Methods of Paving
Stone & Brick Driveways. Your most expensive
alternative. Also one of the highest maintenance types of
driveways you can choose.
Concrete Driveways. Concrete driveways are
more expensive than asphalt, but typically more durable.
Asphalt. Asphalt driveways are economical
and also flexible.
Gravel Driveways. Your least expensive
alternative, but also requires maintenance (stones always
moving, weeds, etc).
Cobble Stone & Brick Pavers
Your most expensive, but often the most beautiful choice for
driveway paving. Stone and brick driveways often make quite
Why are they more expensive? Each stone has to be cut and
set separately. You thought that thousand piece puzzle on
your dining room table was difficult. Wait till you try
this...and keeping it perfectly level while putting it in
place. The materials are more expensive and it takes a lot
more labor to put it in place.
The upside is that most stone and brick
pavers will last a lifetime. The downside is that if you
have any adjacent trees to your driveway, that roots will
often start moving the pavers around. Then what?
Concrete is a very durable surface. It is also more
expensive than asphalt. However, if it does not crack within
the first year, then you likely will have a driveway that
will last most of your life.
Cracking is always more prevalent in
northern climates where material is forced through the
freeze thaw cycle. Inevitably, cracks will occur. Expansion
joints placed in the concrete help reduce cracks. Also, wire
mesh or rebar placed into the concrete will provide
You can also add a little style to your
concrete drive by coloring the concrete or stamping it with
patterns. This, of course, drives the price up a bit.
Most driveways are built out of black
asphalt. The balance between economy and durability makes it
a common choice.
Asphalt driveways are resistant to cracking
because the material is more flexible (it is made out of
oil). It is laid down while the material is hot, rolled by a
big roller, and formed by simple forming tools. The downside
is that the sun keeps it hot during the summertime (after
all, it is black).
The nice thing is that it can be applied directly over old
surfaces (concrete, asphalt, gravel). If your base is solid,
then your asphalt surface will be good. However, if you
apply asphalt over a cracked or rough surface, the new
surface will eventually develop the same cracks as the
To help keep the surface from drying out,
you can re-seal your drive every few years. That will help.
Loose Stone & Gravel Driveways
This is definitely the least expensive way to build a
driveway and actually hold up pretty well. They do require
more maintenance. Believe it or not, there are different
qualities of stone and they each produce a different quality
Recycles asphalt products (RAP) hold up
pretty well and do not tend to mud up as easily. Man made
gravels are often your best choice. The provide for a good
compactable surface and do not break down as easily into