How to Install a Driveway

workers installing an asphalt driveway

Getting a New Driveway

Choosing a driveway installation is something that should be given some serious consideration. As the roof and siding are a statement to your home, so is the driveway. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have any driveway currently, or you’re upgrading your property with a new driveway, it is a value-add to your property. So, you should choose the one that will add the most value and give you the longest lifespan. 

What should I look for in a new driveway?

There are significant differences between the various driveway surfaces. You should consider the one that fits your budget, your home’s exterior architecture, and the driveway installation material that will provide the safest solution in various weather conditions. 

  • Asphalt Driveway Installation: The best option that will provide your property with the best level of protection, aesthetics, safety, and lifespan benefits. An asphalt driveway installation will need to be done by a professional contractor and it will require maintenance every 2 to 3 years for patching and seal coating. For cold climates with a lot of snow, an asphalt driveway installation will provide traction and is easy to clear with a snowplow. 
  • Concrete Driveway Installation: This is one of the most durable driveway installation options, providing a surface that is hard and stable. It is more expensive to install, using a professional contractor and is prone to crack during winter with freeze and thaw cycles. If repairs aren’t kept up, it can affect the curb appeal and property value. But can driveway cracks be repaired? Yes, the very fine type of cracks that come from the concrete not drying thoroughly can be repaired using a resurfacing product and is a simple DIY project. Cracks up to ¼” wide should be filled with a flexible sealant and then patched. 
  • Gravel Driveway Installation: This is the cheapest driveway installation surface choice that offers durability. In the long run, it will never need to be resurfaced, provides a level of safety, and is a budget-friendly choice. Not ideal for areas where there is a lot of snow in the winter. 
  • Paver Driveway Installation: A durable driveway installation option but is expensive upfront and with follow-up maintenance. The aesthetics are ideal for high-end homes with gate entrances.  is the use of paver stones. Not recommended for areas with a lot of snow in the winters because it is difficult to plow and unsafe. Requires effective drainage and waterproofing. 

What type of driveway lasts the longest?

A concrete driveway installation will give you up to 40 years of use when it is installed professionally with routine maintenance and upkeep.  An asphalt driveway installation is the next longest lasting driveway with up to 30 years lifespan. 

Which is the easiest driveway to install? 

In previous years, we would have said gravel driveway installation is the easiest to install, and it still is easy. This inexpensive and versatile material provides a rustic curb appeal and when grass patches are added, it is a welcoming drive for any home. 

However, the new “in” driveway installation material is rubber. Less expensive than asphalt or concrete, easier to install, and just as durable. A small surface makes it safer for households with small children and comes in a range of colors that can be mixed and matched to customize the look. 

Is concrete or asphalt better for a driveway?

When concerned about the durability of a drive, between an asphalt driveway installation versus a concrete driveway installation, concrete is the better choice. With proper upkeep, a concrete driveway will last 50 years or longer, providing a sturdy surface, Occasional degreasing, and possible repairs within those 50 years. 

At The End of The Driveway – More Questions

How do you know when to replace a driveway? 

You can expect to get a minimum of 15 to 20 years from any driveway installation material if you keep the maintenance and upkeep on schedule. To make the decision if it is time for a new driveway installation, as yourself the following: 

1. Are there cracks and holes, and how big are they? – Small cracks and holes that are under 1/4” wide are considered minor in the driveway industry and can be patched easily. Any cracks bigger than ¼” should have flexible filler before patching, but the cracks will surface again fair quick, so a new driveway installation may be the better option. 

2. The age of your current driveway – It has been more than 25 years since your last driveway installation, it is time for a new one. 

3. How does your current driveway look? – This is important when placing your house on the market because this is the “welcome, come on in” curb appeal. If it looks old and worn, the house will old and worn. 

close-up of an asphalt driveway under construction

One Final Consideration

Let’s take a look at the three most common types of driveways and their upfront costs: 

Cost to install a concrete driveway: There are variables that can affect the cost of a concrete drive installation, like the length and if any excavation is needed. The cost can start at around $5,000 and reach up to $16,000 and more depending on a variety of factors.

Cost to install an asphalt driveway: The typical range for an asphalt driveway installation is between $3,900 and up to $7,500. 

Cost to install a gravel driveway: Again, the length of the driveway installation has a lot to do with the final cost for gravel too.  The average cost for a 16-foot x 38-foot driveway is $1,800. 

A big consideration for homeowners is the cost of any major type of work needed around the house, and a driveway installation is a major cost. This is another reason it’s important to do a lot of planning for driveway installation.