Types of driveways – The 10 best

Having a driveway for your property is essential to improve the curb appeal of your home and provide easy access for vehicles. Not only that, but driveways also add value to your property and can be customized with different materials or designs.

Whether you’re looking for something economical, eco-friendly, or stylish, there are plenty of great options when it comes to choosing the right type of driveway and material. In this article, we will explore 10 amazing types of driveways that offer a variety of benefits from durability to low maintenance costs. So read on as we take a deep dive into these 10 best types of driveways:

square foot paved driveway

Table of Contents

Types of driveways

Below are 10 popular driveway choices available:

  1. Asphalt – Low cost, durable, and easy to maintain
  2. Concrete – Excellent strength and durability, a great option for high-traffic areas.
  3. Gravel – This can be a low-cost choice, offering excellent drainage and is quick to install.
  4. Paver – Extensive design with many color and style options, able to accommodate even the most discerning taste.
  5. Brick – Extremely durable in all weather conditions, also offers a more traditional look.
  6. Cobblestone – Its timeless and classic look makes this an attractive choice for those looking to add a touch of elegance to their driveway.
  7. Crushed Stone – Offers great traction and excellent drainage and is also diverse in color options.
  8. Stamped concrete – Less maintenance and has lots of design options.
  9. Grass or Turf Driveway – A sustainable and environmentally friendly option that is visually appealing and water permeable.
  10. Tar and Chip Driveway – Offers a unique and attractive look to your driveway while also providing long-lasting protection from the elements.
gravel driveway blossom

1. Asphalt Driveway

Asphalt driveways have become increasingly popular among homeowners due to their affordability and durability. They are a low-cost alternative to concrete driveways and require less maintenance in the long run.

Homeowners can choose from a variety of colors and finishes to achieve the look they want for their driveway. Asphalt is also a flexible material, which means it can withstand the stresses of heavy vehicles and fluctuating temperatures without cracking or breaking.

The ability to augment asphalt driveways is another reason why they are a favorite among homeowners. They can be easily repaired and resurfaced to maintain their appearance and functionality.

Additionally, asphalt is a sustainable choice as it can be recycled and reused. All of these factors make asphalt driveways an attractive option for homeowners who want a durable and cost-effective solution for their driveway needs.

Pros

  • They are durable and can last up to 25 years with proper maintenance.
  • Asphalt is a flexible material, which means it can withstand heavy loads without breaking.
  • It comes in a variety of colors and finishes to match the aesthetics of your home.

Cons

  • Asphalt can soften in hot weather and become sticky.
  • To maintain its durability, asphalt driveways require regular sealing.
  • Oil and other chemicals can leave permanent stains.

$3 to $5 per square foot

driveway material asphalt

2. Concrete Driveways

Concrete is considered the most popular material used for driveways due to its durability and low-maintenance properties. It is a reliable and solid option that can withstand heavy traffic and harsh weather conditions.

Unlike other upscale alternatives, concrete driveways do not require frequent repairs or regular maintenance, making them an affordable choice for many homeowners.

Although concrete may not receive as many compliments as other alternatives, it is a practical choice that offers excellent value for money. Moreover, concrete driveways can also be customized with different colors and finishes to enhance the curb appeal of your home.

Overall, concrete driveways are an excellent investment for homeowners who prioritize functionality and longevity over aesthetics.

Pros

  • Concrete driveways are strong and durable.
  • Concrete comes in a variety of colors, finishes, and patterns.
  • It’s versatile and goes well with different property types.

Cons

  • Concrete cannot be resurfaced, repaired, or patched with minor fixes.
  • Oil and other chemicals can leave permanent stains.
  • It’s more expensive in comparison to other driveway materials.

$4 and $8 per square foot

concrete driveway

3. Gravel Driveways

Gravel driveways are a low-cost alternative to other types of driveways, making them a popular choice for homeowners on a budget. They are made by laying gravel or crushed stone on a prepared surface and can be customized with different sizes and colors to match the aesthetic of your home. Gravel driveways are easy to install, and they require minimal maintenance.

