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Paving a driveway impacts your home’s curb appeal and provides a safe walking and driving surface at the same time. Many design options with different aesthetic and performance qualities allow each homeowner to add one that matches their financial, structural, and design needs. With some of them lasting up to a century, it’s safe to say that it’s a lifetime investment.
The national average cost to pave a driveway is between $3,200 and $10,000. Most people pay around $6,960 to install a double 24’ x 24’ concrete driveway with a 10’ apron and seal it with a medium-grade sealant. At the low end of the spectrum, you can pay $1,160 to install a 10’ x 20’ single stall gravel driveway with a small 8’ apron connecting it to the street. At the high end, you pay up to $23,470 to pave a 24’ x 36’ triple driveway with high-grade paving stone, a 15’ apron and a heating coat.
|Driveway Paving Cost|
|National average cost||$6,960|
The average driveway pavement cost homeowners pay is between $8 and $25 per sq.ft. with labor included. While most projects are charged per sq.ft. some contractors charge by the hour at a rate of $25 to $60 per hour. These are limited to smaller projects and upgrades or repairs. The total cost varies depending on the exact material you use, the labor costs, and the landscape of your home. The most common materials used are asphalt 1 and concrete due to their durability and strength compared to the affordable cost and easier installation. However, every material has different properties, so the durability, appearance, and installation process vary, impacting the overall cost.
The cost of a driveway ranges between $1,600 and $21,600, based on the size. The size plays a major role in the total project cost. The bigger it is, the more time and materials will be needed to pave it, increasing the costs. The cost depends on several factors, including the material, shape, slope, and location. Below are the average cost ranges for the most common sizes.
|Size||Cost (Labor Included)|
|Single Stall (10’ x 20’)||$1,600 - $5,000|
|Single (12’ x 24’)||$2,300 - $7,200|
|Double Stall (20’ x 20’)||$3,200 - $10,000|
|Double (24’ x 24’)||$4,610 - $14,400|
|Triple (24’ x 36’)||$6,910 - $21,600|
Single stall and single driveways typically cost $1,600 to $7,200 to pave, depending on the material you will use. If you want one car to fit comfortably, you will need a single stall or single driveway with a size between 10’ and 24’. This size allows it to be functional while not taking up too much of your space. Small ones are a good idea for households with one or two small cars. This size won’t be a fit if you have multiple cars or larger vehicles.
The cost to pave a medium-sized driveway ranges between $3,200 and $14,400. They can be double stall with a size of 20’ x 20’ or double with a size of 24’ x 24’. As their name suggests, they can fit two vehicles, but make sure to consider the size of the vehicles. If you own two small or normal-sized cars, a double stall driveway would be enough. For bigger cars or an RV, it would be better to install a double driveway.
Triple or long driveways usually cost $6,910 to $21,600 to pave. Long ones can give the property an estate-like feel and drastically improve the curb appeal of the house. With a size of 24’ x 36’, long driveways are the best fit for households with more than three cars, RVs, or trucks. However, make sure to use a durable material like stone or concrete blocks that can support the weight of multiple cars without suffering damage or deteriorating faster.
Expect to spend between $0.50 and $20 per sq.ft. on driveway paving materials. When picking the material, don’t consider only the current cost of the material. Some materials require regular, often costly maintenance, so make sure to compare the upfront costs with the long-term costs and the maintenance required for each material. Another thing to consider is the type of vehicles you own and plan to park on the driveway. Not all materials can support heavy traffic, so think about the sturdiness of the material as well. Below is a table with the different material options available and how much they cost.
|Material||Cost per Square Foot (Materials Only)|
|Paver||$0.50 - $20|
|Gravel||$1 - $3|
|Asphalt||$1 - $5|
|Tar and Chip||$2 - $5|
|Exposed Aggregate||$3 - $7|
|Tarmac||$3 - $7|
|Concrete||$4 - $7|
|Rubber||$5 - $10|
Paver driveways cost $0.50 to $20 per sq.ft. for the material only. They are considered a high end material that offers several style and design options and a wide range of sizes and colors. While pavers are one of the most physically durable (25 to 50 years) and aesthetically pleasing materials, their installation is quite costly. The terrain has to be prepared before the pavers are installed, meaning trees and bushes have to be cleared and the ground excavated, after which a layer of bedding sand or crushed stone is added. This can add between a few hundred to a few thousand dollars to the project cost. Below is a table with the common paver types and their typical price.
