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Driveway Paving Cost

driveway paving cost calculator and resurfacingDon’t let your remodeling budget go over-board by hidden surprises – understand what the average installed costs for a paved driveway is near you by using our simple to use calculator.

As an experienced licensed home improvement contractor, I know first hand what it should cost for various levels — from Basic, Better, and of course the best.

This driveway paving estimator will provide you with up to date pricing for your local area. Simply enter your zip code and the square footage, click update and you will see a breakdown on what it should cost to have your driveway paved by a local paving company near you.

Example: a 10 x 10 area = 100 square feet.

Driveway Paving Cost Calculator
Zip Code Sq. ft.
Basic Better Best
Paving Material Prices $375.00 – $437.50 $462.50 – $525.00 $550.00 – $650.00
Installation Cost $1250.00 – $1275.00 $1500.00 – $1575.00 $2250.00 – $2900.00
Total $1625.00 – $1712.50 $1962.50 – $2100.00 $2800.00 – $3550.00
Total Average Cost per square foot $6.67 $8.13 $12.70

How much does it cost to pave a driveway?

A professionally paved driveway enhances the look and function of your home — their appeal is undeniable. Nationwide, paving a driveway costs between $2700 and $6500. Depending on the size of your driveway and choice of materials, you could pay as little as $1200 to $12,000 or more. The average homeowner spends $4000.

Cost to Pave a 2-car Driveway

National Average
20’x24′ 480 sq. ft.
$4,700
Low $2,850
Mid-range $4,200
High-end $6,860

Paving a driveway is not a DIY job, so plan to pay for both materials and professional labor — each will contributes about 50% of the total of your project.

Popular choices include:

Driveway Paving Cost By Material Type?

Driveway Materials Cost Per Square Foot
Gravel $2 – $4
Asphalt $6 – $8
Concrete $8 – $12
Pavers $20 – $45
Brick $20 – $45
Heated driveway $18 – $28

Gravel Driveway Paving Cost:

Crushed gravel averages $2.00 per square foot. To pave the surface of an average 10- by 24-foot one-car driveway, that’s as little as $480 worth. For a 20- by 24-foot two-car driveway, expect to pay $836 for materials. On average, the cost of a gravel driveway runs $1200—$1700 installed.

Gravel is the least expensive material to pave with, and it’s exceptionally durable, but it’s not the best option for everyone. Unlike asphalt and concrete, extreme heat and cold don’t affect gravel, but rain and heavy use take their toll. The good news is that gravel doesn’t require expensive patching as solid surfaces do — it just needs to be replenished occasionally and raked to even it out. With care, a gravel driveway can last 50 years or more before it needs a major overhaul.

Gravel does have drawbacks. It’s not as hard or even as asphalt or concretion and can be a tripping hazard. It’s prone to ruts, and in cold climates, snow removal takes some of the gravel with it.

Traditionally, gravel driveways are more prevalent in rural areas where the rustic look adds to a home’s charm. In an urban area, they can look out of place, and some localities have regulations limiting gravel driveways because they shed rocks into the roadway.

Crushed gravel comes in a wide range of sizes and colors, and it can look remarkably sophisticated. Mix and match shades for a unique look.

Asphalt Driveway Paving Cost

Asphalt, also known as blacktop, is a blend of dark pitch and sand or gravel. It costs $8.50 per square foot — $2040 for a single-car driveway and $3553 for a two-car sized drive — and is available in colors on the black-gray spectrum. The cost of materials plus labor averages $3500—$4100.

Famous for its finished look, asphalt is among the most popular choices for paving driveways, but it has disadvantages. Temperature extremes create cracks, allowing moisture to seep below the surface and cause heaving or buckling. To protect asphalt from the climate, homeowners should fill cracks annually and apply a protective sealant every 3–5 years — costs range from $0.20 to $0.50 per square foot plus labor. Over the 15–20 year life of a blacktop driveway, repairs and maintenance cost $800–$1000.

Compared to gravel, however, asphalt is solid to walk on in any footwear, including high heels. Commercial blends may be coarse or smooth. Ultra-smooth surfaces are easier to repair and maintain, but rough finishes offer traction.

