As something you use every day, you might not pay attention to this important part of your commute. If you have a gravel driveway, you’ve probably thought about getting it paved—at least once. Maybe it’s the cost holding you back, or the terrain. Maybe you genuinely enjoy having a gravel driveway! But, if you’re thinking about paving this piece more and more, here are some pros and cons to help you make your decision.
Gravel: The Pros & Cons
We’ll start with this option because it’s what most people have before they transition to pavement. Gravel can have several advantages, chief among them the cost. Especially for those with long driveways, paving the entire thing can be tough on a budget. It’s also pretty easy to maintain. Some shifting due to time and weather will occur, so you’ll need to plan for “top-dressing” or applying additional layers of gravel every few years.
This can give you an opportunity to change up the look of your driveway, since there are actually a lot of different stones to choose from when picking your materials. Moreover, you can use it pretty much as soon as the installation is complete—no need to wait for drying or settling. Settling will occur, though, over time. So, if you live in a climate with harsh weather (i.e. rain or snow), you’ll not only have to replace your gravel more frequently, but you’ll also have to deal with finding it in your yard. Not to mention the ruts and potholes that can occur. Eventually, some people get tired of the extra maintenance required for their vehicles after using this type of driveway day in and day out. If you’re one of them, you may want to look a little closer at pavement.
Pavement: The Pros & Cons
Now, there are a couple of different options you can choose from for paving, but today we’re going to focus specifically on asphalt. This actually is more affordable than you might think. Concrete paving and/or paver stones tend to cost a bit more, but asphalt isn’t that much more than a gravel driveway installation. Especially when you factor in the long-term maintenance cost of replacing the stones. With asphalt—in the right climate—you can enjoy your driveway for 10 to 20 years with only regular cleanings and sealants.
Unfortunately, you’re more limited in style, since black is the only real color choice, and its sleek, modern look may not match every home. Also, while it’s good in extreme cold or rain (since it doesn’t get washed away), this option can be problematic in very hot places. In extreme heat, asphalt can actually melt, causing marks or indentations to appear. Normally, though, a paved driveway leads to a much smoother daily driving experience.
If what we’ve shared intrigues you, please give us a call today for a free estimate! Our staff also handles paving driveways and can share more information based on your specific property. Just don’t rule out asphalt options just yet.