Paths and driveways are often taken for granted when it comes to outdoor landscaping. In reality, these areas deserve better since they are the roads that link your home. With an experienced landscaper from The Landscape Expert, you will get all the help you require to meet your landscaping needs. We give expert advice and help you design your outdoors to your taste and preference to match your lifestyle. Our landscaping agency serves clients in Orange County, CA and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Landscaping for Your Paths and Driveways
Usually, your home paths should be functional enough for daily use and attractive enough to create an appeal to your property. You need to choose an appealing design for your paths and driveway since they welcome guests to your property as much as your front porch appeals to people entering your house.
If you want to design your paths and driveways, it is essential to take the time and consider the design you wish for, materials you prefer to use, and the challenges you are going to face to make your dream come true. With the help of a landscaping expert, you can quickly figure out the logistics of the design you have in mind and how realistic your ideas are.
Factors to Consider When Deciding Your Paths and Driveway Design
Being the first thing that one notices when entering your home, how you decide to landscape your driveways and the area surrounding it will significantly contribute to the general design of your yard and the entire home. Some of the things you need to consider before approving the layout for your driveways and paths include:
The budget you have set aside for your landscaping project is the main factor that dictates the selection of materials for your paths and driveways. Ideally, a high budget allocation will make it possible to get quality and more durable materials to use for your project as compared to a low budget.
The amount of money and time you are willing to spend to keep your driveway and its surroundings in good condition is a crucial element to consider before you plan and execute your design. Using natural plants on the sides of your path could be attractive, but can hinder the access if left without maintenance for long periods.
For easy maintenance, use of rock and bricks around your driveways and paths could help prevent the plants from invading these structures. You can also consider potting the plants instead of planting them on the ground.
The general feel that proper landscaping done for your paths and driveways will bring to your home or commercial property is essential when going about your design decisions. The materials, colors, and theme you use should be able to blend in with other aspects of your home.
The visibility of the driveways, as well as that of the landscape design, is an essential factor to have in mind before planning the project. You could consider planting hedges and green vegetation if you are interested in creating a private feel.
However, you should get ready to do regular shaping and trimming of the hedges to avoid any accidents that could occur as a result of poor visibility. Driveway markers may be desirable if you are looking forward to easy access of the driveway by guests.
Purpose of the Space
Driveways could serve other functions other than the apparent entry to the property. You can use them to create a play area for your children when there is not enough space in your home as well as making a lounge area to entertain your guests.
The purposes you are hoping to serve with your driveway should be discussed with the landscaping expert to ensure your vision can work with the target design. Besides, functionality goals will affect aspects such as color and texture for your designs.
Weather Changes and Safety
One of the primary considerations when landscaping your home is the safety of your project. You need to choose materials and finishes that ensure the minimal occurrence of accidents even during the rainy seasons. The vegetation you plant could harbor bees and other insects making it unpleasant for your family and guests. Hence, your choice of design should not only consider beautifying your pathways but also providing a safe environment.
Steps to Get Your Desired Path and Driveway Design
Whether you are looking forward to a complete landscaping project for your home or just focusing on paths and driveways, you want to be pleased by the results. To achieve this, you not only need to invest money but also your time and professional help withyour project. By following these steps, you will be assured of the desired quality and appeal of your home.
Schedule a meeting
You will need to arrange a meeting with the landscaping expert to discuss the ideas you have for your space and what kind of look you want to give your paths and driveways. It would be wise to mention to the expert any other function that your entrances will serve so they can provide appropriate advice.
The landscaper will put down your proposal including the visuals. These 3D plans will enable you to see what your driveways and paths will look like once completed. By doing this, you will get an opportunity to make changes and get the precise quality you desire.
Specifications and logistics
After the plans are drawn to your specification, your landscaper will help you understand if the idea applies to your property and the amount it will cost to execute your design. With these logistics, you will be able to choose the kind of materials that align with your needs and budget.
Once all the plans and budgeting is completed, the construction work will begin, and you can sit back and watch the transformation of your driveway and paths.
