How Much Does It Cost to Pave a Driveway?
A cracked and broken driveway can be a hazard, but how much does it cost to pave a driveway to make it fresh and new? The typical cost ranges from $2,500 to $7,028, with an average of $4,611.
- The typical range for driveway paving costs is $2,500 to $7,028, with a national average of $4,611.
- The most significant factors affecting driveway paving costs are the driveway size, layout, and thickness; the material type; labor; permits; geographic location; and accessibility.
- Some signs that a homeowner needs to consider driveway paving are cracks, potholes, warping, drainage issues, old age, and crumbling edges.
- Driveway paving requires large industrial equipment and extensive expertise. For this reason, most homeowners will find it worthwhile to hire one of the best driveway paving companies rather than figuring out how to pave a driveway themselves.
Though it may seem insignificant, a great driveway completely enhances the appearance of a house and garage. Driveways are functional and practical, but there are also some beautiful and popular driveway options designed to complement a home’s exterior. When homeowners are considering the cost, it’s important for them to review factors such as the total size, material choice, and site preparation. Concrete is a common choice, but homeowners may also want to look into asphalt, gravel, pavers, and rubber for driveway paving materials. The material choice will also depend on the climate, since some materials are better suited for hot or cold temperatures.
But just how much does it cost to pave a driveway? According to Angi and HomeAdvisor, homeowners can expect to pay between $2,500 and $7,028, with the national average cost to pave a driveway being $4,611. Materials and installation usually cost $2 to $15 per square foot, but the labor costs from a reputable company are worth it to make sure the driveway lasts for years to come.
Factors in Calculating the Cost to Pave a Driveway
The average price per square foot to pave a driveway is $2 to $15, but paving a driveway involves a few essential elements that apply to most situations. To calculate how much it will cost to pave a driveway, homeowners will first need to decide on the type of material they prefer, then determine the total area that needs to be paved. Labor costs and geographic location will also affect the price.
Driveway Size, Layout, and Thickness
The shape of the driveway can also influence how much it costs to pave a driveway. Standard rectangular driveways cost less, but extensive driveways with circular edges will cost more. For instance, standard-size circular driveways cost 10 percent to 30 percent more because they require extra labor and materials. A thicker driveway will also drive material costs higher, but the standard 3- to 4-inch-thick driveway should be sufficient in most cases.
Homeowners aren’t limited to concrete or asphalt driveways, though they are the most common choices. Those who have stylish homes may prefer to pave a driveway with materials that match their exterior, and green-space lovers may choose a grass paver alternative. The material choice will significantly influence the total price to pave a driveway. Gravel tends to be cheaper, and stone pavers typically cost more. Homeowners will first need to determine the budget, then consider the options that meet their needs and preferences. Whichever they choose, materials will make up about 50 percent of the total project cost.
Labor also drives the cost of driveway paving, since it’s a labor-intensive process. The labor cost to pave a concrete driveway could run $2 to $3 per square foot. Asphalt driveways cost about $5 to $7 per square foot. A driveway that has curves or is circular will cost more to complete, so labor costs will also increase. Labor accounts for up to 50 percent of the cost of most driveway installations. Still, it’s worth the price to have experienced laborers carefully pave a durable driveway that will be used countless times.
Local authorities may have regulations in place about paving driveways, so it’s best for homeowners to check before beginning. Permits typically cost $50 to $200 depending on location, but the fee could be waived if the subdivision already has a paved apron skirt leading to a public street. Homeowners can call their municipal building division or talk with a local contractor to learn the most current information for their city.
The cost of living affects labor and material costs nationwide. Some areas may have much lower labor rates, while more urban areas may experience higher rates. The national average of $4,611 is a typical baseline for homeowners to use in estimating driveway paving costs.
Suburban cities are typically planned to make neighborhoods neat and orderly. In some areas, houses aren’t built at the same distance from the street as every other house, and terrain can vary from one place to the next. Ensuring the garage is accessible between the street and the house is crucial and can cost extra if the preparation process is complicated. Laying concrete or asphalt on a slope may also cost more to make sure the driveway retains the proper angle.
Additional Costs and Considerations
Every construction project has its own unique challenges that affect the time and cost to complete it. Beyond the usual factors that influence how much it costs to pave a driveway, several other factors could apply to the situation, like site preparation, sealing, and drainage (not to mention add-ons like lighting or the best driveway alarms). Knowing about these other factors will help clarify the budgeting process for homeowners.
Grading and Site Preparation
Preparing the ground for a driveway is one of the most critical steps to building a quality paver driveway and averages between $5 and $8 per square foot. If the site needs significant grading, heavy equipment will remove rocks and add topsoil before tamping it down. Trees and plants will need to be removed as well, which could require special equipment or subcontractors. The driveway installers will level the ground or work with an existing slope to drain water properly.
