Guidelines & FAQs: NEW DRIVEWAYS

As our homes have aged, our traditional exposed aggregate driveways have cracked and, in some cases, where rebar was not used when the concrete was installed, sections have lifted up or sunk.  That can make those sections hard to drive over and easy to trip over, plus they are unsightly for you home and for the neighborhood.  We have seen 4 alternative materials through the neighborhood.  Please contact the Architectural Chair to discuss these or use the form on the HHHOA web site to get approval at least 2 weeks before starting the installation.  Remember also to get the appropriate city permits if needed.  And whatever alternative you pick, given how expensive they are, make sure you get a qualified, well rated contractor to do the job.

  1. Traditionally, the driveways in Heritage Hills have almost all been exposed aggregate concrete that ages to a darkish grey over a few years. These look great, are prestigious and give a consistent look that has helped tie the neighborhood together. These are still a preferred option for new driveways, although the slurry run-off during its installation must be controlled to meet King County requirements.  We also strongly advise that you ensure your contractor adds rebar to reinforce the concrete to help minimize cracking and lifting/sinking.
  2. Some homeowners now prefer to use broom-finished concrete as an alternative. While no more durable, it can be a bit easier to maintain and sometimes a bit less expensive to install.  However, the inevitable cracks will be more visible and most importantly, it is generally also quite a bit lighter in color, even after it ages for some years. To help offset that lighter color, we suggest you have a gray tint added to it before installation. We also strongly advise that you ensure your contractor adds rebar to reinforce the concrete to help minimize cracking and lifting/sinking.
  3. Pavers can be a beautiful upgrade, albeit at added cost and with maintenance issues of its own.While their appearance is different than the more common exposed aggregate, selecting pavers with a gray-ish color allows them to blend into the neighborhood nicely.
  4. You may notice a few black asphalt driveways in the neighborhood. These were mostly installed by the original builders many years ago and are grandfathered in.  While less expensive to install, they require more effort to maintain properly (like resealing every few years) and generally do not last as long as concrete.  In the long term they therefore may not actually be less expensive.   Also, the black color of asphalt is clearly inconsistent with the look of the rest of the neighborhood and realtors see it as a serious downgrade to the value of the home and its neighbors.  Asphalt is therefore not a preferred alternative we want to see for future installations.  Any requests for asphalt approval will require both the Architectural Chair and the full Board to approve.


My existing concrete driveway is cracked a lot.  Why can’t I just put some patching on it rather than invest in a new driveway?

It depends.  Using a concrete patch or colored tube-sealant in a small area can work for the short term, but it generally doesn’t last, and it will probably look quite different from the rest of the driveway. If this extends across the whole driveway, it will not be very attractive at all.  And if sections have started lifting or sinking, replacing just that section of concrete is probably not very practical or aesthetically pleasing.