Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This post may contain affiliate links, which means we earn a commission when you purchase through these links.
Driveways are the first thing people notice when they see your home and it’s up to you to make it look inviting. Choosing to use the right material can also increase its value. Curb appeal can be vital if you are planning to sell your home, so make sure to do it right.
When it comes to installing your driveway it is always best to leave it to the pros. Take your time to find the right contractor who will give you the right ideas and do all the necessary work.
So, no matter whether you are building your driveway or just upgrading it, you can choose from a variety of available materials. In this article, we will look into several driveway options and also discuss their cost, maintenance requirements, and durability.
The concrete driveway is the most popular choice because it is durable, doesn’t require high maintenance, it’s versatile and also cost-friendly. The design can be simple or more elaborate with various decorations, texture, and color. Concrete is similar to asphalt but more durable, and DIY-friendly. The only downside is it’s more expensive. The average cost per square meter stands somewhere between $4 and $10. Concrete driveways are strong and if they are installed with a right base, they will last anywhere between 25 to 50 years.
Depending on the climate and how much you use it, concrete doesn’t require much maintenance. But if you want your concrete driveway to have a long life, you should clean it regularly with a hose and stiff brush and you can also put in a concrete sealer which will add a layer of protection. If it's used often, especially being pressured by heavy objects, it can crack or break, which is more common during the winter season. Replacing the damaged section is easy, but it requires special power tools.
Asphalt is another popular choice because it is cheaper than concrete and stone. It’s also very durable. The construction process will cost you from $2 to $5 per square foot, depending on the length of the driveway. So, if you decide to install it, it will save you a lot of money. Asphalt is not recommended for DIYers and hiring a professional help is definitely needed. Another advantage of asphalt driveway is its black appearance which will give your property a presentable and clean look. Because of its black color it will retain heat which will help during the winter season in melting the snow faster.
The downside of an asphalt driveway are the reseals and because the material is relatively high-maintenance, you need to reseal it every three to five years. It is crucial to maintain the asphalt in good condition without cracks. Patching up the asphalt driveway is easy and you can do it yourself. Depending on the climate, asphalt can last up to 20 years, which is less than other similar surfaces.
Stone is the most attractive choice you can make for your driveway, but it is also one of the most expensive ones. This material will give a lot of character to your driveway and will easily blend with other design elements like xeriscapes, stone walkways, and fountains. Costing from $15 to $30 per square foot, the stone driveway needs to be built by experienced workers and professional equipment. If the driveway is laid properly it can last up to 100 years.
When it comes to maintenance, you will occasionally need to substitute single stones because they sometimes break. But other than that, you won’t have much work maintaining the stone driveway. Anyone who is looking for a unique look for their property should consider using stone.
Block paving is not the first choice when you think of driveway materials, but it is definitely one of the most beautiful and interesting to look at. If you want a unique driveway with a classical appeal, you should consider installing it. The blocks are made from either cement or concrete and can be laid in different patterns to please the eye. Just like the stone, the block pavers need to be installed properly, so it can function well and look nice. The price of driveway block paving starts around $20 per square foot. The maintenance of this type of driveway is easy and you have to wash it twice a year.
Gravel driveways are popular throughout the world because they are the cheapest, come in different colors, and are the easiest to install. The installation costs for gravel driveways start from $1 to $3 per square foot. This is great for people on a budget and houses with long driveways. Depending on the weather, the lifespan of the gravel is up to 100 years but it needs to be regraded every year or two.
Even if you’re perfectly happy with your current driveway, you can always make changes and make it even better. As we said earlier, an attractive driveway won’t necessarily sell your house, but it will definitely raise the selling price. So, if you are looking into building the perfect driveway, choose one of these ideas. Whether it is stone or blocks, asphalt, or concrete, any of these materials will give your property that classic look that future potential buyers will definitely love.