Saturday, April 20, 2013

Driveway Dilemma: Blacktop or Concrete?

When we purchased the Care-Free Home, one of the first projects we knew we'd have to tackle was the garage exterior and driveway.  Both were in sad shape and definitely detracted from the home's exterior. While we were able to get the garage cleaned up when we did the rest of our exterior renovation last year, now the driveway is even more of an eyesore than it was before!
Original Garage Exterior and Driveway
The updated Garage exterior looks a lot better, but the driveway still needs work!
This spring we are finally planning to tackle the driveway project and are debating between replacing the current blacktop driveway with a new one or going for a concrete driveway with a little more style.  What to do?
We've been leaning towards concrete because the original design of the home included several concrete patios and concrete in the Breezeway between the carport and house.  In addition, the original sales brochure pictures a concrete driveway.
Front elevation photo from the original 1957 Alcoa sales brochure
Another photo of the driveway and carport from the original brochure
We really like the idea of using concrete to both compliment the original details of the home and add more curb appeal and architectural interest to the house.  Here's a couple great examples of modern concrete driveways that we like.
We love the way this offset concrete driveway looks with this mid-century modern  home  (HomeDIT)
Here's another nice concrete driveway on  and Eichler home (from Eichler For Sale)
As you can probably tell, we're leaning towards concrete, our only concern is its durability in our cold climate here in Minneapolis.  We've done a lot of research online and it seems that frost heaving and road salt can reduce the lifespan of a concrete driveway substantially.  

Help us decide!  Does anyone have any personal experience with the concrete/blacktop dilemma in our cold Minnesota climate?  What did you choose and how has it worked out?  Stay tuned, we're planning to get this project underway soon and will post some more photos of the finished project!


  1. From seeing how Mom's driveway has held up compared to the neighbor's blacktop....go with concrete

    1. Thanks Sarah, that's definitely where we're leaning right now!

  2. Concrete! Or a ribbon driveway which is green and beautiful but you already have a lot of lawn to care for!
    like this:

    1. I like the look of these ribbon driveways too, we saw several cool ones on MCM homes the last time we were in San Diego. My big concern is how difficult it will be to shovel/snowblow them in the winter. I think we're definitely going to go for concrete though. Thanks for the ideas!

  3. Concrete driveways are found to be more effective than the blacktop and as you can see in the images too that how beautifully they can be designed, makes them more preferable.

  4. What did you end up doing ?

    I come back once is a while to see how you're doing.
    Love your blog, want to encourage you to keep it up!


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  7. Awesome post!! I hope Concrete driveways are found to be more effective than the blacktop. I wanna buy concrete driveways but I want some suggestion about Concrete Canton, OH

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