How Much Does a Blacktop Driveway Cost to Install?

A blacktop driveway offers multiple benefits, making it a popular parking surface choice for homeowners. The national average blacktop driveway cost is $4,854, which falls within a range of $3,109 to $7,082.

By Rochel Maday | Updated Aug 31, 2022 5:17 PM

Blacktop Driveway Cost

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  • Typical Range: $3,109 to $7,082
  • National Average: $4,854

Homeowners have several options when it comes to driveway materials. However, blacktop is an ideal surface material for less trafficked areas, like driveways and parking lots. A type of asphalt, blacktop can be installed over compacted soil, aggregate bases, concrete, or stone.

A blacktop driveway offers many benefits over other types of driveways, including those made of gravel and concrete parking slabs. Blacktop is easy to maintain, affordable, and offers a timeless look to all types of home styles, making it a popular choice for homeowners.

But how much does it cost to install a blacktop driveway? According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, the national average is $4,854, but multiple factors give this home improvement job a cost range between $3,109 and $7,082.

When it comes to determining the total blacktop driveway cost, homeowners need to consider driveway size, its gradient, and whether there are customizations to add to the project. This guide offers homeowners information on how to estimate the total cost of a blacktop driveway installation using just a few measurements and a calculator while also offering helpful maintenance and money-saving tips.

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Factors in Calculating Blacktop Driveway Cost

A new blacktop driveway can transform a dusty, uneven surface into a smooth, polished finish in as little as 1 day. This simple change can boost a home’s curb appeal, increase the home’s overall value, and make it easier to keep the driveway area free of debris, including leaves, snow, and ice. But how much does it cost to pave a driveway using blacktop? Trying to estimate a blacktop driveway installation cost will depend on several factors, including the following.

Blacktop Driveway Cost

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Driveway Size

For homeowners who are using an asphalt driveway cost calculator to come up with an initial estimate, square footage is typically the main determining factor. As may be expected, a larger driveway will cost more to pave than a smaller space. On average, blacktop driveway installation costs between $7 and $13 per square foot for both materials and installation. A typical driveway measures approximately 600 square feet. Paving a space this size will likely fall within a range of $4,200 and $7,800.

If a driveway is being replaced, it’s simple to estimate the cost to pave a driveway based on square footage. Those wondering how much it costs to pave a driveway for the first time will find it helpful to understand how to estimate the size of driveway needed based on family size and vehicle needs.

For example, a single-car driveway measures between 9 and 12 feet wide. A driveway that can accommodate two cars side by side needs to measure at least 16 feet wide but can also be as wide as 24 feet.

In addition, the current layout of the home should be considered. Does the driveway need to go from the street to the garage, or does it need to wind to the side of the house? A driveway that needs to expand either in width or length is sure to increase in cost as well.

Driveway Gradient

The driveway gradient refers to the slope of the driveway. Generally speaking, driveways with steep gradients will cost more to pave than flat driveways.

This is because the entire process becomes a bit more difficult when gravity is fighting back. Whether it calls for different machinery or additional crew members, a driveway with a steep gradient will require more work and effort to ensure the job is done correctly and safely.

Homeowners should keep in mind that a driveway grade should never be greater than 20 percent. Ideally, driveways should have less than a 15 percent grade, which means it doesn’t rise more than 15 feet over a span of 100 feet.

Driveway Accessibility

A typical driveway sitting in front of a suburban home in a neighborhood with wide streets doesn’t often equate to a difficult installation. It’s easy for a contractor to transport materials and crew to an accessible jobsite.

However, when a driveway is being installed in a location that’s difficult to reach by vehicle, either during new construction or when a home is nearly off-grid, a contractor may need to charge more for a driveway installation. Fuel costs can be an issue if the jobsite is farther away from suburbia, while some homes, like those deep in the woods or built in the foothills of a steep mountain, can make delivery of materials a more complicated process.

When a driveway isn’t a straightforward job and a contractor needs to get a bit more creative about either reaching the site, delivering materials to it, or making sure their crew is safe during the installation process, costs will almost certainly go up.

Blacktop Depth

The final cost of a blacktop driveway is heavily influenced by the depth of the top layer. In general, the thicker the top layer of blacktop, the stronger the driveway will be. This additional durability comes at a price, though.

The good news is that most homes can get away with a thin asphalt layer; a 2-inch depth is usually enough for most home driveways. For home driveways that need to accommodate multiple vehicles or support heavy items like boats or campers, a thicker depth of 4 inches is often recommended.

