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Homeowner’s Guide to Types of Driveways

From dirt-rut wagon tracks to the elegant brick pavers of Thomas Jefferson's Monticello, Americans have been balancing cost and appearance when choosing driveway substances for centuries. Today, brand-new fabrics allow for a stunning various types of selects to accommodate almost every possible budget and driveway design preference.

Here are pros and cons of seven of the most popular driveway alternatives, with a special focus on cost, longevity, maintenance, climate appropriateness and sustainability.

Asphalt Driveway( AKA Blacktop)

Asphalt Driveway

Asphalt pavement is one of the most common textiles used to support driveways in the U.S. A favorite of homeowners and academy developers everywhere, asphalt is affordable and speedy to install. It's a great choice for large the regions and appoints a smooth, attire appearance.

Pros Cost: Asphalt driveways are relatively economical, straddling from$ 5 to $12 per square hoof lay. Maintenance: Easy to patch and reparation small-time impair in a way that isn't readily observable.


Lifespan: Asphalt driveways have a life of 20 to 25 years, shorter than most other materials on this list. Climate: Blacktop sucks hot, inducing it hot to the touch( especially on bare feet ). Very high temperatures can cause it to soften, persisting to shoes and allowing cars to leave tire moves. Sustainability: Asphalt is a petroleum product. Although there have been advances in asphalt recycling, it is one of the least environmentally friendly driveway options.

Concrete Driveway

Concrete Driveway

The other most popular choice for driveway material is concrete. A robust fabric that can take a beating from the forecast, concrete is a great choice for any climate.

Pros Cost: Usually between$ 5 and$ 8 per square foot invested. Longevity: Lifespan up to 40 times. Maintenance: Relatively little regular maintenance. Climate: Suitable for red-hot or freezing environments.( In snowy circumstances, take care when applying ice melt .)


Cracks: All concrete will crack eventually. Maintenance: When something does go wrong, a restore can be difficult to patch in or obstruct. Sustainability: Concrete isn't a petroleum product, but it also carries an environmental cost.

Brick or Paver Driveway

Paver Driveway

Individual bricks or pavers render a top-end driveway material, compounding high stability with aesthetic appeal and easy customization. Clay bricks have a shorter lifespan than concrete or stone pavers. All three forms can be easily removed and replaced if damaged.

Pros DIY friendly: Of all the options, the paver driveway is the most DIY friendly. It's still a fair amount of part, but it doesn't ask ponderous material. Flexibility: Even better able to withstand earth movement than concrete. Longevity: Expect a lifespan of up to 50 times for brick, and up to 75 times for concrete or stone. Motif motley: Bricks and pavers, in a multitude of colorings and contours, can be laid in countless decorations. Sustainability: Clay bricks and stone pavers have a reduced environmental impact if locally sourced.


Flexibility: The same assets that allow it to withstand the anchor gasping and adjudicating meant that individual pavers may sink or stand proud and need to be adjusted.( The better the original install, the less of a problem this are likely to be .) Cost: There's a huge series of rates for paver driveways. Individual pavers can expense anywhere from$ 2 to $15 each; add in the substrate and labor and the final expenditure will be terminated between$ 8 and $30 per square foot set. The final penalty depends on the sound, style and decoration you choose.

Stamped Concrete Driveway

Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete driveways imitation the search of pavers through the purpose of applying imprinted decorations and stains. catering high-pitched stability, they expenditure somewhere between standard specific and a full paver driveway.

Pros Cost: At $10 to $12 per square hoof lay, embossed concrete is more inexpensive than natural stone, brick or concrete pavers Appearance: Stamped concrete has only one approximately unlimited wander of vogues and forms. Durability: Should last nearly as long as a regular concrete driveway, but it's possible for the decorative stamping and staining to fade before that. Climate: Stamped concrete is a versatile material, well-suited for any climate.


