How Much Does an Asphalt Driveway Cost?
For homeowners thinking about installing a new asphalt driveway, the typical asphalt driveway cost range is $3,116 to $7,195, with a national average of $5,080.
- The typical cost to install an asphalt driveway ranges from $3,116 to $7,195, with a national average of $5,080.
- The main factors that affect the total cost of asphalt driveway installation include the driveway location on the property, the geographic location of the home, the size of the area to be paved, the type of asphalt used, and the cost of labor.
- An asphalt driveway has many benefits, including increased home value, durability, a clean look, easy repair and maintenance, and resistance to low temperatures.
- A homeowner with professional experience installing asphalt driveways may be able to tackle this as a DIY project, but most homeowners will want to hire a professional to ensure the driveway is installed correctly.
Asphalt driveways are common in temperate and continental climates because the material’s color and durability can stand up to harsh weather. Asphalt is also less expensive than a concrete driveway and is typically easier to maintain than gravel. Asphalt paving offers a convenient and safe driving or walking surface with minimal upkeep compared to other driveway options. According to HomeAdvisor, paving a driveway with asphalt costs $5,080 on average, with a range from $3,116 to $7,195. This project runs $7 to $13 per square foot. Since this job requires a lot of specific equipment and heavy labor, it’s best done by a professional.
Factors in Calculating Asphalt Driveway Cost
How much does an asphalt driveway cost? Asphalt paving costs $7 to $13 per square foot, including minimal grading services. Materials cost from $2 to $6 per square foot, and installation costs $5 to $7 per square foot. Excavation, added curbs, and a sidewalk are extra costs. The national average for an asphalt driveway runs $5,080, but the overall cost can vary due to geographic location, the size of the area, labor, and asphalt type. Homeowners can review the following factors or refer to an asphalt driveway cost calculator to get a sense of the potential project cost.
Paving a driveway costs from $3,116 to $7,195. This assumes that the new asphalt is an average size of 600 square feet. Asphalt manufacturers often sell new material by the ton, averaging $100 to $200 per ton, according to Angi. One ton can cover about 30 to 80 square feet, and the total amount needed depends on the thickness of the layers. A driveway 2 inches thick can run 80 square feet per ton, and a 4-inch-thick driveway can run 40 square feet per ton. An average driveway will need 7 to 15 tons. Most prices are determined by the ton, and some are calculated based on cubic yards.
The standard asphalt for most projects is hot mix asphalt. This type typically costs $100 to $200 per ton. Cold mix asphalt costs $10 to $50 per bag, but it’s usually used only for repairing a driveway temporarily. It isn’t designed for an entire driveway because it typically lasts for only one or two seasons. Reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) will end up costing less money than brand-new asphalt and has the advantage of being environmentally friendly. Reclaimed or recycled asphalt runs between $10 and $20 per ton. Colored asphalt is hot mix asphalt with pigments added; it can cost $12 to $17 per square foot. The same cost applies to driveways that are stamped. Lastly, porous asphalt costs $8 to $15 per square foot and is topped with a layer of crushed stone that improves drainage.
Asphalt comes in a variety of grades, which have different compositions and can withstand varying levels of wear. In most cases, driveway installation will include the application of layers of at least two asphalt grades. Base I-2 is the most common first layer and is mostly made up of gravel. This layer costs $1 to $2 per square foot. Top I-5 has a smoother finish and can withstand more direct traffic. Top I-5 costs about $1 to $4 per square foot. Areas with heavy traffic can benefit from finishing with commercial top I-4, which is the strongest layer and costs $3 to $5 per square foot.
|Cost per Square Foot (Materials Only)
|$1 to $2
|$1 to $4
|Commercial Top I-4
|$3 to $5
Asphalt driveways will need to be at least 2 inches deep, but the thicker the application, the longer-lasting the driveway will be. For maximum longevity, some homeowners will opt for a driveway with a depth of up to 6 inches. The deeper the asphalt, the higher the cost because of the increase in materials and increased time needed for installation. For reference, a standard driveway will require between 7 and 15 tons of asphalt, and asphalt costs about $100 to $200 per ton.
|Coverage per Ton
|Average Cost (Materials Only)
|80 square feet
|$750 to $1,500
|40 square feet
|$1,500 to $3,000
|30 square feet
|$2,000 to $4,000
An overlay is a thin layer of asphalt that is used to resurface the driveway. Using this option is much less costly than removing and replacing the driveway and typically costs between $3 and $7 per square foot. This can be a good option for driveways with a normal amount of wear, but major cracks or holes will require more extensive repairs.
