Revamp Your Driveway: 8 Creative Ideas

Last Updated on January 24, 2024 by SampleBoard

Your driveway is the primary access point for your home. Everyone who visits you notices the driveway, whether they drive on it or not. What do you want them to see? An unkempt hardscape in serious disrepair? Or a lovingly maintained lane that welcomes all who enter?

First impressions, especially when it comes to your home, matter. The driveway is the first taste of what’s coming when most people reach your threshold. What they notice in your driveway could be the difference between a happy houseguest and a very skeptical visitor.

Worried your driveway may inspire the latter? Here are eight creative ideas to revamp your driveway.

Photo by Dillon Kydd on Unsplash

Freshen Up the Gravel

Gravel driveways need a special kind of maintenance. They are very different from asphalt and concrete driveways and should be maintained differently, too.

Over time, gravel driveways begin to lose their pebbles. Occasionally, owners may notice they need to add gravel to keep the driveway working well and looking good. But before you do, use a pull behind driveway grater. You can attach the grater to your mower or ATV to fill in potholes and smooth over the rough spots on your drive.

This tool gives you a better idea of how much gravel you need to freshen up your driveway. And when you do add gravel, use a driveway grater to distribute the new pebbles evenly.

Seal the Asphalt

Asphalt is one of the most popular choices for paving a driveway. Homeowners like its longevity and smooth look.

If your asphalt driveway looks a little drab, give it a good wash. A power washer will blast away all the dirt and grime and give you a good idea of what other maintenance is needed to help your driveway look its best.

If, after power washing, you still think your driveway could use some help, then seal coating is your next step. Seal coating is an inexpensive way to resurface and protect your driveway. If you’re into DIY, most home improvement stores have everything you need to seal the driveway yourself. But there are plenty of companies you can hire to seal coat your driveway, too.

Whether you seal coat yourself or hire a professional, expect the process to take a few hours. You’ll also need to avoid walking on your driveway for at least 24 if not 48 hours.

Stain the Concrete

Unlike asphalt driveways, concrete doesn’t require regular seal coating. But, if your driveway isn’t looking its best, you can always give it a good power washing to rid it of grime and dirt.

Power washing, however helpful, may reveal things about your driveway that you don’t like. Absent of dirt, you may notice more imperfections and blemishes on your light-colored concrete. Fortunately, there’s a solution.

Many homeowners now stain their driveways to conceal imperfections and add character. Much like asphalt seal coating, you can find the supplies to stain your driveway at your local home improvement store. However, most homeowners hire professionals to stain their concrete driveways.

Upgrade the Surface

Sometimes, a driveway is simply beyond a simple fix. The gravel is too worn, the asphalt needs to be fixed, or the concrete needs to be chipped. Whatever the problem, you can start over again with your driveway.

Which is a good thing! Research has shown that it takes people about 7 seconds to form a first impression about someone or something. If your driveway is in serious disrepair, you could miss out on a critical window to make a good first impression on your guests.

There are many types of driveways to choose from. If you have a gravel drive, you could upgrade to concrete or asphalt or even go all out and add brick or paver stones. The same goes for asphalt and concrete driveways. Depending on the current state of the surface, you can add a new finish to the driveway without even having to blast the old one away.

For most homeowners, a resurfacing project is well out of their DIY comfort level. If you want to make serious changes to your driveway, consult a hardscape professional or general contractor who can help.

Install a Walkway

Sidewalks leading from the driveway to the front of the home are an inviting touch for any landscape. They provide a way for guests to access your house without walking through the lawn and add polish to your driveway.

Walkways are typically made of different materials than your standard driveway. Although many are concrete, stained and stamped concrete is a favorite among homeowners. Brick and flagstone walkways are other great options.

Plant New Landscaping

Landscaping is a beautiful way to enhance any part of your outdoor area, including your driveway. Adding plants not only livens up your property but can also help conceal cracks and other imperfections near the edges of your driveway.

Many homeowners like an edged driveway with plants along one or both sides or even a row of hedges across the back if it doesn’t end with a garage. Popular choices for driveway landscaping include boxwood hedges and dwarf hollies. Some people also like the look of flowering plants, like begonias, impatiens, or marigolds, to brighten the driveway entry.

Consider whether you want something evergreen, blooming, or a combination. You’ll also want to think about seasonality. Many hedges and similar plants come back yearly, whereas most blooming flowers must be replanted every spring.

Improve the Border

What’s on the border of your driveway? Some landscaping? A small fence? The lawn? There are many ways to increase interest at the edge of your driveway, including landscaping, pavers, ornamental fencing, and more.

Paver stones are an excellent material to edge a driveway. You can lay the pavers loose or have a mason add permanent ones with mortar. One of the best applications of this style is a concrete driveway with a mortar brick border. The sharp contrast between the brick and concrete adds striking appeal to the drive.

Fencing is another excellent way to edge a driveway. Permanent white picket fencing can add a wonderful touch to the end of a driveway, but some homeowners prefer ornamental iron edging instead. You can buy this type of edging at most home improvement stores; all you need is a rubber mallet to pound it into the ground. 

Enhance With Lighting

There’s nothing like lighting to amp up an outdoor space, driveways included. There are many ways you can add light to your driveway. Some are easy DIY fixes, while others take a little more craftsmanship (or professional help) to pull off.

Solar path lights are among the most popular driveway additions because they are simple to install. But if solar lights aren’t your thing, you can have an electrician install wired lights with a dusk-to-dawn timer.

The most intensive and expensive option is built-in lights. Hardscaper experts can install lighting into edge pavers to illuminate the driveway. Although the most invasive option, there’s no doubt it offers the biggest wow factor, too!

Far too many people need to give their driveway the attention it deserves. Don’t be one of them. Use these tips to revamp your driveway today!