Your home starts in your driveway.

 

In lots of ways, it’s the first impression people get when they come to visit – or when you are ready to sell it. Here are some facts about driveways if you are looking to buy a home or resurface yours.

Asphalt

A balanced mix of sand, rock, and asphalt cement makes these driveways popular and cheap to install. Unmistakable for its basic black color, the surface is also known to crack in very cold winters or very hot summers.

Cost: $2 to $5 per square foot1

Advantages: Cost effective. As one of the cheapest options, asphalt is best if you have a large area to cover. Plus, black will never go out of style.

Concrete

As one of the most preferred driveways types, concrete offers a permanent low-maintenance solution. Customize your driveway by pouring in sections – this also allows it to expand and contract with temperature to prevent cracking.

Cost: $3 to $10 per square foot1

Advantages: Low maintenance. It does have a higher cost, but it’s the best option if most driveways in the area are already concrete — preserving your home’s value.

Gravel

A term that can mean so many things. Driveway gravel can be a combination of sand, stones, clay, or larger pebbles.2 A smart choice for longer driveways, especially those in rural areas, where curb appeal isn’t really a factor.

Cost: $0.75 to $3 per square foot1

Advantages: Inexpensive, less maintenance. Can be more easily expanded for added drivers/cars and other recreational equipment.

Not your dad’s old driveway

Glass1

Not really sheets of glass — it’s thick tumbled glass sealed with resin. The biggest pro being a smaller footprint, most manufacturers use recycled glass, saving it from landfills.

Rubber3

Can be installed on top of older concrete or asphalt driveways – giving it a brand-new look. It also might help your kids dunk.

Wood Pavers4

Porous driveways that allow rain to go back into the soil are becoming very popular. If you have drainage issues, water easily percolates through wood pavers and replenishes groundwater.

Make your driveway look sharp with edging

Your driveway's asphalt edges are crumbling, or rainwater is washing away mulch. You hate when cars stray onto the grass where they don't belong, leaving tire tracks. Edging is an easy solution that adds curb appeal without breaking the bank.

Setting block edging is a one-person project that can be done in a weekend or two, depending on the length of the driveway, and the strength of your back.

Options: Brick, stone, block

Driveway Hunting

Now you know a little bit more about both common and unique driveway surfaces. If you're shopping for a home, you can get answers to your home appraisal questions here: Q and A appraisal guide.