A driveway measuring 640 square feet with an asphalt depth of 2 inches typically costs between $740 and $1,200, while a driveway of the same size with an asphalt depth of 4 inches costs between $1,480 and $2,400.

Blacktop Type and Grade

There are multiple different types of blacktop to choose from when it comes to driveway materials. As one may imagine, they all impact the final cost of asphalt driveway installation.

Hot mix is a popular material choice and costs between $100 and $200 per ton. The average driveway needs between 7.5 and 15 tons of blacktop to get the job done. Recycled blacktop is much more affordable, coming in at $10 to $20 per ton.

Porous asphalt is another option, costing between $8 and $15 per square foot. Finally, stamped or colored asphalt runs between $12 and $17 per square foot.

Blacktop driveways come in various grades designed for a base level or a top level. Grades offer different compositions that create a unique combination of features that make them ideal for either residential or commercial surfaces. Pricing varies for each grade, making this another important factor when estimating total driveway installation costs.

Base I-2 is a rough asphalt ideal for the bottom coat of a blacktop driveway. This grade costs between $1 and $2 per square foot. Top I-5 grade asphalt contains more sand, and it provides a smoother and more attractive appearance. It’s used as a top coat and costs between $1 and $4 per square foot.

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Finish Type

Most blacktop driveways take about 6 months to cure completely. After this initial time frame, it’s recommended that a driveway be sealed to prevent cracking or shifting. When determining an asphalt driveway cost for sealing, homeowners should know that the average finishing price is about $1.44 per square foot. Sealing should be done every 2 to 5 years, depending on the local climate and how much use the driveway sees.

Homeowners who are using a “cost to pave driveway” calculator will need to be aware that this isn’t an initial cost to plug in. But when planning a driveway, it’s important to keep in mind that maintenance fees can add up over the years; this can prevent surprise budget busters down the line.

Labor

It can be difficult to estimate labor costs when it comes to blacktop driveway installation since they can vary greatly by geographic location, company, and even job. Labor costs tend to be higher for difficult-to-reach locations or driveways with curves or slopes. They may be lower for more straightforward installations or replacements.

Some estimates put labor between $5 and $7 per square foot on average. Other estimates put labor costs between $40 and $55 an hour. Generally, contractors will include the price of labor in the total blacktop driveway cost estimate.

Geographic Location

The geographic location of a driveway installation can affect the total cost in a couple of ways. First, local cost of living and fuel costs directly influence the amount a contractor will charge for their services. This varies greatly throughout different parts of the country.

For example, the average price range for a blacktop driveway installation in California is between $5,050 and $13,500. In Florida, the price range is more affordable, with the cost coming in at $2,050 to $5,400. New Jersey homeowners can expect to pay between $2,900 and $6,550, while those in Texas are typically looking at an installation cost between $4,200 and $10,250.

Homeowners will also want to note whether a blacktop driveway is recommended in their area. Asphalt holds up better than concrete in geographic locations that often reach freezing temperatures during the colder months. But in areas of the country where heat waves are common, blacktop may not be the best driveway choice as excessive heat can warp the surface. This may not affect the installation cost, but a driveway installed in a hotter climate may need to be repaired more often or replaced sooner, adding to maintenance costs and potentially lowering the value of the investment.

Blacktop Driveway Cost

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Additional Costs and Considerations

Besides square footage, labor, and other common cost factors, there are a few other potential costs homeowners should consider when estimating driveway installation cost. Not all of the following factors may apply, but the costs for those that do should be explored before a project begins to make sure it stays on budget.

Existing Driveway Removal

While cracks and potholes can sometimes be repaired in an existing driveway, a replacement is sometimes necessary. In other scenarios, a homeowner may want to upgrade an existing driveway to blacktop. In either situation, the existing driveway will need to be removed.

Removing an existing average-size concrete or asphalt driveway costs around $825. When trying to estimate a removal cost, homeowners can calculate their costs for both the removal and replacement based on square footage. A full removal and installation costs between $8 and $15 per square foot.

Excavating and Grading

If a driveway is being placed for the first time, there are several variables that will almost certainly tack additional costs onto the overall installation estimate.

First, if the desired area has any sort of vegetation or trees, they will need to be removed. The cost to remove both a tree and its stump is around $650. If there’s more than one tree or a small forest of bushes, a homeowner can expect to pay between $1,500 and $5,600 for a complete excavation.

After excavation, grading and leveling can raise the final price tag a bit more. But this is a step that can’t be skipped. Properly leveling an area for a blacktop driveway costs between $5 and $10 per square foot.

