Monday, March 7, 2011

Herringbone anyone?

I've found driveways a bit of a stumbling block for some reason.  Perhaps it's because we really want a liquid limestone driveway but it's near impossible to get them here in Sydney.  Or perhaps it's because we are in a battleaxe which already has a concrete drive up to the building envelope and whatever we do from there needs to gel with the existing part of the driveway...

Just to recap, here is our existing driveway

And in no particular order, here are the different types of driveways I've been exploring:

Liquid Limestone 

Pros: Natural product, cool all year round to walk on and looks amazing!

Cons: Is in abundance in WA and is about triple the price in NSW and unless you want something done on a commercial scale here it is almost impossible to get it done (still exploring this option).  Would also not tie in overly well with existing concrete drive.


Pros:  Can look quite nice.

Cons: We'd need to have concrete poured as a base especially as the drive will slope up towards the garage.  So it becomes quite expensive and labour intesive. Would also not tie in overly well with existing concrete drive.  Also with the brick of the house, could just be a bit too much brick goin' on.

Hmmmm! This one just hurts my eyes!

Painted or Plain Concrete

Pros: Looks modern, comes in eleventy billion colours and is cost effective.  It means we could also paint our existing part of the drive so it looks seamless. You can get a textured finish to assist in being non-slip.

Cons: Would need to be repainted and sealed every couple of years.

Really like the squares in the concrete. Simple but nicer than just plain.


Stencilled Concrete

Pros: Would create a seamless driveway as existing drive could also be sprayed. Texture would be useful as a non-slip measure.

Cons: Needs to be sealed every couple of years.

And here is an example of why I generally don't like a lot of stencil driveways I see.  Just too bright, contrasty (yep, I'm making up words!) and cringe worthy...

 Stamped Concrete

Pros: Reasonably cost effective. Broad range of colours.

Cons: Wouldn't be able to match the joining driveway.  Don't know if I love the slate look.

Exposed Aggregate

Pros: Ummm....

Cons: Not nice to walk on, is quite expensive and looks dated to me.


Pros: Economical, meant to last for 20 - 30 years! Textured surface good for being non-slip.

Cons: Very hot & sticky to walk on in Summer.  Wouldn't match up to existing driveway.

 Painted concrete or stencilling is most likely the way we'll go. What type of driveway do you have?  And what do you love / hate about it? 



Dave said...

Ours is a 40 to 50 year old concrete driveway with grass and weeds down the middle. A new one is on the shopping list. Lilydale topping (decomposed granite) makes a good looking driveway when combined with lush planted edges. However the gravel can be annoying when it sticks to your shoes and is walked into the house (we know from a few of our garden paths).
A problem with the coloured concrete is that the dark colours fade. For example, dark greys and blacks become light grey, and sometimes patchy. I think exposed aggregates are the lowest with respect to long term maintenance costs. We will probably get one in due course.

feenix said...

wow great job Karla! I love the liquid limestone, haven't come across it before! Maybe if we team up it may be on par with a small 'commercial' job??? let me know :)

Karla said...

Feenix, you may be onto something there!! Let me explore further :)

Dave, I've previously had a very similar sounding 50 year old driveway! Thanks for the tips on fading darker colours.

andy_min said...

Have you seen this one? Glow in the Dark aggregate. Only available in Melbourne.

Karla said...

Min! How great is that?! Will do some more investigating. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

probably too late to comment... but agree on the painted concrete fading - something we use commercially that fades and wears away very very fast!

Stenciled requires sealing every few years, however it still looks good without the up keep on the sealant.

Glow in the dark aggregate is sold in every state and looks great - I work at Boral.

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