A driveway is an essential component of a facade that significantly affects the curb appeal and functionality of a home or business. Discover what materials you should consider when constructing or renovating your driveway, the price for concrete driveway, and many more.
When approaching a building, whether it is a home or a business establishment, one of the few things you first notice is its driveway. Besides increasing your facade’s curb appeal, your driveway needs to be as seamless as possible to serve its primary purpose – to be the path going to your garage, house front, parking lot, or carport. Therefore, planning your driveway’s components, particularly the materials you will use, is vital.
What Should Be Under Your Driveway?
The base where you will lay your driveway finish also plays a significant role in its strength, lifespan, and, ultimately, its functionality. The general rule is that whatever material you use for the finish should be the same for about 100 to 150 mm in its foundation or base. Most contractors use a method that requires heavy equipment to spread and compress the materials to create a sturdy foundation.
The successful laying of a driveway foundation is as crucial as implementing the top-lay finish. It is best to have the hardcore foundation laid at the same when building structure is done. Consequently, the top-lay finishing works should be in tandem with the finishing works of your building. This approach should help you maximize the use of specific equipment needed to use them both for your building and driveway construction.
The Best Material For Your Driveway
As the world of construction advances in innovative equipment and more environmentally-conscious building methods, owners and contractors now gear more towards the awareness of using efficient materials. So, when choosing your driveway material, here are some points you should consider:
Check the expected lifespan of the materials you are considering using. Every material differs in durability when exposed to various external factors, such as climate, daily vehicle traffic, foot traffic, external pressure, and many more. For example, asphalt is best for cooler areas but might not be a great idea to use in hot regions because of its low melting characteristics.
The installation cost of top-lay finishing of your driveway is one of the most critical factors that you should consider. Asphalt is the material with the best economic value because both the material and installation costs are relatively inexpensive. Concrete is your next best choice. It also is moderately priced and will rank second on the installation speed, which takes about a week more than an asphalt installation. Stone pavers are pretty expensive when it comes to material and installation expenses.
Concerning a driveway material’s durability, you also need to consider its maintenance, including cleaning, repair, and replacement requirements. For example, stone pavers materials and installation might be pretty expensive, but it requires minor maintenance. You can even replace individual pavers if damaged without the need to get professional services to rip off the entire driveway. The following best low-maintenance material is concrete. On the other hand, asphalt is challenging to maintain as some parts may melt to heat and cause uneven areas over the years.
The curb appeal of your facade can be improved by choosing the driveway material that blends with the appearance of your home or business establishment. While pavers and bricks offer elegance and give a rustic look to your driveway, asphalt and plain concrete provide the opposite. An alternative would be going for stamped concrete, which is becoming a trend nowadays.
But, the question remains: What material should you pick for your driveway? Here are our top 5 materials to consider when selecting your driveway.
Concrete offers a low-maintenance and durable choice for your residential or commercial driveway. This type of material can last for about 20 years on average when installed and maintained correctly. In addition, correct installation ensures that there will be no water runoff around the driveway.
Concrete has a wide range of color choices. Otherwise, you can stain it with concrete dye if you feel like changing the color of your cement driveway in the future. Staining can also be helpful in concrete discoloration, which happens if the surface when oil is spilled on the surface. Another potential problem to note is that concrete can easily crack if poorly installed or if the cement mix ratio and other components are incorrect.
PRICE FOR CONCRETE DRIVEWAY: The cost of a concrete driveway is about $8 to $20 per square foot, making it approximately $1,800 to $6,000 for small to medium-sized driveways.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Asphalt is one of the lowest-priced and most straightforward driveway materials to install. Typically, contractors use hot black or dark brown mixture for driveways and parking lots. It is a combination of sand by-products and crude oil. This material type is best for colder places, where it can last for 25 years on average. On the other hand, it might not be your best material of choice if you live in States where the weather is hot as it can liquify at temperatures of more or less 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
The aggregate components of asphalt can be modified depending on the use and requirement of its user. The four standard products are warm mix asphalt, hot mix asphalt, porous asphalt, and coarse graded asphalt.
PRICE FOR ASPHALT DRIVEWAY: An asphalt driveway costs lower than concrete at about $7 to $12 per square foot. Installing asphalt to small to medium-sized driveways can range from $2,500 to $5,600.
A stone paver is a sturdy driveway material that offers an elegant appearance to homes and commercial establishments. It can be the material of choice for either hot or cold climates because of its frost and heat-resistant properties. However, you have to note that this driveway material requires re-sealing every 3 to 5 years to increase its protection from oil and grease stains.
Stone pavers have dense, solid components. Therefore, you need to ensure that your contractor provides adequate drainage to prevent any water damage in the long run. Moreover, stone pavers offer a wide range of choices. Therefore, it is best to look into various paver types and their load capacity to make sure that the one you pick is appropriate for your driveway.
PRICE FOR STONE-PAVED DRIVEWAY: The cost of having a stone-paved driveway is approximately $10 to $55 per square foot, giving you about $6,000 to $32,000 for a small to medium-sized drive area. The costs are significantly higher than concrete and asphalt as the price of the raw materials is higher, and the installation requires more time and workforce. On the contrary, its maintenance and replacement cost relatively less as you can replace a piece of damaged stone or an area without demolishing the entire driveway.
Professionals best install this material. Moreover, reinforced grass paving is placed together with either a concrete or plastic paver, typically in a honeycomb or rectangle structure. The pavers will help the grass grow well as it carries the traffic weight, including vehicles and people. An alternative would be using reinforced grass with gravel.
PRICE FOR REINFORCED GRASS DRIVEWAY: Expect to spend about $3,000 to $9,500 at approximately $10 to $17 per square foot. Costs may vary depending on the paver materials you choose and the drainage system installed.
Grass pavers are best with stamped concrete landscapes. Also, remember that you will need a sound watering system, especially during summer.
Gravel is the cheapest driveway material you can consider. Its installation is one of the quickest, too, which you can DIY. On a good note, gravel offers various color selections.
Typically, the gravel used for driveways underwent a process where dust or fine sand has already been removed. Through it, clean chips and pebbles remain for use. Recently, an innovative type called self-binding gravel is gaining popularity as a driveway material.
Choose the best driveway material that coincides with the purpose of your building.
A driveway becomes the first entry point of regular occupants and visitors to a structure, be it your home or a commercial establishment. Therefore, it should withstand average human and vehicle traffic, plus other external forces like weather and typical wear-and-tear conditions. Also, besides considering the cost of materials and installation, take into consideration its maintenance requirements.
Additionally, it is best to consult with professional flooring contractors. These experts can advise you on which material best suits your requirement. Then, install the best material to your driveway and see how it serves you throughout the years.