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Which Materials Should You Choose for Your Driveway?

Discover the pros and cons of the three most popular choices…

Whether you’re constructing a new driveway or replacing your existing one, there is one question that’s bound to come up: “Which materials should we use to build it with?” 

A driveway is a significant investment and when it comes to materials, there are several options to choose from. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important you weigh your options carefully before making a decision. To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled a list of the more popular driveway materials available in BC, along with their pros and cons.

asphalt driveway with house and trees


Asphalt is a popular driveway material made from a mixture of aggregates, such as sand, gravel, or crushed stone, and a binder, such as bitumen, which is a sticky, black, and highly viscous material derived from crude oil. 


  • Durable — Asphalt is durable, flexible and resistant to weather and heavy traffic. Customizing it with polymer additives and fibers increases its flexibility and strength.
  • Safe — Asphalt isn’t as slippery as some other paving materials, making it a good choice for downward or upward-sloping driveways.
  • Economical — Compared to other paving options, like concrete or interlocking stone, asphalt driveways are a low-cost option, both in terms of cost and the time it takes to complete construction. Size, slope and other factors will affect the overall cost.
  • Easy to install — The process to install an asphalt driveway is relatively simple — excavate and grade the site, add the base materials and edge restraints then pour on the asphalt. After the asphalt has been poured, the surface is compacted with a roller to make it smooth and level. After curing for at least 24-48 hours, it is ready to use.
  • Attractive — Asphalt driveways have a sleek and uniform appearance that complements the look of most homes.


  • Maintenance costs — Asphalt driveways need to be sealed regularly to protect against damage from weather, UV rays, and vehicle fluids. Depending on the size of your driveway, you can expect to spend at least $500 every two or three years.
  • Limited colour options — Asphalt driveways have limited colour options, with black being the most prevalent. A limited range of colour options are available but will increase the cost of your driveway.
  • Shorter lifespan — While asphalt is durable, it’ll only last for 15 to 20 years before it needs replacing. Proper installation and regular maintenance can extend this somewhat, but it still won’t last as long as concrete.
  • Cracking — Asphalt can be prone to cracking and damage over time, especially in extreme weather conditions. If there are large trees near the driveway the roots can grow up into the asphalt and break it up.
house with driveway and garden


Concrete is a mixture of cement, aggregates such as sand, gravel or crushed stone and water and can be stamped or stained to create a unique look. The specific proportions used in the concrete mixture can vary greatly depending on the desired properties and its intended use.


  • Durable — Concrete is a highly durable material that can withstand extreme weather conditions and heavy traffic without cracking or breaking. 
  • Long-lasting — Concrete driveways can last 30 to 40 years (or longer!) with proper maintenance and care — nearly twice as long as asphalt.
  • Customizable — Concrete driveways can be customized with unique designs and vibrant colours. Stamped concrete can mimic the look of more expensive materials, such as brick or cobblestone and help boost your property’s curb appeal. 
  • Low maintenance — Concrete driveways are relatively low maintenance and only need occasional cleaning and sealing to keep them looking great and protect against damage.


  • Prone to cracking — There are several factors that can cause concrete driveways to crack, including shrinkage, settling due to improper installation, freeze-thaw cycles and being subjected to unusually heavy traffic.
  • Higher upfront costs — The materials used to make concrete are more expensive than those used to make asphalt and installing concrete requires more time, labour and equipment. These factors can significantly increase the cost of your driveway.
  • Staining — Concrete driveways are prone to staining from oil, grease, and other vehicle fluids, which are unsightly and can be difficult to remove. However, sealing your driveway periodically can help mitigate this.
  • Installation time — Although it only takes a few days to install concrete, you’ll have to wait at least a week after installation is complete to drive on it to allow it to cure and reach its full strength.
stone paver driveway with large house


Pavers for driveways can be made from a variety of materials, including concrete, clay, natural stone, brick and permeable pavers. The type of paver material you choose will depend on the desired aesthetic, durability, budget and other factors.


  • Visual appeal — Pavers are available in a wide variety of colours, shapes, and patterns, which can create a driveway that is unique and looks amazing!
  • Durable — These materials are quite durable and can withstand heavy traffic and extreme weather conditions without damage.
  • Easy to repair — If a brick or paver becomes damaged, it can be easily replaced without having to redo the entire driveway. 
  • Low maintenance — Pavers are relatively low maintenance and only need occasional cleaning and sealing to protect them from stains, weather-related damage, such as cracking or fading, refresh their appearance and prevent weeds from growing up through the spaces.
  • Better drainage — Because there is space between each paver there isn’t as much runoff after a heavy rain, especially if you opt to use permeable pavers. 


  • Higher cost — Pavers are generally more expensive than other options like asphalt or concrete, although the actual cost can vary depending on the specific material chosen.
  • Installation time — Installing a driveway using bricks or other pavers will take longer than other options due to the need for precise placement and leveling.
  • Safety concerns — Pavers can be slippery when wet, especially on driveways that are on a slope.
  • Uneven surface — Bricks and pavers can shift over time, creating an uneven surface that can be difficult to walk or drive on and make snow removal more challenging.

Which material should you choose for your driveway?

When choosing a driveway material, it's important to consider the overall look and style of your home, as well as your budget and how much maintenance you’re willing to do. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Climate — In areas with harsh winters or heavy rainfall, you may want to choose a material that can withstand freeze-thaw cycles and has good drainage.
  • Slope — If your driveway is on a slope, choose a material that offers good traction to prevent slipping and sliding.
  • Overall aesthetic — The style of your home and landscaping can influence your choice of driveway material. For example, a natural stone driveway may complement a rustic or traditional home, while a sleek concrete driveway may be a better fit for a modern or contemporary home.
  • Local regulations — Some municipalities may have regulations or restrictions on the type of driveway materials that can be used. Be sure to check with your local government before making a decision.
  • Resale value — If you plan to sell your home in the future, the type of driveway material you choose can impact its resale value. A well-maintained and attractive driveway can increase curb appeal and make your home more appealing to potential buyers.
house with garden and stone driveway

More questions about driveways?

There are a lot of things to consider when planning to construct a new driveway or replace an existing one… too many for one short blog post! Should the walkways be made of the same materials? How about the border or apron? How thick should the asphalt be?

If you have more questions about choosing driveway materials, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Consulting with our team of professionals can help you make an informed decision and ensure your driveway is something you’ll love coming home to.

Written by  Matt Vandenberg