If you have recently built a home or currently live where a gravel driveway greets your vehicle, it may be time to upgrade to something a little more stylish and durable. There are two primary choices for you: a concrete driveway or an asphalt driveway. Here is quick run-down on the differences between the two.
Pick Your Price
If you are searching for the cheapest option besides gravel, go with asphalt. It is inexpensive, usually costing between $2 to $5 a foot for installation. However, it isn’t just the material that will affect your cost. If you have a double car garage or wish to have a double car parking area, it adds to the overall costs. If you choose to have designs imprinted into the asphalt or concrete to give it visual detail, your price can go up considerably.
Determine Your Goals
If you want something that takes little to no maintenance but will last for years, concrete is a better choice than asphalt. While properly laid asphalt has been known to provide the same durability as concrete, the best long-term investment would be concrete, as it has a 30-year life expectancy over asphalt’s 20 years.
Fit Your Lifestyle
A concrete driveway takes about a week to dry before you can drive on it, but asphalt can be driven on almost immediately. An asphalt driveway also expands and shrinks to accommodate temperature changes, but extreme temperature stress can cause concrete to crack. If your driveway sees a lot of use, concrete makes stains and dirt more visible. Asphalt is more forgiving and requires less maintenance to remain in good visible condition.
If you are only looking to save money, an asphalt driveway is the next cheapest thing after gravel. If you want durability and high-end look without the cost of pavers or stones, a concrete driveway might be your best option. No matter what you decide, work with a professional to get the job done right.