|Paver Type||Cost per Square Foot (Materials Only)|
|Paving Stone||$0.50 - $20|
|Brick Pavers||$1 - $2.50|
|Concrete Blocks||$7 - $13|
Paving stone 2 driveways cost $0.50 to $20 per sq.ft. They give the house character and curb appeal while needing minimal maintenance. Paving stones resist harsh weather conditions and can be used in any climate. When maintained regularly, paving stones last up to 100 years, making them one of the most durable materials on the market and worth the high price tag they carry. The most common types of stone pavers are cobblestone and crushed stone. The cobblestone driveway cost ranges between $7 and $20 per sq.ft. The crushed stone driveway cost is $0.50 to $2 per sq.ft.
The average brick driveway paving project runs about $1 to $2.50 per sq.ft. It can be made of reclaimed bricks, which is why the cost is so low. However, the installation process is pretty complicated, so even though the material is cheaper, the overall cost is quite higher than other materials. When properly installed, brick driveways provide a smooth surface for the vehicles and last up to 50 years. To make sure it will get to the intended lifespan, they require regular maintenance. Regular pressure washing costs $180 to $240. Sealing costs $0.68 to $2.10 per sq.ft.
Concrete blocks typically cost $7 to $13 per sq.ft. for the materials only. The exact price you will pay for the driveway depends on the size, thickness, design, strength, and color of the concrete blocks. Concrete blocks are very durable and easy to maintain, needing only regular debris sweeping, weeding, and yearly power washing. Whenever a block cracks or has damage, you can simply replace it with a new one. They can withstand heavier traffic, making them a great choice for homes with heavier vehicles.
Gravel, also known as decomposed granite, is the cheapest driveway paving option that costs $1 to $3 per sq.ft. While you spend less on the material and installation upfront, they are not durable in harsh weather conditions, especially rainfall. To increase the durability, a stabilizer is often required, which adds $3 to $7 per sq.ft. to the basic material cost. Gravel maintenance can be an issue because the ground has to be raked to keep the surface smooth and level and the potholes regularly fixed. Heavy machinery is often needed to spread and compact the gravel, which may cause additional contractor charges. However, gravel installed in warmer climates that get regularly maintained lasts up to 100 years.
The cost to install an asphalt driveway costs $1 to $5 per sq.ft. for the material only. They are one of the most common materials used for driveways in the north due to their durability against cold conditions and affordable cost compared to other materials. Asphalt is less likely to crack than concrete and helps melt snow faster due to the darker color. If it’s properly maintained, broomed every few months, and cleaned twice a year with a hose spray, an asphalt driveway lasts for 12 to 25 years. However, it doesn’t perform as well in hot climates because it softens, loses shape, and takes several years to cure. Proper drainage is required to prevent the material from developing frost heaves, cracking, or crumbling.
The chip and seal or macadam 3 driveway cost ranges between $2 and $5 per sq.ft. for the material only. Also known as seal chip, chip-and-seal, or liquid-asphalt-and-stone, these driveways are made by spreading hot liquid asphalt and spreading layers of stone aggregate over it. They are great for colder climates as the rough surface provides excellent grip, making them less slippery and more stable. They require minimal upkeep and no sealing or crack fixing. However, tar and chip driveways last only 10 to 15 years. To extend their lifespan, they require resurfacing every 10 years to prevent it from deteriorating.
An exposed aggregate driveway costs $3 to $6 per sq.ft. for the material only. Also known as pebble finish, it’s made of stones mixed with concrete or seeded on a concrete surface. They provide a textured surface with shades of pastel colors, earth tones, and deep blues and reds, which drastically improves the area’s curb appeal. Aside from the nice appearance, the rough surface of exposed aggregate driveways makes them less slippery and more stable. To ensure they last up to 40 years, regular maintenance is of utmost importance. They need to be swept at least once a day to keep them free from dust, dirt, or debris and prevent stain build-up.
