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Use Paver Bricks to Create an Attractive Driveway

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Dear Pat: I just converted my old one-car garage into a study and built a new two-car garage. I would like to install some type of decorative or unique driveway to it. What options do I have? — Carla M.

Dear Carla: A two-car-width driveway is a wide area, and it can make a difference in the overall appearance of your home. After all, 95 percent of the people visiting your house will come by car. The first thing they will see and walk on is the driveway, so make it a distinctive entrance.

Laying a brick driveway can create unique color and patterns, and it certainly is a project most homeowners can handle themselves. Bricks are readily available in most areas at a very reasonable price.

They are also durable enough to handle the weight of a car. The gaps between the bricks allow water to quickly drain to eliminate puddles. In cold or rainy climates, the surface texture of the bricks and the many edges create a nonslip surface for tires and for foot traffic.

For a distinctive appearance, check with some local demolition companies to locate used bricks. These often are available in a variety of colors that you can mix for your driveway. If you find some which were inside a chimney, these black ones can add a unique antique appearance to your driveway. Laying the bricks on angles in a herringbone pattern is particularly attractive.

Lay a bed of crushed gravel covered by a smooth bed of sand. Place the bricks on this bed and then fill in the gaps with more sand. If a brick does break in the future, it is easy to replace it with a new one.

When you buy your bricks, purchase a couple dozen extra for future repairs.

Pavers are another do-it-yourself driveway option to consider. They look somewhat similar to bricks, but they interlock creating a more stable driveway. They are designed specifically for this application, but are quite a bit more expensive than bricks. You should create the same type of gravel and sand bed for pavers as you do for bricks.

Stone creates the most attractive driveway of all. There is a wide range of color, sizes and textures available, so you can create any natural look you desire. Colorful stones can be found at a local stone quarry or some landscaping shops. Stones can get heavy, so you will likely need a helper to build the driveway.

When you select your stones, choose large ones with angular edges. This makes them more stable than smaller ones under the weight of a car. Definitely avoid rounded stones because they will not stay in position when cars repeated drive over them. Plan on doing some re-stoning every year to keep it looking nice.

Another option is concrete, but it will have to be professionally installed. Concrete is the most durable of all driveway surfaces. It also creates a smooth, hard surface that is easy to keep clean of leaves, dirt and snow.

To create a unique appearance, consider making a curved driveway. With concrete, you can make any shape you wish. Forms are also available to create various textures in the surface to simulate stone or brick patterns. The form is just pressed down into the concrete before it totally sets up.

Send your questions to Here's How, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit www.dulley.com. To find out more about Pat Logan and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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