Concrete Driveways vs. Asphalt Driveways – An Honest Comparison

Chances are you are here today because you are deciding between a concrete or asphalt driveway for your home. For starters, there are always benefits that one material has over another. Our goal today is to provide you with the information (pros & cons) you need to decide which is truly the best fit for you.

Aesthetics

Everybody has their own opinion as to what looks good and bad. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and concrete and asphalt driveways are no different. Whether you think that the white color of concrete will make your landscaping pop, or the black asphalt will look like an extension of the road, there are more reasons to consider when choosing between concrete and asphalt driveways. The chart below provides a quick comparison of the main characteristics but keep reading below to see a more in-depth analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of each.

 

Asphalt v.s. Concrete Quick Comparison

Asphalt DrivewayConcrete Driveway
Finish OptionsOne OptionMultiple Options
ColorOne ColorMultiple Options
AestheticsDifficult to PersonalizeEasy to Personalize
MaintenanceFrequentMinimal
RepairsEasyDifficult
Lifespan15-20 Years30-40 Years
Cost$3-$5 per SF$5-$8 per SF

 

Finish Options

When it comes to finish options and personalization, concrete is by far the winner. Concrete is so versatile that it allows the concrete contractor to complete multiple finishes with an array of colors. Asphalt on the other hand, only has a few shades of black and only offers one rolled & compressed finish.

  • Concrete: Broom, Hard Trowel, Exposed Aggregate, Stamp, Color, Polish, & Stain.
  • Asphalt: Rolled.

Maintenance

The winner for minimal amount of maintenance is concrete. With concrete, sealing is optional and only necessary for decorative finishes. Asphalt, however, requires sealing and will typically need to be resealed every three to five years.

  • Concrete: Sealing only necessary for decorative finishes.
  • Asphalt: Sealing necessary every three to five years.

Cost

Anyone budgeting for short term cost is likely to lean toward asphalt. Asphalt is generally $3-$5 per square foot while concrete is approximately $5-$8 per square foot. Over time, however, repairs, and maintenance need to be accounted for when making the decision on final budget

  • Concrete: $5-$8 / SF
  • Asphalt: $3-$5 / SF

 

Lifespan

The winner for longest lifespan is concrete. Concrete has a lifespan anywhere from ten to thirty years longer than asphalt.

  • Concrete: 30-40 Year Lifespan
  • Asphalt: 15-20 Year Lifespan

 

Regulations

Before moving forward with your concrete or asphalt driveway project on your home, be sure to check with your home owner’s association and city codes department to ensure that your home does not have a required driveway design. Most codes departments and home owner’s associations have requirements for driveways whether they are asphalt or concrete.

So, Which One is Best?

All in all, concrete and asphalt are both great options for driveways and there is no direct answer as to which option is better overall. What really matters is what option is best for you and your home. We hope this information helps you in your decision between a concrete or asphalt driveway for your home. If you have any additional questions regarding the differences and which options may be best for you, do not hesitate to call!