Compass Greater NY, LLC
Ann Marie Damashek, GRI, CBR, SRES, Compass Greater NY, LLCPhone: (917) 623-0624
Email: [email protected]

Things Homeowners Need To Know About Installing A Driveway

by Ann Marie Damashek, GRI, CBR, SRES 07/07/2024

Paved driveways are widely credited with increasing curb appeal and improving real estate values. However, dirt, gravel or driveways suffering from disrepair can negatively impact home sales. If you rank among homeowners who need a new driveway installation, these are things worth considering.

What driveway material should you use?

The best material for a driveway is driven by things such as location, DIY abilities, cost and long-term maintenance, among others. A handy property owner can install materials such as concrete and interlocking pavers. Hot-poured asphalt poses a significantly higher challenge. These are other things to consider about popular driveway materials.

Concrete: Ranked among the relatively inexpensive materials, concrete typically enjoys a longevity of 25-50 years. This material is astounding in hot-weather regions because it resists sunlight and heat.

Asphalt: Also commonly called "blacktop," this material delivers excellent curbside appeal and return on investment. Asphalt generally lasts 15-20 years and requires maintenance every three to five years. Although considered labor-intensive by comparison, many homeowners choose asphalt for its aesthetic value.

Interlocking Pavers: Homeowners can secure thick concrete pavers from local building materials outlets and install them without the help of a contractor. These relatively inexpensive products appear similar to cobblestone and can last upwards of 30-50 years.

Although these rank among the most popular materials, homeowners can also consider glass, tar-and-chip and others. Along with materials, property owners may want to consider design elements.  

Does your driveway design deliver function?

The proven benefits of an inviting driveway should be combined with functionality. Common missteps homeowners may want to consider before breaking ground are:

Drainage: Regions with heavy and sudden downpours can suffer flash flooding and water backing up on properties. People who deal with this issue during rainy seasons may want to consider integrating a drainage system. Metal grates flowing into an underground pipe can be positioned on the lower third of the driveway.

Pitch: Ideally, the grade of a driveway runs two to five percent pitch. By employing adequate pitch in a driveway design, water will flow away from the garage and home.

It's also prudent to check local building regulations regarding driveway installations. Although common guidelines call for driveways of a minimum of 10 feet in width, regulations may differ.

Homeowners who have not previously installed a driveway or remain unsure about the design and materials should consult with a professional.

About the Author

Ann Marie Damashek, GRI, CBR, SRES

Ann Marie Damashek has always been a natural at helping people prepare their homes for sale. She started out with a successful business selling goods for people on eBay. "Nine times out of ten they were hiring me because they were down-sizing,” Ann Marie says. "So I decided to get my license. I said, ‘Might as well sell their house too.’” The transition was a smooth one and for nine years she’s had a thriving full-time real estate business that allows her to marry her entrepreneurial spirit with her passion for helping others. With an office in Larchmont, New York, she serves all of Lower Westchester County, with her primary market in the Sound Shore region. The majority of her business is "sphere of influence” with former clients referring her to friends and family. A gifted communicator, Ann Marie quickly builds trust and rapport with her clients by being both thoughtful and responsive; she understands that during the purchase or sale of a home, a quick response time is crucial. "I am very accessible,” Ann Marie says. "I always make time for my clients. They can call me, text me, email me up until 10 o’clock at night and I will respond. I’m available on weekends. I get back to people very promptly. I’m very customer service-oriented.” Her clients appreciate her professionalism, passion and enthusiasm and as a result her repeat and referral rate continues to grow each year. While selling real estate is serious business, Ann Marie knows that at times humor and a moment of levity can be a relief to clients. While she has a laidback and easygoing personality, she can be assertive when needed on her clients’ behalf. She loves being of service to them, and the continually changing nature of the work keeps her engaged and fulfilled. "It’s never boring,” Ann Marie enthuses. "Every day is different. That’s probably what I like most about it. But I also enjoy helping people sell or buy and educating them about the process. I love helping them achieve their goals.” This ethic of service has resulted in well-deserved recognition. Ann Marie has received the Westchester Magazine Five Star Real Estate Agent Rating four years running, in 2015 and 2016 she was the #1 agent in her office, and she’s a Zillow 5-Star Premier Agent. To keep in touch with former clients, Ann Marie sends cards to mark special occasions or reaches out via email. To market her listings, Ann Marie uses Multiple Listing Services (MLS), as well as, a service that allows both agents and their clients access to MLS data. She also uses a Facebook business page and ads to boost new listings or promote upcoming open houses. "That drives a tremendous amount of traffic,” Ann Marie says. She also uses the most popular real estate websites such as Zillow and Trulia. A strong believer in giving back, Ann Marie sits on the Board of Trustees of her church and is involved in a variety of social justice projects. She’s affiliated with Furniture Sharehouse, a furniture bank for Westchester County, which collects and distributes gently used furniture free of charge to those in need. "I love it on so many levels because as a realtor, it’s helps my sellers downsize through charitable donations. I like the environmental aspect of it as well. And it helps people who truly need things.” She’s also involved in Impact 100, a women’s philanthropic giving organization. In her free time, Ann Marie enjoys gardening, traveling, and spending time with family and friends. For the future, Ann Marie wants to continue expanding her business and developing her brand, and she someday hopes to grow a strong team. But her main goal is to stay in the real estate business, helping her clients to achieve their dreams.