Pavers vs. Concrete
Concrete driveways are one of the most common driveway materials used in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
It’s not uncommon for homeowners with failing poured concrete driveways to consider simply replacing their driveway with another poured concrete driveway. However, that comes with a likelihood that the new driveway may fail for the same reasons their current driveway failed. We thought it would be helpful to provide a comparison of concrete paver driveways vs. poured concrete driveways:
- Pavers – concrete pavers come in a wide range of shapes, colors, installation patterns and more, providing a virtually limitless palette from which to create a driveway that complements or contrasts with the look of your home. The choice is yours.
- Concrete – standard poured concrete provides a clean, white look. Colored concrete can add some tonal quality. Stamped concrete can provide texture in an effort to duplicate the look of paver or stone driveway. However, both of these latter two options cost significantly more than a standard poured concrete driveway and only imitate the look of a paver driveway.
- Pavers – a well-maintained paver driveway will look and perform great for decades. Individual pavers are virtually indestructible and—in the unlikely event they should become damaged—can be easily replaced without impacting the remaining driveway surface.
- Concrete – standard poured concrete can last a long time—primarily in areas where there is limited temperature variation and few freeze/thaw cycles. However, that is not the case in the Minnesota area. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for us to replace concrete driveways that are less than ten years old.
- Pavers – the small size of concrete pavers and the way they are installed means they are able to flex and adjust to accommodate the weight of vehicles and varying freeze/thaw expansion/contraction. When temperatures return to above freezing, they return to their prior place.
- Concrete – since concrete is often poured in large sections of 10’ x 10’ or larger, the entire surface area is subjected to the forces of heavy vehicles being driven or parked on them. In addition, during freeze/thaw cycles, the ground beneath the concrete might not expand/contract at the same rate, resulting in stress from below. Since concrete is inherently inflexible, this will inevitably result in performance issues over time—including cracking, settling or heaving.
- Pavers – regular sweeping and periodic pressure washing keeps the surface free of debris and build-up of dirt/moss.
- Concrete – sweeping and periodic pressure washing keeps the surface free of debris and build-up of dirt/moss.
- Pavers – whether it’s settling due to unforeseen soil conditions or the stain you just can’t get out, a paver driveway offers an unrivaled ease of repair. In the event that a paver needs to be replaced it’s as simple as removing the affected paver(s) and replacing them with same pavers or new ones (if necessary). Furthermore, a repair to a paver driveway leaves no evidence of the repair itself. It’ll be like it never happened.
- Concrete – a repair to a poured concrete driveway means an unsightly patch or replacement of a section which will NEVER match the old. It’ll always be obvious that a repair took place.
- Pavers – when you take into account the longer driveway life expectancy, the relatively small premium in initial cost for a paver driveway is often more than offset in reduced maintenance/replacement costs over time. When you factor in the unmatched beauty, there’s really no comparison.
- Concrete – the initial cost of a standard poured concrete from a reputable company will often be less than a concrete paver driveway. However, the cost of a colored and/or stamped concrete driveway will often have a similar, if not higher cost than a concrete paver driveway.