Asphalt can melt in extreme temperatures — it absorbs heat because it’s black — making concrete or gravel a better choice in some parts of the south. However, it’s a top choice in northern climates because it makes snow removal a breeze.

Concrete Driveway Paving Cost

Concrete driveways costs slightly more than asphalt per square foot — $9.00 versus $8.50 — but it’s a favorite because it’s durable, attractive and relatively low-maintenance. Estimates for labor and materials average $3900–$6000 for a 240-square foot area.

Concrete is suitable for any climate, and it’s tougher than asphalt, but high or low temperatures can cause cracking over time. It’s also less prone to the effects of moisture, but adding a protective sealant improves its longevity. Unlike asphalt sealer, concrete sealer is applied with a sprayer — it’s an easy DIY project. Maintenance is as easy as brush-scrubbing or powering washing it now and then to remove organic materials and keep the color fresh.

Contractors typically pour driveways in slabs. The small spaces between each allow moisture to drain underneath, but in cold climates, the build-up of water and ice can cause heaving. Pros recommend using thicker, heavier slabs to keep the driveway stable.

Drawbacks to concrete driveways include staining — a problem that regular cleaning solves — and cracking. Small fissures are repairable with filler — slabs with large cracks must be replaced.

Paver Driveway Cost

Like a patio, driveways can also be paved with bricks or concrete blocks. They’re durable and easy to repair — replacing a single block is a cinch compared to swapping out hefty concrete slabs — and they come in a stunning array of shapes, colors, and sizes that can give your home custom appeal.

They are not, however, inexpensive — expect to pay $12–$16 per square foot for heavy-duty concrete pavers and up to $20 per square foot for brick. Because driveways handle so much weight, garden-variety blocks are too flimsy for the job.

Paver driveways are beautiful, but time-intensive to install. You can save money by having a contractor prepare the base — a well-engineered base prevents heaving — and lay the bricks yourself. But for a two-car driveway, you’ll still spend $7500 on materials alone. It’s the only driveway material that costs more than labor. The total cost for a two-car driveway approaches $11,500.

Factors that Add to the Cost of Paving a Driveway

Prices vary by area and the complexity of the project. The more preparation paving requires — the more equipment and labor it takes to do, and the higher the subsequent cost.

These factors add to the price:

Land Clearing

Preparing land for a new driveway includes cutting trees and removing stumps. Clearing large trees requires skill and safety precautions — hourly costs for trained technicians range from $25–$50 per hour. Trees less than six inches are less complex to remove.

Chipping trunks and limbs costs an additional $40 per hour, but it’s cheaper than other means of disposal — and chips are valuable for fill or mulch.

Stump removal averages $70 –$90 per tree. If an excavator is already on site, it’s quick work, but for heavily treed sites, it’s a significant expense.

Grading

Grading — calculating the proper slope for your driveway — is critical. Why?

When water flows over sod, the grass slows its movement, allowing water to be absorbed. Rain pouring on concrete or asphalt acts differently. On a perfectly flat driveway, it can accumulate, creating a hazard and causing the surface to deteriorate — while on an improperly graded driveway, it can move like lightning toward buildings and roadways where it contributes to flooding.

Choosing the slope for your driveway isn’t complicated, but it takes expertise to read the landscape and make the best decision.

Engineering

Many municipalities have building codes regulating the size, location and slope of driveways. Homeowner’s associations may also have a say in paving choices for aesthetics.

Issues such as your new driveway’s proximity to wetlands and neighboring homes, as well as drainage and traffic patterns on nearby streets, are all concerns for local planners and can force you to hire an engineer. Costs can increase depending on the slopes, angles, and curves leading to the road or abutting properties.

Excavation

All driveways require a sturdy base regardless of their surface material. What does a base do? Bases create a firm foundation and proper drainage for your driveway. Imagine concrete pavers installed on topsoil — one good rain, and they’re floating on mud. Base materials such as crushed gravel or granite allow water to flow through without straining the concrete or asphalt.

Crushed gravel is the most common base material. The depth required depends on how well your existing soil drains — your contractor will guide you. A 4-inch base of utility gravel for a 240 square foot driveway ranges in price from $450-$800. The excavation required to remove sod and prepare the site adds another $600–$1200. Blasting ledge or breaking up boulders that can’t be mechanically removed is extra.

