It’s not every day you see a ribbon driveway gracing somebody’s front yard. For whatever reason, ribbon driveways just haven’t been utilized as often as you might think, considering all their benefits. Regular-sized driveways are subject to a number of negative influences from both the environment and human traffic because of the nature of their design and material.
The ribbon driveway layout circumvents some of these influences and as a result, is able to perform its duties longer with less risk of degradation. In case you’re looking to upgrade your driveway this year, let’s take a look at the ribbon driveway and how it can benefit you in ways you’ve never imagined.
What is a Ribbon Driveway?
A ribbon driveway is named because it resembles the streams of a ribbon, with two perfectly parallel tracks paved with some type of material that's able to uphold the duties of your typical driveway. In between the paved area of a ribbon driveway is usually grass, or some type of aggregate in the case of permeable driveways or driveways in areas where grass does not thrive all that well.
This type of driveway is also known as a Hollywood driveway, and the design itself can be argued to be more durable than a regular driveway. You might assume the opposite simply because there’s a lower pavement to tire ratio, but the missing space in between the paved tracks is actually the genius in the design.
Factors to Consider When Opting for a Ribbon Driveway
If you were thinking about switching to a ribbon driveway, there are a number of things you need to consider before doing so. For one, do you have driveway flooding problems? If so, a ribbon driveway with pavers could flood if your pavers or the space between them is impermeable.
For example, cement pavers with bricks in between won’t do well against heavy rain. To deal with flooding, you would ideally have a permeable pavers ribbon driveway installed. That way, even if you want the space between your tracks to be impermeable, you can still reap the benefits of permeable pavers that drain rainwater and prevent flooding.
There are a variety of ribbon driveway specifications that you can choose from. You could opt for cement tracks with grass in between, cement tracks with permeable paving in between, or permeable paver tracks with grass in between, permeable paver tracks with bricks or cement in between, and whatever other combinations you can think of.
What are the Hidden Benefits of a Ribbon Driveway
Solid cement driveways with no space in the middle are subject to heavy damage from the freeze/thaw cycles so common in most areas of the U.S. Paver ribbon driveways avoid this damage by having space in the middle for material to expand and contract. This is especially useful for asphalt or cement driveways because these materials are much more vulnerable to a variant temperature cycle than plastic, for instance.
A double ribbon driveway created with either permeable paving tracks or permeable paving intermediate space is also immune to free-thaw cycles in this way as well. The one difference between a cement ribbon driveway or asphalt ribbon driveway and a permeable pavement ribbon driveway is that whatever part of your driveway you build with permeable pavement will also be immune to temperature damage or erosion, even the tracks.
Permeable Paver Ribbon Driveways are a Viable Option
If you build and fill in a ribbon driveway with gravel aggregate as well as permeable pavers, you will reap a ton of benefits that the average homeowner isn’t. One of the advantages is that it’s easy to do, yet lasts much longer than concrete or asphalt. Even if you don’t know how to make a gravel ribbon driveway, you can teach yourself in 30 minutes or less.
Permeable pavers make it that much easier because they snap together like puzzle pieces and can be easily taken apart or installed. There’s also the fact that permeable pavement is much more eco-friendly than concrete or asphalt. One reason people tend to gravitate towards the ribbon driveway is because of the style as well as the decreased need for wasteful pavement.
Choosing the Right Material for Your Ribbon Driveway is Paramount
If you’ve been swayed to install a ribbon driveway with pavers, you should carefully consider your options as far as materials go. Concrete or asphalt can work, but won’t perform as well as something like a permeable paver ribbon driveway.
Ribbon driveways made with permeable pavers is the only way the go-to if you’re looking for durability and aesthetic versatility, but they’re also the far more eco-friendly material, being made with admirable standards and 100% recycled plastic. If you want to install a double ribbon driveway, it’s safe to say you can’t go wrong with permeable pavers.