Popular Paved Driveway Types For Your New Home


In this article, we will discuss some of the top choices for Australian driveways and the pros and cons of having them installed.

Although a driveway is the first thing people encounter when they enter a house, it can often be an overlooked architectural element. A driveway looks best when there is a sense of unity between the style of the house and the surrounding landscape.

There are many different driveway finishes available to meet your design tastes and the materials you choose will play a vital role in how overall aesthetically pleasing your property will look, the cost, durability and maintenance of your driveway.

Each material that is used to create a driveway has issues they may come with it, depending largely on your area’s climatic temperatures.

1.       Poured Concrete Driveway

Poured concrete driveways are a popular choice as they offer very low maintenance. Concrete is a very versatile material and can be poured to form patterns or sections, allowing for contraction and expansion of concrete. Concrete driveways are best known for their durability and can last for decades without decaying. There is also a variety of chemical stains and concrete dyes available that can be used to achieve different colours.

Concrete driveways can have a few drawbacks however. They can be affected by extremely cold weather (not that we need to worry about that here in Australia). Concrete is one of the most affordable paving materials but is still more expensive than asphalt. You should also be wary of it cracking over time.

2.       Stamped Concrete Driveways

Stamped concrete driveways create an illusion of different driveway materials that are used, such as stone or brick, or any other paving materials. They are created by pressing moulds into the concrete while its still setting and can also be used on patios, roads and interior floors.

As said before, concrete driveways will eventually crack over time. Another thing to note is that is if for some reason your stamped concrete patio suffers damage and chips, it is very hard to match the original colour for your repair.  Stamped concrete is coloured in a phased process when installed, and to recreate that colour layering exactly is near impossible.

3.       Asphalt Paved Driveways

Asphalt paved driveways provide a durable surface for parking a vehicle. Once installed properly, they have a life expectancy of approximately thirty or more years.

The main thing to consider before installing an asphalt paved driveway is maintenance costs because an asphalt driveway will need to be resealed after a long period of time. Water saturation can erode the base structure and weaken the bond between the aggregates and asphalt binder, so make sure you consider proper drainage. Over time, when exposed to sunlight, heat and air, it will oxidise and lose its elasticity. But with a little regular maintenance, you can greatly prolong the life of your asphalt paved driveway.

4.       Interlocking Pavers

Interlocking pavers are usually made of cement or concrete. Not only do they add curb appeal to your property, they also allow you to express your own taste with a range of paver shapes that interlock with other pavers of the same type. This also makes them easy to install without the use of mortar and easy to maintain, by simply using a high-pressure hose to remove marks from oil and tyres. Interlocking pavers are also more environmentally friendly as they reduce water runoff because of their permeable surface. Rain water will naturally infiltrate the ground, unlike with asphalt or concrete driveways.

It is important to remember that the interlocking pavers need to be built over a solid base to prevent the pavers from shifting and causing cracks to appear. Because pavers are porous, they can also become stained over the years, but can be fixed easily with a little high pressure washing. These pavers use polymer sane to bind together, so weeds can grow between them as the sand wears away from regular use and wind erosion. To stop this from happening, you may need to just regularly maintain the driveway to keep weed growth at bay.

5.       Tar-and-Chip or Chip Sealed Driveway

A chip sealed, or tar-and-chip driveway starts with a gravel base, and then hot tar is poured over the gravel. Stones are then put on top of the poured tar and the surface is pressed with roller equipment. This type of driveway is a more affordable alternative compared to asphalt paving, but the appearance will not be as appealing and smooth as other paved driveways. The finish can be enhanced by using coloured stone, but we wary of these stones loosening over time. A chip sealed driveway requires little maintenance and can be repaved for around half the cost of an asphalt driveway. The lighter colour will also absorb less heat, making it more comfortable to walk on in the heat.

One of the main downfalls of chip sealed driveways is that they are not built for the long haul, lasting only around 7 to 10 years. After that, you may want to add another layer of tar and stones. There also aren’t a lot of contractors who specialize in this type of work, so make sure you are able to find someone in your area with the necessary experience and equipment. We recommend you do not try this as a DIY project.

6.       Exposed Aggregate

Exposed aggregate driveways are now one of the most popular finishes. There are a wide range of colours, sizes and shades to create an appealing driveway that will enhance your home. Exposed aggregate creates a non-slip sealed surface that can last for nearly a decade with little or no maintenance. Special concrete mixes that combine unique aggregates that are exposed on the surface are used and the finish reveals smooth textured stones and pebbles.

Exposed aggregate driveways can be difficult to lay if you are not experienced, so you will probably require professional help to do so. There may be some additional costs of resealing it every few years to maintain this type of driveway. Decorative stones can also be prone to damage and you may need to replace the stones every so often. If damage is caused to the exposed aggregate, repairs to parts of the surface can be much harder than patching up a concrete floor and you will need to exactly match the stones that were initially used.