Concrete Driveways and Patios: Cost-Effective Options for Homeowners

Published On: February 22, 20230 Comments on Concrete Driveways and Patios: Cost-Effective Options for HomeownersTags: Last Updated: January 29, 20246 min read

There are two parts to your house; one that is inside the four walls and the other one that sits outside those four walls. The area around your house is a great place to expand the usability of your home. But what are the options? When it comes to the better and smarter use of space outside your home, the best option for homeowners is building a driveway and a patio. A driveway and patio are some of the most useful things you can build around your house. In this guide we’ll show you why you must opt for concrete driveways and patios.

concrete driveway

But as with everything that brings some advantages, it is easier said than done. In this piece, we’ll dive into everything you need to know about concrete driveways and patios. We’ll look into the cost of building driveways and patios, the things to consider before starting the project, and all the mistakes to avoid. From building a new concrete driveway, different driveway material, concrete slab, driveway paving, and brick pavers to the size of the driveway, driveway design, and process to install a concrete driveway and how much a concrete driveway lasts, here’s everything you need to know.  

Concrete Driveway Cost: Cement, Good Concrete, or Asphalt?

Rome was not built in a day, but before the workers started to construct Rome, they spent a lot of time deciding what material to build with. Be it Rome or your new patio and new driveway, choosing the building material is a crucial step. The two most common options homeowners have before building a driveway and patio are either asphalt or concrete. So should you go with asphalt as the building material? When it comes to asphalt driveways, they are generally accepted as good and long-lasting. The fact that asphalt costs less than concrete for driveways adds to the benefit, despite it being less durable than a concrete driveway.  

But when it comes to the patio, using asphalt as the building material might not be the best choice. Sure, you can use it to build one, and you’d save a few bucks as well. But there are some glaring issues with asphalt for patios.

 Here are some of the shortcomings of using asphalt as the material for patios:

  • Appearance: While asphalt is a durable material, it may not be the most visually appealing option for a patio. It has a dark, uniform appearance and lacks the natural variation and beauty of other materials such as concrete, pavers, or natural stone.
  • Comfort: Asphalt can be uncomfortable to walk or sit on, especially on hot days when it can get quite hot. Unlike other porous patio materials, asphalt can get quite hot and retain heat.
  • Maintenance: While asphalt is generally low-maintenance, it can develop cracks and other forms of damage over time. Cracks can be unsightly and allow water to seep into the underlying layers, causing further damage.
  • Environmental impact: Asphalt is made from petroleum products, which are non-renewable resources. The production of asphalt and the use of heavy machinery to install it can also have an impact on the environment.
  • Safety: Asphalt can be slippery when wet, which can be a safety concern. Additionally, suppose the ground beneath the asphalt is not properly prepared. In that case, the patio may not be stable and could sink or shift over time.

Wear and tear after a few years or even months could lead to exposed aggregate, potholes, water logs, etc. Do note that these shortcomings also come with using asphalt as the material for driveways. While concrete is slightly more expensive, and the cost per square foot will be a bit expensive, it is well worth the price as it comes with a lot of benefits when compared to cheaper alternatives.

Concrete Driveway and Patios: A Better Choice

Here’s something that most homeowners know but choose to ignore when presented with the short-term benefit of choosing a cheaper option; building the driveway and patio is just one part. Maintenance is the other part. Driveways and patios need regular maintenance – if not done well, not only do they cost more to repave and repair, they pose a hazard to your vehicle and yourself. Concrete driveways and patios are a much better and safer option, both in terms of looks, quality, and durability. In addition, when made of concrete, maintaining your driveway and patio becomes a much easier and stress-free task.  

concrete patio

Let’s look at all the benefits that come with building a concrete driveway and patio.

  • Durability
  • Low maintenance
  • Increased home value
  • Resistance to weathering
  • Better drainage

Type of Concrete and Concrete Services (Concrete Contractor)

From the option of plain concrete colored concrete with different textures, there are so many driveway options to choose from. Whether the need is to replace your driveway (old driveway or existing driveway) or build a new driveway, there are so many benefits of using concrete rather than stone or brick. The cost to install a concrete driveway involves different factors, such as the concrete producers you are choosing, concrete driveway installation methods, etc. The size of the driveway is an important factor, whether it is a single-car driveway, residential and commercial use, etc. Make sure you choose a trusted contractor (local contractors as well) to ensure the job is done in the best way. Concrete prices, how many inches thick the concrete needs to be (4 inches thick is recommended), spruce and cure, etc., are important not for a properly installed concrete driveway.

Questions About Concrete Driveway Contractors and Paver (Tips for Better Workmanship)

While concrete will cost you slightly more than other building materials, it is well worth the price. But there are some ways that you can even improve the cost-effectiveness of using concrete as the material for your concrete driveways and patios. Let’s take a look at all the points:

  • Plan: Before starting the construction, make a detailed plan that includes the size, design, and materials to be used for the patio and driveway.
  • Choose the right concrete contractor: Look for a reputable and experienced contractor who specializes in concrete work.
  • Opt for standard finishes: While decorative concrete finishes like stamped or stained concrete can enhance the look of your patio and driveway, they can also be more expensive. Opting for a standard finish can help keep costs down.
  • Use proper drainage: Proper drainage can prevent water from pooling on your patio and driveway, which can cause damage and lead to expensive repairs.
  • Minimize waste: Concrete is a material that cannot be reused or recycled, so it’s important to minimize waste by ordering the right amount of concrete and avoiding unnecessary overages.
  • Consider a phased approach: If you’re on a tight budget, consider breaking up the construction of your patio and driveway into smaller, phased projects.

That was all about the benefits and cost-effectiveness of using concrete as the building material for your new patio and driveway. Many times, going for the cheaper option is not the best choice. You can also install concrete bollard posts to protect your lawn from accessing.

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