Updating your driveway
When considering what home improvements you can make to help increase the value of your home, updating your driveway probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. But don’t rule it out: Your driveway is one of the first things people see on your property and it has a big impact on your home’s curb appeal.
Examine your options
An attractive, well-maintained driveway can go a long way to enhance your curb appeal, which instantly increases its value.
1 Classic asphalt and gravel
Classic black asphalt driveways and gravel driveways are common options that still look great. They won’t knock the socks off any potential homebuyers, but they’re inexpensive to put in and inexpensive to maintain, making them great choices for the average budget-conscious homeowner. They only cost about $1.50 a square foot, so it’s easy to see why they’re such popular choices.
Concrete is a pricier option, coming in at about $4 a square foot, but it has a much cleaner, modern look. If laid properly, concrete can last up to 30 years, with almost zero maintenance besides an annual power wash. A coloured or stamped finish can really boost the look of concrete, but it will also raise the price tag, so be sure to shop around for quotes before you commit.
3 Brick or cobblestone
Brick or cobblestone pavers are the most attractive driveway option and have endless possibilities for colour and pattern. This option requires a professional. Hiring an expert who can create a plan to incorporate the driveway with your exterior hardscaping and come up with the look you really want is worth every penny – even if that means forking over $10 a square foot.
What things should I consider to get the best return on investment from my driveway?
First of all, look around your neighbourhood. Does every house but yours have a driveway? If your answer is yes, that’s a good reason to add some parking. Also, ask yourself if parking is at a premium in your area. If it is, adding a parking spot could really increase the value of your home. If you have room for extra parking on top of what you need or use, remember that you can rent out spaces for extra cash flow, too.
Should I turn my lawn into a parking pad if I don’t have any other parking options?
No, not if you’re worried about resale value and especially not if it will take up your entire yard. In most municipalities, street parking is permitted and generally adequate in residential areas. Driveway parking is definitely a perk but not if you have to sacrifice your green space to have it. Also, remember that adding parking requires city approval, so make sure to get all appropriate permits before you start breaking ground.