Pave Driveway Cost

How much does it cost to pave a driveway?

One of the easiest ways to make a driveway is to simply clear the land, compress it with heavy machinery and begin using it to gain access to and from a home or building. Is this the best way to go about creating a driveway? Not really, and this is because seasonal conditions and soil erosion will quickly degrade the path and make it either boggy and muddy or bumpy and full of rocks and impediments. It might also be outside of local building codes and regulations too. This is the reason that most home and property owners will eventually pave their driveway with one of several reliable materials. For the purpose of this discussion we will consider the costs of paving a driveway that is roughly 12'x50' (or 600 square feet) in size. Before the paving process can begin, however, the space must be suitably prepared for the work. This requires clearing the area of debris, grading the soil in order to receive the paving materials, creating a base, and then adding the pavement. Clearly this means that paving a driveway is not a DIY option.

According to the RSMeans cost calculation software a standard paving project will include costs such as:

  • Excavation, clearing, and tree chipping or removal - costs include:
    • Workers to clear, cut or chip light trees of less than 6" in diameter will cost $48 per hour;
    • Stump removal averages at $68 per tree;
    • Chipping trees larger than 18" in diameter costs $20 to $40 dollars; and
    • Site clearing over an area of a single acre (using heavy machines and skilled laborers) averages between $150 to $400 per hour.
  • Grading - depending upon the type of pavement to be applied, grading averages at roughly $2.35 per square yard;
  • Pavement - gravel is the most common choice, and for a 2" layer poured and prepared the costs would average at roughly $800. Asphalt is the next most common choice and at 2.5" thickness it would cost roughly $830 to be professionally installed. Concrete is also a very popular option, and with its long life and remarkable durability it is also among the most cost effective. It will average at $75 per cubic yard, and this means that the project described here would demand roughly 7.5 cubic yards for a cost of $562 in materials alone. Lastly, a homeowner might opt for pavers such as cobblestones, which come at a significantly higher price, and average around $30 per square foot - which would cost $18000 for the project described here.

Additional considerations and costs

Engineering - whenever driveways have any sort of slopes, curves, or angles in them it usually means that costs are going to increase. Generally this is due to the need for engineering to allow runoff to properly drain away from the home and into the street, and it usually also means more labor in preparing the surface. Additionally, sloped and curved drives involve more materials which only increases the total costs too