Make a great first impression on visitors to your home with an aesthetically pleasing driveway.

The materials you select to pave your driveway affect the job’s price. The materials used also affect your home’s curb appeal and resale value.

Asphalt

Contractors consider asphalt one of the cheapest options. Paving an asphalt driveway ranges from $2,300 to $10,300, according to costhelper.com, and Angie’s List members reported an average price of $5,308 to pave an asphalt driveway.

“Asphalt is certainly less expensive than concrete, but it is also smoother because it does not have joints or gaps,” said Scot Leggett, owner of Leggett Asphalt in Tualatin, Ore. “Asphalt is stronger than an equal depth of concrete, and much stronger than concrete that is not fortified with rebar or wire mesh.”

If homeowners reseal the asphalt driveway every three years, it will last about 20 years, according to the National Asphalt Pavement Association.

Asphalt should be 3 inches thick when used over gravel for new driveways, and 2 inches thick when repaving, Leggett says.

Concrete

If properly maintained, a concrete driveway can last for about 30 years and continue to cure and harden, says Prisciliano Anaya, president of Anaya Concrete in Denver. “Concrete that’s eight years old is much stronger than concrete that’s two years old,” he said.

Concrete driveways should be at least 4 inches thick to support regular vehicles and at least 5 inches thick for heavier trucks, according to the American Concrete Pavement Association.

Concrete driveways cost more, starting around $3,500, according to costhelper.com. Angie’s List members reported an average price of $7,394 to pave a concrete driveway.

But concrete requires less maintenance than asphalt, Anaya says. He advises homeowners to avoid using deicing chemicals and opt for a sealer to protect their investment. Also, sealing cracks in the control joints prevents water from seeping underneath.

Clay brick, concrete pavers

Both clay and concrete pavers feature impressive strength, says Frank Calistro, owner of Old World Brick Paving in River Grove, Ill. Concrete pavers come with a strength rating of 9,000 pounds per square inch, and 12,000 psi for clay, he says. Concrete driveways usually use 4,000 psi of cement.

Clay pavers feature a deeper, more vibrant color than concrete pavers, Calistro says, but they sometimes cost twice as much. Concrete paver driveways may cost up to $14,500, while clay brick driveways can reach $28,000, according to costhelper.com.

Both require little upkeep, though concrete pavers require sealing every five to seven years, Calistro says. If the base was properly installed, they should last for decades, he adds. “Pavers should outlast all asphalt and concrete.”

 

James Figy is a reporter for www.angieslist.com.