What are my options for improving the looks of an older concrete driveway (which is in good shape)?
(Marble Falls, TX)
I'll be moving soon into a 16 year old home which has a nice wide circular drive in front. The problem is that there is so much "driveway" that it dominates the looks of the house from the curb and plain old concrete isn't really that attractive.
What can I do to "jazz it up?" I'm thinking pea-gravel in an overlay, but that might not be sturdy enough.
Bob in Central Texas
In Central Virginia, the design technique I have had the most luck with is concrete stain. There is a concrete staining contractor that I use that is a wizard with stain. He can match any color or create beautiful effects with stain. We have enough freezing and thawing here that I see the surface treatments like epoxy and gravel and the newer epoxy treatments not hold up. I had one client that used an epoxy surface treatment in a stone pattern that looked fine on his screen porch, but faded and chipped on his patio. There are a number of surface treatments on the market and I am not an expert on them by any means. If you do choose to use one of the surface treatments, be sure to look at some of the contractor's jobs and ask how long the surface has been down.
Concrete is also a great base for concrete pavers. This is considerably more expensive than staining your existing driveway however.
Planting can also help soften the appearance of a large driveway. The plants needs to frame the front of the house, so they create a lovely entrance and street appearance. Use a soft color for the driveway that blends with the house color and its surroundings to also improve the street appeal.
I hope this information helps!
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