Although gravel driveways are affordable, they have some drawbacks. They can become uneven over time, requiring frequent grading to maintain their appearance and functionality. Additionally, gravel driveways can be difficult to navigate in snowy or rainy weather, creating safety hazards for both pedestrians and vehicles.

Pros

  • Gravel driveways are inexpensive compared to most other types.
  • There are a variety of colors, sizes, and textures of gravel to choose from.
  • You can carry out maintenance yourself.
  • Gravel driveways offer excellent water drainage.

Cons

  • Gravel driveways can become uneven over time.
  • Gravel driveways can generate dust and debris.
  • Gravel driveways offer limited traction, making them unsuitable for steep driveways or areas with heavy traffic.
  • Gravel driveways may require frequent refilling as the stones can be displaced over time.

$1.25 and $1.80 per square foot

Gravel Driveway summer

4. Paver Driveways

Paver driveways are a popular choice among homeowners who want a durable and attractive option for their driveway needs. Pavers are individual concrete blocks or bricks that can be interlocked to create a strong and stable surface.

They can be made from a variety of materials including brick, concrete, or natural stone. Brick pavers are a popular choice due to their classic look and durability. They come in different colors and patterns, making it easy to customize the look of your own new driveway yourself.

Ultimately, the choice of material for your paver driveway will depend on your budget, desired aesthetic, and maintenance preferences.

Pros

  • Paver driveways are strong, durable, and can last up to 25 years.
  • Pavers come in a variety of colors and designs.
  • Paver driveways require minimal maintenance.

Cons

  • Paver driveways can be expensive to install.
  • The gaps between pavers can become a breeding ground for weeds and moss
  • Paver driveways can become uneven over time.

 $10 to $30 per square foot

Paver Driveways

5. Brick Driveways

Brick driveways offer a classic and timeless look that can add charm and elegance to any home. They are made by arranging individual bricks on a prepared surface, creating a stable and durable, driveway surface.

Brick driveways are known for their durability and can last a lifetime with proper maintenance. Due to their longevity, brick driveways are considered an investment that adds value to your home. However, the initial cost of materials and installation may be higher than other types of driveways.

One of the main advantages of brick driveways is their durability. They can withstand heavy loads and harsh weather conditions without cracking or breaking.

Pros

  • Brick driveways are strong and durable
  • Easily repaired as you will only need to replace the odd brick.
  • A classic look that would go nicely with any home.

Cons

  • Brick driveways can be expensive to install.
  • The gaps between the bricks can become a breeding ground for weeds.
  • Brick driveways can become uneven over time.

$12 to $26 per square foot

brick driveway

6. Cobblestone Driveways

Cobblestone driveways are a popular choice for homeowners who want to add a touch of elegance and charm to their property. These driveways are made up of small, irregularly shaped stones that are tightly fitted together. They can be made from a variety of materials such as granite, limestone, and basalt, and come in a range of colors and textures.

Installing cobblestone driveways requires a specialized company that is experienced in handling Belgian block pavers. Although the cost may seem high, the unique and elegant finish of a cobblestone driveway is worth it. However, finding a reliable and skilled company for installation may prove to be a challenge.

Another consideration when choosing a cobblestone driveway is its surface. The uneven shape and size of the paving stones used can make it difficult to clean snow from the surface, creating potential safety hazards during the winter months.

Pros

  • Cobblestone driveways add a unique and elegant touch to any property.
  • Are known for their strength and longevity.
  • Cobblestone driveways only require occasional cleaning and re-leveling.
  • Come in a variety of different materials

Cons

  • Cobblestone driveways can be costly.
  • The uneven surface of the stones can make it challenging to walk on.
  • Finding a company that specializes in installing cobblestone driveways may be difficult in some areas.

$10 – $20 per square foot

Cobblestone Driveways

7. Crushed Stone Driveways

Crushed stone driveways are a popular choice for homeowners looking for a practical and affordable option. These driveways are made up of small, crushed rocks that are compacted together to create a solid and durable surface.

