If you are looking for an attractive, durable driveway, concrete is a great option to consider. Concrete is a mixture of Portland cement, water, and aggregates like rock or sand. It makes a level long-wearing surface ideal for driveways, particularly in the South. Because concrete does better in warm weather than cold, it is the preferred driveway material in warmer states.
Concrete can be finished in numerous ways and poured in different thicknesses and sizes. For this reason, there is a wide range of associated costs. The national average cost for a concrete driveway is between $3,460 and $6,910, with most homeowners paying around $5,184 for a broom finish concrete driveway that measures 24’ x 24’ and is 5' thick. This project’s low cost is around $1,152 for a 12’ x 24’ driveway paved over existing gravel. The high cost is around $11,520 for a 24’ x 24’ decorative stamped and colored concrete driveway.
|Concrete Driveway Paving Costs|
|National average cost||$5,184|
Concrete driveways have a wide range of costs, from $4 for paving over gravel to $20 a square foot for complex patterns, with most falling between $6 and $20 a square foot for a new driveway. This is because there are many styles, colors, and finishes for concrete. In addition, the thicker the driveway you pour, the more it costs. Thicker driveways are more durable and last longer than thinner ones but have additional costs. If you pave over an existing gravel driveway, your costs are more than if you need to grade for a new driveway or break up and remove existing concrete.
Most concrete is sold and poured by the cubic yard, at $125 to $150 a yard. This is also true of driveways. Although many people are more comfortable speaking in square feet than cubic yards, it helps to know the total costs. Like costs by the square foot, there are variations based on the driveway’s type, finish, and thickness.
Your driveway’s size is one of the biggest contributing factors to the project’s cost. Driveways come in all shapes and sizes, but there are a few standard sizes.
|Driveway Size||Average Cost Range|
|Single Stall (10’ x 20’)||$800 - $4,000|
|Single (12’ x 24’)||$1,152 - $5,760|
|Double Stall (20’ x 20’)||$1,600 - $8,000|
|Double (24’ x 24’)||$2,304 - $11,520|
Triple (24’ x 36’)
|$3,456 - $17,280|
One of the best things about concrete is that it can be colored, cut, shaped, and stained into various looks. It can also be polished, textured, and have different aggregates added. Each finish has a different look and style, with many having varying prices.
|Finish||Average Cost per Square Foot|
|Plain||$6 - $8|
|Broom Finished||$8 - $12|
|Textured||$8 - $12|
|Colored||$8 - $12|
|Exposed Aggregate||$8 - $12|
|Polished||$8 - $12|
|Salt Finish||$8 - $12|
|Slate||$12 - $18|
|Stamped||$12 - $18|
|Imprinted||$12 - $18|
|Saw Cut||$18 - $20|
|Stained||$18 - $20|
The cost of a plain concrete driveway is between $6 and $8 a square foot. This is a very basic driveway. It may be paved in sections or continuously. There is no decorative detail, color, or other elements about it. Depending on the exact mixture, it could be fairly smooth underfoot or have a little texture. This driveway needs to be a minimum of 4” thick, but 5” or thicker is recommended if you will park heavy cars or machinery in the driveway.
A broom finish concrete driveway ranges from $8 to $12 a square foot. This is the most common and popular textured finish for concrete. A stiff broom is pushed through the concrete, leaving behind a distinct texture. This texture gives the concrete some grip and makes it less slippery. Sometimes, the broom texture can be applied in different directions in a sectioned driveway for more interest and pattern. You can combine a broom finish with borders and stains for more interest, but this increases the cost.
Any textured concrete driveway averages $8 to $12 a square foot. Textured is a catch-all term for many finishes. These include broom, salt, and exposed aggregate. Adding a texture to your driveway makes it more interesting to look at. It can also increase the slip resistance of the concrete, particularly when wet. While textures do not increase the concrete’s durability, they can disguise discolorations and minor cracks in some instances.
A single-colored concrete driveway costs between $8 and $12 a square foot. Concrete can be colored with a few techniques. You can have the color added to the fresh concrete, or it can be stained or painted. Concrete paint is generally not recommended because it tends to peel and chip after a few years. A single stain or pre-pour coloring falls into this price range. However, more decorative and multiple color stains have their own cost category.
