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This Old House - Do-it-Yourself

Concrete Or Asphalt? Important Factors To Consider With The Driveway Dilemma

Written by Posted On Friday, 20 January 2017 19:54

If you're interested in installing a new driveway on your property, you're no doubt wondering whether it would be preferable to use concrete or asphalt as your paving material. Both types of surfaces have advantages and disadvantages. You'll want to consider these 4 important factors when you make your decision between concrete and asphalt.


1. Which Driveway Paving Material Are the Majority of Your Neighbors Using?

It's important to preserve the harmony between your property and its surrounding neighborhood environment, so it matters which surface your neighbors are using. If every home on your block has a concrete driveway, you don't want to be the only oddball with blacktop. If you just moved there, you may also ask your neighbors which option is better for the climate, weather, traffic etc.


2. What's Your Driveway Paving Budget?

There are distinct cost differences between concrete and asphalt; asphalt is much more affordable. You can expect to pay anywhere from $2 - $5 US dollars per square foot when you install an asphalt driveway. In contrast, installing a concrete driveway could cost up to twice as much at a cost of $3 - $10 US dollars per square foot. If your budget for the project is low, asphalt is obviously the preferable choice.


3. How Much Driveway Maintenance Are You Willing to Do?

An asphalt driveway requires more frequent maintenance than a concrete one does. However, it's easier to successfully make repairs to asphalt. Concrete is likely to crack, and once it cracks it can be challenging to successfully repair. If you do need to do some concrete work, consider using professionals like those found at Claggett & Sons Inc, who have more experience and may have some helpful tips.


4. What's Your Local Climate Like?

In areas that are susceptible to snow, ice, sleet and hail, asphalt is the clear-cut winner when it comes to driveway paving materials. The asphalt flexes more easily in extreme temperatures, making damage less likely.


5. What Color Driveway Would You Prefer to Install?

Light-colored concrete has a stylish look about it. However, black isn't your only option when it comes to asphalt driveways. There are many attractive colored coatings for asphalt, which means that you could have, for example, a bright red driveway if that would enhance the look of your landscape. However, the standard blacktop color is the most common choice for asphalt driveways.


6. What's the Condition of the Vehicles to Be Parked in the Driveway?

Concrete is susceptible to staining, and it clearly shows every drop of oil or gasoline that drips onto it. If you're planning to park a couple of leaky, decrepit old clunkers in the driveway, asphalt may be a better choice since any oil stains will be less noticeable on the asphalt than they would be on concrete.



We hope this information has helped you with clearing up the mystery about whether concrete or asphalt would be the ideal choice for paving the driveway on your property.

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