Economical Alternatives to Paving a Driveway

Paved driveways are expensive to create, harm the environment by promoting stormwater runoff and need to be replaced every decade or two. Recent technology has improved the alternatives to paved driveways by using grids or lattices to distribute the weight of a car across a larger surface. This technology makes gravel and grass feasible alternatives to paved driveways. Loosely arranged brick can also provide an attractive, inexpensive alternative to paved driveways.

Rough texture
credit: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images

Gravel

Gravel offers an inexpensive and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional paved driveways. You can use gravel by itself, although the weight of cars will likely cause unattractive ruts. For a smoother, more attractive gravel driveway, consider using porous pavers or plastic grids that distribute the weight of the car over a larger surface. However, keep in mind that porous pavers should only be used on driveways with a slope less than five percent to seven percent. You might also need to replace some of the gravel occasionally.

Grass

Although grass by itself would become compacted and damaged from the weight of cars, using porous pavers or paving blocks enables the use of grass for a driveway. Grass will grow between the holes of the plastic porous pavers. Like gravel, loosely arranged brick and other porous materials, grass helps absorb water, is environmentally friendly, and can be much less expensive than a paved driveway. Water and fertilize grass driveways like you water and fertilize the rest of your lawn.

Brick

Arranging bricks in a loose configuration facilitates the absorption of water, decreasing stormwater runoff while also providing a less expensive alternative to paved driveways. You can also include pieces of natural stone in a loosely arranged brick driveway. Increased absorption can negate the need for expensive water draining management techniques, and is also more environmentally friendly.