How Much Does an Asphalt Driveway Cost?
Thinking about installing a new asphalt driveway? The typical range for the cost of an asphalt driveway is $2,932 to $6,568, with a national average of $4,737.
- Typical Range: $2,932 to $6,568
- National Average: $4,737
Paving an asphalt driveway costs $4,737 on average, with a range between $2,932 and $6,568. This project runs $7 to $13 per square foot, including $2 to $6 per square foot for materials and $5 to $7 per square foot for labor. If replacing asphalt, it will cost $8 to $15 per square foot. Asphalt driveways are common in temperate and continental climates. 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. 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
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, or a sidewalk are extra costs. The national average for an asphalt driveway runs $4,737 but the overall cost can vary due to geographical location, the size of the area, labor, and asphalt type.
Calculating asphalt driveway cost is affected by the location on the property, geographical location, and the amount of excavation and grading needed.
Location on the Property
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, you may need a longer driveway, and that can drive up costs.
Asphalt driveway paving costs can vary due to geographical location. Overall price will depend on fuel costs and local cost of living.
Paving a driveway costs from $4,200 to $7,800. 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. One ton can cover about 40 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 7.5 to 15 tons. Asphalt costs $80 to $100 per cubic yard, and one ton equals 1.25 to 2 cubic yards, depending on the overall density of the material. Most prices are determined by the ton, and some are calculated based on cubic yards.
Labor costs from $5 to $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.
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 only used for temporary repairs. 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.
Additional Costs and Considerations
When budgeting for asphalt driveway costs, there are usually additional price factors and considerations. 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 costs can include surface preparation, installation of a heated or widened driveway, gate installation, sealing, and maintenance.
To get the area ready to be paved, your contractor may also need to excavate the area by clearing trees and bushes. Preparing the property for a new driveway before the paver comes in can cost between a few hundred dollars and a few thousand.
Excavation and Grading
Excavating land can cost between $1,500 to $5,100, depending on the number of cubic feet that needs to be moved. Grading, or leveling the area to make your driveway smooth and well-drained, costs between $5 and $10 per square foot for professional graders, but steep driveways may cost more.
A heated driveway usually costs $12 to $25 per square foot, depending on whether it’s new or a replacement. For the average home, the cost will be between $7,200 to $15,000.
The price to widen a driveway is often close to installing a new one, or about $7 to $13 per square foot. Widening a driveway still involves potential tree or stump removal, grading, installing a base, and paving.
Consider protecting your new driveway 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 electric gate installation is around $7,000.
Sealing and Maintenance
Asphalt sealing typically costs $3 to $7 per square foot. This top coat costs less because it’s a thin layer on top of an existing surface. Asphalt sealant costs about $500 and should be done at least 6 months after the top coat. It provides a layer of protection to avoid cracking and environmental damage. An asphalt driveway requires regular maintenance, and sealing is recommended every 3 to 5 years. Any cracks or fissures should be patched up and remedied immediately.
Asphalt Driveway Cost: Types 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.
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 material. Consider asking your contractor what percentage of material is recycled, and know that you can request more recycled material. Recycled asphalt costs between $10 to $20 per ton, compared to $100 to $200 per ton for brand-new asphalt. Using recycled asphalt can save you $675 to $1,350 on driveway materials if it’s available in your area. Sometimes an installer can mill the old material onsite, cutting down on transporting supplies to your home.
If you 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.
Cold Mix vs. Hot Mix Asphalt
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 preference and needs. It costs between $100 to $200 per ton. 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.
Stamped asphalt costs $12 to $17 per square foot. If you need only the top coat, it runs about $5 to $10 per square foot. Asphalt in a unique shape adds interest to your 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 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.
Asphalt Driveway Cost: Do I Need a New Asphalt Driveway?
A damaged or old driveway can reduce the curb appeal of your home and become a safety issue. Here are some signs that you need 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 because of 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 your 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, the gutters may need repair.
Most asphalt driveways last up to 20 years. If your 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.
Asphalt Driveway Cost: Benefits of a New 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 you buy the cheapest concrete 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 Resale Value
Adding a new asphalt driveway can increase the curb appeal and boost the resale value of your 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, and you’ll need to wait up to a week 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 from 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.
Easier Repair and Maintenance
If your asphalt driveway does start to crack, you can repair it easily and inexpensively. The crack sealant products needed for repairs are widely available through home improvement retailers. They don’t cost very much and can easily be applied on your own. Routine maintenance, including filling cracks, sealing, and sweeping, help to extend the lifespan of your 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 Cost: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
It can be tempting to save money on labor, but you may want to consider hiring a professional asphalt installer by searching for “asphalt paving near me.” You may be able to rent machinery to prepare the soil or remove the old driveway, but this work is difficult. If you install the asphalt driveway incorrectly, it may not last very long. By comparison, a professional can do a stellar job in just a few days. Keep in mind that trying to DIY a project you’re not skilled at could end up costing more in the long run. Unless you know exactly how to install an asphalt driveway, hiring a professional is recommended.
How to Save Money on Asphalt Driveway Cost
Installing an asphalt driveway can be expensive, 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 money without compromising on quality. Here are a few money-saving tips to 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 the Cost of an Asphalt Driveway
Asking an asphalt paving professional the right questions can help minimize miscommunication, save money, and get the desired results. Here are some questions to ask when you are getting bids for asphalt driveway replacement.
- How long have you been in business?
- Are there additional costs that are not on the bid?
- How will the sub-base be done?
- What materials will you use?
- How will you protect the yard and the landscaping?
- Does your company have unresolved complaints with the Better Business Bureau?
- Can you provide me with references?
- Is your company licensed and insured?
Deciding on an asphalt driveway and keeping the overall asphalt driveway cost down can be a daunting process. Here are some frequently asked questions about asphalt driveway cost to help guide you in your decision.
Q. Which is cheaper: a concrete or asphalt driveway?
Paving with asphalt is a 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 15 to 20 years with proper maintenance. Asphalt driveways in mild climates can last longer.