Concrete driveways are one of the most durable and affordable options available. But they’re not always eye-catching. If you want to add some visual impact and value to your home, try a decorative concrete driveway. Compared to alternatives like pavers and asphalt, decorative concrete makes a major impact for a relatively low investment.
What is a Decorative Concrete Driveway?
A decorative concrete driveway uses concrete as its base material and then adds elements like stamped patterns or textures, stains and dyes, and visual focal points like inlays. With proper site preparation and sealing, concrete driveways can last for decades and improve your home’s resale value.
Decorative Concrete Options
Most decorative concrete falls into three different categories: stains and dyes, stamped concrete, and inlays. Your decorative driveway can incorporate all three, or it can just use one of these techniques to make it stand out against the gray driveways around it.
Stained and Dyed Concrete
Concrete stains and dyes change the color of your concrete permanently. Stains tend to last longer, but dyes have more vivid color options. Most stain colors are shades of red, brown, gold, and orange, but there are some newer acid stains that produce blues and greens as well. Dyes tend to have more color options, but they don’t hold up to weathering as well.
Concrete stamping transforms the flat surface of concrete into patterned and textured mosaics that can look like bricks, cobblestone, flagstone, or slate, to name a few options. It’s an inexpensive way to create the same look as more expensive and maintenance-heavy materials, all while keeping the strength and durability of concrete. You can also add features like borders to further customize the look of your driveway.
Inlays and Custom Decorations
If you want to add even more visual interest to your decorative concrete driveway, inlays and custom stencils allow you to put some personality in your driveway. These custom designs can include monograms, family crests, or personal interests. It’s up to you!
The 6 Biggest Benefits of Installing a Decorative Concrete Driveway
From aesthetics to durability, decorative driveways provide some serious benefits for your home. These are our top 6 benefits for installing stamped concrete, stained or dyed concrete, or inlaid concrete for your next driveway.
Decorative concrete is similar in price to driveway finishes like concrete, but it’s typically about half the cost of pavers or cobblestone. And when compared to asphalt driveways, the cost is close to the same. That makes a decorative driveway an ideal choice for budget-conscious homeowners while still offering a unique look and feel.
2: Easy Installation
Concrete installation is relatively easy, especially when compared to labor-intensive paver installation. Stamped concrete driveways are similarly easy to install, as much of the process is the same as traditional concrete. The difference is the final finish work.
There’s no other option with as much customization potential as decorative concrete. Asphalt, while more durable in colder climates than concrete, has no real possibility for customizing its look. Paver driveways can be customized, but color and design options can still be limited.
With inlays, overlays, stamped patterns, textures, dyes, and stains available, you can complement the look of your home easily with a decorative concrete driveway. You can also mix and match colors, patterns, and special features like borders to create a completely unique look that adds beauty to your home for decades to come.
4: Low Maintenance
Decorative driveways require less maintenance than most other driveway options. Sealing the driveway once every 2 to 3 years will keep it from staining and reduce water damage. While cracks can occur, concrete is less susceptible to cracking than asphalt. And stamped or stained driveways keep weeds from growing, unlike paver driveways.
5: Increased Home Value
Decorative concrete is seen as a high-end finish, so it’s no surprise that you could see an increase of as much as 15 percent in your home value when you install a custom driveway. Buyers see the curb appeal and low maintenance of decorative concrete as impressive benefits when looking for their next homes.
With a lifespan of 40 to 50 years, decorative stamped concrete driveways last longer than just about any driveway option. Asphalt typically lasts around 10 to 20 years shorter than concrete, and pavers are prone to shifting over time, leading to repair requirements in as little as 5 to 10 years. Other than gravel or cobblestone, decorative concrete driveways provide the best balance of cost, appearance, and longevity.
Is a Decorative Concrete Driveway Right for You?
It’s true: decorative driveways offer great benefits for most homeowners. But are they the right choice for your home? Here are a few things to consider before installing a stamped or stained concrete driveway.
Concrete is a great choice for most climates, but extreme cold and high moisture can create serious issues with concrete. A concrete driveway may not be the most durable option in these kinds of climates. However, dry and mostly stable temperatures throughout the year will make your concrete last longer than most other materials.
While there are less expensive options, decorative driveways fit comfortably between the highest and lowest price points. Depending on the amount of customization you want to incorporate, you could be saving a lot of money compared to options like stone pavers and bricks while still getting the durability and style you want.
There’s less maintenance for concrete than most other materials, and stamped concrete driveways are no different. The most important step you can take to maintain a beautiful stained or stamped driveway for years at a time is sealing it periodically. If you want less maintenance, ordinary concrete and gravel are your go-to options.
If you’re only planning on driving a few cars and light trucks on your driveway, decorative concrete will work just as well as asphalt or traditional gray concrete driveways. But if you use heavy machinery, farm equipment, or do labor-intensive yard work or repairs on your driveway, the textures and surfaces will suffer more damage.
Call the Decorative Concrete Experts
Still not sure what’s right for your home? Our concrete experts have decades of experience creating custom designs with stamping, stains, dyes, and overlays. We can help you create a decorative concrete driveway that matches your home and benefits your lifestyle.
Call your decorative concrete experts at Brooks Construction Services to set up an appointment today. We’ll show you what we can do, and we’ll help you get started on a driveway you’ll love for decades!