One of the biggest advantages of a crushed stone driveway is its low cost. Compared to other types of driveways, crushed stone is one of the most affordable options available. Additionally, crushed stone driveways require very little maintenance, only needing occasional raking or leveling to keep the surface even.

It’s worth considering that crushed stone driveways may not be the best option for areas with heavy snowfall, as snow removal can be challenging. While it’s not necessarily a deal-breaker, homeowners should be aware that clearing snow from a crushed stone driveway can require extra effort and time.

Pros

  • Crushed stone driveways are one of the most cost-effective options available.
  • Require very little maintenance.
  • Lots of flexibility in color options.

Cons

  • The surface of a crushed stone driveway may be uneven, making it challenging to walk or drive on.
  • Due to its loose texture, crushed stone may not provide the best traction for vehicles or pedestrians.
  • Clearing snow from a crushed stone driveway can be difficult and time-consuming.

$0.60 per square foot

Crushed Stone Driveway

8. Stamped concrete Driveways

Stamped concrete driveways offer homeowners the ability to achieve the look of expensive pavers or natural stone at a more affordable cost. The technique involves imprinting patterns onto the porous surface of of the concrete, allowing for a high level of customization in terms of color and texture.

Despite its lower cost, stamped concrete remains durable and requires only basic maintenance. While it may not have the exact same look and feel as natural stone or pavers, stamped concrete driveways can provide a similar aesthetic appeal at a fraction of the price.

Pros

  • Stamped concrete is an affordable alternative
  • Lots of customizable options
  • Is a good allrounder in most climates

Cons

  • Stamped concrete may develop cracks over time due to soil movement or other factors.
  • Repairing stamped concrete driveways can be challenging, as matching the original pattern and color can be difficult.
  • Appearance may fade over time.

$9 and $13 per square foot

Stamped concrete Driveways

9. Grass or Turf Driveway

Grass or turf driveways are an eco-friendly and visually appealing option for homeowners seeking a unique solution to their driveway needs. These driveways use grass or turf as the surface material, creating a green and natural look.

The grass or turf surface is usually combined with permeable concrete pavers which allow water to pass through, preventing flooding and providing a more environmentally friendly option than traditional driveways.

It’s worth noting that grass or turf driveways may not be the best option for areas that experience heavy snowfall or drought. In snowy conditions, the grass or turf can become slippery and muddy, making it challenging to navigate. Similarly, in dry conditions and extreme heat, the grass or turf may require additional watering to stay healthy.

Pros

  • Grass or turf driveways are permeable.
  • These driveways provide a unique and natural look that can complement any style of home.

Cons

  • Grass or turf driveways may not hold up as well under heavy traffic or constant use.
  • Unsuitable for certain climates.
  • Must be mowed or trimmed on a regular basis.

$4 – $12 per square foot

10. Tar and Chip Driveways

Tar and chip driveways, also known as macadam driveways, offer a unique and affordable solution for homeowners seeking a more natural look for their driveway.

These driveways consist of a base layer of crushed stone or gravel, which is then coated with hot liquid asphalt. A layer of small chips or stones is then spread over the surface of the asphalt, creating a textured and visually appealing finish.

One of the biggest advantages of tar and chip driveways is their cost-effectiveness. They are significantly cheaper to install than traditional asphalt or concrete driveways but offer a similar level of durability and strength.

It does demand more maintenance than most, which needs to be factored into the cost.

Pros

  • Tar and chip driveways are relatively inexpensive compared to other types of driveways.
  • The rough surface of tar and chip provides excellent traction.
  • They offer a unique and attractive appearance with different color and texture options.

Cons

  • Requires a lot of maintenance in comparison to asphalt or concrete
  • The loose gravel can be a nuisance

$2 to $5 per square foot

Tar and Chip Driveways green door
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Oliver Wright
Oliver Wright

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