For more information, read the full survey results on ASLA.org.
Chuck Taylor, Belgard National Hardscapes Advisor, is one of the nation’s foremost experts on pavement systems. He joins us on the Outdoor Living by Belgard blog this week with advice for planning paver driveways.
. . .
A paver driveway will boost your curb appeal and improve the value of your home. But as with any other home-improvement project, there are multiple considerations including paver style, color, laying pattern and overall design. The ultimate goal, of course, is to create a beautiful entrance to your home that is durable enough to withstand the burden of vehicular use without shifting or cracking.
Driveway Paver Styles
The first choice is to decide whether the driveway will be permeable or impervious. A traditional paver driveway would be impervious, but there are multiple benefits to installing a permeable paver driveway. Water will never pool on the surface and a heating system can even be installed beneath the pavers to keep snow from accumulating. Also, some states and municipalities offer grants or tax incentives for installing permeable driveway pavers because the system reduces the burden on local stormwater collection systems and helps remove pollutants to improve local water quality.
Several Belgard pavers can be installed as either permeable or impervious, including Urbana Stone®, Mega-Lafitt®, Mega-Arbel® and Bergerac®. Belgard also offers multiple permeable pavers that were designed specifically for permeable installations.
The second choice is whether to go with a traditional, contemporary or stone-textured look. Belgard offers multiple paver styles in each category. Porcelain pavers can also be used to create an ultra-contemporary look, but will require a concrete base to support vehicular loads.
Driveway Paver Laying Pattern Options
The strongest and most traditional option is a herringbone pattern set at a 45-degree angle to the garage. This laying pattern provides the best interlock to prevent the pavers from shifting, especially for higher traffic areas.
Gaining in popularity, an ashlar pattern can also be effective for both residential and heavier traffic and provides a more contemporary look.
A running bond or basketweave pattern can work for standard residential driveways, but it is recommended to avoid these types of long, straight lines for heavier traffic areas, such as commercial driveways or subdivision common areas.
For permeable paver installations, it’s best to stick with ashlar or herringbone patterns due to the larger joints, which create an increased opportunity for shifting when used with running bond or basketweave patterns.
Driveway Paver Thickness and Base
Traditionally, driveways have been constructed using 80mm (3 inch) pavers with a standard 6″ base. However, it is becoming more common practice to use a lighter 60mm (2-3/8 inch) paver with a thicker base. In rainier climates, the required base depth can be up to 12 inches because of absorbent clays that can cause soils to shift when wet. With these types of site conditions, a thin base puts pavers in danger of separating or cracking from soil shifts. A layer of geo-fabric between the soil and the aggregate layer can add extra protection from this type of shifting, but a thicker base is still recommended. In arid climates, 60mm pavers can be successfully used for driveways with only a 4 to 6 inch base, as shifting clays are not a factor.
A sound residential concrete slab driveway without foundation cracks can be overlayed with 30mm thin pavers. In many cases, DriBond™ advanced mudset can be used to facilitate the entire overlay. Another option would be to DriBond the perimeter and sand-set the primary paver field, if there’s a possibility of shifting soils. Keep in mind that an overlay will add 2.5 to 3 inches of elevation to the existing slab, which could affect transitions to the garage, home, street or walkways.
Paver Color and Border Options
Current trends lean towards choosing driveway paver colors that tie in with the roof color of the home, either in the primary paver field or in a border. Borders can be easily created by using the same paver in either a different color or different laying pattern.
Another option is to choose a contrasting paver shape, texture, color and/or style for the border. You can also create double borders or work with your contractor to develop other creative design ideas.
Paver Driveway Embellishments
Focal points can be created using pattern embellishments. Typical focal points include the driveway entrance, the garage apron, or what’s called a “carriage drop,” or the spot where someone would be dropped off adjacent to the home’s formal entrance.
Adding character to paver driveways, a circle kit creates a classic focal point for more traditional driveway. Contemporary focal points can be created using squares or rectangles. For a Romanesque look, circle kits can be used to create a fan or a fishtail design.
Few renovation projects will drastically improve your home’s curb appeal like converting an old stained and cracked concrete driveway to a stunning paver driveway. And nothing transforms an outdated pool like a beautiful contemporary paver pool deck.
However, these types of projects typically call for the painstaking, costly and time-consuming process of ripping out that old concrete. Or do they?
Thanks to the incredible patent-pending formula of Techniseal® DriBond™ advanced mudset, concrete removal is completely unnecessary, as long as the slab is structurally sound. A driveway, patio, walkway or pool deck can be completely transformed in less than 48 hours, and for significantly less cost than concrete removal and replacement.
DriBond installs like sand — filling the cracks and seams of a sound concrete slab — to provide a bedding surface for the installation of thin concrete pavers, porcelain pavers, or natural stone. Activated with water, DriBond sets like concrete to create a durable bond. The result is a stunning outdoor living space with lasting beauty.
Belgard Products that Work with DriBond
(consult a local installer for additional styles in your area)
See DriBond in Action
Presenting the Belgard SoCal Driveway of the Year featuring Old World Paver™ in the Victorian color blend and Techniseal® NextGel™ Polymeric Sand in Sierra Gray. Over 5,000 SF of pavers went into this San Diego residence. The installer – Jay Erdos of Tuscany Pavers – did a fabulous job of matching the contour of the driveway. It’s also worth mentioning that the white chips in the polymeric sand are actually crushed marble that was hand-crushed and hand-placed to emulate the ancient streets of Pompeii, per the homeowner’s request.
Click below to see close-ups of project images.
In a continued effort to focus on “whole backyard” design solutions, Belgard is pleased to announce the addition of the MoistureShield® composite decking lines to the Oldcastle® Architectural family of backyard architectural products.
