Asphalt is typically regarded as a parking lot material, but it has a lot of benefits for driveway building. For example, it is usually able to withhold various types of heat and cold damage. Often, it melts snow during the winter because it retains heat so well. As a result, your plowing and snow management bills will be even lower than normal.
And since asphalt costs around $3-5 per square foot to install, its price is very competitive compared to other options. So while it is no need for the cheapest type, it doesn’t cost too much to install. And since you can consider recycled asphalt, you may even save yourself more money. Thankfully, repairs are usually quite easy and inexpensive on asphalt, which is definitely a plus.
This last benefit is particularly critical because asphalt is often prone to various types of damage without the help of paving companies. Asphalt usually lasts somewhere around 20 years— however, without regular maintenance and resealing every 2-4 years, you’re going to end up experiencing a high level of erosion and other issues with your asphalt. That said, this option is still a good one if you’re willing to take these maintenance steps and don’t mind doing a little extra work to keep your driveway strong.
Though a concrete driveway may feel cheap or gaudy to some people, they are popular for a reason – their strength. The sheer power of a concrete driveway is hard to top, which is why it can last nearly half a century without being replaced. And since they are so popular, it is usually much easier to find a professional who fully understands how to work with these materials in a beneficial way.
Even better, most types of concrete are quite inexpensive to install – anticipate no more than $4 per square foot. However, you can pay up to $50 per square foot if you want patterns or colors. This option is pricier, sure, but it is also quite attractive. This helps to offset some of the disadvantages of concrete, such as a limited stylistic appeal and the dangers of various types of stains.
Unfortunately, concrete is quite absorbent, which is a problem many paving companies have to face when installing it every year. However, concrete driveways are also among the strongest and most durable types on the market today. These driveways can last up to 40 years, even. Unfortunately, that hardness may also make them more likely to get damaged by freezing temperatures or roots. Thankfully, they can be protected by sealants and other methods.