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How Much Does It Cost to Pave a Driveway? 

How much does it cost to pave 1000 square feet?

The average Southern California driveway is approximately 1,000 sq. ft. Brick driveway paving cost on a space that size will typically come in at around $8,500, with removal of the old driveway, base and paving stone installation.

Driveway Cost By Material Type

Depending on the material, paving a driveway can cost anywhere from $1,500 to over $11,000. Concrete is a popular choice because of its durability and long-lasting nature. Other popular types of driveways include asphalt or blacktop, gravel, pavers and rubber.

Concrete can be more affordable than other materials and requires little maintenance. It can be decorated with colors, stamped patterns, borders or custom finishes (all of which add to the base price) and can last up to 30 to 40 years. This makes it a great option for most homeowners who live in warm climates. Asphalt, a popular second choice, has a life cycle of up to 15 to 30 years and does best in colder climates.

When deciding which type of material to pave a driveway with, consider how labor-intensive it is to install. Heated driveways, for example, require expert installation that can be more costly than the actual material used to pave. Periodic maintenance can also drive up the cost of a driveway in the long run; gravel driveways may be the cheapest type of driveway to install, but regular raking and new gravel filling once or twice a year can add up over time.

Labor

Labor also drives the cost of driveway paving since it’s a labor-intensive process. The labor cost to pave an average 450-square-foot driveway could run $5 to $7 per square foot or about $2,250. A driveway that has curves or is circular will cost more to complete, so labor costs will also increase. Labor accounts for up to 50 percent of the cost of most driveway installations. Still, it’s worth the price to have experienced laborers carefully pave a durable driveway that will be used countless times.

Driveway Size, Layout, and Thickness

The shape of the driveway can also influence how much it costs to pave a driveway. Standard rectangular driveways cost less, but extensive driveways with circular edges will cost more. For instance, standard-size circular driveways cost 10 to 20 percent more because they require extra labor and materials. A thicker driveway will also drive material costs higher, but the standard 3- to 4-inch-thick driveway should be sufficient in most cases.

Professionally Installed Asphalt Driveways

Installation is a major component of the longevity of your asphalt driveway. Lower costs can tempt you to complete the installation on your own, but unless you have experience in working with asphalt, it is not recommended. The process is more challenging than it seems and what appears to be a small mistake could turn out to be a major problem that lowers the lifespan and raises the cost of your driveway.

Contact a professional contractor who has experience with asphalt to handle installation for you. A good contractor takes the time to consider your drainage needs, level and grade your driveway, and uses the right materials to lay down your base and sub-base before paving. Don’t be afraid to speak to more than one contractor; if one is not meeting your needs or doing the job right, you can always find another who will.

Asphalt Driveway Proper Curing Time

You can have the best materials in the world installed by an expert in asphalt paving, but that won’t mean anything if you don’t give your driveway enough time to properly cure. A short curing time leads to dents, scars, and other damage that affect the appearance and structural integrity of the driveway. It is recommended to wait between 48 and 72 hours after the asphalt has been poured before you drive, park, or walk on it.

Some people recommend waiting up to five days before using an asphalt driveway. It takes another 6 to 12 months before the asphalt hardens fully after the initial curing period. While the driveway is usable, avoid parking in the same spot or using car jacks or ramps (unless a wood block is placed underneath) to prevent possible issues.

Asphalt Driveway Prices by Size

Driveway SizeSquare FeetAverage Cost Range
10 x 20-feet (single stall)200$1,400 – $2,000
12 x 24-feet (single)288$2,016 – $2,880
20 x 20-feet (double stall)400$2,800 – $4,000
24 x 24-feet (double)576$4,032 – $5,760

Determining Asphalt Paving Cost

Once an asphalt calculator has helped you determine the approximate tonnage that will be needed for your paving project, how do you use that number to estimate the potential cost?

The final cost of a project will depend on the square footage that needs to be paved, whether or not permits are required, and whether any obstructions like trees need to be removed before the project can begin. The best way to calculate the estimated cost of an asphalt project is to contact a reputable asphalt contractor for a consultation.

As the contractor assembles a cost estimate for your asphalt paving job, following are the most significant considerations:

  • Mobilization: This is the cost just to get the asphalt equipment and crew to a job site. The combination of hourly wages for transporting and unloading the equipment, as well as the fuel costs to get to the site, is a big factor that can make smaller jobs more cost per square foot than larger jobs.
  • Preparation: Sometimes preparing a site for proper drainage, big or little, can be quite a task. What kind of preparation will be needed can only be determined by walking the site.
  • Materials: What kind of asphalt will be used for the project? Choices can range from traditional hot mix, to warm mix or RAP (recycled asphalt pavement). Costs will vary by material.
  • Trucking: Too many trucks and the contractor will be paying truck drivers to sit around waiting for the others to unload; not enough trucks and the crew will be paid to wait for the next load to arrive.
  • Installation or “Laydown”: Estimating the cost for the installation relies on several factors:

-How much handwork is involved-How much time it will take to install the asphalt with the equipment
-Usage or replacement costs for the use of the equipment
-Wages and insurance for 5 to 10 crew members
-Liability insurance
-Equipment costs

An asphalt calculator can offer an early first step in assessing your pavement project – regardless of how large or small the site. But any online asphalt calculator should not be relied upon to provide any more than a simple tonnage calculation. To get a grasp on the potential cost of your paving project, a skilled asphalt consultant will need to ask questions about the site and the project goals, and typically should visit the site to assess the existing conditions.