Both concrete and asphalt make great driveway surface materials, and which one you choose can be a highly personal choice. If you've had a concrete driveway for a while and think asphalt would be better for you -- it is a lot easier to repair and often less expensive to maintain -- you do need to know a few things about getting ready for the installation process. While paving an asphalt driveway isn't that difficult a procedure, it can have some quirks that you need to know about ahead of time.
You'll Need the Previous Concrete Removed
You can't really put a layer of asphalt over a layer of concrete. It's physically possible, but it's a poor construction technique and will only result in the asphalt chipping off prematurely. You'll need the concrete removed. The asphalt paving company might do that, or you might have to arrange for another company to do it first. However, once the ground is bare, the asphalt paving company will handle preparing the soil for the addition of the asphalt.
The Weather Will Play a Huge Role
Asphalt pouring and paving is weather dependent. Not only is rain obviously bad for the process, but heat and cold can be as well. The paving company can explain to you how temperature plays into asphalt paving, but the upshot is if you're trying to get this done during a season that has unpredictable weather in your area with lots of warm and cool fronts, and storms, scheduling could be tricky. It's best to call early and find out what weather-based restrictions the company has to deal with so you can plan ahead.
You'll Need to Plan an Alternate Route to the Front Door
Sometimes the concrete driveway is really the only path that people can take to get to the front door of the house. Maybe the rest of the property is on a fairly steep hill that makes it difficult to walk, or maybe your "lawn" next to the driveway is actually a bunch of groundcover plants that you can't really walk on. You'll need to find an alternate route into the house, such as through a side door, or arrange to have the asphalt paving done in sections.
You are not going to be the only homeowner to ever want their concrete driveway switched out for asphalt, and you're certainly not going to be the only one who has an odd yard layout that requires a creative path to the home. Talk to the paving company, like Virginia Asphalt Services Inc, and see what suggestions they have.