When thinking about a home’s curb appeal, the driveway is often overlooked—which is a shame. Not only can different driveway options complement the home’s aesthetics, but some driveway materials are also more compatible with different climates. Taking the time to evaluate the different types of driveways before making a decision can save money, reduce upkeep time and contribute to your home’s value.

Types of Driveways to Consider

For many homeowners, the primary consideration when it comes to which driveway material is best is the overall cost. There’s a wide spectrum in the prices of driveway materials, which is based on both the material and labor costs of installing the driveway.

However, cost isn’t the only factor to evaluate. Depending on the geographic location of the home and the climate, some types of driveway materials may be better suited, easier to maintain and can even make the chore of snow removal simpler.

You may also want to keep in mind how well the driveway material complements the exterior of the structure, especially if you own a historic or upscale property. Although driveway materials such as pavers or brick may be more expensive initially, they could have a higher return on investment than a low-cost driveway material that isn’t aligned with the style of the home.

Costs of Different Driveway Options

The cost to install a new driveway depends on the driveway material, the labor demands and the size of driveway. For example, it may be cost-prohibitive to use any material other than gravel for a long, winding driveway. Alternatively, although pavers, brick or stamped concrete is undeniably more expensive, the overall cost may not be too high if the driveway is small. Measure the total square footage of the driveway space to get a close estimate of the cost of different driveway options.

Types of Driveways

There are pros and cons for every type of driveway material. Although some options are much more budget-friendly, cutting costs isn’t always the right choice. Other driveway options may cost more upfront but ultimately lend to the home’s value. Determining which type of driveway is right for you will depend on a number of factors.

Concrete Driveways

Concrete is the most popular driveway material, and for good reason. Durable and low-maintenance, you won’t have to give much thought to a concrete driveway. It may not earn as many compliments as upscale alternatives, but concrete is a dependably solid choice with a mid-range price.


  • Easy to maintain
  • Does well in hot climates
  • Complements a range of home styles


  • Can stain fairly easily
  • Can crack with frequent freeze/thaw cycles
  • Relatively expensive

Paver Driveways

Although pavers require more upfront work and investment, they come with the benefits of a long lifespan and high-end look. With a variety of material options and installation patterns, a paver driveway can look like a true extension of the home, rather than an afterthought.


  • Extensive design options
  • Low-maintenance and long-lasting
  • Adds to resale value


  • Expensive and labor-intensive to install
  • Weeds may grow through gaps
  • May be hard to shovel snow

Brick Driveways

There’s a reason you see brick driveways with historic homes: This nearly indestructible driveway material can last lifetimes. Not surprisingly, those upsides come with a steeper upfront price for the materials and installation. With limited maintenance and a high-end look, however, brick can be a compelling option for many homeowners.


  • Extremely durable in all weather conditions
  • Single bricks can be easily replaced
  • Classic, high-end look


  • May loosen or shift over time
  • Fewer customization options than pavers
  • Expensive to purchase and install

Stamped Concrete Driveways

Stamped concrete driveways can achieve the look of pavers at a reduced cost. The lifespan, durability and maintenance are all that you would expect from concrete—which is to say it’s quite long-lasting and simple to upkeep. However, the extra effort it takes to install a stamped concrete driveway makes for a higher price than traditional concrete driveways.


  • Appealing customization options
  • Performs well in most climates
  • Less expensive than pavers or brick


  • Prone to cracking, especially with regular freeze/thaw cycles
  • Can be difficult to repair
  • Stamped effects may fade over time
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