Among home improvement projects, improving or renovating your driveway is the most expensive one to undertake. It has a great effect on the overall aesthetics of your property. However, to achieve that you usually need to spend a lot of money. You need to search for “paving companies near me” and hire the right contractors to build a nice driveway. However, there are some cost-effective ways to pave your driveway. Let’s check them out:
- Gravel – This is one of the best DIY options you have. Building a gravel driveway can significantly reduce costs and provide you with a pleasant change to the exterior of your home. To build a gravel driveway, you need to dig into the earth a few inches and set up weed barriers to prevent pesky weeds from messing up the structure and looks of your driveway.
After the foundational work is done you can pave the driveway with several layers of stones of different sizes. The gravel layer goes on top. This creates good drainage and helps to preserve your driveway for a long time. Your driveway stays firm and functional even in heavy rain and prevents puddles.
While this driveway is very cost-effective, you need to top off the driveway with gravel periodically since it will keep sinking into the earth. You also need to rake it out occasionally to make it level. You trade costs for maintenance.
- Natural earth – This is probably the cheapest option on this or any other list. It’s also the simplest. To pave this driveway, you’ll need compacted earth that is mixed with a decent amount of aggregate to make it stable. It’s perfect for homes with olden architecture since a natural earth driveway gives you a rustic and natural look.
If you opt for this kind of driveway, you’ll also need to have a raised central segment that diverts rainwater to the side. This eliminates the problem of piddles and also prevents your driveway from being washed away by rain.
The good thing about this driveway is its simplicity. You don’t even need contractors for this one. Just lots of elbow grease and you can make the compacted earth yourself and pave a new driveway with it. However, it also needs significant maintenance since the natural earth isn’t very durable or stable.
- Concrete and Asphalt – Concrete and asphalt are the most common and popular choices among homeowners when it comes to paving conventional driveways. Due to their demand and abundance, they are also incredibly cheap.
When you hire a contractor to do this, the usual routine of removing the old driveway, constructing a new sub-base, and pouring concrete or asphalt over it gives you a decent result. You can lower this cost if you take things into your own hands.
You need to inspect your base and check for cracks or faults. If the wear is minor, then you can directly pour a new layer of asphalt or concrete and level it out. Otherwise, you need a jackhammer and other equipment to grind down and remove the old driveway.
If you create a driveway without removing the old base, it will be higher, and the driveway won’t merge smoothly into the street. Either way, you aren’t spared from maintenance. Both concrete and asphalt driveways need to be sealed after every few years to maintain them in pristine condition.
However, concrete can be a bit more expensive than asphalt, it would give you more value in the long run. It requires fewer seals and has a longer lifespan, almost twice as asphalt. It’s also less prone to damage from the intense summer heat that can easily crack asphalt driveways.
- Tar and Chip – A tar and chip driveway can be very affordable and looks much better than asphalt that has a similar cost. To pave this kind of driveway, the old one needs to be excavated and graded. After that, a layer of gravel base is laid, and hot liquid asphalt cement is poured over it. Finally, it is topped with one or two layers of crushed stone and pushed down into the asphalt.
While this costs a bit more than a regular asphalt driveway, you can reduce it by choosing an inexpensive variety of crushed stone. Either way, the finished product looks very elegant and is as durable as plain asphalt. You also get more traction from the rough surface when the weather is unreliable.
- Paver blocks – You may be surprised to find this option on the list since it is significantly more expensive than the alternatives. While the upfront cost of a paver block driveway may be more than asphalt or concrete, it tops out both in terms of aesthetics and the long-term cost of ownership.
A block paver driveway can last you for several decades without any issue. Moreover, since paver blocks are used, they aren’t affected as much by environmental factors. For instance, it doesn’t get washed away and has excellent drainage. Moreover, the pavers have enough room to expand and contract during the hot and cold seasons. That’s why they don’t crack like concrete or asphalt.
Even if one or a few more paver blocks get damaged, you can easily replace them. With other types of driveways, you spend a lot of money on frequent repairs and the finishing is never the same. With this driveway, you’ll spend more time enjoying yourself with your family and friends at the weekend instead of spending it all on fixing your driveway.
There’s significantly less maintenance cost, no need for sealing every couple of years and it lasts much longer than most other options in the market. Moreover, it looks pristine and enhances the overall look of your property by several times.
To pave your driveway and transform it with the methods mentioned above, you need to be comfortable with heavy machinery and certain tools. Otherwise, you can also outsource the job to professionals by searching for “paving companies near me”