Paved driveways vs concrete driveways

There are many questions around driveway construction, especially when it comes to the materials its made from. The question often arises whether paving or concrete is the better choice. Personal preference based on design or aesthetics will often guide the decision, but cost is also heavily weighted.

Paving comes with the variety of colours and patterns the pavers can be laid in. This can ensure the colour match of the new driveway paving to the current house colour scheme. Pavers can be divided into edging and main colours or all one colour. Concrete has a smooth finish and can be coloured or tinted to match its surroundings.

Benefits of Paving;
• segmental paving can be laid over services and easements to gain access below if required (remove paving)
• paving can be uplifted and repaired in and around trees
• permeable paving will allow access to water for native trees
• you can use recycled house bricks as pavers in heritage areas.
• you can replace a small area where pavers break or crack

Benefits of Concrete;
• provides a rigid base over a large area reinforced with steel mesh inside
• can come in plain grey, stamped stenciled to match paving

It’s a common question whether concrete is cheaper than paving when replacing a driveway. If the concrete is stamped or tinted and sealed, then the costs are similar. Plain grey concrete is the cheapest alternative.

Things to consider about the driveway construction process;

The excavation for paving is twice the depth of concrete to allow the base materials to go in, which is an added cost to paving. You need to take in machinery costs, and also the disposal of soil, which will also have an associated cost. If there are issues around access for the machinery to the driveway, your costs are going to go up.
Quality preparation for paving will ensure your paved driveway lasts for years to come. Poor preparation can result in a short lived driveway, sunken areas, cracks and movement. To repair this damage by poor workmanship is the same cost as a new paved driveway so its best to invest in the beginning.
Concrete requires reinforcing with mesh, and laid at a minimum 150mm thick.