Smooth Concrete

Exposed aggregate driveway in a sunset

Pros and Cons of an Exposed Aggregate Driveway in Melbourne

Exposed aggregate driveway in a sunset

In Melbourne, homeowners often opt for exposed aggregate driveways due to their aesthetic appeal and durability. These driveways are highly customisable, versatile, and have the potential to enhance property value.

However, they also present certain challenges. Repairs can be complex, cleaning requires specific methods, and they may not be suitable for heavy loads. Additionally, the installation of an exposed aggregate driveway is not typically a project for the amateur handyman.

Therefore, while this choice of driveway has many attractive qualities, it is essential to consider the potential drawbacks and implications before proceeding with installation.

Key Takeaways

  • Highly customisable design and colour options
  • Provides durability and low maintenance
  • Improves home value
  • Enhances safety with high traction surface

Benefits of Exposed Aggregate Concrete Driveways

Close up of an exposed aggregate driveway

Exposed aggregate concrete offers a distinct set of advantages that contribute to its growing popularity in Melbourne. Its highly customizable nature, remarkable durability, and versatility make it an appealing choice for homeowners.

Further, an exposed aggregate driveway can enhance the overall property value and requires minimal maintenance, providing a cost-effective and aesthetically pleasing solution for driveways.

Here are the main benefits of exposed aggregate when it comes to driveways:

Very Customizable

One significant advantage of exposed aggregate concrete lies in its high degree of customisability, catering to diverse aesthetic preferences and functional requirements. This material allows homeowners to create any design and colour scheme, whether they wish to match the driveway with their home’s exterior or create a contrasting effect.

The aggregate selection process enables the choice of various sizes, shapes, and colours of stones, pebbles, shells, or glass, resulting in unique and personalized designs. Furthermore, the concrete’s surface can be manipulated to either expose the aggregate entirely or partially, providing different levels of texture and slip resistance.

Thus, exposed aggregate concrete is not only appealing to the eye but also adaptable to specific needs, making it a popular choice for driveways in Melbourne.

Very Durable

Another significant advantage of this versatile material is its remarkable durability. Exposed aggregate concrete is known for its longevity and resilience. Despite exposure to harsh weather conditions that Melbourne often experiences, this type of driveway stands the test of time.

Its hard-wearing nature makes it suitable for heavy traffic and high-usage areas. The aggregate’s rough texture adds to its durability, providing a slip-resistant surface that can withstand heavy loads. Unlike other driveway materials, it doesn’t chip or crack easily.

The maintenance cost is also relatively low. With a properly installed and sealed exposed aggregate driveway, you can expect it to last for decades with minimal upkeep. Therefore, its durability makes it a cost-effective long-term investment for homeowners.


Demonstrating a level of versatility unmatched by other materials, exposed aggregate concrete adapts effortlessly to a variety of shapes, colours, and textures, making it a highly flexible choice for homeowners. This material can be poured to fit any layout, whether it’s a winding garden path or a simple rectangular driveway.

Different aggregates can be used for a customised look that can be as vibrant or as understated as desired. Furthermore, aggregate concrete is not limited to flat surfaces; it can also be used to create vertical applications, such as retaining walls.

The versatility of exposed aggregate concrete makes it a popular choice not only for driveways but for various other residential and commercial landscaping projects as well.

Improves Home Value

Investing in an exposed aggregate driveway can significantly enhance the value of your property, providing an attractive return on investment. This driveway type is highly regarded for its aesthetic appeal and durability, traits that potential buyers look for.

Not only does it add a touch of elegance and sophistication to your property, but it also increases its practical value by providing a durable and weather-resistant surface. A well-installed exposed aggregate driveway can last for decades, reducing maintenance costs and adding to the overall savings.

Additionally, its versatile nature allows it to match any architectural style, thereby improving the overall visual harmony of your property. Thus, an exposed aggregate driveway can significantly boost your property’s market value, proving it to be a wise investment choice.

Low Maintenance

In addition to its aesthetic and value-enhancing properties, an exceptional benefit of an exposed aggregate driveway is its low maintenance requirement. This type of driveway is not just visually appealing, but also practical and durable, providing homeowners with a cost-effective and sustainable solution for their driveways.

Here are four reasons why such driveways require minimal maintenance:

  1. Stain resistance: The textured surface of exposed aggregate driveways is less prone to staining than other materials.
  2. Weather resistance: These driveways can withstand harsh weather conditions, including the hot summers and wet winters of Melbourne.
  3. Damage resistance: The strong, durable nature of exposed aggregate concrete helps prevent cracks and damage.
  4. Longevity: With proper care, these driveways can last for many years, reducing the need for repairs and replacements.

High Traction Surface (Anti Skid)

Throughout all seasons, one significant advantage of exposed aggregate driveways is their high-traction, anti-skid surface, enhancing safety and reducing the risk of slips and falls. This feature is particularly beneficial in Melbourne, where weather conditions can vary dramatically.

