A driveway, or typically known as a ‘drive’ in English dialect, is a private space or road which leads up to a property or structure, allowing vehicles to travel closer to the building and even stay parked there. A driveway simply offers a place for vehicles to park off-road, making property visits and shoots just that little bit easier.
Driveways are a common feature in country and outer-city homes in England - typically, the bigger the household, the larger the driveway. Some middle to upper-class houses can accommodate multiple cars, whether they need to or not.
Types of Driveways
A traditional choice for many driveways, particularly in both urban and suburban settings, is concrete (or cement). Concrete driveways are popular choices due to their cost effectiveness and the fact that they are relatively easy to install.
Asphalt driveways, similar to concrete driveways, are easy to install but can be slightly lower in cost - whether it’s a basic asphalt or that of which is stamped into the shapes of stones or bricks. Driveways made from asphalt can last for around 15-30 years.
Another common type you could find are gravel driveways. Because of their versatile and softening appearance, they can be found at traditional, contemporary and new-build, modern homes.
Gravel driveways are also low-cost but can last a lot longer than concrete and asphalt materials, as long as they are properly maintained.
Another popular choice of material for driveways are paved bricks. These bricks are neatly shaped, slotted and laid down as if they were tiles. This type of driveway can offer a smooth shape and can offer different shades of stone for gradient. They’re also more comfortable to drive and walk on, and to transport items from the driveway to a building, as opposed to gravel. Pavers tend to be an aesthetically pleasing type of option for a driveway, as well as being clean-cut and much easier to wash and maintain.
History of Driveways
In European history, the first known use of the term ‘driveway’ is said to have been in 1871. Before the 1850’s, the majority of homes were lead-up via a dirt path, one of which horses and carriages would use to reach the home - this would eventually be named a driveway.
Post-1900s, alongside the development of motorised automobiles, driveways and access to homes via back-alleys became more popular as commonplaces to park your car.
People began to play around and have more creative freedom with driveways during the second half of the 19th century - of course, this applied only to the homes of the financially-comfortable. Designs could consist of circular drives and curved walks, that were sproused with additional design features like cobblestone trimmed edges, cut stone, shells, clay tiles and bricks, all of which are contemporary common design features.