How Much Does It Cost to Pave a Driveway? Step-by-step Guide

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When you pull into your home, you want to ride on a smooth, uncracked, beautiful driveway. A cracked, crumbling, or potted-out driveway can make your house feel less like a home and set the wrong impression. If you’re looking to repave your driveway or transform a gravel or dirt driveway into asphalt or concrete, you will need to invest some money.

But how much does it cost to pave a driveway?

You can expect to pay between $30,000 and $65,000 for asphalt or concrete.

The price of a new driveway all depends on the materials, cost of labor, location within your property, as well as, the length and width of the space you want to cover. In this article, you will learn more about the cost of asphalt versus concrete, along with other materials. We also created a calculator to help you determine how much you can expect to pay for your paved driveway. Like our calculator that helps you determine the cost to furnish your home, this one allows you to input material variables for an accurate estimate.

Why Pave Your Driveway?

A paved driveway adds curb appeal and makes you feel more confident in your home’s appearance. An asphalt or concrete driveway is more inviting and helps you win the battle with unruly weeds, ruts, and a dusty, dirty car. When you invest in asphalt or concrete, you’re investing in the value of your home and creating greater curb appeal to attract more buyers.

How to Determine the Cost of a New Driveway

The first thing you will want to do when planning for a new driveway is to lay out where the driveway will go and measure the space. Then you will want to determine which material is the best choice for your needs and budget. Finally, you will want to contact companies for an accurate quote without any surprises.

Step 1: Research Your HOA, City, County, or Parish’s Ordinances

Before you can plan and estimate the cost of your driveway, you will need to know where it will go. Many cities have regulations regarding how close your driveway can be to:

  • Intersections
  • Right-of-ways
  • Fire hydrants

Other rules you will want to be aware of include what materials may be restricted, if there are width or length limitations, the slope has to be under a certain angle, and how high the transition between road and driveway can be (this will determine the depth of pavement and asphalt in many cases).

Step 2: Calculate the Square Footage of Your Driveway

No matter the material you use to pave or repave your driveway, you will need to know the square footage of your driveway to get an accurate price for the project. 

To calculate your square footage, all you need is an extra set of hands, a tape measure, markers, and a notebook and pen.

Measure the length of the driveway from the road to where the driveway will end. If your driveway is longer than your tape measure, place a marker where you measured it, write down the length, and measure the next length.

After measuring the length, you will want to measure the width of the driveway, using the same method.

Once you have both measurements, multiply them together. The number is the square footage of your future driveway.

Step 3: Determine Which Material You Will Use

When planning for a new driveway, you can choose from a wide array of materials. Concrete and asphalt are the most common. However, you can use gravel, pavers, or flagstone. Weighing the pros and cons along with the price can help make your decision easy.

Concrete Driveways

Pros

Concrete has greater visual appeal for many homeowners and potential buyers in the future. This can increase your home’s value should you resell. It can be dyed, pressed with a pattern, or left gray. The wide array of patterns, stains, and tints can help you better match your existing home facade and style. Concrete also does not get as hot during heat spells, which can save your dog’s paws.

Compared to asphalt, concrete has a longer lifespan with the average being 30 to 40 years.

Cons

Concrete may offer you greater variety in visual appearance, but it also stains more easily. These stains are most often from tire marks, winter salts and deicers, and oil. You can use a DIY method with pool chlorine to remove many various stains, though. Concrete can also develop pitting, and it can crack, shift, or buckle during extreme colds. The likelihood of this happening increases if you do not winterize your driveway properly. For those that experience high levels of snowfall, you will want to consider the fact that snow melts more slowly off of concrete than asphalt.

If you’re in a rush to park on your driveway, concrete may not be the best choice. It takes at least a week to fully cure.

Asphalt Driveways

Pros

The glistening of freshly laid asphalt can be quite attractive in its own right, and asphalt performs better in the cold than concrete. This is because asphalt will flex more than concrete instead of cracking. Asphalt also hides stains better than concrete.

