Do you want your guests to have a grand first impression of your home? Then you need a beautiful driveway. And yes, you may have heard landscaping enthusiasts rage about the charm of a paver driveway and how they transform one’s outdoor space. But a curious you might have pondered if paver driveways are really worth it or just simply overhyped.
Compared to concrete and asphalt driveways, paver driveways are stronger, more permeable, less slippery, and more durable. Paver driveways also have superior load distribution with relatively lesser repair and maintenance costs. However, paver driveways are more expensive, with a more intensive installation process.
For homeowners, you want top value for every dollar you spend in enhancing your curb value. Here are ten facts you should know about paver driveways and if they are worth your money.
How do paver driveways look?
Sophisticated is the right word for the style paver driveways adds to your driveway. They have superior visual appeal to asphalt and concrete slabs.
Such enhanced appeal can be traced to the broad spectrum of design patterns and color options that paver driveways give you. Homeowners often go with decorative concrete pavers or stamped alternatives.
Yes, poured concrete could be colored, but such coloring doesn’t boast the longevity of paver driveways, with the former requiring periodic and expensive recoloring across the years. Concrete slabs don’t even have the charm of pavers.
How strong are paver driveways?
Compared to concrete slabs, paver stones have enhanced impact resistance. Yes, paver stones are tougher and less susceptible to cracking.
The reduced propensity to cracking can be credited to the improved load distribution on pavers. This allows them to hold up against increasing loads heaped on their surface, withstanding substantial vehicular traffic and excessive pedestrian activity.
While concrete slabs could give way and crack once the load on them exceeds 2,500 PSI, pavers can hold up against as much as 8,000 PSI before cracking.
How well do paver driveways last?
Longevity is a core concern of every landscaping enthusiast, given such projects come at a high cost. Concrete slabs are not as durable as pavers.
Yes, concrete slabs may do pretty well for a bit of time, sustaining their levelness. But when the soil begins to lose its stability – courtesy of sustained loading and temperature-inspired expansion and contraction – it would crack.
Pavers from their design offer loftier resilience to temperature movement and soil movement. Paving bricks can contract and expand with no cracks.
Their superior permeability means paver joints better drain moisture, provided your paver driveway was properly graded during installation.
Due to the interlocking system deployed in paver driveways and the detailed manual arrangement of the paving stones, paver driveways offer more flexibility. This contributes to augmented pressure distribution, meaning your paver driveway doesn’t crack too easily.
How much would a paver installation cost you?
Good things are not always the cheapest. And for the glamor, superiority in strength, and endurance that paver driveways give you, you should expect it to come pricier than concrete slabs and asphalt driveways.
The truth is installing paver driveways, specifically interlocking pavers takes a lot of work and expertise.
First is the intensive preparatory phase. This commonly involves excavation, thoroughly grading the area, compacting the base and sub-base, and installing geotextile fiber.
Laying the paver is no less laborious. Unlike concrete slab that is readily poured, you or the installer would have to diligently arrange the paving stones one at a time by hand.
After laying comes the border cutting, bond beam preparation, and sealing. This is no easy job as installing pavers in a driveway of about 1,000 square foot area can take a five-person crew more than five days to finish.
If you use professional installation, budget around $15 for each square foot area of your driveway. You may save a dollar and spend $14 for the said area size if you don’t want to stamp.
What does it take to maintain paver driveways?
Compared to concrete and asphalt driveways, paver driveways require minimal maintenance. If properly installed, you wouldn’t have to bother too much about weed and moss.
Periodically, maintenance work would be needed on the joint binding the paver stones. Leveraging a sealing vendor can dramatically extend the lifespan of your paver driveway.
Indeed, all driveways will crack, pavers included. With sustained ground movement, paver stones, despite their flexibility, would shift ultimately.
But the good news here is that shifts in individual paver stones will not necessitate a comprehensive overhaul of your driveway. You can readily rearrange and re-compact the shifted stones after preparing fresh bedding sand for the layer.
