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Driveway Pros & Cons: Asphalt, Cement and Gravel

Putting in a new driveway (or repaving an old one) can be a real chore, and when the time comes it’s important to consider the cost and benefits of cement, asphalt and gravel driveways.</br></br>Each has their strengths and weaknesses, and it’s true there are other options besides these, but even if you’re considering something like brick or stone pavers you’ll still want to compare them to these less costly choices.</br></br><strong>Gravel Driveways</strong></br></br><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Biggest Benefit</span>: They’re cheap! Okay, so they’re not exactly cheap, but they’re less expensive than the alternatives. Here are the grainy details:</br></br>Good Stuff</br></br>- Inexpensive</br>- Easy Installation</br>- Style / Color Variety</br></br>Not So Good Stuff</br></br>- More Maintenance</br>- Dusty / Dirty</br></br><strong>Cement Driveways</strong></br></br><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Biggest Benefit</span>: Under the right conditions, these bad boys can last a long time – up to 30 years in some cases. Let’s take a more concrete look:</br></br>Good Stuff</br></br>- Long-Lasting Durability</br>- Clean Look</br>- Low Maintenance</br></br>Not So Good Stuff</br></br>- More Expensive</br>- Possible Staining / Cracking</br></br><strong>Asphalt Driveways</strong></br></br><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Biggest Benefit</span>: Asphalt is both literally and financially flexible, which means you can get a lot of wear and tear out of it for a lower cost. Here’s where the rubber meets the road:</br></br>Good Stuff</br></br>- Lower Cost</br>- Handles Weather Changes</br>- Longer Life</br></br>Not So Good Stuff</br></br>- One Color Only</br>- More Maintenance</br></br><strong>Conclusion</strong></br></br>There are no absolutes when it comes to “the best” driveway. The right choice for you will depend on your budget, your style preference and the weather where you live.</br></br>Buuuuut, if you had all the money in the world, one could argue that pavers are the best choice because of their durability and low maintenance. Even then, though, it’s always smart to consider more budget-friendly alternatives like cement, asphalt or gravel driveways.
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