Looking to revamp your driveway? The appearance of your driveway can add a lot of curb appeal and value to your property, so the materials that you use to pave it make a world of difference. The two most common options for this task are concrete and pavers.
Many of us have heard of concrete for paving driveways, but you may be asking yourself, what are pavers? Pavers are small stone slabs or pieces that are compiled to create a layer of outdoor flooring; in this case, a driveway. They can also be used to create pathways or patios.
While many people consider driveway pavers to be more attractive aesthetically, some of the myths surrounding the functionality and lifespan of pavers have deterred homeowners from going down this route.
We’re going to take a look at some of the different elements of concrete driveways versus paver driveways, as well as debunk some of those myths surrounding pavers so that you can imagine your driveway as beautiful as ever and bring your dream to fruition.
In this article, we’ll examine some key elements of driveway performance including maintenance, durability and strength, cost and value, as well as appearance.
Note: when doing a driveway repair or installation, it’s imperative that you hire a professional. Regardless of whether you use concrete or pavers, the complexity of the job as well as the technical knowledge of laying a driveway can have devastating consequences for your property if not executed properly.
When it comes to maintenance, concrete driveways are typically thought to have less maintenance overall, but this can be untrue. If your concrete driveway can’t support the load, over time small cracks and breakage will occur. Furthermore, you’ll start to notice weeds and other unwanted plants that can pop up through the breaks in concrete, which makes for an unsightly driveway and deteriorates all the work that was done. Over time, this is inevitable.
One benefit to pavers is that while impact can sometimes cause cracking, individual pavers can be replaced, which makes long-term maintenance much easier. Pavers also stand up very well to a variety of temperatures and weight loads.
You may also experience weeds that pop up between the pavers, so a good weed killer is a great way to minimize and control this.
Stains are also likely to appear on both types of materials, but are less noticeable on pavers due to their natural appearance and stone patterns. You can use power washing on concrete to try and remove the stains, but they are generally more noticeable on concrete than on pavers.
Durability and Strength
As we saw in maintenance, both concrete and pavers are likely to experience wear and tear, but concrete is more susceptible to disruptions from ground movements and temperature, and can be more difficult to sustain over time. This can also cause the ground to lose it’s stability and become unlevel over time.
Pavers, on the other hand, are easier to replace and oftentimes are backed by the manufacturers or a warranty so that you don’t have to worry about removing and replacing parts where your pavers may have deteriorated.
Also noted above, pavers have a higher resistance to weight and traffic over time. Pavers actually offer roughly triple the endurance of concrete when considering pound per square inch. This is a huge benefit as over time, vehicles and pedestrians will wear away at concrete, causing cracks, whereas pavers can withstand the pressure much better.
Cost and Value
Looking at upfront costs, concrete is going to be a bit easier on your wallet. That being said, the long-term cost of concrete ends up being more due to the maintenance and durability of the material. Pavers are more durable and while they may cost a bit more at the beginning, the maintenance of the pavers and the durability over time will bring your costs down in the long run.
When considering value, pavers not only hold a lower long-term cost, but also add more value to your home. They are likely to attract homebuyers and add additional aesthetic to your curb appeal, which adds value to your investment. Concrete won’t hold this added benefit.
We’ve mentioned that curb appeal can be increased through the use of pavers, but why would that be?
Since there are many varieties of stones and colors, as well as designs, pavers offer much more versatility than a standard concrete driveway. You’re able to create accents, borders, as well as patterns throughout the pavers, which adds a huge aesthetic to your driveway and can also tie into other landscaping elements that will also enhance your curb appeal. Pavers will also add texture to your aesthetic, affecting the way the light accents your property.
You can customize your pavers to look exactly as you wish, and working with a professional, you can integrate those ideas with your current landscaping. Over time, pavers won’t fade away or change in color, which helps to keep your design’s integrity as the years pass. Who would have thought that driveway design could be so creatively intuitive?
Concrete doesn’t allow you to have these options; in fact, concrete is more likely to stain or crack with limited options for cleaning or repair. When your concrete becomes stained and cracked, your curb appeal will actually depreciate. If appearance is your pivot point, pavers are definitely the way to go.
Which Option Is Right For Me?
A driveway is one of the first things that people will notice when stepping up to your home. Making the decision between a concrete driveway and a paver driveway comes down to the factors that we’ve mentioned, including maintenance, durability and strength, cost and value, as well as appearance. Assessing your needs and priorities is the first step in making the decision.
All things considered, pavers are going to be the best option when looking at all of these categories mentioned above. While there is a slightly higher investment cost initially, in the long-term, pavers will not only age better, they will be easier to maintain and replace in the event of damage. They will also give you a higher property value and curb appeal, which is ultimately a return on your initial investment. Remember to always seek the advice of a professional like the team from Coquitlam Retaining Walls to help you with all of your driveway repair needs.