Tarmac 3, short for tarmacadam, costs $3 to $7 for the material only. While often mixed, tar, chip, and tarmac are different materials. Tarmac driveways are made by placing crushed stone or aggregate and coating or mixing it with tar. They are a great way to improve the aesthetic appearance of your driveway and increase the value of your home. The mixture of rough material and tar makes it stronger against heavier traffic, helps preserve the surface, and increases its durability. Tarmac driveways can last 10 to 20 years. You will have to regularly clean and seal them, as any spillages of oil or gasoline that are not cleaned can weaken its base and cause it to deteriorate faster.
Concrete driveways have a wide price range, starting at $4 per sq.ft. and going to $7 per sq.ft. It’s one of the most durable and low-maintenance materials, requiring only regular cleaning and sealing to last 20 to 40 years. Concrete can be customized with etching, stamping, and staining, allowing homeowners to customize the look and improve the home’s curb appeal. It performs best in hot climates where asphalt is not an appropriate option, but it’s not the best for cold climates. It cracks and breaks apart easily in areas with freezing and thawing weather.
The rubber stone driveway cost ranges from $5 to $10 per sq.ft. for the material only. They are an eco-friendly option since it’s made of eco-friendly recycled rubber that gets poured over a concrete or asphalt layer. They are a durable and weather-resistant option that is easy to clean and maintain. They can be customized with different colors and patterns. Their downside is that they last around 15 years, less than concrete and asphalt ones.
Permeable driveways cost between $1 and $20.50 per sq.ft. for the materials only, usually 10% to 20% more than regular ones. These driveways have lines or holes between them to allow the water, rain, and snow to drain and get absorbed into the ground more easily. When the water drains properly, it protects the environment by returning the water to the soil. Also, it prevents water from accumulating on the driveway, causing some materials to deteriorate faster. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, some of the benefits of a permeable driveway include minimizing the chances of flooding of building foundations due to the water absorption capacities and preventing the accumulation of water on sidewalks, patios, and driveways. Below is a table with the most common permeable driveways and the cost of each of the materials.
|Type||Cost per Square Foot (Materials Only)|
|Grass||$1 - $5|
|Gravel||$2 - $10|
|Asphalt||$2.50 - $5|
|Concrete||$4 - $20.50|
|Paver||$4 - $15|
The cost of permeable grass driveway materials costs from $1 to $5 per sq.ft. It’s a great option to improve the curb appeal of the house and improve its resistance to water. The grass lines are strategically placed between the stone or brick pavers 2, allowing the ground to absorb the water quickly. This makes the driveway flood-resistant and eco-friendly at the same time. You will also be able to walk on it even if it’s rainy or muddy. Maintaining a grass driveway requires regular weeding and occasional cleaning with a rubber-tipped shovel to prevent debris from accumulating. While they can last 20 to 30 years, grass block pavers on driveways that get used several times a day require replacing every 10 to 15 years.
A permeable gravel driveway costs between $2 and $10 per sq.ft. for the materials only. The major benefits of permeable gravel are that it’s easily installed, doesn’t heat up, adds extra stabilization to the driveway, and prevents ruts and holes from forming. It’s also easy to repair because the gravel only needs to be spread again to get the same look on the surface. However, maintenance is an issue with this type of driveways. You need to regularly rake leaves, sand, and debris from the surface to prevent them from accumulating and blocking the drainage paths. When they are properly cared for and maintained, they can last up to 100 years.
Permeable asphalt driveways cost $2.50 to $5 per sq.ft. for the material only. It’s a great option for those that want to have the same look of an asphalt driveway but have permeable and environmentally-friendly properties at the same time. If maintained well with regular pressure washing and power sweeping, porous asphalt driveways can last 15 to 30 years. However, it would need to be resurfaced and relayered regularly to maximize its lifespan.
The cost of permeable concrete ranges between $4 and $20.50 per sq.ft for the materials only. The material is made from a mixture of stones and concrete and looks just like concrete but is permeable to water. Another benefit is that it can be customized. The concrete mixture can be made of recycled materials that would give it a different color. Permeable concrete is also one of the most durable materials used for driveways, with a lifespan of 20 to 40 years. Maintenance is the same as other hard permeable surfaces. They need to be regularly pressure washed and power swept once a year to prevent the holes from clogging.
