Your driveway is an integral part of your home. You park your cars there, and it provides egress into your garage and a place to work on your project vehicles. Did you know your driveway can also increase the value of your home? What can you do to improve your driveway and, in turn, increase the value of your home?

First, What Kind of Driveway Do You Have?

Before you make any changes, you need to take a look at the kind of driveway that you have. Is it a dirt path, or one covered in gravel? Is it paved with concrete or asphalt? Is it one solid sheet of materials, or is it divided into individual tiles?

Around 16 different common types of driveway materials and designs exist. You may already have the best driveway for your home and neighborhood to maximize the building's value. If that's the case, then you don't need to change a thing!

Some of these designs are more durable than others. Dirt drives wear away, and gravel ones need to be refilled regularly to stay level. Concrete and asphalt are more durable but are prone to cracking over time - which leads us to our next step.

Choose Whether You're Repairing or Replacing

When it comes to driveways and improving the value of your home, you have two choices - repair what's already there or replace it with something better.

First, take a look at your neighborhood. What types of driveways do your neighbors have? Using other houses as a baseline is a good idea if you're planning on selling your house in the future - homebuyers are often willing to pay more for a home with a driveway that doesn't stick out like a sore thumb when you compare it to the rest of the neighborhood.

If your driveway already matches your neighbors', then your best bet is option one - repair what's already there. If your concrete driveway is riddled with cracks, have them fixed or have it removed and replaced with a new one. If your asphalt driveway is in bad shape, a crack-filling and sealing treatment can breath new life into the oldest path.

If your driveway already stands out - and not in a good way - then replacing it with something that is a closer match to your neighbors' homes is your best course of action. It's always a good idea to have this done professionally. It's costly, but if you want to add value to your home, calling a professional is still the smartest thing to do.

How Much Value Can It Add?

How much value can a new professionally lain driveway add to your home?

It's hard to put a dollar amount to the value of a driveway that adds to the exterior of your home. If you've already got a suitable path, you may end up losing money on the deal.

If your driveway stands out or is in terrible shape, repairing or replacing it can help improve your curb appeal, which increases the chance that your home will sell quickly. In some cases, offers have entirely fallen through over the state of the driveway. You can avoid this eventuality by spending around $3000 to $4000 to have a new drive poured.

While a new place to park your cars might not add a ton of value to your home, leaving a poor driveway in place will detract from your home's value and make it harder to sell.

Scott Huntington is a writer from central Pennsylvania. He enjoys working on his home and garden with his wife and 2 kids. Follow him on Twitter @SMHuntington