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How much does driveway paving cost?
One of the most frequent questions we receive from potential customers is, how much will my driveway installation cost? The short answer is not what most people like to hear: it depends. Driveway installation cost is highly variable depending on a variety of factors, and the majority of contractors would not feel comfortable giving a quote over the phone without seeing the location first. In order to help our customers understand the cost of a driveway installation, we’ve put together this guide that explains the factors that impact cost and what your “average” driveway installation might cost.
- The size of the driveway
As you might expect, a long, wide driveway would require more material, prep time, and labor than a short, narrow driveway. But size isn’t the only factor that comes into play here. We wanted to start things off simple before diving into the more complex considerations.
- The amount of preparation involved with the job
Preparing the job site is one of the most important parts of a driveway installation. In order to ensure that water doesn’t get into the wrong places when your driveway is stripped (like the basement or garage), establishing a proper drainage path is crucial to preventing damage to your home. And as you might expect, the ease or difficulty in ensuring proper drainage is dependent on the terrain itself. In addition, if you live in a particularly “wet” area, it will be more time consuming to prepare the site to accommodate for the possibility of rain.
- The distance from the material plant to the job site
Delivering truckloads of concrete, asphalt, or gravel to a job site is not a negligible cost, especially if the site is very far from the plant. Since the delivery cost is tied heavily to fuel prices, this is a market-depend cost that fluctuates depending on the season, the supply of oil, and other economic factors. If you live in a remote location, it may be costlier to have the supplies delivered.
- How much of the driveway must be laid by hand
Due to technological advances, repaving a driveway can now be done with powerful machinery that cuts down on time and cost. However, depending on the terrain, there are still certain areas that cannot be done with machinery and must be done by hand. The more square footage that must be laid manually, the costlier the job will be since it is more time consuming to lay material by hand than with equipment.
- The cost of transporting equipment and tools to the job site
Similar to factoring in the distance from the material plant to the job site, it is also important to consider the distance involved in moving the equipment, such as the rollers, tractors, and pavers, to the job site. If the job site is in a remote location, it will cost more to mobilize the trucks and deliver the equipment. Delivery costs may also fluctuate depending on truck drivers’ salaries and fuel costs.
- Material cost
As discussed above, the size of your driveway determines how much material will be needed for the job. A larger driveway will equate to a higher material cost. Another cost for consideration is the thickness of your driveway. The average driveway is 4 inches thick, but increasing thickness can increase the overall durability and longevity of the driveway, so it comes down to whether you want to invest in a thicker driveway or not.
- If a sub-grade needs to be installed first
A sub-grade is essentially a foundation for your driveway. If you need to install a sub-grade due to soil conditions, this will be an additional cost on top of the installation costs.
After reading through these considerations, you might be curious as to what the “average” driveway installation costs. According to a national survey, a two-car driveway approximately 38’ by 16’ costs $3,040 to re-pave. That boils down to around $4.99 per square foot. You can use this national average as a very loose estimate of what it might cost you to install a new driveway. Again, remember that driveway cost is variable depending on size, terrain, and location of the job site. It’s recommended to have an expert take a look at the site to give you an accurate driveway paving estimate.