Driveway paving-asphalt vs concrete?

I know prices will vary by region, but I'm tired of most of the driveway being gravel and want to pave it. 2,900 sq ft. Got my first concrete estimate for $11,500. Waiting for more estimates for both concrete and asphalt. First concrete guy says they'll do 5" deep, not 4" and wire mesh everything. Low chert and 6 bag mix. Cut all the joints. Wisconsin winters if that's a factor.
Any rule of thumb for this kind of stuff. Yes, I know asphalt will be cheaper, but more maintenance in the long run. Still waiting for the asphalt estimates to come in and more concrete estimates also.
Just looking for some insight.
Had a 3,000 sq ft drive poured in 2005 ($9,500) and then we ended up selling the house in 2008, so that sucked. Hopefully, we are done moving., but I never know, we seem to have turned into nomads. We're in our 4th house since 2008. We've gotten very experienced at packing and our Realtor's best customers.
Thanks,
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On 4/11/2011 5:43 PM, Joe J wrote:

years. I had nursed it and the cracks along for those years and sealed it every few years. Was in no hurry to do it but wife was and a paving contractor was in the neighborhood doing adjacent development road. He did me and 2 neighbors with houses of similar age. Based on what I paid, I suspect asphalt will be 1/3 the cost of concrete for you. My contractor removed part of the cracked areas and made drive 2 ft wider. With big crew job only took about 5 hours. I could drive over it the next morning and park on it, if I wanted, after 24 hours.
Your concrete may be fine reinforced but I think that concrete otherwise cracks and is harder to repair than asphalt.
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On 4/11/2011 6:32 PM, Frank wrote:

In snow country, asphalt has one big advantage- the snow melts off a lot quicker, unless you aren't getting ANY patches of sunlight or it stays way subzero. If I was a rich man, I'd probably still do concrete, but if I was that rich, I could afford a plow guy.
--
aem sends....

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Here is central Ohio I paid $1.25 a square foot for labor last year. It didn't matter on the thickness since I was paying for materials. It was a 2000 sq ft pole barn. He graded and spread the gravel, wire mesh, 6" thick. He only had to form the 3 large doors and 1 service door. Smooth finish. Figure a yard of concrete that is 4" thick will cover 80 sq. feet. I don't know how much the wire mesh was. You'll have to check your local concrete company for the type/pressure/mix per yard. He even gave me a discount for cash, which I gave back as a tip.
Driveways should be about the same because they don't have the labor of a smooth finish but they usually have more form work to do.
Hope this helps a little.
Hank
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I did a slightly larger sized mountain driveway a few years ago in asphalt - 4" compressed to 3" over an existing bed of settled road base (3/4" crushed limestone plus fines). Was about $2.50/sq ft. Would have liked concrete, but that would have cost almost twice as much. Similar 4 season weather, hit -30 last winter.
If you decide to go paved, one thing my company recommended and I did was to let the job wear for a couple of months, then hot seal it before the first winter. Cost a few grand, but made a huge difference in preventing water from penetrating and breaking the asphalt up.
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On 4/11/2011 7:25 PM, Robert Neville wrote:

Think you can only do a solvent based seal once but emulsions whenever you want. For me, it will be a DIY job next year and cost less than $100. The paver would charge considerably more.
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a big part of either concrete or asphalt is the base thats installed before the finished product goes down. in areas that freeze a well drained well compacted base is key for a long life.
around here they are laying asphalt right over weeds, and concrete too to try and save a buck.
within a few years both surfaces fail.:( at that point asphalt tends to be the surface of choice to cover asphalt or concrete..but this doesnt address the base issues so the surface just fails again.
my driveway is asphalt over 25 years old, it should be sealed this summer. its in mid life, and cracking.
neighbors who had the no base asphalt installed tend to give up and have it replaced within 10 years.
asphalt naturally clears snow faster, and newly sealed it looks like you just got a brand new driveway:)
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Even the best concrete will spall if there is a lot of road salt and you use the dtrveway in winter. Even if I had the $$, I would go asphalt.
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