After helping with over $100,000 in home renovations at my previous estate, my friend’s house, and now on my new property, I am well aware of the different materials and labor involved in various projects, such as asphalt driveways for example.
The question everyone always asks is whether to pave a driveway with asphalt or concrete. In my opinion, it’s pretty simple. Asphalt driveway paving is the way to go because it’s cheaper and it’s easier to repair. Residential properties don’t need concrete slabs; they need asphalt laid to perfection. Need more reasons? I’ve done the research on this, so have a read and then tell me why you would choose differently.
Asphalt Costs Less Than Concrete
Asphalt costs between $2 and $5 per square foot of material. Then, you have to add in the cost of other compaction material, such gravel, sand, or whatever else is being used to form the base. After all the materials are accounted for, the labor cost gets added in. In total, the driveway ends up being a few thousand dollars. Certainly not a bad price for something that lasts 20 years with only minor repairs every so often.
Concrete on the other costs between $3 and $10 per square foot, and most times, the price is closer to the latter amount. You still have to add in compaction materials to establish the base for the concrete to be laid on, and labor is factored in as well. If you want to add any decorative elements, such as a stamped concrete pattern, the price goes up even more.
So, looking at the decision from the price point alone, homeowners should be asking for residential asphalt paving for their driveways, not concrete installation.
Maintenance for Asphalt versus Concrete
Asphalt driveway maintenance is relatively small. Small cracks form from time to time and require asphalt patches or hot mix to fill the gaps. Between hot mix and a quick seal-coat, the home’s driveway is back to working order in a matter of minutes.
Concrete driveway maintenance is more of a pain in the butt. Because concrete is installed in slabs, the whole slab needs to be replaced when there’s a crack. If instead of area of the concrete starts to sink, then you’ll have to hire a mudjacker or a concrete leveling contractor to handle it. Mudjacking is an older method and more expensive, so you’d end up leveling the concrete instead. The company pumps in a special foam that raises the concrete to the correct level.
Considering what you now know about maintenance, which driveway sounds better? Asphalt paving is more affordable and easier to maintain.
How the Weather Affects Asphalt Paving vs Concrete
The weather is the only other main factor to consider for driveway paving. Asphalt pavement shrinks and expands with temperature changes, while concrete does not. So, if you’re in a cold climate, the asphalt driveway is a clear winner; concrete will crack if it’s subjected to enough pressure and it’s cold enough outside. If you’re in a hot climate, concrete driveways are more attractive. That’s one of the reasons why places like Albany, NY or anywhere upstate for instance pave almost exclusively with asphalt or blacktop, and places like Houston, TX or Florida choose concrete.