Concrete versus asphalt – which driveway material is best?


Whether you’re refreshing your current home or commencing a new build, your driveway is something that can have a big impact on the overall look and functionality of your space. The two most common, tried-and-tested materials for driveway surfaces in Australia are concrete and asphalt – so which one is right for your home? Aesthetics, durability, and cost are just a handful of the factors that may sway you one way or the other when deciding between concrete and asphalt for your driveway. We’ve broken down some of the major things to consider before you take the plunge and make your choice. Time to duke it out in the battle of the bases!

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The price is right

On any construction project, cost is often one of the first elements to consider. Asphalt will generally cost less upfront, as the amount of materials needed to mix it is fewer than concrete. It is worth noting that because asphalt is a petroleum by-product, prices can fluctuate according to global oil costs. Following on from this point, oil is a finite resource – so while it’s not necessarily around the corner, a reduction in accessibility will no doubt impact asphalt repair costs in the future.

Round 1 Winner: Asphalt

Get ready to rumble

If you’re concerned about getting your driveway construction project done fast, asphalt wins this round. Bitumen driveways will be ready within a day or less in most cases, whereas concrete can take up to a week to cure and dry. Whichever way you swing, it’s probably best that you give your driveway at least a few days to set properly.

Round 2 Winner: Asphalt

Keeping up

Installing a rock retaining walls is an excellent, easy, and affordable way to increase to increase the value of your property by making it more versatile. If your property sits on a slope, retaining walls allow you to use space where it would otherwise be difficult to fully utilise. For example, rock retaining walls can create terraced areas that are suitable for planting vegetables or garden plants. Because rock retaining walls are made from natural materials, it is easy to adjust or make changes to the wall whenever necessary. All these qualities make a property attractive to potential buyers if you intend to sell the property in the future.

Round 3 Winner: Concrete

Whatever the weather

In the harsh Australian climate, the material you choose for your driveway can be more important than you think. Asphalt retains heat more effectively than concrete, so it’s prone to expanding when hot and contracting when cold. This is handy for places with changeable weather patterns, as the asphalt usually reverts to its original form. In contrast, concrete is a rigid and porous material that takes in water when warm and then expands when frozen. This means that in extreme conditions where weather fluctuates, concrete runs the risk of sustaining damage. However, this can generally be avoided by employing a competent concreter.

Round 4 Winner: Asphalt

Going green(er)

When it comes to the environmental impact of your material choice, we must get nit-picky. While neither option is exceptionally bad, neither is totally eco-friendly. Both have a similar energy output in their raw production phase, but concrete’s more intensive repair process means that it’s slightly more environmentally costly. This is a small bone to pick, however, as a concrete driveway will always hold longer than its asphalt counterpart. In another long-term realm of consideration, the smoother your driveway, the better it will be for fuel economy. Concrete driveways are easier to smooth down than asphalt, thus reducing your petrol costs (however marginally).

Round 5 Winner: Concrete

Hey, good lookin’

If colour and variation are important to you, concrete has the edge on the competition. You can stain, tint, etch, or stamp a concrete driveway to get a desired look, not to mention exposed concrete boasts a modern yet classic aesthetic. In contrast, asphalt must be rolled and compressed during installation – not ideal for adding variation. While you can get sealants with tints or colouring, your options are generally limited to black.

Round 6 Winner: Concrete

Choose Sydney’s detailed excavation specialists to construct your dream driveway

No matter which material you choose, Rick Davis Contracting is your first choice for five-star driveway construction services. Our expert crew boast decades of experience in detailed excavation and driveway preparation, including tight-access excavation for even the trickiest blocks. An eye for detail, top-of-the-line fleet of machinery, and thorough knowledge of unique terrain places the Rick Davis team at the top of Sydney’s driveway excavation contractors.

If you want to make sure the foundations of your driveway are as smooth and solid as possible no matter which material you choose, get in touch with the excavation experts at Rick Davis Contracting today.


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Contact Rick Davis Contracting today for excavation, demolition and plant hire solutions by filling out the form or by calling (02) 9450 1999.

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