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Driveway Paving - Which Paving Material Should You Choose?

Jun 27, 2008
When it comes to paving your driveway, there are several factors to take into account. The primary concern is what material to use. One type of material is loose stone, which tends to be inexpensive in comparison to other popular materials such as asphalt, tar and chip, or concrete. Loose stone is natural looking and pleasing to the eye, although there are some challenges to take into account. It may pose as difficult to walk on and prove to be a challenge when it comes to snow removal.

The most common material used is asphalt. Asphalt driveways are practical and functional. Once the driveway is paved, it can be nicely edged with a driveway edging, such as brick, pavers, or Belgian block. You can always add other materials as well such as tumbled pavers. Another nice addition to the asphalt is a circle of pavers which can be added to any area of the driveway.

If you're looking for a more rustic look, then the way to go is tar and chip. This is a combination of stone and asphalt and gives the driveway a more country kind of look.

The stone used can be various colors depending on the surroundings. It does not have to be the black or dark gray color that you often see. There are lovely tan and brown stones out there also.

Concrete is another material choice. However, there is always a chance of this material cracking. It must be installed properly with attention paid to appropriate construction joints.

Next in line comes stamped concrete. The same comments apply as to standard concrete. However, there is one more thing to think about. If you choose a natural pattern, you still must have construction joints to help prevent cracking. These construction lines will run through the naturalistic look of the pattern and can be quite unprofessional looking.

Concrete pavers can also be used for an entire driveway. This can be quite costly. I prefer to use pavers at the driveway apron, as a driveway edging or even as a circle design within the driveway. Using all pavers is not necessary to achieve an eye-catching design.

Brick is another option. Many of the bricks manufactured today have enough strength to support vehicles. An entire driveway in brick can get quite expensive, so if you like brick, consider using it as accents as I discussed above.

Natural stone can be used in particular areas of a driveway, such as edgings. Or you might consider using it at the driveway apron entry. Driveway stone must be strong enough for cars to drive on....granite is a good choice.

Driveway paving that is at the more expensive end, such as pavers and brick tend to add on a significant amount to a landscape project. This is because a large amount of paving material must be used on a driveway. Labor costs can also be expensive.

You can create a beautiful driveway design by using a less expensive material and accenting it with other materials. You can also simply use a material such as asphalt, and put your funds into great landscaping, lighting and other garden features. An outstanding driveway design does not have to include expensive material. After all, it is the entire landscape design itself that is important.
About the Author
Susan Schlenger is a Landscape Designer with a degree in Landscape Architecture. You can read more about Driveway Paving at her website. You might also be interested in learning about the Driveway Drainage.
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