The average cost for an asphalt driveway is $4,200. Hiring a asphalt paver, you will likely spend between $2,900 – $5,500 depending on the extent. The price of an asphalt driveway can vary greatly by region (and even by zip code). View our local asphalt pavers or get free estimates from pros near you.
When looking for a cheaper, easier to repair, and recyclable option for a driveway, asphalt is the top choice. When quality materials are installed properly by professionals, the resulting driveway will be a safe and clean surface for parking the family cars on, and for the kids to play on.
Even though it is marginally more common to see asphalt driveways in the more northern regions of the United States and concrete in the southern states, there is a pretty even split across the country between concrete and asphalt for residential driveways. In the United States, the average cost for a 20 x 24-foot-long (480 sq. ft/53 sq. yd.) two-car, asphalt driveway lies in the region of $2,900–$5,500.
Because of the way asphalt is made, it is less rigid than concrete, which makes it more pliable, thus making it better suited for regions subjected to yearly freeze-and-thaw weather patterns. Another benefit for northerners is that the dark color will absorb more heat from the sun during the day and release it in the evening—thawing the snow faster than a brighter surface like concrete would.
An existing asphalt driveway will start to deteriorate with age and require extensive patching to cover up cracks, dips, and damage. Rather than having a driveway with different shades from the older and newer asphalt, it might be time to replace or resurface the entire driveway.
Concrete is the other most popular choice for driveways, and better for southern locations because it’s less flexible than asphalt and doesn’t do as well in freeze-thaw climates. The average cost is $5,500 for a 20’ x 24’ concrete driveway.
Brick driveways cost about $9,200, but they need extra maintenance and have to be installed by hand.
A gravel driveway can cost as little as $840 for the gravel alone, but it tends to move in rain and snow melts and welcomes weeds.
Most driveways in subdivisions are two-car, 20’x24’ driveways measured for regular-sized vehicles. If you have larger vehicles or future drivers, consider expanding the width to accommodate the difference in size and numbers.
The recommended measuring lengths for driveways are:
If all you are doing is resurfacing an existing asphalt driveway, it will cost about $54/square yard for a 3” thick layer of asphalt spread with a shovel, raked smooth, and hand tamped = $2,860 for a standard driveway.
If money is tight and the driveway is in very bad condition, consider resurfacing the driveway with a gravel and liquid asphalt mix called macadam. It can last for up to six years at a cost of about $2/sq. ft.
Breaking up an asphalt pavement up to 3” thick and loading it on a truck costs about $9/sq. yd = $480. To do that and also remove the existing base to 3” and remove the debris costs approx. $29/sq. yd = $1,540.
Hand or machine excavation of soil, trees, and shrubbery costs $0.50–$1.50/sq. ft. It will cost more to uproot and dispose of all grass, plants, trees, etc. in the way of the new driveway. Some contractors take care of both the installation of the new driveway and the removal of all shrubbery and trees.
One of the most important considerations with the installation of any driveway is rainfall drainage, and while the ground may look relatively level, driveways will always need grading and excavation before the asphalt is put down. Rain must flow away from the home to the street.
Grading ensures that the driveway will be slightly higher at the house end of the driveway and lower at street level, and that the water will run off the surface of the driveway and not sit in puddles. Grading generally costs around $4 per square foot and includes grading soil, removing rocks, setup, cleanup, and addition or removal of grading materials.
Cheaper bids could indicate that the contractor will not give grading the attention it needs, causing flooding or pooling on the driveway. This will mean the driveway will deteriorate in about half the time it should. Any additional design or terrain elements like curved surfaces, inclines or declines, or any other degree of complexity will be a contributor to the bottom line in your total project cost.
Because of the costs to your contractor for renting graders to scrape the ground (if needed), steamrollers, and whatever equipment is needed on top of transporting the asphalt to the site, there will always be a baseline of at least $1,500 from which a project will start.
The most common material used as a subgrade is gravel, which averages around $1 per square foot, depending on local availability. The driveway will require a layer 2–8” deep below the asphalt for drainage = $300–$1,000.
Once a previous driveway has been removed and the ground prepared, which can take from 24 to 72 hours depending on the complexity involved, a paving contractor can generally install a new asphalt driveway within a day or two for a standard-sized driveway. However, some states require an airing-out process for the subgrade of up to a couple of weeks.
Generally, contractors standardize on one of two pricing structures. You will either get a price that reflects a cost per square foot or a price per ton. Most driveways will require a minimum of two layers of base before the top coat and sealant are applied.
3” thick base material $30/sq. yd
Each additional inch of thickness $8/sq. yd
If you live in the suburbs close to a major city, there is unlikely to be a major shift from the average cost, but if you live in a really rural area, the transportation of both the equipment and the asphalt materials to your home could cause the price to go a bit higher than the numbers we have detailed in this guide.
Sealant averages $0.26 per square foot, while other colors or stamped coats could add another $4 per square foot. Sealant can also be mixed with sand to improve the outcome.
While it can take up to a year for a driveway to settle and cure, once the asphalt driveway is finished, you should be able to walk on it 24–48 hours later, and drive on it within 3–5 days. Until the driveway has fully cured in the heat of the hot summer days, caution should be exercised to make sure damage doesn’t occur from turning your vehicle quickly.
Check the driveway regularly for holes, cracks, weeds, or shifting so as to keep it well maintained and to fend off the replacement cost for as long as possible. Asphalt driveways usually need to be resealed every 3–5 years. Sometimes your contractor also offers maintenance services for the driveways they install.
It is unlikely you will run into any city or HOA regulatory compliance issues that carry a fee if you are simply resurfacing an existing driveway, but if you are putting in a new driveway where there wasn’t one before, or adding some design features that will make the driveway stand out a lot, check with your HOA and local city planning department to get some guidance on their rules and the associated fees. A certain percentage of the lot must remain permeable so as not to affect water drainage.
Both city and state transportation entities have regulations that cover a number of driveway restrictions, including how wide the driveway can be and how far the driveway has to be away from a neighboring driveway. Some even stipulate what kind of materials are permitted for use in the construction of a driveway. The engineering firm you hire for the grading stage will normally be well-versed with the restrictions.
If you’d like to add security or nicely designed gates at the end of your driveway, many contractors can either do that work as well, like Brena Construction in Los Angeles, CA, or are well connected to other contractors they can recommend to do the work.
Build a list of three to five contractors to solicit bids from. In creating the shortlist, a few key elements to pay attention to that will give you the most peace of mind about your final selection include the following:
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