The rough texture of the exposed aggregate provides an exceptional grip, even when the surface is wet. This makes it an ideal choice for households with children, elderly people, or individuals with mobility issues. Not only does this anti-skid property ensure safety, but it also offers peace of mind.

Additionally, this high-traction surface does not compromise on aesthetic appeal, making exposed aggregate a practical and attractive option for driveways.

Thus, the combination of safety, functionality and beauty makes an exposed aggregate driveway a worthy investment.

Disadvantages of Exposed Aggregate Concrete

While exposed aggregate concrete has notable advantages, it is equally important to understand the potential drawbacks.

Issues such as repair difficulty, challenges in cleaning, and unsuitability for heavy loads are among the key concerns.

Moreover, the complexity of installation often requires professional handling, making it a less feasible option for DIY projects.

More Difficult to Repair

One significant drawback you may encounter with your exposed aggregate driveway is the complexity and cost involved in its repair process. Unlike other types of driveways, repairing exposed aggregate concrete requires specialised knowledge and skills, translating to higher costs and longer repair times.

Here are four factors that contribute to the difficulty and cost of repairing exposed aggregate driveways:

  1. Matching Aggregates: Finding the perfect match for your existing aggregate mix can be challenging, affecting the aesthetic appeal after repair.
  2. Expertise Required: The repair process requires a skilled contractor with experience in handling exposed aggregate concrete.
  3. Time Consuming: The repair process is often lengthy, increasing the inconvenience.
  4. Cost: The combined factors of specialised materials, skilled labour, and time contribute to higher repair costs.

Harder to Clean

In the long run, maintaining an exposed aggregate driveway proves to be a challenging task due to its intricate cleaning requirements. The textured surface of the driveway, while aesthetically appealing, tends to trap dirt and debris more easily than smooth surfaces. This necessitates regular deep cleaning, which may be time-consuming and require specialized equipment or professional services.

Furthermore, the use of harsh cleaning chemicals can potentially damage the aggregate surface, negatively impacting its longevity and appearance. It is also important to note that stains from oil, tyre marks, and other substances can be more visible on an exposed aggregate surface, making prompt and thorough cleaning crucial.

Thus, the cleaning process for exposed aggregate driveways can be laborious and complex.

Not a DIY Project

Transitioning from the complexities of maintenance, another notable disadvantage of exposed aggregate driveways lies in their installation process: it is not a suitable project for the do-it-yourself enthusiast.

  1. Expertise: The process demands a level of expertise and knowledge about concrete mixtures, appropriate tools, and timing, which the average homeowner may not possess.
  2. Timing: The timing for exposing the aggregate is crucial and can make the difference between a successful project and a failure.
  3. Tools: Special tools and heavy machinery are often required for the installation process, which are costly to rent and complicated to use.
  4. Cost: Mistakes in installation can lead to significant additional costs in terms of repairs and possible re-installation. Therefore, hiring a professional is often a smarter financial decision in the long run.

Can’t Handle Heavy Loads

Another significant drawback of exposed aggregate driveways is their inability to withstand heavy loads, posing a potential problem for homeowners with larger vehicles or those who require robust load-bearing surfaces.

The materials used in these driveways, while aesthetically pleasing, are not designed to bear substantial weight. This can result in cracks, divots, or other forms of damage when subjected to the pressure of heavy vehicles or equipment.

Over time, these damages could necessitate costly repairs or even complete replacement of the driveway. Therefore, for homeowners in Melbourne who have heavy-duty vehicles, or expect regular deliveries of large items, an exposed aggregate driveway may not be the most practical choice for their needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Average Cost of Installing an Exposed Aggregate Driveway in Melbourne?

The average cost of installing an exposed aggregate driveway in Melbourne can vary significantly based on size, complexity, and materials chosen. However, a general range is between $100 to $150 per square metre.

What Are the Maintenance Requirements for an Exposed Aggregate Driveway?

Exposed aggregate driveways require regular maintenance including sealing every two years, regular sweeping to remove debris, and occasional pressure washing to maintain their aesthetic appearance and prevent damage or staining over time.

How Does the Weather in Melbourne Affect an Exposed Aggregate Driveway?

Melbourne’s weather can impact an exposed aggregate driveway significantly. Frequent temperature fluctuations may cause expansion and contraction, leading to cracks. Heavy rainfall can wash away the sealing, while intense sun can fade the aggregate’s colour.

Can an Exposed Aggregate Driveway Be Installed DIY or Does It Require Professional Installation?

Installing an exposed aggregate driveway can be a DIY project. However, for optimal results and longevity, professional installation is recommended due to the complexity and precision required in the process.

Are There Specific Local Regulations in Melbourne That I Need to Consider Before Installing an Exposed Aggregate Driveway?

Yes, Melbourne has specific building regulations for driveway installations. It is crucial to check with your local council for any specific rules or permissions required before beginning an exposed aggregate driveway installation.

Want to Install An Exposed Aggregate Driveway?

We specialise in installing exposed aggregate concrete driveways in Melbourne. Speak to us today by calling 0403 292 005 or emailing