Are Paver Driveways More Durable than Concrete
Planning to give your driveway a makeover? Well then a paver driveway is an option you might want to consider, in case asphalt or concrete is not really your thing.
So what exactly are paver driveways?
A typical paver driveway can be constructed using several different styles, sizes and textures of materials such as cement, concrete, brick or stone. These pavers are manufactured to meet the high industry standards to create a product that can constitute a more robust and durable driveway as compared to poured concrete. Also, if properly installed, the paver driveways are not prone to cracking or warping like their cement counterparts.
Since the construction workers lay each of the tiles by hand, the labor costs and installation times are higher for paver driveways as compared to those of other materials like asphalt or concrete. But if you have a newly constructed custom home, a paver driveway might be exactly what you are looking for!
How much will a paver driveway installation cost you?
Typically, the contractors start the paver installation by laying a sand foundation as a base for holding the paver tiles. Then the workers install the pavers at a depth of around 13 inches inside the base using an edging technique to hold them in position. A blend of sand and additives infused with water called polymeric sand is then used to lock the pavers within the base. Depending upon the size of the pavers, the driveway installation might take anywhere between three to five days. Since there is a lot of intricate handiwork required, the installation of paver driveways typically takes longer than that of concrete or other materials.
Longer installation times imply additional labor costs. The traditional concrete driveways will cost you around $5 per square foot in labor. A stamped concrete driveway complete with color and pattern customizations can be installed for around $8-$10 per square foot labor. The paver driveways, on the other hand, will typically cost somewhere between $12 and $15, with the prices climbing higher for the premium quality paver materials.
A comparison between concrete driveways and paver driveways
- According to experts, paver driveways are stronger and more pliable as compared to their concrete counterparts. Since paver driveways are designed with multiple edges that allow flexibility of movement (expansion and contraction) according to the climatic changes, cracking and crevassing is extremely rare. This is the reason that paver driveways are commonly used in regions that have a defined freeze and thaw cycle.
- Unlike concrete and asphalt driveways that require a lot of care and maintenance, paver driveways are easier to maintain and service. For instance, if a crack appears in a poured concrete driveway, you can repair it only by digging the entire slab up or adding an ugly patch to it. However, since paver driveways are made of smaller units, the repair work can be restricted to removing and replacing a few pavers within the damaged area, without disturbing the rest of the driveway. You can also use paver sealers to prevent permanent staining from rubber, spills or oil leaks. Just wash away your driveway with water to remove the spills.
- Speaking of the investment, there is no real difference in the actual cost of raw materials between concrete and paver driveways. The actual difference occurs in the form of additional labor costs involved in the installation of paver driveways. Since paver installation is pretty labor intensive, with lots of manual work required, it is a costlier deal as compared to concrete installation. Also, since poured concrete does not involve any prior preparation or intricate designing, it is usually more budget-friendly than paver driveways. If you really wish to avoid the additional labor costs, you can perform the installation yourself by taking tips from the DIY tutorials on the internet.
- So how does the paver compare to the poured concrete in terms of aesthetics? Poured concrete is pretty plain and basic in terms of looks and does not really add any aesthetic value to your home’s curb appeal. On the flipside, paver driveways offer you an extensive choice of colors, designs and textures to add more drama to your home exterior. Even if you incorporate the very basic pavers, you can easily achieve a stylish design by laying the different units in a defined pattern such as a star, your family initials or even a basketball court!
- If installed and maintained properly, your paver driveway can last as long as 40 years! There are several factors such as the quality of installation, the frequency, and type of maintenance and the climate of your region that will determine the longevity of your paver driveway. There are several contractors that offer a lifetime warranty on their paver installations.
To summarize it
A pave driveway can be rightly touted as a spectacular element that will enhance the curb appeal of your home manifold. What with the extensive choice of patterns, designs, colors and textures to choose from, you can make your driveway stand apart from the rest in the neighborhood. It is so easy and cost effective to maintain your paver driveway that its upfront installation costs are highly comparable to the lifetime maintenance costs of the traditional poured concrete and asphalt driveways. So basically for a little extra investment, you will be buying a lifetime of stress-free solution for your driveway.
However, you must take your time to do extensive research on the various paver options available in your budget. It is important to have a defined budget to avoid going overboard with your investment. Research the various contractors in your neighborhood and zero in on the most experienced and reputed from among the lot. Since it is a pretty expensive investment, you must be extra cautious before sealing the deal. Also, since getting a new driveway is not something that you do every day, it is worthwhile to ensure the best quality solutions for a lifetime of peace of mind.