Asphalt vs. concrete for very long drive in N.Ohio, historic look

threeapplesJuly 22, 2012

I thought I convinced my husband to do asphalt with the stone chips in it (can't remember the name) because I think it'd look better with our historic home. The landscape architect told us last year this was the way to go, said it lasts longer, looks better, etc. All of a sudden he's saying concrete is cheaper and a better choice. The architect says asphalt will ruin our marble floors if people go barefoot on the driveway and then walk in the house. I hate the look of concrete. We need something that will last with heavy plowing as we get a lot of snow. Sadly, this rules out crushed granite. Any thoughts? thanks.

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My first thought is who walks barefoot on asphalt? I did a google search for black concrete driveway and there are alot of good examples.
This one is nice

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 4:06AM
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Asphalt gets tracked in on shoes as well as bare feet. I've had light color floors and an asphalt drive and fought the walk pattern stain with little success. It probably doesn't show on darker floors but it still has to be there. You could do the asphalt on the long approach then change to concrete or pavers for your entry areas. We're looking to purchase a house and that's one of the first changes we'll make if there is an asphalt drive - I won't have it near the house but if it's a long drive it's fine coming in from the road. FWIW, where I live now you would not be allowed to do either a concrete or asphalt drive in new construction or a replacement at all - revised code says it has to be a permeable surface.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 8:34AM
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Concrete with exposed aggregate can look historic. It depends on the color of the concrete, the color of the stones, the size of the aggregate, etc.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 9:06AM
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I was going to suggest an exposed aggregate concrete. You can use whatever color aggregate you like. It looks great I think. We ended up doing an integral stain in the concrete of our driveway (french gray) with a bluestone apron. We had to have a stone apron per ARB guidelines and there were limited stones that looked good with our house.

I am happy with how it turned out and it was much less expensive than an aggregate driveway. I have always heard asphalt is much less expensive than concrete. . . is that not the case where you are?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2012 at 11:01AM
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I wanted to do the aggregate, but dh convinced me that it was not a good idea with frequent snow plowing.

Was he just yanking my chain??

Dlm2000a-what do you mean by a permeable surface? Are you talking about rock or something like that?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 5:05PM
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I live in NE Ohio, and one of my biggest concerns would be plowability, too. I don't see how aggregate could be useful when for 4-5 months of the year, a plow will go over the surface. Especially since the driveway will be long - you just can't do that with a snow blower.

I've seen both concrete and asphalt. Personally I think concrete looks nicer and I see concrete in many of the more expensive homes on the east side, but I suppose it's just opinion.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 5:57PM
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Sophie Wheeler

Do whatever is the cheapest on the approach and save the pretty stuff for immediately adjacent to the home.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 6:52PM
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Our GC and DH wanted to do concrete. I wanted asphalt. Like the look more out in the woods. But they won, since asphalt is a wearing surface and would need more maintenance in the future. We did a stained concrete, ochre

Our POA requires asphalt or black concrete at the street for X yards to mimic asphalt (it's more dark gray than black). Black is more expensive to do - takes more to color darker.

The price of asphalt is tied to oil, and it was more 7 years ago when we did ours. Price wasn't the deciding factor, but we priced both at the time.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 7:04PM
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@ red_lover - permeable surface is anything that can allow water to drain through, unlike asphalt or concrete where it has to run off. Pavers, bricks, turf (where the grass grows through or around a hard surface in a grid or pattern) are types of permeable surfaces. Our neighbors added a parking apron with very large flagstones. With crushed limestone in the joints it's a permeable surface.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2012 at 10:49PM
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Ok--gotcha. Thanks. Love the pavers.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2012 at 11:01AM
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