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Choosing the Right Material to Construct Your Driveway

Your driveway may not be on the top of your to-do list when it comes to home improvement, but it does make a large impact on your home’s curb appeal and overall value. Your driveway is one of the most functional parts of your home, and it’s a great idea to really consider all your options.

There are four popular materials: gravel, concrete, asphalt, and pavers. Each material has advantages and disadvantages.

There are many factors that come into play when choosing a driveway material; including cost, durability, maintenance, and aesthetics.

Below, we rank each of the driveway materials based on the above four categories from 1-4, with 1 being the lowest and 4 being the highest. If you are looking for more insight into what type of material to use for your driveway, explore these different types below so you can make the most knowledgeable decision possible.

Gravel

Cost: 1
Durability: 1
Maintenance: 4
Aesthetics: 1

gravel driveway

Advantages:

  • Relatively low-cost
  • Permeable, allowing rainwater to soak through, reducing runoff
  • Quick installation

Disadvantages:

  • Because it is permeable, weeds can grow through
  • High maintenance from ruts and depressions that form over time
  • Tends to have the least amount of curb appeal

Concrete

Cost: 3
Durability: 3
Maintenance: 2
Aesthetics: 3

concrete driveway

Advantages:

  • Low maintenance costs
  • Minimal repairs
    • Other than an occasional cleaning with a pressure washer or repairing cracks, concrete driveways can last many years.
  • Clean and finished look
    • Some pavers actually provide a stamped concrete option, which creates the illusion of brick in a solid, dyed concrete slab that can add more curb appeal for your home.

Disadvantages:

  • More expensive
  • Cracks can develop over time
  • Concrete driveways can be prone to spalling from de-icers
    • When these de-icers build up under your car and you pull into your driveway, they will start to break apart the concrete.

Asphalt Driveway

Cost: 2
Durability: 2
Maintenance: 3
Aesthetics: 2

asphalt driveway

Advantages:

  • Costs more than gravel, but less than concrete
  • Installed quickly
  • Smooth, solid, and durable surface
    • Some pavers will provide the stamped asphalt option, which creates the idea of brick in a solid, dyed asphalt slab that can add more curb appeal for your home.
  • Offers forgiveness in cold temperatures and thaw cycles

Disadvantages:

  • May require frequent resealing
    • In climates with wintery conditions, you are going to want to seal an asphalt driveway every few years to maintain its longevity and durability. If not preserved properly, asphalt driveways can develop holes over time.

Paver Driveway

Cost: 4
Durability: 4
Maintenance: 1
Aesthetics: 4

paver driveway

Advantages:

   

  • Most curb appeal
  • Little maintenance
    • If an individual paver stone cracks, it can be easily replaced without ripping up the entire driveway.
  •  Weeds less likely to cause problems
    • With consistent weed control, the lawn is unlikely to encroach onto the driveway and therefore will not hinge on the quality of the paver stones

 

 

 

 

Disadvantages:

  • Can be costly
  • Lengthy and costly Installation
    • Workers need to lay each paver stone individually on a solid foundation to create the driveway.

In Summary

We hope this provided some insight in terms of the pros and cons of each option when selecting a driveway for your home. It is important to consider the cost, durability, maintenance, and aesthetics of each option when making your decision. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and let the pros at Fortin Construction help you make a selection.

 

 

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