Driveway surfaces can add to the value of a property and improve the overall aesthetics. If incorporated as part of the landscaping, the driveway should be unobtrusive and blend in with the surrounding environment. Types of driveway surfaces include concrete, pavers, solid surface, gravel, and crushed stone.
Concrete driveway surfaces are poured in a solid slab with joints spaced several feet apart. The joints are to allow for expansion and prevent cracking. The least expensive option is usually traditional gray, which does not have any tint added. For a more decorative concrete, colors can be added to the mix before the slab is poured or decorative patterns are stamped into the concrete once it is poured but while it is still wet. For exposed aggregate surface concrete, gravel or pebbles are added to the surface before the poured concrete is set to create a textured instead of solid surface.
Pavers are another choice for driveway surfaces and can be made of concrete, brick, or natural stone. Concrete pavers are often the least expensive paver option and are available in many sizes, shapes, and colors. Brick pavers are a traditional choice and are still seen in many historic towns as street pavers. Natural stone is usually the most expensive option and can be either cobblestone or slate paving. Due to the expense, this option is often used for front walkways or patios instead of entire driveway surfaces.
Solid driveway surfaces, such as asphalt, are one of the more common driveway paving options. Asphalt only comes in black and must be sealed. If a sealant is not used, water can seep into the asphalt and freeze. The expansion caused by the frozen water can cause the asphalt to crack and break.
Gravel is also an inexpensive option for creating driveway surfaces. Often used for long driveways or for large parking areas, gravel is a surface of loose stones over a solid base. Gravel comes in many colors and sizes and allows water to run off into the ground instead of holding puddles on the driveway surface.
Crushed stone is similar to gravel in that it is loose stone over a solid base. It is different because gravel is larger stones that form an uneven surface. Crushed stone surfaces are made of much smaller stones that form a more solid surface than gravel. Crushed stones come in a variety of colors and can be either moderately or finely crushed.