Common Driveway Materials

Common Driveway Materials

 – Many potential homeowners never give a second thought to driveway materials when looking at homes. However, a driveway can serve as an important part of any home’s first impression. A driveway can connect the property to the street and is often one of the first things that someone notices when they pull up to a property. The types of driveway materials vary, but the most commonly found types are, concrete, asphalt, gravel, and brick/paving stones. No matter what type of driveway you install, you can add value, a unique style and curb appeal to your home.

Commonly Used Driveway Materials

Driveways typically can last a few decades with proper care and maintenance. The most basic, and often least expensive, are gravel driveways. Concrete and asphalt fall closely behind and both can add value to the home. Some homeowners spend a little more money to gain a more customized driveway.

Asphalt and concrete driveways remain as the two most popular driveway materials in the United States. But there are pro’s and con’s to each. Asphalt can be easier to repair and costs less to install. However, concrete typically requires less maintenance overall and also lasts longer.

Common Driveway Materials

Brick and paver driveways can provide up to 25 years of use. While the paver and brick looks can add great curb appeal to the home, the downside is that they can shift over time. If a paver or brick is broken, it can be easily replaced, but initially this type of driveway is more expensive than asphalt or concrete on average. However, brick and paver driveways require the least amount of maintenance and can create the biggest visual impact for a driveway.

Stamped concrete can be used, not only for a driveway, but also for walkways and patios. Patterns can be utilized that mimic tile, brick, stone and other custom designs. Stamped concrete can be less expensive than installing brick pavers and also require less maintenance when sealed properly.

Gravel or crushed stone are the least expensive of all driveway options and offer a variety of choices to choose from. This type of driveway material can be installed quickly and can also be added to over time as rocks settle. The downside of gravel is that it has a shorter life expectancy and typically doesn’t add much, if any, value to a property.

Tips For Installing And Maintaining A Driveway:

  • If you are hiring a contractor, then be sure that the contractor is knowledgeable and has experience with the specific type of driveway material that you are installing. When looking for a contractor, make sure to compare bids and also ensure that the bid includes the base materials.
  • Don’t hire a contractor based on getting a deal on “leftover” materials. These can be difficult to match and may not be enough to cover the entire driveway surface.
  • Always get a written estimate and do a site review with the contractor to ensure that everyone agrees to the surface area to be covered.
  • Consider the slope of the driveway and different drainage options. You want to verify that the water won’t pool and the driveway will be sloped away from the home and garage.
  • Know where any underground utilities are in relation to the driveway.
  • Site preparation is key to building a driveway that will last.  Don’t skimp on this important step of any driveway construction.
  • When considering what to choose as the driveway surface, make sure to take into account cost, regional weather, upkeep, stain removal and crack repairs.

A driveway can serve as the first impression that visitors receive of your home. By installing and maintaining an inviting driveway, you can guarantee that visitors are welcomed by the pathway to your home. Not only can a driveway enhance the appearance of your home, but it can also add character as well. No matter what type of driveway you choose, you can ensure that it will last for many years to come and will also be an excellent investment.

Boston Homes For Sale By OwnerCommon Driveway Materials

Rick Toney

View posts by Rick Toney
Rick Toney Is A Seasoned Real Estate Professional With Over 25 Years Of Real Estate Experience, Writes A Weekly Real Estate Blog And Is A Principal of Blue Moon Realty Group And Mesa Realty Advisors. Blue Moon Realty Group Is A Residential Redevelopment Company Specializing In The Purchase And Renovation Of Older And Physically Distressed Homes (Flip This House Boston). Mesa Realty Advisors Is An Affordable Housing Developer Specializing In The Redevelopment Of Existing Low-Income Housing Properties. Rick Is A Certified Public Accountant (CPA - Retired) In The State Of California, A Certified Property Manager (CPM - Retired) And A Real Estate Broker In The States Of California (Retired) And Massachusetts.

4 Comments

  1. James FoxJanuary 30, 2018

    Good article.

    Reply
  2. Hazel OwensMarch 16, 2016

    I like your tips about hiring a contractor for your driveway. While it might be cheaper to get “leftover” materials, like you said, those materials may not match or cover the entire driveway. Hiring a contractor to pave or brick your driveway that knows the material they’re working with will help insure a smooth driveway installation. Thanks for the article.

    Reply
  3. Tara JonesJanuary 28, 2016

    We have an older house and I’ve always thought it would be grand to do a brick walkway and driveway – but it’s just too expensive for us. Why hadn’t I thought of stamping some concrete? That would be perfect, and the picture you included definitely makes it look like a wise choice. I’m going to have to look into it and see if we can re-do our walks/driveway this summer!

    Reply
  4. Jordan BakerSeptember 22, 2015

    I’m happy that you put a bit in here about how to put everything in the driveway. I have a hard time with trying to figure out how to keep everything looking great, mostly because I’m not exactly sure about how to do things on my own. What would you suggest I do if I need professional assistance? http://www.streetscapesolutions.com/services/

    Reply

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