One of the most important parts of building a new driveway or replacing your old one is choosing the right material. Regardless of whether your driveway has had the same material for years, you may find something more suitable for the requirements you currently have.
In terms of material, you have a few options to choose from. But the most common ones are asphalt, concrete, and stones. Each of these comes with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages in terms of cost, aesthetics, lifespan, and durability. That’s why it’s important to know the difference between them in order to help you find the best driveway material to make an informed decision.
Natural Stone Driveway
Driveways made from stones are for their durability, beauty, and long-lasting performance. There are plenty of paving stones to choose from, including the most popular; flagstone and cobbles. Additionally, STONEarch natural stones are available in a wide range of stunning colours and unique patterns.
Nevertheless, homeowners do not have it on top of their list since it’s not the cheapest option. The reason for this is because the pavers must be properly lined up during installation, along with ensuring that its foundation has been leveled correctly. Hiring a professional to install your natural stone driveway will play a major role in how well the end result will turn out.
But despite its upfront cost, Natural Stone driveways do not require a lot of maintenance. They’re also extremely durable and will last for one hundred years. And if one needs to be replaced simply swap it out with a new one, It really is that easy.
Pros of Natural Stone Driveway:
- Properly laid pavers can last for as long as a century.
- Each natural stone is unique and no pieces are the same. Likewise, they have plenty of character, making the material an excellent option if you want to add curb appeal to your home.
- It will add more aesthetic value to your property.
- Paving stones like granite require little to no upkeep and easy to replace.
- A natural stone driveway is a perfect choice for Canada’s heavy snowfall since you can install a heating system underneath it to prevent the accumulation of snow.
- You have a wide variety of options, allowing you to create just about any driveway style, from rustic and classic to contemporary.
- Stones have natural hues that can help conceal stains and other marks due to heavy traffic.
- Natural stones have a non-slip surface, providing you with traction.
- This material is very tough and can withstand your car’s heavyweight.
- An eco-friendly option.
Cons of Natural Stone Driveway:
- Stone driveways are a bit expensive, and their labor is intensive as well. But its durability, easy upkeep, and value will add to your home, making it a worthwhile investment.
- Depending on the paving stone you choose, it may need more groundwork before it can be installed.
- Laying the stones is time-consuming in comparison to pouring concrete on the surface.
Affordability is the main reason why homeowners always opt for concrete driveways, along with flexibility. Aside from these, the surface of a well-executed poured concrete driveway is dense and strong. Moreover, you can pour concrete to create either curved or straight lines. This means that it will give you enough versatility to build a driveway that can accommodate the restrictions of your neighborhood.
Your concrete driveway can last for many years. But its repair may put a dent on your budget and may give you a headache. Restoring a damaged poured concrete driveway is pretty tricky. You can patch the surface, but it will leave obvious and unsightly marks behind. Meanwhile, if there are massive spots that patching will not be able to take care, it may need to be entirely torn out and redone.
Pros of Concrete Driveway:
- Versatile and durable driveway material.
- It can withstand any climate condition.
- Plain poured concrete is a budget-friendly option. But you can also opt for exposed aggregate if you have a little more budget to spare.
- You can update its look with paint, or for something unique, you can have it stamped.
- Hiring a professional to pour the concrete will make it durable.
- Requires minimal upkeep. You can sweep the surface easily and use your pressure washer or a mild detergent to wash it.
Cons of Concrete Driveway:
- It’s not as aesthetically pleasing as STONEarch natural stones.
- Prone to cracking is one of its biggest drawbacks.
- It’s nearly impossible to repair a section of it without having to rip your entire concrete driveway.
- Installing a concrete driveway is relatively quick, but you have to wait at least a week to use it.
- Although it can take on any weather conditions, it may not hold up through the Canadian winter.
Asphalt is another popular material for driveways because of its affordable price tag and enduring quality. Your asphalt driveway can last for up to 15 years with proper installation and care. Just like a stone driveway, this type can also withstand colder climates and pressure very well.
Although it may acquire cracks or holes over time, its repair is easier in comparison to a concrete driveway. Patching its cracks is fairly easy. Additionally, you can protect the surface of your asphalt driveway and restore its original black colour by seal coating it every three years or so.
Pros of Asphalt Driveway:
- A properly installed asphalt driveway has that concrete feel and function, but it will not cost as much.
- The flexible material is less likely to acquire cracks when exposed to elements.
- Repairs are easy and cheap.
Cons of Asphalt Driveway:
- You have to seal it every few years.
- Your asphalt driveway can get really hot during summertime.
- It is not as long-lasting as natural stone driveways.