A decorative concrete driveway can help to keep the concrete from looking dull and drab, and can go a long way toward improving your home's overall curb appeal. A decoration on the driveway can mean a stamping technique that makes the concrete look like stone or brick, or it can be a stain or paint job alone. It can also mean adding an aggregate to the surface for texture and visual appeal. Note a few tips for choosing decorative concrete driveways since you have so many choices and options for your home.

1. Consider the Level of Maintenance

Typically all concrete should be resealed every few years to ensure it stays strong and durable. It's even more important to reseal a decorative concrete driveway that's been stamped or painted as you want to preserve the color and design. While it's important to reseal a driveway with an aggregate, it may not need to be done so often since the aggregate itself is very strong and more likely to hold up under heavy traffic and not fade under direct sunlight.

You also need to consider that stamping and staining means that any cracks in the driveway will need to be filled with a special filler that you may need to get from your driveway contractor, so that it matches the color and pattern specifically. Cracks may be more readily covered with a painted driveway but might detract more from a driveway with a stenciled design. Be sure you understand these differences in maintenance for your driveway choices so you choose what's best for long-term use.

2. Get the Right Texture

If you need added texture to your driveway such as for area with lots of snowfall, rain, and ice, you may want to choose an aggregate with maximum texture. However, note that a painted or stamped driveway can often be treated with a slip-resistant sealer. You may need to add this sealer repeatedly over the years as mentioned above, but it can make a painted driveway less slippery. Consider your options with your contractor and decide which would suit your needs for texture and traction best.

3. Consider the Surface

Unless you're having a new driveway poured, you may need to forego staining if the current concrete has glue, grime, oil stains, and other such defects. Stains need to penetrate concrete in order to look their best and if the driveway is covered in oil marks or other such problems, a stain might not work. You may also need to have a new layer of concrete poured to add an aggregate, and if you're not prepared for that expense, you might need to choose a paint job instead.