Concrete driveway in front of house.
A concrete driveway is the most durable and the most expensive.

There are several different types of driveway materials commonly available for your home—including gravel, asphalt, and concrete.

Home Driveway Options

Below are the comparative cost, advantages, and disadvantages of the three most common driveway materials.

Gravel Driveway:

  • Price: Low. Gravel is the least expensive driveway material.
  • Pros: In addition to being inexpensive and DIY-friendly, a gravel driveway is permeable, allowing rainwater to soak through and reducing runoff.
  • Cons: Gravel is rough and uneven, weeds grow through it, and it tends to migrate from the driveway into your lawn.

Asphalt Driveway:

  • Price: Medium. Asphalt costs more than gravel, but less than concrete.
  • Pros: Asphalt provides a smooth, solid, durable surface.
  • Cons: Asphalt can develop cracks and holes over time. Also, it should be sealed every few years to make it last longer.

Concrete Driveway:

  • Price: High. Concrete is the most expensive driveway material, costing more than gravel or asphalt.
  • Pros: A concrete driveway doesn’t require much in the way of maintenance other than an occasional cleaning with a pressure washer and repair of any cracks.
  • Cons: Concrete can develop cracks over time. Cracks should be filled to prevent erosion of the soil under the slab

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT
Danny Lipford: When people need to replace their driveway, they often ask which type of surface is best. The answer depends on your budget, your lifestyle, and the amount of maintenance you’re willing to do.

A gravel driveway is probably the least expensive option. It reduces rainwater runoff because the water drains through it. But on the downside, it’s not very smooth, weeds can grow through it, and eventually the gravel will end up in the lawn.

Asphalt is more expensive but creates a smooth, solid surface that stays put without the need to build any forms. The downside is that, as you’ve seen here, asphalt requires sealing every few years to prevent the surface from cracking, chipping, and coming apart.

Concrete is the most expensive of the three because the material costs more, and the additional labor of forming and pouring it. However, if it’s done correctly, the only maintenance it should require is an occasional cleaning.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I think the surface also depends on the homeowner. What will you be parking on the driveway? Do any of your vehicles leak from time to time? Concrete is amazing, but can get an ugly look fast if oil or other vehicle fluids leak on it and it’s not cleaned properly. Asphalt is the same way, but since it’s black, it’s not as much of an eye sore.

  2. If I were to replace my old and cracking driveway with a gravel driveway, what types of edging would help keep gravel from getting into the grass?

  3. My husband and I drive electric cars, these cars don’t need any oil (Yay! No oil changes or gas station visits!) So I don’t need to worry about oil stains if we go with concrete. But is there a way to make sure we don’t get erosion problems? We have some erosion eating away at the lower edge of one side of current driveway.

    • Hi, Paula,
      Erosion is more about the soil beneath the concrete than the concrete itself — cracks in concrete or unfilled expansion joints can allow water to get beneath the concrete and erode that soil, or at the edges where water drains you can replace the soil and be sure there is some vegetation (grass or ground cover) to retain the soil.
      Good luck!

  4. i m building a new home and i m told that i can not not have a concrete driveway slab that will be 14 FT Level and the other 14 Ft ending at the street curb gradually sloping toward the street. Would it be to much trouble in creating a driveway like that. What we be factors if any for the driveway not being able to be made this way. Thanks in advance for your answer to this question.

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