Demolition and Removal
If the driveway needs to be removed and replaced rather than simply paved over, there will be an additional cost for demolition and disposal of the old materials. This process also typically includes grading the ground for the new driveway. An old concrete driveway costs $250 to $3,000 to remove, while removing an asphalt driveway costs $1,000 to $3,000.
The driveway apron is the transitional surface between the curb and the driveway itself. This part of the driveway gets a lot of wear and tear and may need to be replaced or touched up more frequently. It costs about $3 to $10 per square foot to add an apron to a driveway. Because it can interfere with the street and sidewalk, it’s a good idea for homeowners to look into any city regulations or requirements before starting construction.
Depending on the material of a driveway, it can be sealed periodically to lengthen its lifespan. Asphalt is a prime candidate for this process. Driveway sealing costs $0.68 to $2.10 per square foot and keeps it looking fresh despite the harsh rays of the sun. Asphalt paving in hotter climates may require sealing each year, but every 3 to 5 years is the general recommendation. It may be wise for homeowners also to factor the cost to pressure wash the driveway into this service, as it may be required before sealant is applied.
Though most materials are porous to some extent, rainfall needs to have a place to flow to prevent pooling around the foundation or in the middle of the driveway, where it could damage the surface over time. Driveways with slopes or angles need to be carefully sloped to force water to flow in the preferred direction. Large driveways or regions with more rain may need drains installed strategically to ensure that water runs off properly. It costs about $1,500 to $5,000 to install a culvert, or drainage pipe, in the driveway.
Widening and Extension
Homeowners who are expanding their garage or who just need some additional parking can widen their existing driveway at approximately the same cost per square foot ($2 to $15) as for building a new driveway. The condition of the ground and the chosen materials will affect the price point. Adding another 200 square feet might cost only $400, but laying a new section of paver driveway could cost $3,000. If any permits are required, these can cost $50 to $500.
Cost to Pave a Driveway by Type of Material
While many driveways are made of concrete, asphalt and gravel are other popular choices. Paving stones and rubber might appeal to some homeowners, too. Some material types are better suited for certain climates, so homeowners will want to consult with a pro to ensure the new driveway investment will meet their budget, style, and needs. Below are some driveway material options and their per-square-foot cost.
|Driveway Material||Cost per Square Foot (Material Only)|
|Asphalt or blacktop||$7 to $13|
|Chip seal||$5 to $10|
|Concrete||$8 to $18|
|Exposed aggregate||$3 to $7|
|Grass||$10 to $15|
|Gravel||$1 to $2|
|Heated||$12 to $25|
|Pavers||$10 to $50|
|Rubber||$10 to $25|
Asphalt or Blacktop
Many homeowners prefer asphalt due to its ability to handle extreme temperatures better than concrete. Asphalt driveways will need to be sealed every 3 to 5 years to keep them fresh and to prevent cracks from widening. Homeowners can also keep some of the best asphalt driveway crack filler on hand in between repaving services to keep cracks from spreading. Asphalt is easier and cheaper to repair than concrete, though asphalt lasts only 15 to 20 years. An asphalt or blacktop driveway costs $7 to $13 per square foot, or $3,000 to $6,600 on average. Those who prefer the durability of an asphalt driveway but wish there were more decorative options than plain black can ask their contractor about stamping or coloring asphalt.
A chip seal driveway is a unique option to get the rugged appearance of gravel with the durability of asphalt—and at a lower cost. A driveway installation pro will mix together hot asphalt with crushed rocks to create a smooth yet gravel-like surface. Chip seal, or tar-and-chip, driveways usually last only about 10 years, but at $5 to $10 per square foot or $700 to $3,100 total, the up-front costs are lower than the cost of an asphalt driveway.
Laying a concrete driveway doesn’t have to be a boring option now that concrete comes in various colors. Homeowners can choose to create a design or border with colored concrete or stamp designs into the concrete, though these options will increase the cost of a concrete driveway. Concrete can crack in extremely cold temperatures, but it lasts up to 40 years while being relatively low maintenance, which is why it’s so popular. Concrete driveway installation costs $8 to $18 per square foot.
Exposed aggregate is an attractive driveway material made of multicolored pebbles and rocks mixed with concrete. This material has more aesthetic appeal than standard concrete or asphalt and has the added benefit of being less slippery due to the texture of the stones. Homeowners can expect to pay $3 to $7 in material costs for an exposed aggregate driveway.
