concrete for long-lasting household projects

Residential Driveway Paving: Two Major Factors to Consider

by Kyle Carpenter

Whether you are about to have a new residential driveway paved or want to replace your existing driveway, hiring a professional, experienced contractor rather than tackling the job yourself can make a world of difference. Installation by a professional paving contractor can help ensure a product that will last several years and withstand daily usage and elements. In most cases, paving contractors will employ a team to get the job done, as this type of work should not be performed as a one-man job. Equally important is choosing the right type of material for your home's driveway. Consider the following two factors before you take the plunge.

1. Hiring a Pro If You Want the Job Done Right

Although it may seem tempting to make this a do-it-yourself project, paving a driveway properly takes a lot of know-how and experience. An experienced contractor will know the exact amount of materials needed without any guesswork. Equally important, the pros will use quality materials that are made to last as well as utilize reliable equipment for a polished, reliable, and professional job.

If a problem should arise during the installation process, a professional will have prior experience in knowing how to resolve it effectively. In addition, the work will be guaranteed. Lastly, hiring a paving contractor means saving time from start to finish.

2. Choosing Your Pavement Materials Wisely

When having a new driveway paved and installed, the materials you choose will play a key role. That said, how can you determine which materials to use for your new driveway? Consider the pros and cons.

Asphalt Driveway: Asphalt driveways for homes are very common due to the relatively affordable cost. While that may be an incentive if you're on a budget, you also need to consider the long-term maintenance requirements. Asphalt will require repaving or repairs more frequently than some other materials. Most contractors recommend resurfacing asphalt driveways every few years. This is because asphalt will develop cracks over a period of time. In order to prevent cracking, a rubberized compound should be applied during the resurfacing process.

Gravel Driveway: If you are on a tight budget, this material may be a good choice. Gravel is considered to be the least expensive paving material for driveways, is often available in various colors, and is relatively quick to install. There are drawbacks to gravel, however. The cost of the upkeep of a gravel driveway is considerably higher than that of other materials. And if you live in a region that receives a lot of snow, gravel is not an ideal choice.

Concrete Driveway: Although somewhat more costly to install than asphalt, concrete driveways will not require as much maintenance. However, you need to be aware that concrete will need to be sealed. This will prevent damage from salt. Without your applying the sealant, your concrete may degrade within a season or two. Overall,concrete is a solid choice for most any type of residential driveway. 

Paver Driveway: This type of driveway is generally most costly to install. Many prefer this design for its aesthetically pleasing appearance and low maintenance. It's also quite strong and durable. Another convenience of pavers is the ability to remove an individual paver by hand. You can then flip it upside down and then pop it back into place, should it become soiled from engine oil. Typically, pavers will be comprised of materials such as stone and clay, and sometimes concrete will also be mixed in. In most cases, you will have the option of choosing between various styles and colors for your paver driveway. You should note that pavers may be prone to the development of weeds between the interlocking blocks. To control the weed growth, you should spray the driveway between the crevices.

Keep the above advice in mind, and you should find the process of having your new driveway paved is less of challenge than you imagined.