Paving

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Material Comparison

Asphalt Driveway Concrete Driveway Pavers Driveway
Cost $2.50 - $4.00 /sq.ft. $4.00 - $6.00+ /sq. ft. more expensive than concret
Durability Less durable. Cracks from freeze-thaw, settlement and deteriorates from de-icing salts. More durable. Cracks from freeze-thaw, settlement and deteriorates from salts. More durable.
Weather Issues Softens in high heat Cracks in freezing temperatures more resilient
Longevity 20 years+ 40 years+ longer than concret
Maintenance Resealing every 3-5 years Sealing optional; occasional degreasing coating Optional
Finishes None Multiple types Many types
Colors Primarily black Multiple color options Many choices
Resurfacing Yes No No
Repairs Easy Difficult Easy

Concrete

Pros

  • Longer lifespan than Asphalt
  • Can withstand great centralized loads
  • Spills rarely damage it

Cons

  • More expensive than Asphalt
  • Can crack due to settlement

Asphalt

Pros

  • Easy to shape
  • Cost effective
  • Can set up quickly

Cons

  • The edges are fragile and can break away easily unless edged with curb.
  • Roots of trees and shrubs can crack and heave asphalt.
  • The homeowner sealers don't perform as well as the commercial sealers
  • Spills of oil or gasoline can eat away the sealer leaving behind nothing more than crunchy gravel.

Pavers

Pros

  • Many patterns and colors to choose
  • Easy to replace

Cons

  • Expensive

Preparing the area for concrete

  • Level of difficulty: Hard
  • Estimated time taken: 4 hours
  • Tools required:
  1. Wood or plastic forms
  2. Level
  3. Gravel
  4. Water
  5. Tamper

Step 1: Lay your forms

  1. These can either be plastic or wood
  2. Ensure your forms are level

Step 2: Lay gravel

  1. Pour about 1" of gravel and compact with a tamper
  2. Mist the gravel

Example Video:

Pouring a concrete driveway

  • Level of difficulty: Hard
  • Estimated time taken: 1-2 days
  • Tools required:
  1. Grass seed
  2. Fertilizer
  3. Soil
  4. Water

How to:

Step 1: Lay concrete

  1. Start on the side closest to the building/house
  2. Slowly add concrete and use a concrete rake to ensure it stays relatively even during the pouring process
  3. Pour a few feet of concrete, the spread it out, pour a few more feet, then spread it out
  4. Once you have about 15-20 feet of concrete poured, begin leveling it by hand with a concrete putty knife, beginning at the perimeter and working your way inward
  5. Then use a jitter bug to push the concrete down while keeping it level
  6. Following the jitter bug, use a bull float to flatten it
  7. Continue until you have reached the end of the drive way

Step 2: Edging

  1. Use an edger to begin the edging, flattening, and smoothing on the perimeter

Step 3: Cut control joints

  1. Every 10 feet or so, make a slice in the concrete to create two separate slabs
  2. Use a long board you can lay across and also use as a straight line guide
  3. Smooth out the concrete as you go

Step 4: Continue flattening

  1. Finish flettening and smoothing on the boards you lay across for your control joint cutting
  2. Continue until you have a completely smooth surface with the exception of the control joints

Step 5: Texture

  1. Add any texture or design on the concrete as you please
  2. Finish with edging around the perimeter of each slab

Step 6: Seal the concrete

  1. Apply sealer to the concrete and let dry over night

Example Video:

Experiences shared by trusted users

A nice backyard paving project finished in time with no extra cost, in May, 2015 (a private review worthy of login to see)