If the proposed driveway area is steep or difficult to reach, it’s likely that a quote will fall on the higher end for excavating and grading.

Driveway Sealing

Installing a driveway can be a costly home improvement endeavor. That’s why it only makes sense that a homeowner should do everything in their power to protect their investment.

Applying sealant to a blacktop driveway on a regular basis can protect it from water and sunlight, and it can even prevent air from permeating the asphalt. Sealing a driveway also helps to repel oil leaks and spills, making it easier to prevent stains and structural damage.

Sealing should be completed about 6 months after the initial installation. Driveway sealing costs between $3 and $7 per square foot and needs to be completed every 2 to 5 years.

Customization

Laying a driveway may seem like a straightforward process, but homeowners can actually add several customizations to their project. Of course, any additional features can increase the overall cost of a blacktop driveway install.

For example, homeowners who want to eliminate winter shoveling from their to-do list can opt for a heated driveway. This involves adding a heating system beneath the blacktop surface that can melt thin layers of snow and ice. But this luxury comes at a price. When it comes to heated driveway cost, homeowners can expect to pay between $12 and $25 per square foot.

Another popular customization option homeowners often consider is stamped asphalt. Stamping can take a traditional asphalt surface and give it the look and texture of brick, stone, or slate. While it’s less expensive than traditional bricks or stone pavers, it does increase the cost of asphalt driveway installation. Homeowners can expect to pay between $10 and $17 per square foot of stamped asphalt.

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Permits

Some municipalities may require the purchase and display of a permit before a driveway installation can start. Homeowners can contact their county, city, or township government to see what the requirements are. It also helps to work with a contractor who not only understands the local requirements but also handles permit requirements on their own. Either way, a permit can add on $50 to $200 to the total cost of a driveway installation.

Blacktop Driveway Cost

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Types of Blacktop Driveways

There are different types of blacktop driveways, each with its own unique advantages. When it comes to choosing between the different material types, homeowners should make sure they understand the composition of each type, the benefits each type offers when it comes to maintenance and longevity, and how the overall budget is affected by different materials.

Hot Mix

Hot-mix asphalt is a combination of sand, gravel, and stone. These materials are held together by asphalt cement and mixed at a high temperature. After it’s laid and compacted, the surface quickly cools and hardens to a smooth finish.

This type of asphalt is the most durable grade of paving asphalt. This is why it’s often used for high-traffic roads and highways. It also cools fast enough that traffic can start utilizing the newly paved space only a few hours after it was poured. But it’s also a popular and affordable option for homeowners looking to pave their driveway with a durable material.

Hot-mix blacktop driveways have an average cost between $100 and $200 per ton. A ton of hot mix can cover between 40 and 80 square feet of driveway, depending on blacktop depth, and the average driveway will require between 7½ and 15 tons in total.

Recycled

Recycled asphalt is a reprocessed driveway material that contains asphalt and aggregates. When blacktop surfaces are removed during reconstruction or resurfacing, they can be broken down and reused in future paving projects. The recycled material is layered over the surface, hand tamped, and then steam-rolled to further compress and heat the material, letting it melt together and set.

Recycled blacktop needs to cure for at least 24 hours; once dry, however, it is essentially as strong and durable as a new blacktop installation. Homeowners often consider a recycled blacktop install because of the benefits it offers, including financial savings, improved environmental impact, and natural resource conservation.

A recycled asphalt driveway costs between $10 and $20 per ton, which makes it an affordable choice when compared to hot-mix asphalt. Homeowners may be able to save between $675 and $2,700 on materials by going with recycled asphalt instead of new asphalt.

Porous

Porous asphalt has minute spaces for liquid or air to pass through. This allows water to drain through the asphalt into the stone bed below, making it a more natural approach to driveway construction. Where conventional asphalt has a void space between 2 and 3 percent, porous asphalt boasts a void space of 16 percent. This helps return water naturally to the ground and helps to manage a home’s stormwater runoff and drainage challenges. Porous blacktop driveways are great for homeowners looking to save money on leveling and grading. However, an extra layer of crushed stone is needed for better drainage beneath the blacktop.

On average, a porous asphalt driveway costs between $8 and $15 per square foot. Homeowners should note that porous blacktop has a lower load-bearing capacity than other types; however, this typically isn’t an issue as driveways aren’t usually high-traffic or high-speed areas. Homeowners who choose a porous blacktop driveway should also make sure they understand the unique maintenance requirements, including preventing clogs.