An exposed aggregate concrete driveway ranges from $8 to $12 a square foot. Exposed aggregate is a textured driveway that removes the outer layer of concrete to show the aggregate within. Normally, larger aggregate pieces are added to the concrete before pouring or seeded into the driveway after pouring. This helps ensure that a more decorative texture is revealed than the finer aggregates that many concretes use. Some concrete companies offer various aggregates to choose from. Some are considered decorative with a range of colors included in the mix.
A polished concrete driveway costs $8 to $12 a square foot on average. Polishing gives your driveway an ultra-smooth and reflective surface. Polishing can be done to a plain driveway, or it can have color added as well. This can make the concrete more slippery, so it is not as popular as others. Because the polish does not seal the driveway, any stains may be more visible with this finish. Polishing does not enhance the concrete’s strength. It only changes the surface texture.
A salt finish or rock salt finish or rock salt finish averages $8 to $12 a square foot. Salt finish is a unique texture created with rock salt. The fresh concrete’s surface is seeded with salt, which creates a random pattern of indents and small craters, then disappears as it melts. This creates a beautiful texture that never looks the same. You can vary the amount of salt added for different looks. These driveways can also be colored for additional interest, but that increases the cost.
A slate concrete driveway costs between $12 and $18 a square foot. It is made to look like it was created out of individual pieces of slate. The pattern may vary slightly across the driveway for a more natural look. The color is also hand-applied to give some variation and tone to make it look more natural. Depending on the company, you can choose from different sizes of “slate” for the pattern. Some companies also have different color choices.
A stamped concrete driveway averages $12 to $18 a square foot. This is the process of taking a mold and pressing or stamping it into the wet concrete. This allows you to create different patterns on the driveway. Stamped concrete can mimic the look of brick, stone, and any number of other looks. Most stamped concrete is given at least one color as part of its application. You can add additional colors and borders, but this increases the final costs.
An imprinted concrete driveway costs between $12 and $18 a square foot. Concrete imprinting can also sometimes be called concrete engraving. This is a method of adding texture and patterns to the concrete's surface. Like stamping, it gives your concrete various looks. Sometimes, imprinting can be used in conjunction with stamping. For example, imprinting may be done on a stamped “stone” pattern for additional texture. Like stamping, this process is usually done on a single-color concrete. You can add more colors and textures, but this increases costs.
A saw cut concrete driveway averages $18 to $20 a square foot. Saw cutting is the process of cutting apart the concrete into different sections. This produces a more realistic looking pattern than stamping. In a saw cut, you can make even sections or something irregular, such as making a flagstone pattern. Saw cutting is often combined with staining for a different look. The more patterns and colors you add, the higher the price.
A stained concrete driveway costs between $18 and $20 a square foot on average. While a colored driveway usually involves one color, stained concrete driveways usually include more than one color and other techniques to add texture and interest. Many of the colors are hand-applied, wiped off, and added again. This means that a true stained concrete driveway has a lot of depth and nuance that you do not get from one color. They may be highly polished or matte, depending on your preference and the installer’s methods. Stained concrete produces a wide range of looks, including emblems and stone-looks for the driveway.
The cost of a concrete apron averages $1,536 to $4,320, but it can be higher or lower, depending on the size and finish. The apron is the section connecting the driveway to the finished roadway. This means that it likely crosses the sidewalk area. It typically measures the driveway’s width by between 8’ and 15’ long. Some are small, while others are much longer. They have the same costs per square foot as other concrete driveways, although most people like to give them their own decorative look. This helps separate them from the driveway, where they cross the sidewalk.
The cost of heating a concrete driveway ranges from $5,000 to $10,000, depending on the driveway size. If you live in an area with snow and ice, consider heating your driveway. Concrete does not do as well in freeze/thaw conditions ashphalt, which is why it is typically used more frequently in the South. Adding radiant heat beneath your driveway keeps snow and ice from sticking or forming. This results in less snow shoveling and a reduced risk of falling in the winter, and your concrete can potentially last longer.
The most common method of heating a driveway uses electricity, but you can run hydronic pipes to heat the area as well.