The location of the area that needs to be paved is a main factor in overall cost. If a garage is located behind the house, a longer driveway may be needed, and that can drive up costs.
Labor costs for asphalt driveway installation fall between $5 and $7 per square foot. The size and scope of the project will impact how many hours will be required to complete the project. Labor costs may be higher if the driveway is on a hill or has curves, or if additional services like tree or stump removal are needed. Flat land makes for an easier and less expensive process.
Asphalt driveway paving costs can vary due to geographic location. The overall price will depend on fuel costs and the local cost of living. It’s also a good idea for homeowners to consider the climate in their location before installing an asphalt driveway, as this material is more hearty in cold or mild climates. In hotter regions, warm weather can soften the asphalt, making it more vulnerable to damage, which may result in more frequent repairs.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When homeowners are budgeting for asphalt driveway costs, there are usually additional price factors and considerations for them to keep in mind. Labor costs can run from $5 to $7 per square foot and can quickly add up if extensive excavation or additional grading needs to be done. Additional blacktop driveway costs can include the cost to clear land during surface preparation, installation of a heated or widened driveway, gate installation, sealant, and maintenance.
New vs. Replacement Driveway
Putting in a new asphalt driveway costs $7 to $13 per square foot. This cost accounts for any minor land preparation that is needed, materials, and labor. Costs may be higher if the area needs significant grading or leveling. Replacing an existing driveway can cost $8 to $15 per square foot, which includes removing and disposing of the old driveway.
Asphalt vs. Concrete Driveway
For homeowners who are contemplating asphalt vs. concrete driveway costs, part of the decision may come down to climate. Concrete holds up well in extreme heat but can crack in freezing temperatures. Asphalt, on the other hand, stands up exceptionally well in the cold but may become malleable in the heat of the sun. Choosing the right driveway material for the region a homeowner lives in might help with cutting down future repair costs. Homeowners can expect to pay between $3 and $18 per square foot for a concrete driveway. The asphalt driveway cost per square foot is $7 to $13.
Asphalt Installation Over Concrete
It is possible to install a layer of asphalt on top of an existing concrete driveway, although this is generally a temporary solution. This can prolong the time until full driveway replacement is necessary and costs about $3 to $7 per square foot. It’s worth noting that since concrete is prone to cracking, damage that occurs on the concrete layer may appear in the asphalt coating as well.
Excavation and Grading
Excavating land can cost between $1,500 and $5,100, depending on the number of cubic feet that needs to be moved. Grading, or leveling the area to make the driveway smooth and well drained, costs between $5 and $10 per square foot for professional graders, but steep driveways may cost more.
If a driveway is simply looking old and faded, basic resurfacing can give it a much-needed refresh. The cost to resurface asphalt driveways is usually between $3 and $7 per square foot. However, if the driveway has potholes or cracks and is sinking or crumbling, more extensive repairs or replacement could be necessary. Asphalt driveway repair costs between $60 and $300, but if the driveway is very large, costs could reach up to $3,000.
Heated Driveway Installation
A heated driveway usually costs $12 to $25 per square foot, depending on whether it’s a new one or a replacement. The heating system itself will cost $5 to $12 per square foot, while the asphalt driveway will cost $7 to $13 per square foot. For the average home, the cost will be between $7,200 and $15,000.
The price to widen a driveway is often close to the cost of installing a new one, or about $7 to $15 per square foot. Widening a driveway still may involve removing trees or stumps, grading, installing a base, and paving.
Another way to protect the new driveway is by installing a gate. Gates ensure cars and trucks don’t use the driveway as a place to turn around, which will ensure the driveway lasts longer. The average cost to install an automatic gate is $850 to $3,600, while manual gates cost an average of $2,500.
Sealing and Maintenance
Driveway sealing costs $3 to $7 per square foot. Asphalt driveway sealer is a thin coat that is applied to protect the driveway surface. Homeowners can learn how to seal a driveway themselves or hire a professional to do it for them. The total cost to seal an asphalt driveway is around $500 on average and can be done 6 months after the driveway is installed. Sealant provides a layer of protection to avoid cracking in the asphalt and environmental damage. Homeowners will want to consider using one of the best asphalt driveway sealers for a long-lasting result. An asphalt driveway requires regular maintenance, and sealing is recommended every 3 to 5 years. Any cracks or other types of damage that appear will need to be dealt with as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Driveway cleaning might also be necessary occasionally to remove any oil, rust, paint, or dirt that have left unsightly stains.