Replacing one defective paver stone wouldn’t radically deteriorate the visual appeal of your curb either.
What does it cost to repair or replace paver driveways?
Slight damage to concrete slab driveways, even in isolated areas, could warrant a complete replacement of the slab for fresh concrete to be poured.
This is not economically efficient as both excellent and defective slabs portions would have to be replaced. It is way different in paving driveways.
For the latter, the pavers have interlocking stones bonded individually. If one paver stone is defective, all you need to do is isolate it, pick it out, and replace it with a fresh paver stone.
This means lesser money spent compared to replacing a full concrete slab.
The relatively downsized cost of replacing (or repairing) paver driveways also comes in handy when you have to fix a subterranean defect, like identifying and correcting a drainage leakage underneath your driveway.
If your driveway is made from a concrete slab, you would be faced with the horror of having to remove the slab fully. But for paver stones, should the need to access an underground facility arises (as described), you could remove the stones on the surface of the area where the problem is, repair it, and reinsert your paver stone.
That said, you can averagely spend anywhere from $25-$125 on repairing your paver driveway. You may not even need to spend that high on repairs.
A larger fraction of paver stone manufacturers (and installers) these days offer lifetime guarantees for their products and services. This means you will be fully financially covered in incidences of the paver stone failing when the warranty is yet valid.
How safe are paver driveways?
Slipperiness is a notorious nightmare when it comes to driveways. Concrete slabs become almost “criminally” slippery when wet.
This makes them unsafe as such driveways offer lesser grip for both vehicles and pedestrians. Indeed, this means increased risks of injuries from falls.
Being that paving stones are individually placed, they are not that slippery. With safety in focus, choose pavers furnished with raised edges. They offer superior grip, allowing for more stability for those traversing it.
What value does a paver driveway add to your home?
Paver driveways genuinely have a transformative effect not only on your curb’s style but also on the economic value of your home.
Paver driveways are known to shoot up a property evaluation, with homeowners anticipated to land about 75% return on investment on whatever they spend on paving their patio.
Thanks to their versatility and glamor, pavers command a higher value than concrete slabs on a resale.
How to choose the right paver
Generally, paver driveways are great, but that doesn’t mean just any paver is worth it. To get the best value for your paver driveway project, here are some critical considerations to make when shopping for the befitting paver.
Who would you use the paver driveway more?
Different sections of your outdoor space will see different traffic. Some areas would have more pedestrian activity and some more vehicular traffic.
The type (and corresponding loading implications) of traffic on your driveway would determine which paver you choose. We expect significant vehicle traffic for a family driveway, so paver stone with a minimum depth of 50mm would do.
Smaller format pavers are suited to such driveways as they have better flexibility and resilience to soil movement than larger ones.
Smaller pavers also have superior weight capacity, meaning they can take more beating cars using the driveway.
Which style do you want?
You need no reminding that paver driveways are an artistic project. Therefore, you need to factor in your choice of texture, color, and pattern when picking paver stones.
For your driveway, choose a style that complements your outdoor space. Go with a color that enhances the neighboring outdoor elements like your guttering and roof tiles.
As for patterns, herringbone and ashlar paver patterns are some of the most commonly adopted style designs for driveways.
Herringbone patterns – distinct for their 45-degree garage inclination – reduce the paver stone’s propensity to shift.
This is particularly important when your driveway would be seeing lots of traffic. Ashlar patterns offer a more charming and sophisticated look, giving your outdoor space a more homely feel.
Which paver dimensions should you choose?
The shape and size of your paver stones should be compatible with the spacing allowance of your driveway. If you want your driveway – originally small – to appear bigger, you could go with large format paving stones.
Also, choose your paver stone shape rightly. Get it wrong, and you wouldn’t need to stress yourself (or pay additionally) to cut the paver stone.