Tar and Chip Driveway: Everything You Need To Know

Most of you have certainly walked over a tar and chip driveway but are unaware of its name. People call it with different names, and depending on your place; it may be called by some other name like seal chip, chip and seal or stone road, etc. Regardless of its names, the tar and chip driveway is among the most popular choices among modern homeowners worldwide. Some other common options people choose for the driveway construction include concrete and prayers. So, if you’re constructing your dream home or thinking of a house renovation, you must read this article till the end. We’ll cover each and every detail about the tar and chip driveway that you need to know. 

What is a tar and chip driveway?

A tar and chip driveway is similar to asphalt driveaways but comparatively low cost. It’s a blend of stone chips and hot asphalt liquid, which provides a very durable surface for a driveaway. The process of a tar and chip driveway starts with the preparation of a thin road foundation, followed by the molten tar pouring over a base of the gravel. After that, stone chips are placed above it in layer form. As a result, a strong and striking driveway is created with a rough texture. 

What is does it cost to install a tar and chip driveway?

As mention earlier, the construction of a car and chip driveway costs less than asphalt paving. A tar and chip driveway installation would typically cost somewhere from $2 to $5/sq ft. However, the cost could vary per region and labor cost set by the government or the labor community. Furthermore, the long-term cost of tar and chip driveway is not much, as the maintenance of these driveaways is relatively much cheaper than other driveaways. 

How long does a Tar and Chip Driveway last?

A tar and chip driveway material is very durable and can easily last from 10 years to 30 years. In order to increase the longevity of your tar and chip driveway and save money, you can consider placing an additional layer of stones and tar on the old driveway after ten years. 

Maintenance and Repair

The tar and chip driveways don’t require much maintenance due to their durability. As we mentioned above, they can easily last ten years. In addition to that, a tar and chip driveway doesn’t require sealing frequently. So, once you’ve installed a tar and chip driveway, you can have peace of mind for many years. However, if you live in a region where it snows a lot, then you may need to be extra cautious while using a snowplow. The snowplows can easily scrap a tar and chip driveway. So, during snowy days make sure to not put more pressure on the plow and keep the blade bit above the driveway surface. Or you can skip the snowplows and use a snowblower for the protection of the driveaway. 


There’s always room for innovation when it comes to driveways. However, the original look of a tar and chip driveway is rustic. It’s the top surface of the driveaway, where you can choose different types of stones and colors to create a unique style. We recommend discussing it with the construction company and choose the one that complements your house. 

Installation Process

The construction of tar and chip driveway is pretty straightforward. It starts with the installation of the gravel base. Then, a molten asphalt liquid is poured over the surface. After that, a layer of small stone chips is placed, followed by rolling to form the finished surface. This is not a DIY project, as it involves some process that can hurt people. So, it’s better to find an expert or consult a professional driveway contractor to do the job. 

Pros and cons of tar and chip driveways?

Like every other driveway, a tar and chip driveway comes up with some pros and cons. Knowing the would certainly help you in deciding; 

The Pros 

  • Low Cost: A drive-and-chip driveaway is less expensive than other driveaways. 
  • Good Traction: They offer maximum traction due to the upper stone layer. The rough surface makes it a perfect non-slippery driveway. 
  • Good Looking: The classic rustic driveway look suits every home and provides a very elegant look to the house.  
  • Low Maintenance: A drive and chip driveway provide very little maintenance compared to other driveways that require frequent sealing and cracks repairs.
  • Longevity:  These driveways are very durable and last a minimum of 10 years.  
  • Easy Installation: The overall installation process of a drive and chip driveway is very easy and quick. 

The Cons 

  • Contractors are hard to find: A drive and chip driveway construction is not a DIY project. If you’re living far from the developed area, it might be hard to find a contractor to install a drive and chip driveway. However, you can search “constructors near me” and ask about the drive and chip driveway project. 
  • Easily damaged by snowplows: A drive and chip driveaway requires extra attention during the snowy season as a snowplow can easily scratch these driveways. 


We hope reading this article has helped you understanding everything about the drive and chip driveways. Now, you can easily compare it with other driveways and choose the one that suits you well. 

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