Asphalt or concrete driveway? A Boston expert decides
Mike Taylor of Taylor Made Contracting in Weymouth, Mass., has experience installing both concrete and asphalt driveways. The highly rated driveway expert shared his thoughts on both options.
Which lasts longer?
Taylor: A driveway is only as good as what's underneath. Climate plays a big role in it too. Concrete characteristics would probably allow it to last longer, but that comes with a price tag and most likely cracks.
Which do you install more and why?
Taylor: Asphalt – it’s more cost effective and ideal application with our given climate. Your average asphalt driveways cost roughly $3 to $4 per square foot.
Concrete driveways can cost from $10 to $15 per square foot. A driveway to most people is just a continuation of the roadway to their house. Most people will deal with the cracks, sink holes, and even potholes in their driveways because they deal with it out on the roads and it's just another bump. The driveway is always the last thing to do on the "To Do List." There is always something else that comes up that is more important than the driveway.
What are the major drawbacks of each?
Taylor: Asphalt is easier to repair and then blend in with a sealcoat job, where concrete repairs are very obvious and tough to hide. Asphalt tends to shrink and expand with changes in climate. Concrete cures fully around 30 days and will simply crack under too much pressure or surface movement. You can resurface and maintain an asphalt driveway for a long time. Once concrete deteriorates, it's time to start thinking remove and replace. There are coating systems out there, but my experience with them are minimal. Concrete is a lot harder to remove and dispose. Asphalt is excavated easier and faster.
Which is easier to install?
Taylor: It depends 100 percent on the application. The prep work and grading work is the same for both. Concrete can be installed with less manpower and equipment, though most times, asphalt can be installed faster. Both products are installed in a liquid form, and require a lot of attention finishing.
Which would you prefer for your home?
Taylor: I would prefer concrete, but like most Bostonians, I have asphalt.
What does a typical asphalt/concrete driveway cost?
Taylor: Lets take a 20 foot by 40 foot driveway, 800 square feet. Asphalt costs $2,800. Concrete costs $5,600 to $8,000.