Interlocking driveways are a glimpse into the future: a future of stunning curb appeal, and driveways that naturally filtrate. Today, renovating homeowners are discovering a new favorite among driveway options and it comes in the form of block paving, or interlocking driveways, an aesthetically pleasing upgrade that adds both monetary value, and environmental preservation benefits to any home.
Through its high-quality craftsmanship, and permeability that is a wonderful consequence of its beautiful, spaced-stone design, block paving is growing in popularity with not only beauty seeking homeowners, who love the artistic decadence that interlocking driveways can achieve, but local governments who appreciate the styles natural ability to prevent storm runoff—be it for visual appreciation, or utility, the interlocking driveway has become an ever growing staple in the home remodeling world; and as more homes adopt the fashion, and year after year passes, another proverbial sheep to help homeowners sleep at night will rear it’s gorgeous, fluffy, head, and that is its resilience, both to wear and tear, and the almighty test of time.
In 2018, home design competitions and building trends all saw a common element: the interlocking driveway. Homeowners today, and architectural artists alike all know one thing for certain, driving up to a home with gorgeous curb appeal, like looking off into the distance from some awe-inspiring height, can be a sight to behold; with the illumination of well placed lights, the vitality of well tended grass, and finally, with what is essentially the big celebrity red carpet into our homes—except that it’s gray— our driveways. What was up until recently more of an afterthought delegated to convention, has now become one of the most creatively diverse aspects of the home. Starting with a base of compacted sand and gravel, and then utilizing a spaced technique to lay brick, cobblestone, and concrete into varying patterns, interlocking driveways give expert designers and the home-owning layperson, a freedom and versatility in driveway design that was not available previously. From stones in varying colors, to stones of differing textures, this design trend has taken the world by storm, but the greatest qualities of this stone artistry might not simply lie in the appreciation from your guests or the visual appealing to all passersby, but in its history and filtration roots.
Although interlocking driveways saw their introduction to the North American continent in the 1970s, their beginnings date much further back, surprisingly further back. Block paving began in 500 B.C., Ancient Rome, where it was used to pave all of their roads. Why did Romans take the time to lay kilometers upon kilometers of spaced-stone road? Not surprisingly it wasn’t to welcome all their loving guests and passersby, rather, the Romans realized the advantageous properties interlocking roads could provide, from the reduction of dust, to the mitigation of drag upon horse-drawn carriage wheels, but above all, one feature proved most powerful and remains it’s hallmark trait even after all this time, and that is the permeable qualities of the interlocked stone design. While the Romans, certainly took advantage of the natural drainage effect spaced-stone provides, it would take thousands of years to fully appreciate what will eventually prove to be an essential part of every home’s design.
Environmental engineers and experts today all tout the benefits of interlocking driveways, and they are not referring to the reduced drag on our horse-drawn sedans, instead, they are referencing a naturally occurring benefit whose source naturally lies in the methods employed to masterfully lay a beautiful interlocking driveway: a base of compacted sand and gravel, and enough space for water to seep through—interlocking driveways, are natural water filters. A typical rainy afternoon, or day spent outside washing the car provides an interesting insight for first-time owners of spaced-stone driveways, and that is the amazement of realizing that all the water simply soaks into the ground, furthermore once this water passes through the layers of ground, it is naturally purified, resulting in an eco-friendly benefit suitable to all types of homeowners,
Whether we are retrofitting our older, first homes, seeking to procure a fixer-upper/renovation project, or simply in search of a new home for our families, usually our first requirement for a new home involves beauty, be it lush foliage, or some beautiful facade denoting some older time, but contemporary convention has found another quality for homeowners to dote over, another idiosyncrasy to embellish our cherished homes with, and that is the art of utility—the art of usefulness. Within this trend has reemerged the spaced-stone technique of old; however it has gained new form and new advantages. From the ancient times, to the modern day, from preventing the prevalence of dust to purifying water before it is diverted back into the Earth’s rivers and oceans—from home owners and competition enthusiasts, all the way to house flippers and environmentalists, interlocking driveways have made there mark on history once before and withstood thousands of years since then, all culminating in the present day, where more and more new homes adopt this bountiful style and will reap the benefits for many years to come: interlocking driveways are the future.