Decisions, decisions, decisions. At first thought, this seems like it may be a difficult choice. Both of them have pros to their usage and they both seem to have some cons.
But which one is better? Well, let’s put on our boxing gloves and get ready for the head to head match-up to see which one will be declared the winner. *Ding Ding!* “Let’s get ready to rumble!”
When having an asphalt driveway paved, the likelihood is slim that you will have to do much to it to keep it looking clean and fresh. Over time, it might show some signs of age, but giving the driveway a good power washing each season may help keep the look of the asphalt cleaner and stain-free.
Gravel driveways are nice for a simple, country look. Once the gravel has been dropped in place you won’t need to clean it. Unfortunately, over time, the gravel rock shifts and you will see that some of it will press into the ground or end up in the street at the end of your driveway or along the grass in your yard, making it an eyesore.
Asphalt:1 Gravel: 0
Asphalt, like roadways, at some point, will have to be patched, which is part of regular blacktop maintenance. With weathering and shifting of the earth beneath the asphalt, it can cause cracks, holes or areas that will require you to repair damage, so you do not harm your vehicles. Asphalt will need to be patched to fill a hole, or if the damage is bad enough, it might need to be stripped and repaved, at a significant cost.
Gravel driveways require little to no maintenance. After all, it is a bunch of rocks. Once they are poured, the only thing you may have to do over time is purchase filler rock to replace the stragglers that slipped away at the end of your driveway.
Asphalt: 0 Gravel :1
Asphalt looks nice. It looks finished. But if it doesn’t match the look of the house, it can feel like it doesn’t belong. Consider this: how many “historic districts” use asphalt as pavement? Not many. They use cobblestone, crushed oyster shells or gravel for their streets and paths. If it fits the look of the home and property, go for it! If not, you might want to consider another option.
Gravel driveways are one of those things that you either LOVE or you hate. Folks who grew up with those tend to love the sound of them as you drive on them. The look of a gravel driveway feels ‘cozy’ and may be a reminder of home. Then again, if you grew up in a city made of concrete jungles, this would be more difficult to identify with. As with asphalt, if it fits the look and feel of the home or property, go for it! If it doesn’t, you might want to consider a more suitable option.
Asphalt: 1 Gravel: 1 – TIE
Maintenance costs aside, the initial pouring of asphalt on a property and the costs associated with that are dependent on just how large of an area you are looking to cover. Obviously, smaller areas will not cost nearly as much. If you are a DIY-er, you might consider trying to do this yourself to save some money on the cost of having a driveway professionally paved. If you are not sure about this, then the cost will be higher, as you will be paying for someone with the expertise, the equipment and the know how to do this for you.
Gravel driveways are simple. You pay for the gravel by the tonnage. As with asphalt, the cost will be driven by how large of an area you are looking to cover. Smaller driveways need less rock. Once a company comes out and drops the ton, their job is done. YOU have to back-breaking task of spreading the rocks around the area you want to cover, that is, unless you have a teenager you want to torture.
Asphalt: 1 Gravel: 1 – TIE
And the winner is a toss-up. It really depends on the needs of your property, the money you have to spend on the project and how you choose to spend it. The choice is ultimately YOURS on who the real winner in this should be.