“Belgard is the number one brand of patio pavers and landscape walls in North America, but there are often design situations where installing hardscapes alone isn’t the best option,” says Josh Landis, Sr. Marketing Manager for the MoistureShield product line. “That’s why partnering with MoistureShield is such a good fit for Belgard. Deck porches can transition to paver patios, which can transition to a walkway, boardwalk, pool deck or dock. It exponentially increases the design capabilities and efficiencies of our contractors who can install both hardscapes and decking.”
In seeking out product partnerships, it was important that parent company Oldcastle® Architectural find a decking product that could match the quality and durability of the Belgard brand, which stands by its hardscape products with a lifetime transferable limited warranty. As one of the pioneers in the composite decking industry, MoistureShield also focuses on quality and offers its own limited lifetime warranty.
“MoistureShield won’t warp, cup or splinter like wood, and in 30 years, there have been zero product failures in the field,” says Landis. “No other decking brand can say that.”
MoistureShield water-resistant decking also features the ability to excel in harsh environmental conditions including extreme freeze/thaw cycles, high temperatures with full sun, arid climates, and installations with ground and water contact.
The MoistureShield lines were added to the Oldcastle portfolio in May of 2017. Since then, the Research & Development teams for both Belgard and MoistureShield have been rigorously working together and sharing insights on industry trends to develop innovations that will complement each other moving forward.
“No other hardscapes or decking brand is doing this,” says Landis. “Other companies only focus their R & D on what directly affects their products.”
The MoistureShield product line includes four decking styles, all of which feature 95 percent recycled content.
MoistureShield® Vision® is the latest innovation in composite decking, offers distinctive contemporary variegated wood looks, and is the only Wood Plastic Composite decking that can be installed on or in the ground, or even underwater. Vision offers an unparalleled lifetime fade and stain warranty and is available with CoolDeck® technology for barefoot comfort.
MoistureShield® Infuse® takes its name from its design, in that each deck board is infused with real wood to give it a realistic wood-grain finish. Infuse is also available with CoolDeck® technology for barefoot comfort.
MoistureShield® Vantage Collection® features a durable solid composite core and the workability of real wood — meaning contractors can rip it, rout it or bend it without splintering, warping or cupping. With wood grain on both sides, each board is reversible, allowing for easier installation.
MoistureShield® Refine® offers a durable core center and a composite cap to provide enhanced durability, along with true wood beauty and enriched natural coloring.
For inspiration on deck design possibilities, check out the MoistureShield online Deckvision® Design Tool and experiment with various designs and color options. For more information on the MoistureShield product line, visit MoistureShield.com.
By guest blogger Katie Kuchta
Katie Kuchta is a gardening guru, outdoor living expert, and self-proclaimed foodie. She can often be found cooking in the kitchen or on the hunt for the best tacos, follow her on Instagram @atxtacoqueen.
Homeowners who have recently hardscaped with a newly built patio space will want to use it year round. Adding hardscaping to your outdoor space can help to lengthen your enjoyment outdoors all year long. Depending on your location, being able to use your outdoor patio can vary depending on weather conditions and seasons in your area. However, there are many different ways that you can get full use of your beautiful new patio with these easy tips:
Use The Grill
Seasons in some regions allow homeowners to use their patio space well into the winter compared to other areas of the country. Areas like Kansas City, Tucson, Atlanta and parts of Texas have been reported to be ranked in the top metro areas for backyard grilling so take advantage of the extended warmer climate by choosing to grill dinner out on the patio. Making this a habit will not only help keep the house cooler by not using the oven, but will also encourage you to spend time out on the patio with family and friends.
Shield from the Elements
Using your patio means being outside but that doesn’t mean that you have to bear all of the elements that outdoor living can bring. Consider adding a pergola or sun shade above your patio to help lengthen the amount of time that you can comfortably use the area. Shielding yourself from the hot summer sun will help to keep you comfortable and enjoy your outdoor space. If you live in a particularly windy area, consider adding side curtains or awnings that can help to protect you from gusts of wind as well.
Add a Drink Station
For warm days out on the patio, consider adding a drink station that is stocked with your favorite staples such as bottled water, soda, or spirits. Many products are now available that include well-hidden coolers that will add beauty to your outdoor area without the eyesore of a cooler. Another great idea is to have a large amount of ice cold tea or lemonade in easy to use carafes. Making it easy for visitors to grab a drink will cut down on time going indoors and extend the use of your patio area.
Heat It Up
When in a colder area with cooler fall and winter temperatures, consider adding an outdoor heating element that will help to extend your time outdoors. Both small and large heaters can offer instant warmth to a cooler outdoor space. Incorporating a fire pit into your patio space is also a great way to add heat along with the ambience and welcoming scent of a crackling fire.
Consider the Brighton Fireplace Series from Belgard that features an impressive fireplace that is flanked by beautiful stone. Sources of heat are a great way to lengthen your time outdoors to enjoy the sights and sounds of the changing seasons.
Provide Extra Seating
You’ll want to share your new patio space with family and friends after finishing a patio project. Be sure to provide adequate seating for all of your guests by purchasing different pieces of outdoor furniture. Start with a main focal piece of furniture and then add in other easy types of seating like extra chairs or footstools that double as seats. Adding cut slabs of a fallen tree is another great way to add extra outdoor seating while also using natural elements.
Using a retaining wall as extra seating is also a great way to easily add room for everyone. Having easy to use pieces of extra seating in an outdoor space will encourage gatherings and more time spent outdoors.
There is absolutely no reason why beautiful patio spaces shouldn’t be used year round. Consider adding extra seating and heating elements to help encourage friends and neighbors to join you outdoors. Cover your patio space from the elements and provide an easy to use drink station to enjoy your outdoor space. Follow these tips to creating a patio area that will be well used all year long.