Robert Lamoureux | Looking for concrete solutions on an aging driveway

Robert Lamoureux
Robert Lamoureux


Robert, my name is Jared. I’m a first-time homeowner in an older part of Saugus. We bought a home that is, without a doubt, a fixer-upper, and we will be busy with this for years to come. I’m somewhat handy and plan on learning as I go, so I will be reaching out in the future, I’m sure.  

For now, we are beginning with the exterior entrance area of the home, as it is very damaged and in need of attention both aesthetically and functionally. The current asphalt driveway is cracked in likely a thousand places, and very uneven. 

My question today is, which is the best option for us to go with – replace the driveway with the same asphalt product and look, or go with concrete? I haven’t even looked into costs yet because I didn’t want to be biased before asking your advice. We are interested in improving not only the look of this home both inside and out, but also the quality and value. We plan on being here for a long time so we are not in a rush, and so far everything works well enough to give us the time to be patient and do things correctly.  

So with all of that said, is there a “right” choice here for quality? Several of the homes on this street have concrete but many still have the asphalt, all of which are in poor shape. Thank you, sir, for the insight you share here. We will be utilizing it in the future also.  

— Jared 

Answer: Jared, congratulations on your first home, and the obvious knowledge you have about caring for and upgrading it, to maintain and increase the value over time. So often I see folks with the single biggest investment of their lives, not performing basic maintenance and allowing the property to deteriorate. 

You’re off to a great start. Let me begin by advising you to always hire only licensed and insured contractors that specialize in the field of work needed. Vet them by checking their licenses and ask that they have their insurance carrier provide their certificate of insurance directly to you. Do not accept the contractor’s copy — be sure that it comes from a reputable carrier, so you know they are actually insured. 

With that said, I highly recommend you go with concrete if your budget allows. 

Concrete, when mixed properly and installed correctly with rebar and proper thickness, will be maintenance-free and last longer than any asphalt, by far. Asphalt is a good option when the only affordable option, but quickly loses its pristine look and, especially with the heat of Santa Clarita, can be damaged much easier than concrete. 

You’ll spend more at the outset on this, but will have a more quality look and less maintenance costs over the years. Concrete all the way, for me. Best of luck. 

Robert Lamoureux has more than 40 years of experience as a general contractor, with separate licenses in electrical and plumbing contracting. He owns IMS Construction Inc. in Valencia. His opinions are his own, not necessarily those of The Signal. Opinions expressed in this column are not meant to replace the recommendations of a qualified contractor after that contractor has made a thorough visual inspection. Email questions to Robert at [email protected].   

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