Pros and Cons of Asphalt and Gravel Driveways

House with gravel driveway on the left; house with asphalt driveway on the right
(DepositPhotos)

While most driveways should last for decades, they eventually do wear out and need to be dug up and rebuilt.

If you’re struggling with whether to add an asphalt or gravel driveway, consider these factors.

1. Cost

When it comes to your new driveway’s cost, gravel, or crushed stone, may be the more affordable option. A typical gravel driveway could cost just $1,200 to $1,500.

Asphalt’s more expensive than gravel, but the final cost depends on the project’s size. An asphalt driveway could cost anywhere from $2,300 to $10,000.  

2. Maintenance and Durability

A driveway’s lifespan depends on a wide variety of factors including the weather and how much moisture is in the ground.

In most areas, an asphalt driveway should last 20 or even 30 years if properly maintained. To maintain the driveway, you need to regularly scrape and resurface it.

Gravel driveways should last 100 years, but you might need to add more material every year or two.

3. Safety

It may surprise you to hear that gravel driveways could actually damage your vehicle if you aren’t careful.

In addition to getting small rocks trapped in the wheels, this type of driveway can kick up quite a bit of dust! Over time, that dust could get into your home’s heating and cooling system or your vehicle’s air filters.

Most of these issues can be avoided as long as you purchase your gravel from a construction material supplier that uses high-quality crushed stone.

4. Appearance

The importance of your driveway’s appearance comes down to personal preference. However, asphalt will always be the same color, and some homeowners would like to avoid a black driveway.

Crushed rock, on the other hand, comes in a wide variety of colors and sizes. You can choose a single type of stone or mix the stones to create unique patterns and designs.

Once you have decided on a material to use, you must then look for a licensed contractor in your area. While it might be tempting to try to save some money by carrying out this project on your own, this type of project usually requires a permit, and working without that paperwork could result in huge fines.

Which do you prefer: crushed stone or asphalt driveways? Leave us a comment!

Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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