The Real Cost of Concrete Driveways

In a big house or a commercial building, a driveway becomes a necessity. A driveway is a private road that is used to access a local building. It is typically made of concrete, but asphalt and other paving materials are also quite common across the country. Many homeowners today already consider driveways as an integral part of the property. In a world where automobile transportation is already a necessity, homeowners would already need a paved road that leads to their home or garage.

Although there are many types of driveways, most homeowners prefer to get concrete ones. Concrete is an economical material used for constructing buildings, including driveways. The cost of a concrete driveway varies depending on the length of the road, contractor, and the type of concrete used. Basic concrete driveways do not cost that much, not unless additional paving materials are utilized. Compared to asphalt driveways, concrete driveways are a bit more expensive. But in the long run, concrete driveways are still considered the more economical option since they only require very little maintenance and they can last for several years.

Prices fluctuate significantly depending on where you live. In New York, for example, the average cost is $16,024, while Angie’s List members in Columbus, Ohio, reported paying an average of $6,803 and Chicago members paid $8,644 on average. To know the cost of concrete driveways in your area, visit

Concrete is always a highly recommended choice when it comes to building driveways. If you are confused with the difference between cement and concrete, you are not the only one. Cement is a component that makes up concrete. Concrete is a mix of cement and other ingredients, such as aggregates and sand. It is straightforward to make concrete for as long as you have the equipment and materials. Concrete has a lot of advantages over other building materials. Durability is one of them.

In many applications, concrete is strengthened by placing steel metal reinforcement wire or rebar within the slab. Other ingredients can also be added during mixing, such as agents that improve strength or slow drying time. Go to to know the advantages of concrete driveways.

Installing a concrete driveway in your property does not take too long to complete. For small projects, it would only take one to two days to make a concrete driveway, with around five more days of waiting time. Large projects may require a bit more time, but with enough workforce, contractors can finish one within just at most three days. For quotations and inquiries, contact a local contractor in your area today.

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Do Concrete Patios Crack? Concrete is good for warm climate landscapes that do not experience the extreme freeze-thaw of the northern states, which is the cause of uncontrollable cracking. Chris Major of Blue Ridge Landscaping in Holland, Michigan says, “Concrete is great and cheaper at the start, but it cracks.” Trust a Michigan landscaper to be forthright about the problem that does and always has afflicted concrete patios. The radical pressures of freeze-thaw make this a problem in the north, but other factors can lead to cracking too.Virginia marl is a unique soil condition that afflicts projects by Adam Heath at Mid Atlantic Enterprise. “Marl makes our soils unstable, causing big problems with paving. This is a mushy organic soil composed of silt and sediment that is very expansive. You literally can’t build on it. We have to excavate all our patio spaces to remove all the marl then backfill it with specific crushed stone to obtain the solid compaction we need.”

Similar problems are experienced by Matt Schmuke of Arcadia Design Group. “In Colorado you’re guaranteed that a slab will crack. Plasticity of the clay soil is the problem. With pavers we have an infinite number of joints so you’ll never see a crack.”

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Concrete Sealer Pros and Cons There are two ways to use sealers on your concrete patio. One is as a standalone sealer over bare concrete. The other is to use the sealer on top of a concrete stain or paint, says Kerri Schlenker, Rust-Oleum brand manager for high performance coatings. “A stain isn’t going to offer protection, only color, so the sealer over it would protect the color and the concrete in general, ” she says.Sealers that are film-forming (meaning they leave a sheen on the surface) come in two types — solvent-based and water-based. According to ChemMasters, a manufacturer of concrete coatings, solvent-based sealers are high gloss and darken concrete, while water-based sealers are low gloss with minimal darkening and/or color change.

If you’d like stain protection from food, fire/water features or flower pots and planters, choose a film-forming sealer. However, one drawback is because these sealers form a film, they may create a slippery surface on the concrete. Consider them for stamped concrete and broom-finished concrete patios. And to prevent the sealer from yellowing your concrete due to excessive UV exposure, look for a film-forming sealer with UV stable resin.

A second class of sealer is known as a penetrating sealer, or a water-repellent sealer. This type seeps into the concrete surface and is best for smooth concrete and broom-finished concrete. Penetrating sealers will offer freeze/thaw protection and, of course, prevent water absorption, but do not offer stain protection. Penetrating sealers give a matte finish to concrete and do not add slippage to the surface.

Both film-forming and water-based sealers come in acrylic and epoxy varieties. Generally, epoxy sealers are applied to extremely high-traffic areas and to prevent chemical spills because they offer excellent protection. Acrylic sealers are often used to block water penetration for residential applications and decorative concrete.

Keep in mind that applying any solvent-based sealer will require chemical clean-up, while water-based are easier to clean with soap and water. Choosing which type can be a tradeoff between long-term maintenance and ease of application. Schlenker says that the “easiest product to use and apply is water- or latex-based, but an oil-based or solvent-based [product] will last longer over time, requiring less maintenance.”  

Read more:–porches-and-patios/sealers-paints-and-stains-101-for-concrete-patios.

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