1. Home

How To Choose the Right Driveway Pavers

By

driveway pavers
Photo courtesy cdharrison @ flickr/Creative Commons
If you are tired of the same-ol'-same-ol' when it comes to driveways, maybe it's time to start thinking about using driveway pavers on your next project. Sure, asphalt and concrete driveways are solid and long lasting, but pavers offer many more options as far as color, design and overall appearance. Choose the right pavers and install them to professional standards, and you will add to the curb appeal of your home.

Paver driveways all begin with a good base, typically composed of compacted sand and gravel. Once the base is in place, the surface can be formed with cobblestone pavers, concrete pavers or brick pavers. Cobblestone pavers are the most durable, while brick pavers are the least durable. Still, a properly installed brick paver driveway should last several decades. Cobblestone should be good for up to a century, with concrete pavers falling in the middle of that lifespan spectrum.

When compared to the installed costs of other types of driveways, expect to pay roughly twice as much for an installed paver driveway as you would for concrete, and at least four times what asphalt would run you. On the other hand, pavers can last every bit as long as these solid driveway options, you could do much--if not all--of the work yourself (thus reducing the expense) and maintenance and repairs should be on the low and easy scale of home projects.

If money is your primary concern, and you still would like to avoid a solid surface, give some though to loose materials such as gravel or stone.

Note that driveway material costs can fluctuate from year to year, due primarily to costs of materials and labor, the location and design of the driveway, the depth of material and preparation required.

If you plan to hire a contractor do handle the job, do some homework first. Take time to find a good contractor (see How To Hire a Good Home Improvement Contractor for some advice), and then collect a few estimates. Remember, however, that the lowest cost is not necessarily the best choice. In fact, if you get one estimate that is substantially lower than others, it should raise a red flag.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.