When it comes to driveway construction, one key factor to consider is what material to use. Among the most popular are crushed stone, concrete, and asphalt. Because each has its merits and drawbacks, you’ll need to carefully consider your needs before making a decision. Here’s a breakdown of their attributes to help you decide.
How to Decide Which Material to Use for Your Driveway
Crushed stone is an essential material for building almost any type of driveway and is favored by many homeowners for its relatively low cost and variety of options. It’s available in different colors and sizes, which allows you to choose one that will complement your home’s aesthetic. A crushed stone driveway is also easy to install—just pour and rake over the surface until it’s level. It can also serve as a foundation for concrete and asphalt driveways if you ever change your mind.
However, crushed stone is harder to maintain than the other two materials as it tends to shift and move around when disturbed. It requires regular upkeep to prevent weeds from growing in-between spaces, deep ruts and holes from forming, and heavy dust from accumulating.
On average, the cost of an asphalt driveway is somewhere in-between crushed stone and concrete. Compared to crushed stone and concrete, asphalt only comes in black with limited options for customization. It is typically installed as a single, unbroken surface, making it vulnerable to cracking. Tree roots, heavy loads, and frequent water seepage can also cause an asphalt driveway to crack. Maintaining it requires periodic resurfacing and resealing at least every three years. Fortunately, surface damage to an asphalt driveway can be repaired with patching, which is a relatively straightforward process.
Among the three, concrete is the most durable, lasting for as long as 40 years—twice the lifespan of asphalt. It can be stained with different colors, or stamped with a variety of patterns for a customized design, which adds to your home’s curb appeal. A concrete driveway is also low maintenance since it doesn’t require frequent resealing or resurfacing.
Despite its advantages, concrete is susceptible to cracking during the freeze-thaw cycle in winter. And when it needs repairs, the process can be tedious and costly depending on the damage. Using concrete for your driveway also costs more than crushed stone and asphalt.
Whichever material you choose for your driveway, source it from The L. Suzio York Hill Companies of New Haven County, CT. Since 1930, they have been the leading supplier of high-quality crushed stone, concrete, and asphalt throughout south central Connecticut. Call (203) 237-8421 to discuss your project or request a quote via their website.