Colored

Homeowners looking for a custom, high-end driveway will want to give some consideration to colored asphalt. Asphalt is typically black in color, thanks to an additive called bitumen. This gives the material its dark, black hue. But asphalt can be made with other colors by simply adding pigment during the mixing process.

There are many reasons a homeowner may want to alter the color of their asphalt driveway. First, lighter colors can help lower the surface temperature of the asphalt. This makes it safer for both people and pets to walk and play on the surface. Depending on the design chosen, colored asphalt can make a driveway look cleaner and brighter. If black asphalt has already been laid on a driveway, there are coating systems homeowners can consider if they want the same benefits without a complete overhaul of their existing driveway.

A colored driveway can be costly, falling within a range of $12 to $17 per square foot. But this blacktop type can increase curb appeal and, if the design appeals to the majority of home buyers, raise the value of a home on the market as well.

Cold Mix

Cold-mix asphalt is not designed for use when laying an entire driveway, but it can be used to patch existing driveways that can be fixed rather than replaced. Cold mix is designed only for temporary repairs as it’s not as durable as other types of blacktop. Typically, driveway repairs made with cold-mix asphalt will last between one and two seasons. Cold mix costs between $10 and $50 per bag.

Blacktop Driveway Cost

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Do I Need a New Blacktop Driveway?

Whether there are potholes, cracks, or other hazards popping up, there are plenty of signs that signal it’s time for a new blacktop driveway. Listed below are some of the most common issues homeowners may come across that suggest a new driveway is necessary.

Alligator Cracks

Alligator cracking is also known as fatigue cracking. It’s one of the most common signs of asphalt deterioration. This type of cracking is easy to spot, resembling the scales on an alligator’s back. Another description of fatigue cracking is the appearance of what looks like a hard-boiled egg’s shell after it’s been smashed against a hard surface.

Alligator cracks can sometimes be repaired. But it’s also common for a full replacement to be necessary. This is because alligator cracks tend to signal a deteriorating foundation. Once the foundation has been compromised, it’s rare that a simple repair will be enough to rectify the situation.

Without experience, it can be difficult for a homeowner to tell whether an alligator crack calls for a full replacement or just a repair. If the problem is isolated or in just one small area of the driveway, it’s more likely that a quick and affordable repair can take care of the issue. But if the cracks are throughout the majority of the driveway, a more expensive replacement is the more likely route a professional will recommend.

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Buckling and Warping

It’s rare for driveways to be completely level. They’re typically pitched or sloped so that water drains away from the pavement and doesn’t pool. So when an asphalt driveway looks like it’s buckled in certain areas or warping at certain angles, it’s a sign that something significant is going on beneath the surface.

Warping can be caused by the continuous pressure from vehicles driving up and down the driveway. Warping can be especially common if heavier vehicles, like an RV or trailer, are left parked in the same spot for long periods of time. Buckling can be caused by frost heave, especially if the buckling is first noticed during the spring. In both scenarios, it’s a good idea to have a contractor inspect the driveway. Buckling can be difficult to repair, but warping can sometimes be leveled up.

Crumbling

A deteriorating asphalt driveway can quickly crumble if left untreated. This is the nature of the material. Too much water can wash away soil supporting the edges of a blacktop driveway, allowing bits to crumble off. If moisture is an issue on the surface of a driveway, continuous freeze-thaw cycles can cause the surface to crack and eventually crumble.

Small areas of crumbling can usually be cleaned up and repaired. But when large sections of a blacktop driveway are beginning to break down, it’s unlikely that a repair can do more than act as a cosmetic bandage. A homeowner will want to call out a contractor as soon as crumbling is noticed to prevent further damage.

Potholes

Potholes are caused by the expansion and contraction of water that seeps into the ground beneath the driveway. The fluctuation in the amount of space the water takes up weakens the asphalt and when weight passes overhead, such as when a car is pulling in or out of the driveway, it can begin to crumble.

A small pothole can sometimes be repaired, or at least held at the same size. But when left unaddressed, a small pothole will certainly grow into a larger pothole that can’t be ignored over time.

As one might expect, a larger pothole tends to be more expensive to repair than a small pothole. A driveway with one large pothole, or even multiple smaller potholes, may need to be replaced entirely. A repair, while cheaper initially, will only put off the inevitable for so long. If multiple potholes are present or the same potholes keep popping up after being repaired, replacing the driveway at a contractor’s suggestion could save the homeowner money in the long run.