Permeable pavers cost $4 to $15 per sq.ft for the materials, including brick pavers, concrete blocks, or permeable stone driveway. They are bricks and stones with gravel-filled joints between them that allow the water to filter through and drain into the ground more easily. The pavers come in different shapes, colors, and sizes, allowing homeowners to customize the look of the driveway by arranging them in various patterns. While they cost more to install, they last 35 to 100 years, making the investment worthwhile. Similar to permeable concrete and asphalt driveways, make sure to regularly clean the pavers with a pressure washer and power sweeper to clean off all the dust and debris that may clog the water drainage holes.
Labor costs to pave a driveway range between $2 and $13 per sq.ft., depending on the materials used. Some materials like exposed aggregate come with a lower installation cost because they are easier to work with, while others like concrete and paving stones require a professional approach and more care when handling, which increases the labor costs. Some rare stones or unique finishes require a lot of expertise, increasing the cost to $30 per sq.ft. Usually, you can expect the labor costs to be around 50% to 60% of the total project cost. Most professionals charge per sq.ft., although smaller jobs may be charged by the hour at a rate of $25 to $60 per hour.
Other factors that determine the labor cost are the size of the area, the terrain, and the location. For instance, if your driveway is in the back of the house, it would be longer, increasing the time needed and the cost to install it. If the terrain has curves or the driveway is on a hill, the labor cost increases accordingly. If tree or stump removal services are needed, it adds $400 to $900 for tree removal and $200 to $700 for stump removal to the project cost. If excavation or surface cleaning is required, you will be charged an extra fee for the labor involved. The labor required depends on the land, your location, what needs to be removed, if cleaning is needed, the slope of the ground, and the landscape.
Typically, the installation process starts by clearing out the area and removing any trees, stumps, shrubs, or other structures that obstruct the way. Once this is done, the area is cleared of any debris. Then, the contractor grades and slopes the surface for proper water drainage. When the surface is ready, the sub-base is placed, checked, and repaired if needed. After this, a binder that connects the sub-base and the driveway material is added, and the new material is layered above. Once the material is added, the surface is smoothened and compacted by using a roller truck. The driveway needs to be cured for two to three days. The process takes a few days to complete, with the new one being ready to use within a week of starting the project.
The driveway replacement cost per sq.ft. runs between $4 and $24, depending on the material being removed and its replacement. The project cost includes breaking up the old material, hauling it away, minor grading, and installing the new one, which is why the total price may be higher than installing a new one. If your existing driveway is in poor condition and cannot be resurfaced or if you switch to a new material, you will need to have the old one removed for a cost of $1 to $4 per sq.ft., which is included in the total cost for replacement. Removing an old driveway involves breaking it up and removing the pieces, after which a new material is installed. Sometimes, the base may be installed improperly, which would require replacing the whole driveway along with the base, even though the surface material hasn’t reached its typical lifespan. The whole project takes three to ten days to complete.
Resurfacing a driveway involves removing only the top layer of material and adding a new one, typically costing $1 to $10 per sq.ft. with labor included. It’s the most common type of repair for driveways that doesn’t require replacing yet but has some surface damage that needs repair. Contractors that work with driveway installation are the ones that do the resurfacing. It’s highly recommended to consult a licensed contractor before resurfacing. They assess the damage and see if resurfacing would be enough to repair it or if a replacement would be the better option. The whole resurfacing process usually takes a few hours to complete, with the new surface being ready for foot traffic within six hours and vehicle traffic within 24 hours. You should be able to use the new driveway in two days at most when resurfacing it.
Resurfacing a driveway in bad shape improves its appearance and extends its life while still being more affordable than replacing it. However, remember that resurfacing is only recommended if the its base is in good shape and any cracks or other damage is limited to the surface. If you resurface while the base is in bad shape, the same problems you had before will start appearing again.
If you prefer, you can add a driveway apron for an additional cost of $3 to $10 per sq.ft. depending on the material and method used. The apron is the transitional area between the driveway and the street pavement designed to provide access to the vehicles from the curb to the property. It’s usually made of the same material as the driveway, but the material that should be used may be regulated by the community. Because the material is the same, the maintenance of the apron is identical to the driveway.
