Are you making an investment in your home? A new kitchen, upgraded siding, better appliances? If so, one of the first things you think about is how long your investment is going to last. Nobody wants to spend hundreds, thousands, or even tens of thousands of dollars on a home investment, only to see that investment fall short in terms of expectations and performance. Before you know it, you’re in a position where you have to invest in repairs or replacements — and the cycle continues.

Driveways are another one of those home investments that can run the gamut in terms of long term performance. There are cases where an asphalt or concrete driveway lasts twenty or even thirty years without much need for maintenance or repairs. On the other hand, you have plenty of situations in which driveways start to crack, warp, develop pot holes, and erode prematurely. When this happens, it’s essentially the same as waving goodbye to cash in your bank account. Before long, you’ll be spending money for DIY repair solutions at the hardware store and dealing with the mess of trying to make them work. Or you’ll be dealing with professional repair scenarios — which will give you better results but may cost more, depending on the nature of the repair.

Driveways are something the vast majority of homeowners need and have to invest money in. And yet, for some reason, driveways are often considered an afterthought. People don’t put enough thought into choosing a asphalt or concrete specialist because they feel that all driveways are more or less the same, and that there are no real differences between the companies who provide these services. If we look closer at driveways in our neighborhoods, however, we’ll notice a wide range of quality. That range is our best proof that “who you hire” really does matter. Making the wrong decision can cost you thousands in the long run, as you deal with repair situations (and possibly even milling and replacement). Making the right decision means that your initial investment in a residential driveway can last longer than you imagined. It’s not uncommon for an expertly installed concrete driveway to go thirty years without the need for major repairs. Asphalt, which has a much lower price point, can typically last twenty years ago.

Find the best driveway installation pro in your area

Depending on your location, there might be two, three, or several dozen companies who install asphalt and concrete driveways. You want to find the one that’s going to give the full benefits of asphalt and concrete, which are naturally long-lasting materials. The base and sub-base layers (beneath the surface of the pavement) are just as important as the asphalt or concrete mixture itself, and companies who rush through these deeper layers, or do not construct them properly, will typically leave you with a driveway that ages and erodes prematurely. Doing your research up front to find the best contractor in your area is the best way to make sure you get the best possible result.