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I need a new driveway and I was wondering if my only option is asphalt? I'm in Connecticut - does anyone know if I can have concrete driveway?

  • I'm not sure if you can find someone who would want to come to make just an asphalt driveway. The surface is just too small and asphalt requires machinery etc. which is really expensive and contractor extremely rarely accept this type of job – python starter Jun 4 '15 at 13:49
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    @pythonstarter huh? I'm not sure what you're talking about. That's what residential paving companies do - they come and pave driveways. I know I can easily hire people to do asphalt. But my question is about concrete. – Dannyboy Jun 4 '15 at 14:42
  • Contractors that pave driveways are quite, quite common - you can easily get 3 or more to bid in most places. A third option is to put in the proper base & drainage that you'd need for a lasting asphalt or concrete driveway surface and have a good gravel driveway instead of just some gravel spread on the dirt. – Ecnerwal Jun 4 '15 at 14:45
  • @Dannyboy I was speaking about asphalt; this can be really expensive if the area is small because setting up a "construction site" cost a lot of money (bringing machinery etc.) Tyler Durden is right generally speaking but when it comes to small areas concrete is cheaper. But I guess it can vary from country to country. Now I'm really curious if asphalt would cost more than concrete in Connecticut because according to my experience for a small area it would. Can you please inform us on the price? – python starter Jun 5 '15 at 7:46
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Concrete will provide a much better, long-lasting driveway, if it is properly built. For both types of materials, subsurface preparation and drainage are critical and are similar. Concrete will be more expensive both because there are fewer people that do it, it involves more work because forms must be built, and the material is more expensive.

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Sure you can have one, no one is going to arrest you for putting it in. However, concrete has a few distinct disadvantages in the north, most notably it is brittle so any heaving caused by freeze/thaw cycles will cause large cracks and there chances of a lip developing (a trip hazard unless ground down) are high. The only way to prevent this is to make the driveway and gravel underlay very thick (which costs more) to reduce the amount of frozen soil below it. Also, regular thawing salt (potassium chloride) is bad for common unsealed concrete. You need to use Magnesium chloride (which costs more) to prevent damage to the surface.

Here is a good article that discusses more pros/cons: http://www.silive.com/homegarden/homeimprovement/index.ssf/2010/04/asphalt_vs_concrete_driveways.html

  • Isn't expansion|contraction rectified by cutting lines in a concrete every couple of feet? As seen here: youtu.be/xUgiHghs8vs?t=4m39s – Dannyboy Jun 4 '15 at 13:18
  • That article really doesn't say much about concrete driveways. It is basically just saying how great asphalt is. – Jason Hutchinson Jun 4 '15 at 18:34
  • Cutting break seams into the concrete will help prevent spiderweb cracks, but make the heaving problem worse. – Jeff Meden Jun 5 '15 at 12:41
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If built correctly, an asphalt driveway should last nearly as long as one paved with concrete.

Concrete driveways are durable, but they are subject to frost heaves. They also need to have regular control joints added which can lead to substantial cracks appearing that are big enough to have weeds grow in. The look of a concrete drive can basically be ruined from these cracks, especially if it is stamped concrete that is meant to look like natural stone.

Another alternative would be to have a paver driveway. There are many options available with pavers and they can be formed to almost any shaped driveway. The good thing about them in the north is that they can be replaced or reset if one is damaged or has moved and you would never know that there was any damage done. Your neighbors most likely won't have one as well and it will make your property stand out.

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Have you considered pavers as an alternative to concrete or asphalt? Pavers come in a variety of colors, shapes and thicknesses/weights. Some pavers are specifically suited for driveways and can handle high pounds per square inch.

Note that not all regions in the United States have the same paver types and colors available, as raw materials used for their regional manufacture vary. I used Pavestone products for our Las Vegas home, both for the additional side driveway to a new side gateFront Paver Side Driveway, as well as for our patio areas (see photos). Pavestone has a regional catalog for Boston that you can review. Other paver providers will likely have regional catalogs as well.Backyard Paved Walk and Patios

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