Homeowners who are interested in grass driveways can choose between solid grass and a decorative concrete paver driveway interspersed with grass sections. Either way, this type of driveway will require a bit of maintenance to keep it looking tidy. Grass driveways cost between $10 and $15 per square foot on average, or a total of $3,000 to $9,000.
It may not be the most glamorous option, but gravel certainly has the lowest material cost. At $1 to $2 per square foot, the average gravel driveway installation costs only $1,500. Homeowners who don’t mind getting their hands dirty could reduce this cost even more by learning how to make a gravel driveway themselves. Rural areas often use gravel to help solidify the ground against rain and snow. Gravel driveways are low maintenance and, with a 100-year lifespan, will outlast most homeowners. For those who want to add additional parking without pouring extra concrete, gravel is a great option.
Heated driveways are relatively pricey at $12 to $25 per square foot or $1,300 to $7,500 total. However, many homeowners who live in cold climates find the cost of heated driveways to be well worth it for the hours saved by not needing to shovel or salt the driveway. Asphalt, chip seal, concrete, and paver driveways can all be heated.
Cobblestones, paving stones, and brick paver driveways are high-end options to elevate a home’s curb appeal. These require more labor and extra preparation to ensure drainage and a smooth surface. The answer to the question “How much is a stone paver driveway?” is complicated, since pavers come in all shapes, sizes, and styles. Homeowners can typically expect to pay between $10 and $50 per square foot, or around $6,000 to $30,000 total. Paver driveways can be customized to match the home’s exterior. If a stone is damaged or shifted by tree roots, it can be individually repaired or replaced. The entire driveway can last for 50 years or more when properly maintained.
For an eco-friendly option, homeowners can consider a rubber driveway, which can be designed in a variety of colors. Recycled rubber is poured on existing concrete or asphalt to create a surface with a slight softness to it, which may save a few skinned knees. Adequate drainage will need to be built into a rubber driveway, since it’s nonporous. A long-lasting, customizable rubber driveway can cost $10 to $25 per square foot, or between $3,000 and $15,000 total.
Do I need to pave my driveway?
Some wear and tear on outdoor surfaces is expected. If there is only one problem area, it could be treated with minimal driveway repair costs. But at some point, an old driveway will probably need to be replaced. Cracks and potholes are the biggest indicators that the driveway has lived past its prime. Other signs include warping, pooling water, and crumbling edges. Homeowners can review these factors to decide if it’s time to replace an old driveway.
Cracks, Potholes, and Warping
Cracks appear when the integrity of the material has been compromised by weather or the weight of vehicles. If left for too long, those cracks can widen into potholes—and might cause homeowners to need a wheel alignment as well as a new driveway. Warping happens on an asphalt driveway when heavy loads rest on the surface for long periods, whether that’s a vehicle or equipment. Severe warping or undulation can affect a car’s suspension system.
If the driveway was properly sloped or leveled when installed but there are noticeable drainage problems like pooling water now, then there’s a problem with how the driveway has shifted over time. Weather, trees, and the movement of the earth can all affect how level a driveway remains over time. Pooling water leads to the formation of cracks and eventually potholes. Homeowners will want to contact a driveway installer to consult on-site about how to handle a drainage problem.
Driveways eventually wear out due to continued use and weather. A concrete driveway usually lasts 40 years before it has a really rough appearance that can be solved from only with a total replacement. Asphalt driveways simply can’t outlast extreme weather conditions forever, since their flexibility ends up becoming their Achilles’ heel. If the driveway has reached its average lifespan, it’s time for the homeowner to consider what kind of driveway to replace it with.
Some asphalt driveways don’t have a concrete barrier around them and leave their edges exposed to nature. In these cases, the asphalt can crumble off in small or large chunks, making a rough appearance that could affect the driveway’s integrity. If a piece of a concrete driveway is damaged and falls off, the exposed concrete will continue to crack and deteriorate. Significant crumbling will take more than simple repairs, so replacement is the best choice in most cases.
Paving a Driveway: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
The fact that labor accounts for 50 percent of the cost of a driveway installation can make almost any homeowner consider DIYing their own driveway paving; however, the difference between paving a driveway and taking on other outdoor DIY projects is that several large and technical pieces of equipment are needed to install a driveway properly. At a minimum, it will be necessary for the homeowner to rent a skid steer, dump truck, roller, plate compactor, wheelbarrow, and other tools (like a concrete mixer or asphalt paver), depending on the material. It gets complicated quickly, so excluding those who are already skilled at laying large areas of concrete, asphalt, or pavers, it’s generally best to leave this job to the pros, who have all the tools and experience to get it done right.