Best Materials to Use for your Driveway Design and Construction
The materials you use for your paths and driveway will be determined by the purpose you are hoping to fulfill. For the driveways, you will need to consider the weight of your cars and those of guests who are likely to visit your home. Some of the best materials that will do well for your driveways include pavers, concrete, asphalt, tar, and gravel.
Pavers are the most common landscape materials used for driveways today. Pavers that are permeable are preferable to use especially during the rainy season since they ensure water is drained to the ground, hence, curbing floods. A well-engineered paver can withstand the pressure of 8,000 pounds, making it one of the most durable materials for your driveways.
In case of damage, you won’t have to incur the cost of redoing your entire driveway; instead, you can replace the broken paver. This kind of driveway is easy to maintain, and the materials come in different shapes and colors to suit your taste and preference.
Asphalt driveways make up most finishes for residential and commercial areas. Depending on the property size, this type of pathway can be installed within a day or two. Compared to concrete and other finishes, asphalt doesn’t crack easily even on poor installation; hence, it is easy to maintain and doesn’t require constant repairs. Besides, the black color of asphalt increases heat absorption, and this melts the snow during winter, making the asphalt driveways safer for your home.
Concrete paths and driveways are more cooling compared to other materials since they reflect the UV radiation instead of absorbing it. The rigid and non-flexible nature of concrete makes it more durable since it can handle heavy loads. Additionally, the installation of concrete pathways is cheaper and friendlier to the environment compared to asphalt.
Poured concrete for your driveways could be made more attractive using colored concrete or selecting a stamped type of concrete. As a normal process of drying, concrete paths and streets tend to crack. Proper finishing and correct placement of expansion points could help reduce the cracks and increase durability.
Gravel is the cheapest option for driveways, with costs ranging from $1 to $3. The low cost of gravel paths makes it a choice for most rural properties. The gravel often used is the mixture of crushed rocks, clay, and sand. As compared to plain rocks, gravel is a more stable option for your path and driveways. However, a constant repair will be required for your pathways if you use gravel, thereby increasing the total maintenance cost.
Lastly, tar and chip are an example of materials you might consider for your driveways and paths. Driveways made of macadam, a result of combining chip and tar, are considered to be a loose material since these chips are cracked stones. Although the macadam driveways only cost $2 to $5 for a square foot, they don’t last long and have to be replaced regularly.
Paths and Driveway Landscape Lighting
You might think the journey is complete once you have completed installation of your walkways and made the vegetation around it match the appeal of your home. However, adding some landscape lighting will help highlight the best features of your home, making it more attractive.
You can use well-placed outdoor lighting to create barriers on your property, hence, limiting access to other parts of your living space. This brings out the beauty of your driveway and outdoor area in general. Installation of lighting on paths and streets help to guide your guests during the night, which prevents possible accidents.
Common Landscape Design Challenges for Paths and Driveway Projects
Landscaping problems are common, and you don’t have to be a landscaping expert to identify a flaw on your pathway or driveway. These problems don’t have to be an issue if you can find a way to curb them. Here is a list of the most commonly experienced landscaping problems for these projects.
Paths and driveways harbor a lot of water. If there is no system to direct water away from home, you risk the destruction of your home and foundation of your house. Permeable pavers allow water to drain to the ground whereas the use of concrete and asphalt for your driveways can lead to water retention. If you choose to go with the solid concrete, then it would be crucial to install a driveway trench to drain the water.
Once you come up with your design, complete dimensions, and cost logistics, you have to get a city permit before breaking the ground. However, you have to meet the requirements to obtain a license and ensure your construction does not have adverse effects on the surrounding areas.
Erosion is a common challenge when landscaping. Sometimes, a design you choose for your paths and driveways could lead to massive abrasions during the rainy season and end up ruining your entire home or commercial property. With the help of a professional landscaper, you can use techniques like terracing and layered planting to control the erosion.
Trying to fit all your ideas in a small lot can lead to congestion. An overly cluttered landscape is not attractive and could ruin the appeal of your outdoor space. Especially if you are planning to plant your vegetation on the ground, you should consider leaving some space for the growth of plants to avoid crowding.
Efflorescence is the white staining which appears on pavers. This is a natural process, hence, there is no way to prevent it. However, constant cleanup is required and can be a challenge if you don’t have enough time.