Is Asphalt or Concrete Cheaper?

asphalt or concrete


At G&G Concrete and Construction Inc., we believe that building or renovating a home is an exciting experience. Homeowners have the amazing opportunity to choose the minor details that come together to make a house a dream home. One detail that many homeowners struggle with is whether to build an asphalt or concrete driveway. Commercial enterprises often face the same problem when building a parking lot. With so much money spent on roofs and kitchens, driveway decisions often come down to the cost of hiring commercial concrete contractors over rolling asphalt through the yard.


The Cost of Concrete vs. Asphalt

When building a home, homeowners must consider two separate costs when making decisions. There is the initial cost of installation, and then, there is the cost of maintenance. When it comes to asphalt and concrete, asphalt almost always comes out as the cheaper initial option.

According to HomeAdvisor, asphalt works out to roughly $2 to $5 per square foot, whereas concrete can cost anywhere from $3 to $10 per square foot. When homeowners add decorative elements to the concrete, such as choosing a cobblestone design, prices can soar up to $15 to $20 per square foot.

When you factor in maintenance, calling a concrete construction company begins to look like a far more attractive option. Contractors need to reseal asphalt within six months of installation, and then again, every three to five years.

Concrete does not require sealing, but doing so every half a decade helps the driveway to last longer. Regular pressure washing may also help to prevent discoloration and scaling. Under normal conditions, you may need to replace the asphalt driveway within the next 20 to 25 years. Concrete lasts for 30 to 40 years.


The Aesthetics

Some people prefer the look of asphalt, while others prefer the various looks concrete bring to the table. There are no real variations for asphalt, but concrete leaves plenty of room for creativity. Because of this, many people also use concrete to mimic other materials through staining and imprinting patterns. Common pattern choices include the following:

  • Brick
  • Wood
  • Cobblestone
  • Geometric shapes

You can use also virtually any color to add character to the concrete. Many homeowners use colors when recreating cobblestones to create the look of aged bricks.


Climate Considerations

Another consideration is the climate of the area the concrete will be installed in. Many people believe asphalt performs better in colder climates, but this depends on a number of factors. De-icing chemicals is the number one culprit behind damaged concrete driveways. Power washing the driveway and regularly resealing is a great way to prevent this.

Another important factor to consider is the temperature when the concrete originally set. When contractors pour concrete in below-freezing weather, the top layer may freeze and begin to scale or peel off over time. If the concrete driveway must be poured on a cold day, special concrete curing blankets can help to prevent this.

Pouring concrete on a boiling hot day also presents problems. Extreme heat can cause the top layer to set too quickly. Industrial concrete contractors may add water if the top layer begins to dry ahead of schedule, but they must take care to ensure they don’t use too much water.


Finding the Right Contractor

Both asphalt and concrete require experienced contractors to ensure homeowners and business owners get the results they paid for. Working with contractors that are bonded, licensed and insured also helps to protect that investment in the event that a contractor made a mistake. Put simply, this is not a DIY project or a task people should hand off to the lowest bidder.

For 20 years, our family-owned and family-operated business has served homeowners and business owners in the Oakland, Macomb and Wayne County communities. We look forward to serving you. To get started, request a quote from G&G Concrete and Construction Inc. today!

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