Poor Drainage

Pools of water can be a serious sign of bigger problems to come for an asphalt driveway. As water collects on the surface, it can begin to penetrate the top layer of material. As the water works its way down to the base of the driveway, it can slowly damage large areas. Once the damage spreads far enough, repair is out of the question. Instead, a full removal and replacement of the driveway will be needed.

One of the best ways to maintain a blacktop driveway is to routinely check for standing water after storms and/or when snow or ice is melting. If standing water is continuously found, having a contractor out to evaluate the condition of the driveway and make recommendations on improving drainage as soon as possible is recommended.

Fading or Staining

Fading or staining on a blacktop driveway are more than just a cosmetic issue. Besides their unsightly appearance, stains from substances like motor oil can compromise the integrity of asphalt. To avoid long-term structural damage, spills and stains should be tended to as soon as possible.

When it comes to fading, this is usually a sign of UV damage. The sun’s harsh rays aren’t just dangerous for skin; they can also weaken an asphalt driveway. When a deep-black driveway begins to display a grayish hue, homeowners will want to call in a contractor to inspect the driveway for structural issues. If all is in the clear, a simple sealant can help with both appearance and protection. But when a driveway has been stained or has faded without being attended to, structural damage can be too deep to repair and a full replacement may be necessary.

Old Age

A blacktop driveway isn’t immortal. With time, no matter how well it was maintained, the strength and durability of an asphalt driveway will deteriorate. The good news is that with proper care and maintenance, an asphalt driveway can last up to 30 years. If a homeowner is dealing with a driveway older than that, a replacement is likely in the near future. Otherwise, a repair may be able to take care of any cosmetic or structural issues.

However, the lifespan of a blacktop driveway can be shortened by several different variables. For example, an improper installation can spell trouble from the start. If a driveway isn’t properly graded, compacted, or designed, it’s more likely to show its age much sooner. This is why a homeowner will want to put in the legwork to find an experienced and skilled contractor.

Another variable that can affect the lifespan of a driveway is weather. When harsh freeze-thaw cycles occur, cracks can develop. If these cracks are left to spread and deepen, a driveway will almost certainly fail earlier than if these cracks are filled with one of the best asphalt driveway crack fillers. But over time, cracks can start to develop at an impossible pace, signaling a potential replacement.

Blacktop Driveway Cost

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Blacktop Driveway Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional 

Taking a DIY approach to a blacktop driveway installation isn’t impossible, but it’s also not recommended. Homeowners know that when it comes to the numbers, the cost to pave driveway spaces on their own will always be more affordable than hiring a pro, costing about $7 per square foot. But there are other variables to consider than just price alone.

For example, the average homeowner will rarely own the tools required for a driveway install. It’s also unlikely that family and friends would have these types of tools to loan, and buying them outright can quickly blow a budget. Jackhammers and steamrollers aren’t cheap to rent, either. The added cost of securing tools can quickly cancel out any labor savings.

There’s also experience to consider. Unless a homeowner makes a living as a driveway installation contractor, it’s unlikely they’ll be able to complete the job with the same level of success. A finished blacktop driveway should be uniform, smooth, and strong. An inexperienced homeowner may end up installing a driveway that’s weak or even dangerous. Furthermore, an improperly laid driveway may easily crack and need to be replaced much sooner than a properly installed parking surface.

Finally, a homeowner should consider their time when weighing the pros and cons of a DIY driveway install. A professional can install a driveway in as little as 1 day. Without experience, it’s unlikely that a homeowner can accomplish the same. It’s also likely that a DIY install would take place over the weekend or other time when relaxation should be the goal, not a home improvement project.

Put simply, hiring a professional will ensure that a blacktop driveway is installed as quickly as possible without compromising quality or safety. Hiring a professional certainly costs more, but the added peace of mind that comes with a proper install stops most homeowners from even considering the DIY route.

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How to Save Money on Blacktop Driveway Cost

A driveway installation is a major investment. While this home improvement project offers plenty of benefits and can almost certainly boost a home’s appearance and market value, it does come with a hefty price tag. Luckily, there are a few things homeowners can do to minimize the initial cost of their blacktop driveway installation and ensure they receive top value for their investment.

