The Inspector

By NPI, Inc.



Choosing a Driveway? Here’s What You Should Know

 January 24, 2022 |  Home Maintenance, Home Decor |  home exterior

A driveway is a key piece to increasing your home’s curb appeal. Especially if you’re thinking about selling in the near future, you want it to look as perfect as possible. But you want to make sure that you choose the right style for your home. A driveway is a major investment, so here’s what you need to know before you make your decision.

Picking Your Material
Driveways have expanded past the original concrete styles over time. Now, there’s a wide variety of materials you can choose to pave with. Behind concrete, asphalt has become highly popular with homeowners. Brick is another long-time favorite that tends to hold up well. Gravel is a simple look that can still add attractiveness to your house. Lastly, paving stone driveways allow you to mix and match styles for a more unique look.

The top choice for homeowners, concrete driveways have a long list of positives. First of all, the cost of most concrete installations is fairly inexpensive. This is a big selling point for first-time homeowners looking to save money where they can. Concrete also tends to be very durable and lasts for a long time in any climate. If you want something that stands out more, you can use stamps or even dye it. One drawback is that you are limited as far as personalization goes. Another is that if you mix it incorrectly, the concrete will shrink and crack.

Asphalt is fairly cheap and nearly comparable to concrete in durability as well. The darker tone of asphalt can make your home pop and set you apart. If you live in a particularly snowy climate, the black color may also help melt any accumulation. However, you may find that it’s a double-edged sword come summertime. The asphalt will absorb more of the sun’s rays and heat up your driveway. Asphalt can tend to have sealing issues, so you’ll have to get it resealed around every four years, which can add up.

A simpler look, gravel can still add some character to your home. If you have a longer driveway, gravel is a cheaper solution that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. It’s also extremely long lasting since the rocks used are very hardy. With it being crushed up rock, you may need to repave your gravel driveway every few years to level it out and fill in low spots. It can be difficult to clear ice and snow off, so it might not be as viable in winter climates. In summer, you might find rocks kicked into your lawn that could damage your mower blades.

Paving stones are a fairly expensive material, but when done right you’ll certainly see their value. They have a lifespan of nearly a hundred years and are made from granite or flagstone. For a higher investment, you can get heating coils installed underneath the stones to keep snow and ice off. Of course, the biggest drawback is the amount of labor and money you’ll have to invest in to install the paving stones. For newer homeowners looking to save, it might not be the best option right away.

When correctly placed, brick driveways offer reliability and affordability. You get a smooth surface that can last up to 25 years when correctly cared for. There is a bit of intensive maintenance you’ll have to do to keep your bricks looking great. Every so often, you’ll need to power wash them off to remove any dirt or fluids that have stuck. After washing, the bricks should be sealed to prevent breaking or chipping.

Ultimately, you’ll need to evaluate your own personal choice and of course your budget before investing in a new driveway. But the right one will make your house one of a kind!


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