By Mike Baird
Driveways are expensive. Sometimes when I see a crumbling driveway on an otherwise good-looking flip house, I just want to walk away. I look at the cracks in the concrete and how it’s dissolving into rubble at the edges, and I think of all of the budget money that I’ll have to spend on the driveway instead of the kitchen, the bathroom, or cool curb-appeal details.
You may be wondering if it’s even worth it. So what if the driveway is cracked or crumbling? If it still works for driving in and out of the garage and parking cars, do you really need to do anything? Yes.
The driveway is a huge part of a house’s curb appeal. If it’s crumbling or cracked, your buyers are going to think of the work they’ll have to do to fix it. They’ll think of their kids trying to ride their bikes or run down the driveway only to fall down and hurt themselves on those cracks and crags. In other words, the driveway needs to look good, or you’re going to have issues selling the house at the price you want.
But driveways don’t have to sap all of your resources, even if they’re in really bad shape. You have a few options to repair or replace a bad driveway that won’t require you to skip out on other important rehabs. Check out these budget-friendly solutions for driveway rehabs.
Repair Cracks and Reseal the Driveway
If you have one or more cracks in a concrete driveway, you don’t have to repave the whole thing. For surface cracks like these, you’ll just want to clean them out, fill them with sand up to about half-an-inch of the surface, and then top them off with crack filler. You can then use a putty knife to smooth the surface over and, once the filler is dry, have your contractor reseal the driveway. It’ll look as good as new, and it won’t require you to dig it up and repave it.
Tear It Out and Go With a Gravel Driveway
If the driveway is really bad and there’s no way to repair it, you’re going to have to replace it. You can give the house a cool, updated look and save money, though, by opting for a new gravel driveway instead of a concrete or asphalt driveway. You can even tie in a gravel walk to the front door that will add cohesiveness to the look.
Go With a Green Driveway
Instead of gravel, you could also go with permeable paving. This new-ish trend actually has a very classic look and will set your house apart from the comps. You can opt for a number of different styles and patterns, but all of them are created to let grass grow up through the driveway in specific places. There’s very little maintenance (other than mowing the driveway with the rest of the lawn), and it looks really cool and a bit different from other driveways in most neighborhoods.
If you’re looking for a better way to deal with a crumbling driveway without breaking the bank or losing market value on the house, use one of these three options. They’ll let you get the look you want while preserving your budget so that your buyers will be just as impressed by the interior of the property as they are by its curb appeal and its driveway.