Although we may spend a great deal of time planning out the details of our ideal log home – layout, décor, roofing, etc. – it is also important to consider how you will get to your log home. The type of driveway that you choose for your log home makes a big impact on the home’s aesthetic appeal, maintenance costs and resale value. We will discuss popular driveway types for the log home below, in ascending order of cost.
Dirt / Grass
Although they may be forbidden in more urban locales, a dirt or grass driveway can be the perfect complement to the rustic charm of a log home in the country. A dirt driveway can see more use than grass, but both options are better suited for occasional use (such as a vacation home in the mountains) rather than for a primary residence. In either case the foundation of the driveway must be able to support the expected loads.
Gravel maintains a pastoral look for the driveway while allowing for heavier use. Gravel can typically be sourced from local quarries, lowering transportation costs. It can be installed much more easily and quickly than a paved surface, and also provides some benefits over paved surfaces. For example, gravel still provides considerable traction in icy conditions that would render paved surfaces very slick. On the other hand, plowing a gravel driveway will scatter the stones, as will normal use over time. Thus, gravel driveways need to occasionally be re-raked and additional gravel added, although maintenance costs are much less than paved options.
Asphalt driveways are the most cost-effective paved option. Although they are about double the cost of a gravel driveway, they can be half the cost of one paved with concrete. While asphalt is traditionally a smooth, black surface, modern asphalt driveways can be colored or stamped into unique patterns. Asphalt does need to be resealed every few years, but cracks are patched much more easily than with concrete.
Concrete is a very durable material for the driveway; it can last for decades if properly maintained. The smooth, hard surface of poured concrete also makes cleaning a simple task. You may also choose to personalize the surface with custom coloring or stamping, with increased cost and slightly more challenging maintenance due to the stamping. In any case, if you plan to salt your driveway in the winter, make sure to seal the surface each autumn.
Although a paved driveway can be made out of more expensive and unique materials like bluestone or granite, it is most common to pave with bricks. Costs are high, since the individual bricks before installation costs can be as expensive as a finished square foot of concrete. Bricks are very visually appealing, and can add a sense of old world charm to the driveway for your log home.
We hope these options have gotten you thinking about what will work well for your new log home. Will you keep it simple with a gravel drive, or do you just have to have a driveway with the character of pavers? Feel free to leave a comment and let us know. If you have any questions about any of the log homes shown here, please contact Real Log Homes for more information.