Most homeowners put a great deal of thought into their properties, both inside and out. Home renovations and improvements have emerged as one of the biggest hobbies out there, and it’s easy to see why. Improving your home not enhances the lifestyle you’re able to lead, but many renovations also have definite practical purposes.

Paved walkways are an area of home renovation that doesn’t get talked about very much, at least compared to things like kitchens and bathrooms. But when you see a walkway that’s been impeccably planned and installed, it’s something very noticeable indeed. The idea that all walkways are the same goes out the window when you see what some of the best professionals can do.

But let’s back up for a second. You’re probably still in the planning phase, and you’re not ready to start installing your walkway just yet. You still have to figure out what type of pavement to use for your walkway. What are your options? Here are 4 great ideas for paving your walkways.

1. Asphalt

Asphalt is always a compelling choice. It has a sharp black/dark gray appearance, looks sooth and uniform, and lasts a very long time (two decades is common). Another big advantage to asphalt is the highly accessible price point.

2. Tar and chip

Tar and chip is a unique and attractive way to pave, and it works well for long walkways leading through gardens or other natural landscapes. Because of its rough surface, it provides great traction for walking, and the unique appearance is eye catching when done right.

3. Concrete

Concrete will last longer than any other type of walkway, and in some scenarios, it’s also the best aesthetic choice. There are a couple of drawbacks to concrete walkways, one of which being that concrete tends to stain more easily than other types of pavement. Concrete is also a more expensive option.

4. Belgian blocks and brick pavers

These are wonderful paving techniques if you’re able to spend a little more, and you want a very attractive visual effect for your walkways. These pavement techniques have evolved over the centuries, but the look and feel is classic. Professional services are highly recommended for best results. You may find yourself with a few more trouble spots and repairs over the long run, but for a lot of homeowners, this is a worthwhile trade.

Whatever material you choose for your walkway….

…it’s important to find a contractor who knows their stuff. The trick is to look for a specialist who not only offers these different pavement services, but has depth of experience in each type of pavement, and can offer you solid advice on which material and method might work best for your tastes and needs. People often rush through the decision-making process when it comes to paving walkways, thinking all the different options are the same. Don’t make this mistake! The final results of your paved walkway will vary widely based on the professionalism and experience of the contractor you hire. Good luck!