How Much Does a Cobblestone Driveway Cost? Pros, Cons, & FAQ
Asphalt and concrete driveways are the standard for many homes, but homeowners looking for a hand-crafted, traditional look can opt for cobblestone. It’s a bit pricey up front, but you save money by it being easy to maintain. There’s also little else quite as classy looking as a sprawling cobblestone driveway. Let’s check out how much they cost and what else you need to know.
What Is Cobblestone?
Cobblestone has been used to establish roads and pathways going back to the Roman Empire, mainly consisting of river rocks and other smooth stones. Most cobblestone is made of granite, but it can be made from other rock, like limestone or basalt. However, virtually any kind of stone that fits the right dimensions can be considered cobblestone.
Today, traditional cobblestone and cobblestone pavers alike are used to pave driveways. Some people enjoy the visual appeal of the former, whereas the latter is more practical because they don’t form an uneven surface.
Why Use Cobblestone Instead of Asphalt or Concrete?
Cobblestone is one of the most enduring design choices, with many cobblestone driveways lasting up to 100 years. It was used in many major cities throughout history, including London and New York City. Cobblestone lends your home an elegant old-world feel that’s hard to put into words.
Unlike the river-worn stones of the past, cobblestone today comes in many shapes, sizes, and textures. You can customize the design of your driveway in ways that aren’t possible with plain concrete or asphalt. It also helps that rain will do the heavy lifting on cleaning the driveway.
One popular benefit of cobblestone driveways is that you can customize the design. If you have a large, circular driveway, for example, consider adding an eye-catching geometric design in the center. For a more understated look that highlights the material, you could add a contrasting border around the edges.
Cobblestone is super durable against adverse weather, standing up against ice, snow, rain, and heavy winds alike. Don’t worry about oil stains, either, because cobblestone is stain resistant. More stubborn stains can typically be washed away with a pressure washer.
Pros & Cons of Cobblestone Driveways
How Much Does a Cobblestone Driveway Cost in 2023?
Roughly half the cost of the job will be the cobblestone itself, and the other half will be labor. Installation isn’t necessarily skill intensive, but it is labor intensive. All those hours add up on your final bill, making cobblestone one of the higher-end driveways. Let’s take a look at what you can expect to pay for a cobblestone driveway.
An average American driveway measures roughly 640 square feet. Labor will take about 70 hours, give or take, so your final price will be $10,000–$14,000. Smaller driveways may be cheaper, and you can also save by choosing cheaper cobblestone. However, it’s an expensive undertaking anyway, so you may as well go with what you really want.
On the other end, complex patterns will take more time for workers to install, and higher-end textures will also run up your bill. Take these factors into consideration when figuring out what kind of cobblestone and design you want.
Finally, when buying your cobblestone, it can be helpful to consult the contractor. They can usually get the materials at a discount, which will save you money in turn. Ask for an itemized bill when the work is done so you can get an idea of exactly where your money is going. Don’t be afraid to ask the contractor about anything you don’t understand on the bill.
What Maintenance Does a Cobblestone Driveway Need?
Cobblestone driveways require much less maintenance than concrete or asphalt driveways. The latter needs to be sealed after 6 months, while cobblestone doesn’t. You can seal cobblestone, but it’s not very helpful unless you have a lot of vehicles that spill oil on the ground.
To clear away dirt and other debris, you can periodically sweep it with a broom. After heavy rainfall and in the fall, you can use a leaf blower to remove leaves and debris. For more stubborn dirt and built-up debris, you can use a water hose with a nozzle or a pressure washer. Be careful with the latter, however, because it can hurt your driveway if there are cracks.
If the grout or sand becomes compromised, weeds can sprout through. Get rid of these unsightly pests with a nonselective weed killer. Or, you can simply pull them up with garden gloves.
Conduct sporadic inspections of the cobblestone joints, as they’ll show damage before the cobblestone will. You can have the grout resealed at a relatively low cost if you ever find damage, but the worst that could happen is weeds sprouting up.
If you’re looking for a timeless and elegant alternative to traditional driveways, look no further than cobblestone. There are tons of design choices and styles, and the resulting driveway can last up to 100 years with relatively little maintenance.
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