Rifts: All concrete will crack eventually. Maintenance: Amends can be difficult to blend in. Not DIY friendly: Installation expects knowledge with concrete as well as stamping and staining. Because the driveway is usually spewed all at once, even small-minded misconceptions can be noticeable. Sustainability: Stamped concrete has the same environmental issues as traditional concrete.

Gravel Driveway

Gravel Driveway

Gravel driveways can gape simple, or they can be part of a complex and meticulously designed entryway. A good hand-picked for warmer atmospheres, the gravel stones enable them to outlive your home. But over meter the gravel will be spread across the lawn and street, compelling the periodic top-off and leveling.

Pros Cost: At$ 1 to$ 3 per square paw installed, gravel is the most economical option on such lists. Options: There are a lot of gravels, with different complexions and sizes. Sustainability: Gravel is a naturally occurring material. It has the same water permeability as far more expensive paver options at a fraction of the cost. DIY Friendly: As long as you can get the base material and top-stone delivered, spreading it is relatively simple for big driveways.( The savings might be less than you think, since pros use heavy gear to make short work of things .)


Maintenance: Ruts and hollows will ultimately sort. If your driveway is ascent, the liberate gravel will unavoidably make it out to the street. Climate: Very difficult to keep clear of snow. Best for regions with little or no snowfall. Dirt: Gravel produces dust and dusts, same to driving on a soil artery. That dust has to settle somewhere, most likely on your car and the two sides of your residence.

Permeable Paver Driveway

Permeable Pavers

Permeable pavers are a newer technology that is beginning to catch on with a wider audience. Designed with engineered pits, the pavers tolerate rainwater and snow melt to spurt through to the ground below. This has several environmentally profitable side effects, as well as practical advantages.( There is also permeable concrete and asphalt with tiny openings to allow water penetration, but now we'll places great importance on pavers .)

Pros Water permeable: This signifies less cracking, spalling and puddling. It too symbolizes less frost. Sustainability I: Permeable skin-deeps nurse less hot, which means they don't create a hot bubble of breeze instantly in front of your dwelling. It's better for the environment and may lower your cool legislation. Sustainability II: Less storm drain runoff and less need to water the lawn , benefitting the environmental issues and you.


Soil dependent: If you have dense clay soil, that driveway ocean will penetrate the pavers simply to pool on top of the grunge. Additional work will be needed to get it where you want it to go. Cost: Permeable paver driveways operated anywhere from $20 to $40 per square hoof installed. Exactly like traditional pavers, it's dependent on material and blueprint collection. Maintenance: The porous skin-deep is able to impediment. Plan on annual pressure washing or vacuuming to clear out the little flaws. Snow: The main reasons permeable faces don't hamper heat means that it is more likely to accumulate snow. Of track, formerly the snowfall melts, that liquid will drain away before icing over.

Turf Driveway

Turf Pavers

Another recent innovation, turf driveways use permeable pavers with excavations broad enough to permit grass or ground cover floras to grow and flourish. It can have the inspection of a mix of pavers and turf, or appear to be a regular lawn but with buttres to avoid ruts and divots compelled when parking on grass.

Best suited to a warm climate where the dark-green grass will previous and snow isn't a problem, a gras driveway is an eye-catching and inventive driveway technology.

Pros Glamour: The handsome, modernized, natural ogle of territory driveways is their major selling stage. Sustainability: Turf drives are even cooler than other permeable skin-deeps.


Cost: $10 to $30 per square foot invested, chiefly determined by the type of paver you select. Maintenance: They're an extension of your lawn, so watering and weeding are required. Lifespan: The broader openings cause the pavers to wear down faster. Longevity depends on the pavers selected, but 10 to 15 years for most residential driveways is a good estimate. Spotty footing: The grass/ block surface isn't friendly to wheelchairs or high heels. Climate: If you have to shovel snow, it will feel like you're shoveling a lawn.

Read more: familyhandyman.com

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