How to Give Your Driveway and Front Walk More Curb Appeal
Why: Having a beautiful, well-maintained front walk and driveway increases curb appeal, adds value to your home and makes coming home each day a more pleasant experience. Cracked and damaged walkways and driveways can be dangerous, causing falls and damaging tires; improving this area of your home will add beauty and increase safety.
If your existing driveway and front walk are in good condition already, consider adding a decorative edging made from brick or pavers to boost curb appeal.
- Crushed stone and gravel are inexpensive and easy to install, though the gravel will scatter and need replenishing from time to time. Gravel paths and driveways are also difficult to keep cleared of snow.
- Concrete is long lasting (15 to 30 years and beyond) and smooth, and has a modern look. It does tend to crack in cold conditions and does not take well to patches and repairs.
- Asphalt has more give than concrete, making it a good choice for cold climates, and is easily patched and repaired. However, asphalt breaks down more quickly, sometimes requiring repairs or replacement within five years, even in a mild climate.
- Cobblestone and pavers are the longest-lasting option — a cobblestone driveway or walk can last 100 years or more! They are also by far the most expensive options and require the most work initially to prepare the area and lay a foundation for the stone. Repairs are fairly easy with both; you can replace individual stones as needed, making upkeep costs relatively low.
- A path or drive made of gravel alone costs about $1 per square foot.
- An asphalt topcoat runs about $2 per square foot; a new asphalt driveway (including a base layer of gravel and several coats of asphalt) costs $3 to $6.50 per square foot.
- A new poured concrete path or driveway costs around $3 to $4 per square foot.
- Pavers cost $6 to $10 per square foot installed, and a cobblestone path or drive costs $12 to $30 per square foot installed.
Good to know: Your driveway and front walk designs should take both beauty and safety into account. Keep the driveway slope modest and have it properly graded to allow water to run off instead of pool. A gently curving drive or path will take up a bit more real estate, but it can be worth it if you love the look.
How long it will take:
- Crushed stone and gravel can be installed in a single day.
- Both asphalt and concrete can generally be installed in one weekend. You can use your new asphalt driveway within 24 hours, but concrete takes about seven days to cure before you can drive on it.
- Cobblestone and pavers take longer to install than the other options — up to a week for a large cobblestone drive. Mortar between stones is usually set and ready to be walked on in about 24 hours.