The length of the apron ranges between 8 and 15 feet, while the width is identical to the width of the driveway. In most cases, you won’t be able to notice where the driveway ends, and the apron starts. However, because aprons connect to city streets, they may be regulated by building codes in most communities. Make sure to keep track of the local regulations to know your responsibilities are in terms of design, maintenance, and replacement.
Once you pick the material you will use, you can design the driveway in different shapes and forms. The shape improves the design and curb appeal of the home and provides several entry points to the home, gives more parking space, or makes entering and exiting easier for residents and visitors. Most driveways are straight, although you can select one that is S-shaped, L-shaped, circular, horseshoe, or half circle. Usually, the shape increases the overall driveway cost by 10% to 30%.
Most homes have space for straight driveways, but not all homes will be fit for all shapes. For instance, to install a horseshoe-shaped one, you would need enough space on both sides of your home and in the front of the property, while L-shaped driveways would need space only on one side. S-shaped ones are typical for big estates, as they have multiple curves that require more length. If you have space in front of the house but not on the sides, a circular or half-circle driveway makes the most sense. Make sure to analyze the terrain and consult your contractor about the shape. In addition to this, check the local regulations and codes, as many cities have rules about how many entrance and exit points a driveway can have onto a public road.
In general, it’s not advisable to pave over an existing driveway, as most materials like concrete, grass, and pavers are not a good underbase for a new one. The existing driveway or the base may have cracks or holes, which will increase the pressure placed on the new one by the traffic and drastically reduce the quality of the driveway. However, some materials that are good underbases can be paved over. For instance, it's possible to pave over an existing asphalt driveway with a new asphalt driveway, as the cracks and holes can be treated and filled before placing the new layer. When installing the new layer, make sure that the driveway is properly graded to ensure it drains properly.
The thickness of your driveway mainly depends on the type of traffic it needs to take and the material used. The standard thickness for non-reinforced driveways is 4’’, enough to withstand passenger cars weighing up to 8,000 lbs. If you have heavier vehicles, a 5’’ thickness is recommended. Increasing the thickness from 4’’ to 5’’ adds around 20% to the cost but drastically increases the strength by 50%. A properly prepared base made of sand, limestone, or a granular mixture will be needed, usually 4’’ to 7’’ thick, making the total thickness between 8’’ and 12’’ at a minimum. The thicker the base and the material layer are, the more durable the driveway will be.
Every material you use for the driveway comes with its set of pros and cons. Before settling for a specific material, make sure to consider its cost, installation, maintenance, environmental impact, durability, and resistance to heat, rain, and cold. Some materials will be very affordable to install but require regular maintenance and may need to be replaced sooner. On the other hand, some materials will be more expensive initially but will last longer with minimal maintenance.
Durability is one of the most important factors you should look at when analyzing the materials. It determines how long you will be able to use the driveway without replacing it and the type of traffic it will handle. Each material has an expected lifespan, but the exact lifespan depends on the climate, the type of soil you have under the foundation, if the base is high quality, and if you do regular maintenance. The more durable materials usually come at a higher cost, while those not as durable are easier to use and cheaper to install.
|Tar and Chip||10 - 15 Years|
|Tarmac||10 - 20 Years|
|Rubber||10 - 20 Years|
|Asphalt||12 - 25 Years|
|Exposed Aggregate||15 - 40 Years|
|Concrete||20 - 40 Years|
|Gravel||20 - 100 Years|
|Paver||25 - 100 Years|
Maintenance is another big factor if you’re looking at the overall cost of the driveway. Most of them require regular pressure washing and cleaning. However, some materials require additional care like leveling and pothole fixing that adds up to the lifetime cost of the driveway. Other materials will be expensive to install and set up at first but will need minimal upkeep to maintain their original shape over the years.
|Tar and Chip||Easy|
|Paver||Medium - Difficult|
When looking at the environmentally friendly materials for driveways, make sure to analyze which material preserves the topsoil layer and produces fewer carbon emissions. Some materials may not be porous, which means they will hold up the water and prevent it from going back to the soil, damaging the ecosystem. Other materials may be porous but produced with high carbon monoxide emissions, which drastically harms the environment. For instance, rubber is the definite eco-friendly winner. Materials like concrete are not considered environmentally friendly due to the damage they cause to the soil and the carbon emissions produced by making it. Below is a table representing the eco-friendliness level of each material we discuss in this guide.
