How do I choose a driveway contractor?
In order to choose a good driveway contractor, you need to do your research. Go online to find driveway contractors near you, and compare their ratings and customer reviews. Look for photos of driveways the contractors have previously worked on so you can see examples of their work. Do the driveways look pristine? Or are there large cracks and missing pieces?
Get cost estimates from several contractors. When you’re requesting estimates, give the contractors plenty of information about your project (do you want an asphalt, concrete or gravel driveway? What’s your budget? How soon do you need it done? How big is your driveway?), and ask them plenty of questions about their pricing, process and experience.
Make sure whoever you hire is properly licensed and insured in your state. Check with your city and state governments to see what's required.
Once you’ve done your research, decide which contractor fits your price range and offers quality service. But remember: don’t skip high-quality services to secure the lowest price.
Is there a difference between blacktop and asphalt?
Yes, there’s a subtle difference between the two. Asphalt typically refers to the material used for streets and highways, while blacktop usually refers to residential roads, driveways and parking lots. Both contain the same two main ingredients — crushed stone and bitumen — but when compared to regular asphalt, blacktop has a higher concentration of stone. Blacktop also gets heated to a slightly higher temperature of around 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
How long do asphalt driveways last?
The lifespan of a typical asphalt driveway is between 12 and 20 years. However, some companies say they can last up to 30 to 35 years.
Your driveway’s longevity will depend on several factors. The first is the quality of the installation. An asphalt driveway is only as good as its underlayment, drainage and root management.
The next is maintenance. Keeping the driveway clean is imperative, and any cracks should be immediately sealed to prevent water infiltration and freeze-thaw cycles. Lastly, the amount of use and heavy equipment on the asphalt can impact how long it lasts.
How much are asphalt driveways?
On average, an asphalt driveway costs between $3 and $5 per square foot. That means a small 10’x20’ driveway, which is big enough for a single car, will probably cost you between $600 and $1,000.
However, the total cost of your asphalt driveway will depend on several factors. Get free estimates from asphalt driveway contractors to find out exactly how you can expect to spend.
Read “How much does an asphalt driveway cost?” to learn more about the cost factors.