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What Is the Best Type of Driveway for Your Home?
By: Danny Lipford
There are several different types of driveway materials commonly available for your home—including gravel, asphalt, and concrete.
Home Driveway Options
Below are the comparative cost, advantages, and disadvantages of the three most common driveway materials.
- Price: Low. Gravel is the least expensive driveway material.
- Pros: In addition to being inexpensive and DIY-friendly, a gravel driveway is permeable, allowing rainwater to soak through and reducing runoff.
- Cons: Gravel is rough and uneven, weeds grow through it, and it tends to migrate from the driveway into your lawn.
- Price: Medium. Asphalt costs more than gravel, but less than concrete.
- Pros: Asphalt provides a smooth, solid, durable surface.
- Cons: Asphalt can develop cracks and holes over time. Also, it should be sealed every few years to make it last longer.
- Price: High. Concrete is the most expensive driveway material, costing more than gravel or asphalt.
- Pros: A concrete driveway doesn’t require much in the way of maintenance other than an occasional cleaning with a pressure washer and repair of any cracks.
- Cons: Concrete can develop cracks over time. Cracks should be filled to prevent erosion of the soil under the slab
Watch this video to find out more.
- Installing a Gravel Driveway (video)
- Installing an Asphalt Driveway (video)
- Pouring a Concrete Driveway (video)
Danny Lipford: When people need to replace their driveway, they often ask which type of surface is best. The answer depends on your budget, your lifestyle, and the amount of maintenance you’re willing to do.
A gravel driveway is probably the least expensive option. It reduces rainwater runoff because the water drains through it. But on the downside, it’s not very smooth, weeds can grow through it, and eventually the gravel will end up in the lawn.
Asphalt is more expensive but creates a smooth, solid surface that stays put without the need to build any forms. The downside is that, as you’ve seen here, asphalt requires sealing every few years to prevent the surface from cracking, chipping, and coming apart.
Concrete is the most expensive of the three because the material costs more, and the additional labor of forming and pouring it. However, if it’s done correctly, the only maintenance it should require is an occasional cleaning.