Flagstone driveways lend an understated elegance to any home, and are valued for their distinctive appearance; nobody will confuse a flagstone driveway for concrete or asphalt.
They do, however, require more time and care to install than concrete or asphalt: individual stones are placed together, without a specific pattern or arrangement, using mortar, which is a time-consuming process to say the least. The end result is an effective, efficient and, above all, beautiful flagstone driveway that will make you the envy of your neighbors and friends.
Flagstone is a sedimentary rock split into layers and is usually composed of feldspar and quartz. The binding agent used in making flagstone, typically cement, is what gives it its distinctive color, and through this process a multitude of possible colors are available, allowing you to customize the appearance to your liking. Flagstone is quarried only in certain areas, and it can therefore be expensive to procure if you live far from a flagstone quarry, as shipping and handling costs come into play. Both Arizona and Pennsylvania have large flagstone quarries in the United States.
Advances in stone-cutting machinery make the process of cutting flagstone much cheaper and more efficient, and allow you to find appropriate flagstone for almost any required length, height, width and finish.
The greatest drawback to flagstone paving, as with most stone paving options, is the cost: the labor-intensive nature of the work can make costs prohibitive for some, and installing such a driveway will be far more time-consuming than the cost of concrete or asphalt alternatives. The main advantage is the distinctive aesthetic: flagstone driveways are uncompromisingly beautiful, and hold their beauty over a long period of time. Unlike stained asphalt or concrete, the coloring of flagstone will not slowly wash off or fade over time, and it is highly unlikely that any of the stones will crack or fissure over time, even through harsh winters.
The maintenance for flagstone driveways is relatively easy: they should be swept on a semi-regular basis, to maintain their appearance, and algae, moss and weeds, which have a tendency to grow within the damp cuts between stones, should be removed frequently. With proper care and attention, a flagstone driveway can last a lifetime, and significantly add to the value of the property.
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