Driveway and Site Upgrades

In additional to paving, homeowners can add upgrades that improve the look or function of their driveway, such as:

Curves and Roundabouts

Driveways should be as functional as possible, and for some homes, a curved designed or a roundabout that allows traffic to turn without backing up is ideal. While any variation from a square or rectangular shape may drive up the cost of the project, it’s one-time investment.

Gates, Columns and Lights

Long driveways can be dark and bleak. Gates and column add charm and break up an otherwise dull landscape while lights improve visibility for traffic.

Matching Walkways

Paving walkways leading to a home or garage in the same material as the driveway makes a home look well-kept. Doing them together saves money.

Geofabric

Geofabric is woven material that, when placed over a gravel base, provides additional stability and drainage for your driveway and mitigates the growth of weeds. Costs to cover a single-car space average $200-$300 installed.

Radiant Heated Driveways

Driveways in snowy climates are tough to keep clean, and when ice forms, they can stay slippery until spring. Salting and sanding were once the only ways to deal with the hazard, but now, underground heating elements can keep a driveway clear and dry.

There are two types of radiant heating systems. One is a metal coil system that, not unlike radiant flooring, warms to the desired temperature. The other is a hot water system connected to a boiler or water heater. Both are capable of melting an inch of snow per hour — but at a cost. Radiant heating systems average a whopping $12 to $21 per square foot to install, and they require removing the existing surface.

Cost to Remove and Replace an Existing Concrete or Asphalt Driveway

Replacing a driveway is almost as costly as adding a new one. Preparation costs are minimal, but labor to break up and remove old asphalt or concrete offsets the savings. Including disposal fees, you’ll pay $1100 to $9800 installed.

Cost to Resurface an Existing Asphalt or Concrete Driveway

If the surface of your driveway has seen better days, but the base materials and design are still sound, resurfacing can give it a new life without breaking the bank. Resurfacing requires removing and replacing only the top layer of a driveway for between $800 for gravel and $7500 for pavers or brick.

Choosing a Paving Contractor

Paving a driveway is a significant investment, and it pays to choose your contractor wisely. Do the following before making a decision:

• Get at least 3–5 estimates from contractors rated “A” or above by the Better Business Bureau
• Work only with companies that are licensed and fully insured
• Request a detailed estimate that specifies the type and amount of materials to be used. A low bid could reflect shortcuts. Fees for clean-up and material disposal should also be included.
• Carefully review the warranty
• Verify who is responsible for obtaining and paying for local permits
• Never choose a contractor on a whim. Fly-by-night operators roam through neighborhoods offering homeowners a “once-in-a-lifetime” deal on leftover asphalt from another paving project. For best results, asphalt must be poured hot. “Leftovers” are subpar.

Money-saving Tips

A quality paving job is worth the money, but these tips will help you keep a little more in your pocket.

  1. If you’re clearing hardwood trees for your driveway, consider selling them for firewood instead of turning them into mulch.
  2. Be flexible. If the cost of blasting through ledge to build the driveway of your dream is prohibitive, ask about alternatives. It can be cheaper to work around barriers than through them.
  3. Do some of the work yourself. Tasks like removing sod or cutting down small trees takes time, but if you have it to spare, why not get the exercise and save a few dollars?
  4. Contractors may offer additional topcoats for up to $3 per square foot. These improve the longevity of the surface, but they’re a breeze to apply on a brand new surface. Buy and use the same sealants yourself at a local hardware store for a fraction of the cost.
  5. A paved driveway enhances your home’s curb appeal and improves its resale value, but only if it the right style for the area. Choose wisely.

Final Thoughts

A paved driveway makes your property more functional and attractive. It adds to its resale value and inspires pride. Whether you are planning to sell your home or intend to live in it for a lifetime, nothing says “welcome home” like a professionally paved driveway.

View other Driveway material options and costs: Brick, Stone, Pavement, and Concrete

  • Brick & Stone
  • Concrete
  • Asphalt

External References:

  1. Hud Homes and Development – Volume 9, The Rehab Guide — added July 8, 2015
  2. Estimating Sidewalks & Walkway Costs: for Residential and Light Commercial Buildings — added July 8,2015

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Author S Krone

A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.

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