There are many costs involved in pouring a concrete driveway. If this is a new driveway, you have excavation and grading costs to ready the area. This is charged at a rate of $50 to $70 an hour. Relatively flat areas with little vegetation have lower costs for driveway creation than on hills or need trees or rocks cleared.
After the land is graded, a sub-base is put down. If you already have a gravel driveway, the concrete can be poured directly on top. For new driveways, the sub-base is poured next. This costs between $12 and $18 a cubic yard and consists of sand and gravel. Depending on the area where you live and the soil you have, you may need a sub-base from a few inches to a full foot thick.
The labor for setting up the concrete forms for the concrete to be poured into, raking and settling the concrete, and then breaking down the forms after it is cured is between $1.50 and $2 a square foot. This is not included in the finishing costs for specialty concrete finishes, such as staining. This is just the cost of setting up for a regular pour.
The concrete delivery itself is around $110 a cubic yard, plus delivery fees of around $60.
If you have a specialty finish, then you have additional labor costs of $3 to $18 a square foot, depending on the level of finish and involvement.
All this adds up to $4 to $20 a square foot total for a concrete driveway.
During the driveway’s creation, it can take two to three days to grade and put in the sub-base, and another 2 to 3 days for the concrete to cure enough to be finished. The concrete can be driven on in another week.
Like any project, numerous factors impact your driveway’s cost, and the first is size. Because driveways are priced by the square foot, the larger your driveway, the higher your overall costs. Next is the finish. While some finishes are relatively inexpensive and attractive, others can be very expensive. The final finish and look you choose play a big role in the total costs.
If you have an existing driveway made of concrete or asphalt, you have additional costs for breaking it up and removal. However, if your driveway is currently made of gravel, your overall costs are much lower since no grading or sub-base is required.
Finally, driveways located on steep hills often have higher costs for labor than flat driveways.
While many driveways are fairly straight, this does not mean that they need to be. Driveways can be created in several shapes and configurations, depending on your needs.
If you have the space in front of your home and you do a lot of entertaining, you may want to opt for a circular driveway. A circular driveway usually starts with a straight entrance. It then feeds out into two directions, forming a circle. The interior of the circle is usually left to be landscaped. A circular driveway makes coming and going easy. This means that having parties, guests, or family members with cars can be easily navigated through the space. Many people with circular driveways also have a straight offshoot, particularly if you also have a garage.
A semi-circular driveway is also a good option for those with busy households. In this case, the driveway is essentially shaped like a horseshoe, with two entrances/exits. Guests can enter from one direction and continue driving straight through the driveway back to the street. It is also common to have a straight section off to the side. This gives people a place to park out of the turnaround and can lead to a garage.
Straight driveways are the most common for homes that are fairly close to the road. Subdivisions and other areas where the homes sit a fairly uniform distance from the curb work best with a straight driveway. The driveway leads up to the garage in an even line. It can be solid concrete, segmented, or decorative. The edges can also be easily bordered with a straight driveway for more dimension and interest. Straight driveways are also frequently graded at an angle that allows them to slope to the road for drainage.
The L-shaped driveway is a good choice for those with a garage that sits on the side of the home. The driveway extends in from the street in a straight line. It then makes a 90-degree turn into the garage. This area at the bend can be used as a turnaround for cars parked in the driveway. Some homes use this layout with a garage: the section of the driveway in the short leg of the L can be used as a parking stall. This is a good choice for busy families that have more than 2 cars.
An S-shaped driveway does not necessarily need to follow the exact curves of the letter S. This is any curving driveway with at least two bends to it. An S-shaped driveway is more likely to belong and winding for homes set back from the road. Sometimes, an S-shaped driveway is combined with a circular driveway, with the circle being part of one of the bends and the driveway continuing past it. This is one of the least common driveway designs. Most homes do not have the space required for this driveway.
The cost to replace a concrete driveway is between $5 and $24 a square foot, depending on the driveway you are replacing it with. The cost to break up and haul away the old concrete is usually between $1 and $4 a square foot, depending on the concrete’s depth and whether it was reinforced. Usually, only minor grading or changes to the sub-base are required, making the rest of the costs dependent on the driveway’s finish, size, and depth.