  • Get multiple quotes to make sure a driveway paving quote is within the average local range
  • Simplify the design as much as possible, including working in stages for an oversize driveway.
  • If a blacktop driveway is desired as a replacement for the current material, see if blacktop can simply be applied over the other material instead of having to pay for a demo and removal.
  • Organize a neighborhood driveway installation day, where two or more neighbors sign up for services under the same contractor; many professionals are willing to offer a lower installation cost for the convenience of multiple jobs right next door to each other.
  • After the install, commit to proper maintenance. Check for cracks regularly, fill them as quickly as possible, prevent gasoline and oil spills, and pay for the cost of driveway pressure washing.
Blacktop Driveway Cost

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Questions to Ask About Blacktop Driveway Installation

When a homeowner decides to have a blacktop driveway installed, it typically requires some time to weigh the pros and cons, consider the budget, and determine if the benefits are worth the investment. To help homeowners reach that decision faster and with more confidence, here is a list of questions to ask a contractor before, during, and after a blacktop driveway install.

  • Do you offer free estimates?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • Do you carry workers’ comp insurance?
  • What is included in the job scope of an estimate?
  • If other contractors are needed, do you have a team you work with or do I need to hire another professional on my own?
  • Can you explain your approach to compacting the subgrade and base?
  • How thick do you lay the blacktop?
  • Are there any additional steps you take to minimize cracking?
  • Do you require a down payment?
  • Do you offer payment plans?
  • How long will the job take?
  • How long after the installation until I’m allowed to walk or drive on the driveway?
  • How do I maintain the driveway after installation?
  • What happens if I notice a crack or other issue soon after installation?
  • How can I tell the difference between a cosmetic crack and a structural one?
  • Do you offer any warranties or guarantees?
  • How long can I expect a blacktop driveway to last?
  • Do you have references I can speak to or a portfolio showcasing past work?
  • How are your employees trained?
  • If my property is damaged during the installation, do you have insurance to cover it?
  • Will upgrading my driveway to blacktop increase the value of my home?

FAQs

Installing a blacktop driveway can boost a home’s curb appeal and value. It can also make maintenance easier for homeowners, as it eliminates weed growth and makes removing slippery ice and snow easier. With the average blacktop driveway cost nearing $5,000, it’s not a project to jump into unprepared. Here are a few questions and answers for homeowners still in the research phase of installing a blacktop driveway.

Q. What is the cheapest surface for a driveway?

Gravel is the cheapest surface for a driveway. There are many different types of gravel driveways, but some common and affordable options include crushed concrete, crusher run, recycled asphalt, slate chips, and crushed shells. On average, a gravel driveway costs $1,500. With proper maintenance, a gravel driveway can last for decades, making it a much more affordable option compared to a blacktop driveway.

Q. How can I save money on blacktop driveway installation?

The best way to save money on home projects is to take them on without the assistance of a contractor. Taking a DIY approach to a driveway install, however, is nearly impossible. If saving money is a concern, reaching out to multiple contractors is one way to make sure the best price is on the table. Opting to have the install completed during the slow season or asking for a neighborhood discount can also save homeowners money. When it comes to oversize driveways, pave in portions to improve the appearance and functionality of the space without breaking the bank.

Q. Is blacktop cheaper than concrete?

Each driveway is unique, so it’s difficult to say that one material type will always be less expensive than another as there are always influencing factors to consider. However, the initial blacktop driveway cost is typically cheaper than the initial concrete driveway cost, although blacktop generally requires more maintenance over time than concrete.

Q. Can you install asphalt over concrete?

If an asphalt driveway is preferred where a concrete driveway has already been laid, a homeowner may think the switch isn’t possible without hauling in heavy and expensive equipment to remove the concrete. The good news is that asphalt can be installed over concrete, as long as elevations allow for it.

Q. How thick should the blacktop be on a driveway?

A thick surface makes the driveway stable and strong. When a driveway is considered full-depth, water can’t enter the pavement where it can swell during freezing temperatures and weaken the blacktop. Every contractor has a different preference based on their experience and the geographic location of the install, but paved asphalt should measure between 4 and 6 inches. Some contractors may go as deep as 8 inches or as shallow as 2 inches. But generally speaking, the thicker the blacktop portion of a driveway, the better it will hold up against the local climate and daily use.

Q. How do I make my concrete driveway look like asphalt?

One option is to add asphalt over a concrete driveway. This is a more affordable avenue to getting the look and features of an asphalt driveway without any demo work. But for an even faster and cheaper approach, a dark sealant can be applied to a concrete driveway. Not only will this give the smooth and dark appearance of asphalt, but it will help to seal the surface, including any existing cracks, and extend the overall lifespan of the driveway.

Sources: Angi, HomeAdvisor, Fixr, Thumbtack, Lawnstarter

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