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Is it Cheaper to do Asphalt or a Concrete Driveway?

Cost is a very significant factor in determining whether to construct an asphalt or a concrete driveway. It is therefore ideal to have a proper comprehension of all the financial ramifications this decision might have. This includes the initial cost outlay and other related expenses such as long-term maintenance costs, which could have a huge impact on the feasibility and affordability of the distinct material chosen. This article will therefore delve deep and analyze all the factors that affect this decision so that you may be better informed.

Initial Cost Outlay

A comparison of the total initial cost involved in the construction of the asphalt and concrete driveway is vital to decipher whether you are prepared to commit to the project straight from the onset. Asphalt driveways are relatively cheaper to construct and this can be attributed to several factors such as the cost of labor, materials and overall installation costs. All these have a direct influence on the total cost of installation thus, they should be carefully considered before embarking on this tasking project.

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Maintenance Costs

It is generally agreeable that the initial cost of installing an asphalt driveway is lower than the prices involved in the construction of a concrete driveway. However, asphalt may require much more regular maintenance than concrete driveways. This ranges from the sealing to the filling of cracks and crevices. Seal coating is an essential component of asphalt driveways as a way of protecting them from the damage emanating from UV rays and possible chemical and water seepage. However, repairing asphalt driveways is cheaper than patching up concrete driveways, which involves expensive processes.

Concrete repairs are less and infrequent as a concrete driveway can go for a long without necessitating any repairs. Despite that, when the damage eventually happens either due to thawing, cracks, or excess heavy traffic, it requires specialized material and equipment to fix including possible replacement in some areas and this normally makes the whole concrete repair process more expensive compared to the asphalt driveway.

Labor Costs

The cost of labor has a direct correlation with the affordability of either the asphalt or concrete driveway. The more labor-intensive the project is the more expensive it will be at its completion. Asphalt driveways are easier and simpler to install compared to concrete driveways, as the process does not entail many intricacies but merely mixing, compressing and permitting it to cure. However, when it comes to a concrete driveway, the procedure involves more complexities and is more demanding commencing from the initial preparation, forging, and equalizing to the finishing.

It is also worth noting that concrete consumes a lot of time in the curing and hardening process before it can be laid down or put to use. The implication herein is that asphalt entails a straightforward installation process significantly lessening the labor costs compared to the high labor costs involved in a concrete driveway, which is more complicated to install and might often require some specialized equipment.

Cost of Materials

Calculated per square foot, asphalt driveways are cheaper to install simply because concrete is more expensive than asphalt. Asphalt entails a binding agent known as bitumen, which is cheaper and readily available thus rendering the asphalt affordable in stark contrast to concrete, which requires binding agents such as cement. Cement is pricier than bitumen. This can be ascribed to the high production costs of cement compared to bitumen as the amount of energy consumed and the intensity during the production of cement is higher compared to that of bitumen. Besides cement, other aggregates are used in the construction of concrete driveways, and they are of a very high grade and quality thus explaining the further cost variations.

Costs of Installation

Asphalt driveways are installed quickly reducing the total costs involved, and they can also be used immediately after installation compared to concrete driveways which require more time to cure before they can effectively carry significant weight. Asphalt therefore entails minimal disruptions, ease of installation and quicker usage and this culminates in a reduction of the entire project costs.

Local Factors

The costs of labor and materials vary from one place to another. The different local building regulations may also affect the costs of asphalt and concrete driveways creating a massive price differential based on the location.

Premised on all the factors discussed above, it is safe to surmise that asphalt driveways are cheap to construct compared to concrete driveways. A proper evaluation of all the mentioned considerations is critical to help you decide accordingly in line with your budget and bespoke driveway requirements.

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