Sealing costs between $1 and $2 a square foot on average. Most specialty finishes are sealed as part of the process, particularly those that have been stained or colored. However, any concrete can benefit from sealing. Sealing helps keep stains on the surface of the driveway, where they can be easily removed or washed away. Without sealing, the concrete can absorb moisture, which means that things like oil can seep into the concrete, leaving a permanent stain. The driveway must be completely cured before sealing. This means that it may be at least 6 months after paving before sealing.
Concrete is not a very high-maintenance material. The most maintenance that you must do is cleaning and sealing regularly. Sealers only impede stains and do not prevent them entirely. This means that you need to clean the concrete’s surface often to remove surface stains before they penetrate the sealer. Do not use any chemicals on the concrete. Pressure washing can help keep the concrete clean as needed. Have your sealer reapplied on the schedule recommended by your installer.
Concrete driveways are very durable and fairly low maintenance. They can be finished in several ways for many options. This means that you can use the driveway to improve your home’s curb appeal. Concrete is less expensive and lower in maintenance than brick or stone while still giving you the same look.
Concrete does well in hot climates where asphalt would become too soft. However, it can crack easily in cold climates. It is not recommended for use in any freeze/thaw areas because it can quickly crack and break apart. Concrete is also more expensive than asphalt and gravel, making it one of the most expensive driveway materials used today.
Concrete and asphalt are two of the most common types of driveway material. Asphalt is a less expensive material in general than concrete, with costs starting at just $1 a square foot for the asphalt. A new asphalt driveway with grading costs slightly less than concrete at $7 a square foot, as opposed to $8 to $12 on average for concrete.
Concrete is longer-lasting than asphalt, assuming that both are installed in moderate climates. While asphalt is slightly less expensive, the two materials are technically recommended for different regions. Asphalt is most common in the North, and concrete is the most common in the South and West.
A concrete block driveway with grass costs between $9 and $14 a square foot on average. This is a driveway that has large squares of concrete set apart from one another. Grass is grown in the divisions between the blocks to create a living border. The look is unique, although the grass requires more maintenance than solid concrete.
If you want to line your driveway with cinder blocks, expect to add around $2 to $3 a linear foot to the project. Cinder blocks are stacked onto one another to create short walls on either side of the driveway. This adds definition to the space. If you live in a snowy area, these blocks can make plowing more difficult.
When replacing a driveway, you must remove the old driveway first, which costs between $1 and $4 a square foot. The cost differences are mostly in the variation of the driveway materials. For example, reinforced and very thick concrete are more expensive to remove than thinner concrete.
Extending a concrete driveway costs the same as creating a new driveway, between $8 and $12 square foot. The new section needs excavating and grading and then to have a new sub-base before it can be paved with concrete. It is subject to the same costs and timelines as a regular driveway.
If you have an existing driveway that sank, it is possible to level it. Concrete leveling has an average cost of $950 for 100 sq.ft. Depending on how much of your driveway you need to level or how extensive the damage is, your costs could be higher or lower.
If you need a tree removed to make room for your driveway, expect costs of around $433 for a medium-sized tree, including removing the stump. If you need multiple trees removed, your costs could be lower per tree. In some cases, having multiple trees cut could be free if the company takes the wood, but you must pay for the stump removal.
If you want to add security to your home, add a driveway gate for an average cost of $6,700 for an electronic gate. Gates can be manual or automatic, and they come in a wide range of materials and styles. Choose a gate that coordinates with any fencing or matches your home's style.
A concrete driveway does not necessarily increase the home's value. It depends on what type of driveway existed before. If it was dirt or gravel, then yes, it can increase your value, although not by a lot.
A concrete driveway should last a minimum of 20 years. If it is in a moderate climate and well-maintained, it can last even longer.
Wait at least a week after the driveway is finished before you drive on it. This gives it time to cure so that it is strong enough to withstand a car’s weight.
Your driveway should be a minimum of 4” thick. If you plan on parking a heavy truck on it, it should be a minimum of 5” thick.
It may, but not by a significant amount. The amount of value that a concrete driveway adds to a home is not so much that it should raise your taxes by a tremendous amount.