When it’s time to either refinish, upgrade, or build a new driveway, there’s a variety of options. Not only do you need to determine the length, width, and design, but you’ll also need to determine the material. There’s the traditional asphalt driveway, the incredibly basic dirt driveway, or materials such as gravel or concrete. Of course, there is also the option for a paver stone driveway. All of these materials have their pros and cons, and some may be more practical than others depending on the environment.
Basics of a Paver Stone Driveway
What are large brick pavers? Pavers, also called paving stones, are made of brick, concrete, or sometimes natural stone. They are made of brick, concrete, or natural stone used to create a surface for walkways, patios, driveways, and occasionally roads. Pavers are commonly made from clay or concrete that is either cast in a mold, or wire cut. Unlike asphalt or concrete, which pour on, pavers lay down individually, which can be more time-consuming. However, this means that brick driveways can lay out in a variety of designs, using different colors or sized bricks to create art and add some additional curb appeal.
Costs of a Brick Driveway
The upfront cost of a brick driveway is higher than the upfront costs for any other driveway material. The average for a paver driveway is $16,500, with paver prices averaging around $2-$4 per square foot for just the materials. In comparison, the average asphalt driveway costs $4,700. Gravel is by far the cheapest driveway material option, with the average driveway cost being only $1,500. Gravel also lasts a long time, but still required some maintenance. While a paver stone driveway has a higher installation cost, there are fewer maintenance costs than asphalt or concrete and the possibility of increasing your home’s value.
With paver prices being the biggest cost for a brick paver driveway, labor and installation is also a decent expense. If you are the do-it-yourself type, you can install your own large brick pavers. However, unless you have experience and prior research, it’s probably best to go with a professional installation, such as Arbeen Landscaping.
If a brick driveway doesn’t undergo proper installation, it will be more prone to weeds popping up between the bricks, which is another reason to trust professionals. Arbeen Landscaping has a team of professionals, committed to the highest quality work and materials, ready to help you on your driveway project.
Benefits of a Brick Driveway
The installation cost and paver prices may not be benefits of a brick driveway, but there are plenty of other reasons to choose a brick driveway over asphalt, concrete, or other materials.
Repairing a crack or porthole on an asphalt or concrete driveway can be messy and time costuming. Depending on the size of the crack, it may require resurfacing the entire driveway, or at least a large section. Since paver stone driveways come from many different large brick pavers, you can easily replace those individual pavers. If there is a crack or chip on one paver, you can also switch it out for a new one without needing to replace more driveway than absolutely necessary.
Concrete is a popular choice for driveways, but it is prone to staining. Oils and other fluids from vehicles can stain the concrete. Brick is already less prone to staining, and should staining occur, you can replace the stained bricks individually.
Asphalt and concrete can become slippery when wet. The smooth surfaces don’t provide much traction for feet or tires, especially concrete. Due to the nature of using large brick pavers, brick driveways have a natural texture. This makes brick paver driveways more slip resistant than other driveway options, especially in wet climates.
Speaking of weather, brick driveways are able to withstand the heat of Chicago summers, and the cold of Chicago winters, and due to the natural grooves between the bricks provide excellent draining for rain. Or for melting snow. The flexibility of the individual large brick pavers provides more support and adaptability to shifting ground movement, or surface movement in the form of large, heavy vehicles.
No matter the material, the average driveway can last around 30 years with proper maintenance. Brick driveways have a similar lifespan to asphalt, but require much less maintenance. However, take a walk through any historic district and you’ll likely see brick paver walkways, and possibly some driveways, that have stood the test of time.
One extra benefit to brick driveways is being more eco-friendly. While asphalt and concrete come from new materials, brick can undergo recycling and reuse. This creates less environmental impact.
Considerations for Brick Driveways
If you are considering replacing your currency driveway with brick pavers or installing a brick driveway on a new construction property there are a handful of things to consider.
The biggest consideration will be the budget, which we already touched on. Ensure there is room in the budget for the upfront costs of materials and labor. As far as labor goes, brick driveways are more labor-intensive than other driveway materials. Since the brick is laid individually, it takes more time and energy than pouring concrete. While a typical asphalt driveway can complete in just a couple of days, a paver driver can take at least five days.
Does your timeline allow the time for a longer driveway installation process? Or do you need a new driveway completed with a quicker turnaround?
A brick driveway also has many more options than asphalt. While asphalt is standard, pavers come in a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes. The variation in material means there are almost endless design opportunities for your driveway.
Arbeen Landscaping residential services start the initial design and continue all the way through the installation process. Our team services the Chicagoland area including Aurora, Burr Ridge, Downers Grove, Geneva, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Lemont, Lisle, Montgomery, Naperville, Oswego, Oak Brook, Plainfield, St. Charles, Wheaton, and Yorkville. If a brick paver driveway is something you have an interest in, contact us and start your driveway planning.