Did you know that homeowners spent an average of $60,400 on home renovations in 2016?
A driveway renovation is part of that equation.
Are you trying to pick the right material for your home’s driveway? Read here to learn the different types of materials you can choose from.
Pave the Way! What’s the Best Material for Your Driveway?
A driveway upgrade has the potential of increasing the resale value of your home. There are quite a few options when picking what material you’ll use for your driveway. When you first pull into your driveway it should give you that welcome feeling as you arrive home.
This material is a popular choice because gravel is quick to install and you’re able to customize the look of your driveway using different color options. Initial costs for gravel are low upfront, but there are some maintenance requirements.
Some cons include:
- High maintenance
- Loose rocks can get into your house, car, grass, etc
- Needs a refreshing top layer every 1-5 years
- Plowing snow is tricky
- This material is not ideal for snowy areas
Some pros include:
- With proper maintenance, it can last a lifetime
- Inexpensive install
- Quick install
This material is low-maintenance, cost-friendly long term, and versatile. You can make elaborate concrete designs using color and texture or keep it simple and traditional.
Some cons of this material include:
- Difficult to remove stains
- Freezing temperatures can damage it
- Surface erodes when exposed to road salt
- High installation cost
Some pros of concrete include:
- Solid stable walking
- Not prone to mud
- Major cracks aren’t usually an issue
- Endless personalization options
- Easy to plow in snowy regions
- Long lifespan
- Low Maintenance
If you choose concrete, it’s a smart idea to hire a professional to make sure everything turns out okay. Experts are able to install a concrete driveway safely and ensure that it lasts you for many years.
If you want to personalize your concrete you are able to choose a colored, patterned or stamped finish. Companies online allow you to see their amazing concrete driveways so you’ll have an idea if concrete is right for you.
This material option is pliable and is able to withstand freezing temperatures. The black color of this material retains heat, which helps melt snow during the winter.
Cons of asphalt material include:
- Requires regular upkeep (it’s recommended that you reseal asphalt every 2 to 4 years
- Higher installation cost
- Promotes runoff
- Deteriorates rapidly (You might need to replace asphalt every 15 to 20 years)
There are several pros of asphalt material, including:
- Once it’s cured you can walk on it no matter the weather
- Easy to plow when it snows
- Great traction in wet and icy conditions
- Adding a fresh layer over the foundation is a fairly quick process
Pavers are visually appealing and come with options. You can choose any of the following types of pavers:
- Concrete Pavers
- Brick Pavers
- Clay Pavers
- Natural Stone Pavers
Cons of pavers include:
- They are expensive to install
- Difficult to find replacements in the future
- Brick pavers can wear down with harsh weather
- They’re porous, which will eventually require pressure washing to remove oil marks
Pros of pavers include:
- Add curb appeal to your home
- Options in colors and shapes
- When there is a crack in a paver, you can replace the affected piece instead of having to replace the entire driveway
- Permeable pavers will allow the ground to absorb and clean rainwater
- Provides natural irrigation for your lawn with permeable pavers
This is one of the most expensive material for driveways. Stone requires professional equipment to prepare and pave the driveway. It might be an expensive choice, but stone blends well with other landscaping, fountains, walkways, and driveway islands.
Cons of stone material include:
- High Cost
- Impermeable making storm runoff unavoidable
- Not a high traction material making it slippery when it rains and snows
- Not DIY friendly unless you have plenty of time
Pros of stone material include:
- It’s always firm, making it clean and stable unlike gravel, which can get messy when it rains or gets wet
- Stone looks great, which can boost your home’s curb appeal if you decide to sell it in the future
- Durable in most climates. You don’t have to worry about resurfacing the driveway periodically
Before You Install
When doing a driveway, there are some questions and things to consider before making your final decision on the material you choose. Some factors to consider before you begin your project include:
Knowing how much you can spend on your project will make it easier on what material choices to look at. Having an idea on how large the driveway is going to be will give you an idea of how much the material costs in your area.
How important is curb appeal to you? If the answer is yes then you start with looking at materials that will add curb appeal to your home.
You will also need to consider what the right fit for your property is. Decorative concrete might look best, or pavers. You have to think about what fits with your home and your neighborhood and go from there.
Is a New Driveway in Your Future?
The great thing about upgrading your driveway is that if you decide to sell your home in the future, it could raise your home’s selling price. It’s not one of those home renovation projects that decrease your resale value.
If you choose to never sell your house, you will still enjoy a beautiful driveway to welcome you home. Looking for more inspiration for your outdoor area? Check out our section on garden and patios.