular pavers that are non-permeable, and secondly, permeable pavers. There are many styles, patterns, colors, etc, but we’ll review permeable vs nonpermeable.
NON-PERMEABLE PAVER DRIVEWAYS:
Choose a paver that is designed for vehicle traffic. There are many styles available. Ones that are non-permeable simply means that water runs off the surface to surrounding areas instead of seeping through the cracks of the surface and dispersing underneath the pavers. This handling of water would be similar to that of blacktop or concrete. If your site allows for this then these pavers are a good choice.
PERMEABLE PAVER DRIVEWAYS:
Permeable pavers are designed to have gaps between each paver so that water goes through. The base underneath these pavers is to have a deep layering of rock aggregates to act as a giant “dry well” or “French drain” to gently disperse water back into the ground with no surface runoff off of the driveway. If you have a wetland or shoreland property in NH, a permeable surface on your driveway may become a necessity for permitting requirements.
We’d be glad to consult with you on your driveway needs.