Of all the different types of surfacing which can be used for domestic driveways and patio areas (such as block paving, pattern imprinted concrete and concrete paving flags), tarmacadam is still considered by some homeowners as the poor relation and the least expensive option.
Laying bitmac is a skilled process and often requires expensive machinery to ensure that the surface is well compacted, flat and level. Large areas can be very economically installed but in most cases, similar equipment is required for a few square metres as is required for several hundred square metres. Consequently, the set-up costs of installing tarmacadam for a small driveway mean that the cost per square metre of a tarmacadam drive can vary enormously according to its size.
Also, since bitmac and the binder material in stone mastic asphalt are oil-based the price per ton of all tarmacadam products can be quite volatile. Steep increases in the price of oil over the last decade have resulted in tarmacadam driveways and patio areas losing some of their price competitiveness when compared to other forms of domestic surfacing.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Tarmacadam