When it comes to paving a driveway, there are a few tasks that homeowners may be able to do themselves. If they are planning to add a small gravel driveway on the side, they may be able to level the ground and pour gravel on their own as long as they have a truck and shovel handy. Otherwise, on larger driveway projects, removing existing landscaping to help prepare the site is a simple DIY. Beyond that, special equipment or even heavy equipment may be required if lots of leveling on rough terrain is needed.
A driveway installation company is well-versed in identifying areas that will need special attention for drainage to help the driveway last longer. They’ll have all the right equipment to get the job done right on schedule, not to mention knowing how to seal a driveway and perform other additional services that may be desired. Installing a driveway is a job that requires more than one person, so homeowners can expect to have a team of people working together to make sure it’s done properly. Homeowners will want to talk with a contractor about the types of driveways that can be installed in their region and that will make a great investment for years to come.
How to Save Money on the Cost to Pave a Driveway
Driveways usually wear out gradually, which means there is plenty of time to get ready to replace it with a new one. Still, spending money on a new driveway is less exciting than going on a vacation, so consider these tips for how to save money on the cost to pave a driveway.
- Choose materials wisely. You’ll want to find an option that is aesthetically appealing but won’t break the bank.
- Go for longevity. Ask a pro which material will last longest in your region.
- Keep it simple. Opt for a basic design rather than including curves, colors, or driveway paver designs.
- Pick a cheaper paver. If pavers are a must, consider a preformed paver base, which is less expensive.
- Think long-term. Consider whether you prefer a lower up-front cost or more maintenance over time.
- Buy in bulk. Coordinate installing similar driveways with your neighbors to get a contractor discount.
- Measure carefully. Pave only the size of driveway you actually need, and make sure you get the dimensions right before the installation to avoid overpaying for materials.
- Get your hands dirty. Do as much site preparation as possible on your own.
- Wait for the offseason. Ask about offseason discounts.
- Shop around. Obtain more than one quote to find the best price in your area.
Questions to Ask About Paving a Driveway
Most driveway paving projects aren’t complex, but knowing what to ask the installer ahead of time can help homeowners minimize miscommunication, manage expectations, and achieve the best outcome. After all, the driveway will be used frequently for many years, so it’s important for a homeowner to make sure it’s done right. Below are the top questions for homeowners to ask as they research “driveway installers near me.”
- How long have you been in business?
- Are you licensed and insured?
- Do you have references I can talk to?
- How can I save money on my driveway installation?
- Can I review a line-item quote?
- What material is best for my region?
- Have you worked with the material I want to use?
- Have you ever worked on a project like mine with a steep slope or special design?
- Do you have pictures of other driveways you’ve completed?
- Do you own all the equipment you’d need to complete this project?
- Will you subcontract any tasks to other companies?
- How many people will work on my driveway, and what are their qualifications?
- Will my driveway require extra drainage systems?
- How long will it take to complete?
- How will you protect the existing landscaping around it?
- What kind of maintenance will my new driveway require?
- How long will it last?
- Do you offer any warranties or guarantees?
Deciding what a new driveway will look like is less complicated than undertaking some construction tasks, but there are plenty of factors for homeowners to consider before choosing the best option. The answers to some commonly asked questions below might help guide the decision-making process for homeowners.
Q. What’s cheaper: an asphalt or concrete driveway?
Concrete driveway costs are usually slightly higher than asphalt driveway costs. As a quick comparison, concrete driveways cost $8 to $18 per square foot, while asphalt driveways cost $7 to $13 per square foot.
Q. How much does it cost to pave a small driveway?
It depends on the materials. A 200-square-foot asphalt driveway could cost between $1,600 and $5,000, while a 288-square-foot driveway will likely cost $2,300 to $7,200. The exact cost will depend on the paving material chosen—gravel costs just $1 to $2 per square foot, while brick and cobblestone pavers can cost between $10 and $50 per square foot.
Q. Can I pave my own driveway?
The easiest DIY driveway is to lay gravel on leveled dirt, but this can quickly become a challenge if the ground is not already mostly flat. While ambitious homeowners may be able to figure out how to resurface a concrete driveway themselves, it’s best to hire a pro who has all the specialized equipment needed to pour the materials. They’ll also know the best way to level the ground and make sure the surface drains appropriately to avoid future damage.
Q. Will paving my driveway increase my home’s value?
Having a freshly paved driveway can boost both curb appeal and home value. Homeowners can expect driveway paving to add about $5,000 to $7,000 to their home’s value on average.
Q. What kind of maintenance does a driveway need?
For asphalt or blacktop driveways homeowners are advised to schedule resealing every few years or whenever parts of the driveway are noticeably breaking down.