Asphalt Driveway Cost by Type of Asphalt
Asphalt driveway costs can vary due to the type of asphalt used. Most asphalt driveways use a hot mix that contains some recycled content. There are other options, and they will have different pricing per square foot.
|Cost (Materials Only)
|$10 to $50 per bag
|$100 to $200 per ton
|$8 to $15 per square foot
|Recycle or reclaimed
|$10 to $20 per ton
|Stamped or colored
|$12 to $17 per square foot
Cold mix asphalt costs $10 to $50 per bag, but it can be used only for temporary repairs. Cold mix shouldn’t be used for a whole driveway because it doesn’t last more than one or two seasons.
Hot mix is most commonly used in driveways, and it is inexpensive, flexible, and easy to work with. Different mixtures of aggregate material and oil can produce a finer or rougher texture, depending on the homeowner’s preference and needs. Hot mix costs between $100 and $200 per ton.
For homeowners who live in a rainy climate and want to make sure the driveway drains properly, porous asphalt is the best choice. Rather than staying on the surface and running off, water drains through the asphalt. A layer of crushed stone is added under the asphalt to assist with the draining. Porous asphalt also helps save money on leveling and grading. This type of asphalt isn’t the best choice in freeze-thaw climates because expanding ice can rupture the pavement. Porous asphalt costs $8 to $15 per square foot.
Recycled or Reclaimed
Most asphalt driveways contain recycled material. Asphalt is 100 percent recyclable, so it’s very common for older driveways and roads to be reused in newer applications. This keeps costs down compared to using newer materials. Homeowners are advised to ask the contractor what percentage of material is recycled; it’s also helpful to know that it’s typically possible to request more recycled material. A recycled asphalt driveway costs between $10 and $20 per ton, compared to $100 to $200 per ton for brand-new asphalt. Using recycled asphalt can save $675 to $2,700 on driveway materials if it’s available in the area. Sometimes an installer can mill the old material onsite, cutting down on transporting supplies to the home.
Stamped or Colored
Stamped asphalt costs $12 to $17 per square foot. If only the topcoat is needed, it runs about $5 to $10 per square foot. Asphalt in a unique shape adds interest to a property, and it should be sealed to keep it in good condition.
While asphalt is traditionally black, it can be colored by adding a pigment to the hot mix. The colors can be matte or more dimensional, depending on the homeowner’s preference. Colored asphalt can be utilized for safety reasons and is also a great way to add a decorative touch. It costs between $12 to $17 per square foot.
Do I need a new asphalt driveway?
A damaged or old driveway can reduce the curb appeal of a home and become a safety issue. The following common signs may signal to a homeowner that it’s time to install a new asphalt driveway.
Cracks, Buckling, Warping, and Crumbling
A cracked asphalt driveway can be made worse with gas, oil, and salt. Superficial cracks can be repaired, but deep cracks are a sign that a driveway likely needs to be replaced. Wavy or warped asphalt can happen due to an insufficient base or heavy vehicle use. Often the area can be leveled with asphalt, but sometimes both the asphalt and base will need to be replaced. Asphalt driveways that are not protected on their edge with concrete gutters or curbs can experience crumbling edges. These edges will need to be removed and replaced.
Over time, sunlight and frequent use can turn asphalt from black to gray. Older pavement is prone to cracking since it becomes brittle as it ages. Strategic repairs and regular seal coating can protect this faded pavement from more extensive damage.
Asphalt is poured on crushed stone or another solid base. If this base erodes, there may be sinkage, especially near other buildings. Sinkage often indicates that downspouts are depositing water too close to the structure, increasing the impact on the pavement below. In addition to asphalt services, repairs to gutters may be necessary.
Most asphalt driveways last up to 20 years. If the driveway is past its prime and showing its age, it’s time for a replacement. To completely resolve asphalt driveway issues, a replacement is the way to go.
Benefits of Installing an Asphalt Driveway
One of many benefits of an asphalt driveway is that it’s cheaper than a concrete driveway. Concrete driveway cost can be $3 to $18 per square foot, and asphalt averages $7 to $13 per square foot. Unless a concrete driveway is constructed from the cheapest possible materials, a concrete driveway will be more expensive. Asphalt expands and contracts easily to accommodate extreme temperature changes. Unlike concrete, it won’t crack in freezing temperatures, and it generally holds up well to salt and snowplows.
Increased Home Value
Adding a new asphalt driveway can increase the curb appeal and boost the resale value of the home.