|Tar and Chip||Low|
|Paver||Medium - High|
The climate where you live also determines what type of driveway you should and can install. Some materials don’t perform well in cold, rainy areas, while the cold weather may strengthen others. For instance, gravel and concrete are not fit for rainy, cold areas with freeze and thaw cycles. This climate causes their shape to shift and crack, so they are installed in areas with a warmer climate. Here is how different materials perform in colder conditions.
|Material||Water and Snow Resistance|
|Tar and Chip||Medium - Low|
|Tarmac||Medium - Low|
|Paver||Medium - High|
If you live in an area with long, hot summers, make sure to pave your driveway with a material that holds up well in areas with warmer climates and high temperature spikes. Rougher materials perform better in tropical climates because the rough surface prevents the build-up of algae and mold on the surface during rainy seasons. Some materials are not fit for hot weather because they start losing their shape and deteriorate faster. For instance, asphalt is one of the weakest materials against heat. If you live in an area with high temperatures and a long summer, it’s not the best option for your driveway. Below is a table showing the heat resistance levels for each material.
|Exposed Aggregate||Medium - Low|
|Tar and Chip||Medium - High|
The driveway sealcoating price per sq.ft. runs $0.68 to $2.10 with labor, depending on the sealer you will use. The driveway is exposed and affected by rain, snow, ice, and UV rays. Over time, these factors affect its quality and durability. Sealcoating protects it from the elements, so it doesn’t crack and preserves it in the best possible condition. If you have pavers, asphalt, concrete, tarmac, or an exposed aggregate driveway, it’s recommended to sealcoat your it once every one to three years to maximize its lifespan. Driveways with gravel, tar and chip, rubber, and brick do not require a sealant as the materials are prone to cracking. However, they often need resurfacing to ensure the material lasts longer.
If you live in an area with a colder climate, consider adding a heated driveway for $6 and $10 per sq.ft. with labor included. Driveways with snow or ice on them are not only tougher to clean and maintain but create a dangerously slippery surface where someone can injure themselves. There are two types of heated driveway systems: a metal coil system that warms up to the desired temperature and a hot water system connected to a water heater or a boiler. Both systems melt around an inch of snow per hour.
Widening a driveway often comes at a similar cost as installing a new one, or about $2 to $15 per sq.ft. for the materials and labor. The high cost is because multiple additional services are required in most driveway widening projects, including tree removals, stump removal, grading, installing a base, and paving. Junk removal services to clean up the remaining debris may also be needed afterward, which adds $125 to $350 to the project cost.
The average cost is around $4 to $8 a sq.ft. if the driveway must be graded before paving. Many of them must be compacted and graded prior to paving. Depending on the landscaping and the condition of the area, this can be very involved or simple, involving the removal of any rocks and excess material.
The driveway installation lasts two to three days, with an additional two to three days for the material to cure, which means that you should be able to drive on it within a week from starting.
Concrete is the more expensive material of the two. Expect to spend about $1 to $5 per sq.ft. for an asphalt driveway without installation. A concrete driveway costs $4 to $7 per sq.ft.
Because the driveway provides a safe area for the vehicles to transit from the street to the property and improves the curb appeal of the house, it adds up to 10% to the total value.
The cheapest material for a driveway paving project is gravel, with a cost of $1 to $3 per sq.ft. and an easy installation. With labor included, you can expect to pay a total cost of $3 to $10 per sq.ft. to pave a gravel driveway.
How long the driveway lasts depends mostly on the material. Materials like asphalt and rubber last around 10 to 30 years, while the more expensive materials like stone and brick last up to 100 years. Proper and regular maintenance plays a big role in the lifespan of the driveway.
Usually, the installation process takes two to three days, with an additional two to three days for the materials to cure properly. You should be able to use your driveway one week from starting the project.
To make sure your installer will do a good job, start by checking what their previous clients had to say about them. You can also ask the contractors for before and after photos of previous projects to see if they do quality work. If they’ve been in business for long, ask for photos of driveways they installed years ago to confirm the driveway is still in good shape and safe to use.
The cheapest driveway is a one-car gravel one without an apron. You will pay around $600.