It is also easier to repair should you develop a crack or pothole. These repairs camouflage into the existing drive more seamlessly than concrete. And you can often repair these patches more easily on your own, and a topcoat will easily hide age and damage.

Finally, you can drive on asphalt almost immediately after it is laid.

Cons

Asphalt performs best when resealed every three to five years, however, you can DIY if you want. With enough heat, asphalt can loosen and become soft, becoming gooey or sticky. This can cause cracking and splitting. In addition to requiring a bit more maintenance, asphalt also only comes in one color: black, which causes it to get extremely hot during scalding summer days.

Asphalt driveways often last 20 to 30 years. 

Stone Paver Driveway

Pros

Stone pavers offer homeowners a rarer choice of driveway materials, adding greater curb appeal and setting your home apart from others. Pavers also look warmer and more inviting. Additionally, you can customize your pattern, color, and material when selecting your paver styles.

Unlike asphalt and concrete, pavers can be driven on immediately after installation. There’s no curing required with pavers. 

Stone pavers allow water to run through to the ground below, causing less long-term damage to your property and the environment due to water runoff.

Finally, some pavers can be repaired easier than asphalt and concrete. Just be sure you buy extra pavers for the future. 

Cons

Stone pavers are very attractive, however, they come with a high price tag. Pavers are more expensive when it comes to materials. Labor can also vary quite a bit. Poorly installed pavers can shift over time. For best performance, you will want to resand your pavers to prevent shifting and weeds growing through.

Gravel Driveways

Pros

For many homeowners with dirt driveways, gravel can make an excellent upgrade. They offer the lowest cost of materials on our list, and they are the easiest to maintain. This makes them a wonderful choice for long driveways.

Like pavers, gravel allows rainwater to seep through to the ground beneath, which is better for the environment and often your stormwater management. 

Cons 

While gravel is the most cost-effective material and easiest to repair, it does come with some downsides. These include the fact that strong enough storms can wash your gravel away. Weeds can also easily sneak up and through gravel stones. Because gravel is also malleable, it can easily turn into a two-track or potted-out mess. In addition, you cannot plow gravel when it snows.

The Cost of Materials and Calculating the Cost of Your Driveway

Concrete

The price for a concrete driveway ranges between $8 and $18 per square foot. Stamped concrete runs on average $18 per square foot, but can be between $10 and $50 per square foot with labor.

Repairs run between $2 and $8 per square foot.

For a 3,000 square foot driveway, you can expect to pay $39,000.

Asphalt

Materials and labor range between $7 to $13 per square foot. It also needs to be laid at least 3 inches deep.

Repairs for concrete run about $3 per square foot.

For a 3,000 square foot driveway, the average cost is $30,000.

Stone Pavers

This beautiful but high-end option will run you between $10 and $30 per square foot.

Repairs can be done by extracting the lifted or cracked paver, leveling the ground, pouring sand underneath, then inserting a new paver.

A 3,000 square foot driveway of stone pavers will cost on average $60,000.

Gravel

Gravel is by far the most affordable driveway material. For a gravel driveway, you can anticipate paying between $2 and $5 per square foot with installation and materials.

If you want to use gravel for your driveway, you can anticipate paying about $10,500.

Calculate the Cost of Your Driveway

MaterialAverage Cost per Square Foot(times) Your Square Footage(equals) Estimated Total Cost
Concrete$13.00X
Example$133,000 sq ft$39,000
Stamped Concrete$18.00X
Example$183,000 sq ft$54,000
Asphalt$10.00X
Example$103,000 sq ft$30,000
Pavers$20.00X
Example$203,000 sq ft$60,000
Gravel$3.50X
Example$3.503,000$10,500

[CALCULATOR]

Choosing the Best Material for Your Driveway

When it comes to paving your driveway, you want to choose the best material for your climate, budget, and aesthetic. No matter which material you choose, you want to vet your contractor and ask for references to ensure the highest quality driveway and longest longevity. 

Want to know how much it would cost to build a new garage at the end of your new driveway? Calculate the cost to build a garage.
Keep your concrete driveway looking its best. Learn how to pressure wash your driveway and other concrete surfaces.

Richard Allen