by Blake Herzog
Your driveway is the gateway to your home and can have a serious impact on your curb appeal, so when it starts to develop cracks or potholes it’s a good idea to patch it up quickly.
But whether the culprit is moisture, tree roots or errors made when it was first installed, at some point you’ll need to consider replacing it.
Asphalt and concrete are the two most common surfaces. Asphalt driveways generally have a lifespan of about 25 years while concrete ones can hold together for as long as 40 to 50 years.
Once you make the decision to finally redo a driveway you’ll have more decisions to make, but knowing the end result you want will make it easy to choose:
Asphalt vs. concrete
Asphalt is more affordable, particularly for longer driveways, but will need to be cleaned regularly and resealed every two to three years. Concrete is more expensive, more durable and requires significantly less maintenance but doesn’t perform as well in colder climates as it’s more likely to crack from freezing and then thawing, as well as road salt and snowplows.
If you’re in an HOA the CC&Rs could be decisive.
Choose the right contractor
Homeowners may be able to DIY gravel or paver driveways, but if you’re working with the top two surfaces it’s best to find a contractor unless you have significant experience with whichever you’re using.
Get references from friends or professionals and get a few bids, but don’t automatically go with the lowest one.
When to do it
The weather plays a huge role in the proper timing of your project. Winter is generally out for both types of driveways, so you can start planning your project now. Asphalt requires warm (but not too hot) temperatures so spring and summer are the high seasons for this kind of work while concrete does best in milder weather so fall and spring are your best bets.
Your contractor will need to watch the forecast for rain in either case.