Fast Installation and Curing Times
An asphalt driveway can usually be installed in a few days, depending on the size of the project. Concrete can take twice as long to lay and set. Depending on the time of year, asphalt driveways can be used in about 2 days after completion, whereas it’ll be up to a week before it’s possible to use a new concrete driveway.
Asphalt is one of the most popular materials used for residential driveways. The pavement is aesthetically pleasing, affordable, durable, and long lasting. Concrete will usually have some surface flaking due to poor installation, an incorrect mixture, or salt used to melt ice and snow. Known as spalling, surface flaking is a problem with many concrete driveways, especially those that were hastily installed. Asphalt is less likely than pavement to crack over time.
Simple and Clean Look
Since streets are asphalt, an asphalt driveway creates a seamless transition from street to home—especially when the driveway apron is also made of asphalt.
Easier Repair and Maintenance
If the asphalt driveway does start to crack, it can be repaired easily and inexpensively. The best asphalt driveway crack fillers needed for repairs are widely available through home improvement retailers. They don’t cost very much, and the application is usually a simple DIY. The cost to repave an asphalt driveway is also less than the cost to replace a driveway. Routine maintenance, including filling cracks, sealing, and sweeping, helps to extend the lifespan of the driveway for years to come.
Ideal Choice for Areas with Low Temperatures
Asphalt handles extreme temperature changes better by expanding and contracting easily. Unlike concrete, it won’t crack in freezing temperatures since it’s pliable and weathers freeze-thaw cycles better than concrete or pavers.
Asphalt Driveway Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
It can be tempting to save money on labor, but it’s worth it for homeowners to consider hiring a professional asphalt installer by searching for “asphalt paving near me.” Homeowners may be able to rent machinery to prepare the soil or remove the old driveway, but this work is difficult. If the driveway is installed incorrectly, it may not last very long. By comparison, a professional can do a stellar job in just a few days. Homeowners will want to keep in mind that installing a DIY asphalt driveway without the necessary experience could end up costing more in the long run. For homeowners who don’t know exactly how to install an asphalt driveway, hiring one of the best driveway paving companies is recommended.
How to Save Money on Asphalt Driveway Cost
The average cost of an asphalt driveway is not insignificant, and the additional costs associated with the installation can quickly add up. One way to save money is to install the driveway with the cheapest options available, but there are other ways to save without compromising on quality. The money-saving tips below can help you save on asphalt driveway costs.
- Get multiple estimates. It’s important to get multiple estimates from professional asphalt paving companies before starting this project. Professionals in your zip code will know the cost of an asphalt paving project, and getting multiple estimates means you can shop around for the best price.
- Remove the old driveway yourself. If you’re handy and capable, rent a jackhammer and remove the old driveway. To stay within budget, this is a part of the process that lends itself to DIY. Ask your contractor to bid out the demolition process to see how much money you can save.
- Research. Interview and talk to more than one contractor. Their experience level with this kind of project can help you choose the right one for your needs.
Questions to Ask About Asphalt Driveway Installation
Asking an asphalt paving professional the right questions can help minimize miscommunication, save money, and get the desired results. There are some important questions homeowners can ask when getting bids for asphalt driveway replacement.
- How long have you been in business?
- Is your company licensed and insured?
- Do you carry workers’ compensation insurance?
- Does your company have unresolved complaints with the Better Business Bureau?
- Can you provide me with references and photos of past work?
- How do you handle unexpected delays?
- Does the project need a permit, and if so, will you obtain it?
- Are there additional costs that are not on the bid?
- How many workers will complete the project? Are they employees or subcontractors?
- How will the sub-base be done?
- What materials will you use?
- How will you protect the yard and the landscaping?
- How will you handle cleanup after the project is complete?
- Do you offer any warranties or guarantees on your work?
Deciding on an asphalt driveway and keeping the overall asphalt driveway cost down can be a daunting process. What follows are some frequently asked questions about asphalt driveway cost to help guide homeowners.
Q. Which is cheaper: a concrete or asphalt driveway?
Many homeowners look into the differences between concrete vs. asphalt driveways—specifically regarding cost. Paving with asphalt is generally the more budget-friendly option. Concrete driveways cost $3 to $18 per square foot, and asphalt runs $7 to $13 per square foot. Unless you buy the cheapest concrete materials, a concrete driveway will be much more expensive.
Q. Is 2 inches of asphalt enough for a driveway?
It’s recommended to have at least 2 inches of asphalt for a driveway, and the majority of homes have 2 to 6 inches.
Q. How long does an asphalt driveway last?
An asphalt driveway can last up to 25 to 30 years with proper maintenance. Asphalt driveways in mild climates can last longer.