Permeable Paver Driveways: Then 411

For anyone building a new home, a key element to think about is the design of the driveway. One great idea is to use a permeable paver design made of paving stones rather than more common materials such as asphalt or poured concrete. Here is a closer look at some of the main considerations involved in this project.  

How It Works  

In a permeable paver driveway, the paving stones are not installed tightly against each other. Gaps are left between each stone to allow water to seep under the surface. In this design, water does not run down to the street or to a drain, but collects in a base of gravel or crushed stone below the pavers. Then it is absorbed by the soil.  


One of the main benefits of a permeable paver driveway is that is prevents water from running down to a municipal drain. Runoff water collects dirt and debris, which can increase pollution. Also, if a storm or severe downpour occurs, storm drains can easily be overwhelmed by this type of runoff. Flooding is common when municipal drainage systems must accept more water than they can handle, so permeable paver driveways can reduce the chances of flooding.  

Permeable paver design also contributes to the replenishment of groundwater. Groundwater is a valuable resource, as it allows plant life to flourish and is a source of drinking water in some cases.  

Another possible benefit involves the "heat island" effect, which is the buildup of heat near large cities and suburbs due to reflected sunlight from materials such as asphalt and concrete. Permeable pavers can reflect less sunlight and thus help minimize the heat island effect.  

Percolation Test  

A critical test, known as a percolation test, must be made by the contractor before any construction on the driveway begins. The test is need to determine if your soil drains water well enough for the design to work properly. If your soil drains poorly, then a deeper than normal base for the bed of gravel might be required. In some cases, a drainage pipe may need to be installed. 


Once the driveway has been constructed, regular maintenance is essential. If the gaps between the paving stones are filled with leaves or debris, rainwater will not collect in the gravel bed and seep into your soil. It will simply runoff to the street. To avoid this potential problem, keep the gaps clear of obstructions at all times. 

For more details about paving stone driveways, contact a landscape contractor who specializes in this type of construction. 

For a landscaper, contact a company such as T M Landscaping