The average cost for a 2-car driveway paving and installation is $3,600 with most homeowners spending between $950 and $7,940. The price can vary greatly by region (and even by zip code). Get free estimates from pros near you.
All subdivision these days have driveways as part of the final cost of the home, but there comes a time when the driveway either must be replaced or repaved. Or perhaps you’re tired of driving on mud or gravel to get to your country home, and you’re ready to call in the big dogs.
Your driveway will either be straight, curved, or circular, and your final choice will depend mostly on looks, access, and drainage. A great driveway can add considerably to the resale value due to how much it contributes to the complete look of the house and yard.
In the United States, the average size of a one-car driveway is 10’ wide x 24’ long (240 sqft/26 sqyd), and a two-car driveway is 20’ wide x 24’ long (418 sqft/46 sqyd). Most newer homes are being built with a two-car garage and driveway. The most common option of driveway material selected by homeowners is asphalt, with concrete coming in as a close second. However, there are a number of paving options to choose from, depending on your budget.
|Driveway Type||Cost Per Square Foot|
In order of cost, gravel is the cheapest but not necessarily the best. Prices below are based on Craftsman’s 2018 National Home Improvements Estimator and nationwide contractor reports.
$950 | $2.25/sqft
Costs around $2.25 per square foot. While actually costing the least, and lasting as long as 100 years or more, it is still not the most popular choice.
There is no impact on a gravel driveway from temperature fluctuations. A lot of rain, however, can wash gravel away unless you have prepared the ground for it.
A clay and sand base is put in before the gravel is distributed and raked to create an even surface. Remove all topsoil, level it for drainage, install geotextile fabric between the subsoil and the gravel (to stop the silt from working itself upward into it), and install side forms to hold it in. Consider installing a ground grid paver which will give it a pocketed look.
The best gravel driveways are those of many layers of gravel, with each layer being about 4” thick and the gravel slightly smaller on each layer than the gravel below it. The total thickness should be about 12”.
By far the most robust option you can choose for your driveway finish. It is prone to movement either through traffic or because of snow and rain. Gravel will create a better driving surface and requires less maintenance than a driveway made from regular stones. It is more stable to drive on and it will never crack. Typical maintenance will be regular weeding and the addition of more gravel—if a significant amount gets moved over time by traffic or wet weather.
Consider creating patterns with gravel of different colors and edging it all with another color.
$3,720 | $80/sqyd or $8.90/sqft
Also known as blacktop, asphalt driveways are generally one of the least expensive options, thus making them the most commonly used driveway material choice. Most driveways have two layers of asphalt applied. A 3” thick base costs $30/sq. yd. and each additional inch of thickness is $8/sq. yd.
Asphalt can melt somewhat in extreme temperatures. However, because it is not a compact product like concrete, it is better equipped to handle drastic changes in temperature between freezing and extreme heat. Because it’s usually black, it will absorb more heat during the day and release it at night—a plus in cold climates.
A 2”–8” deep layer of sub grade gravel will be set in place first, at a cost of $1/sqft. Once an asphalt driveway has been installed, it will be fully set within a day or two and can have cars on it within 3–5 days.
Asphalt won’t crack the way concrete does, and any surface damage that does occur will not be as visible as it will be with concrete. The average asphalt driveway that is built well using high quality materials will likely have a life of around 20–30 years before needing to be replaced.
Repairs are easy and not very expensive, as you can patch any damage. If the driveway is in poor condition, you can resurface with a gravel and liquid asphalt mix called macadam, which can last for up to six years at a cost of about $2/sq ft. Your contractor may also offer maintenance services for the driveway, like Sharpe Construction in Kingston, RI.
Typically, you can use recycled asphalt, tar-and-chip asphalt, and colored asphalt. In its cheapest form, it’s available in standard black.
While it is generally more common for homeowners to install asphalt driveways in northern states and concrete driveways in the southern region, it is still roughly a 50/50 split across the US. Choosing one over the other will not affect resale value.
Caution: “If someone knocks on your front door and says, ‘We have a load of asphalt that was left over from paving nearby, and we can pave your driveway at a bargain rate if you'll pay cash,’ don't take them up on it. Asphalt that is ‘left over’ from another job will be too cool to make a good pavement for your home. As with any business transaction, you want to know who you're dealing with before proceeding, so making a deal on the spot does not make sense. Checking references can save you money in the long run.” — National Asphalt Pavement Association
$3,550 | $8.50/sqft
About $8.50 per square foot installed
Concrete cracks less in warmer climates that don’t have a freeze-thaw weather cycle. A way to get around this in colder climates is to install in large pavers onsite—with the control joints giving the pavers room to expand—rather than as one slab, but this will increase the price.
Unless the subgrade is impeccably compacted, the ground under that can shift and the concrete on the top layer can crack and sink. Getting the sub base right is the most important part of installation.
If installed professionally, concrete should provide the homeowner with a useable surface for 60 years or more. Maintenance includes power washing and weeding. Cracking can occur and become visible. If damage does occur, depending on how extensive it is, minor to moderate repairs include: recoloring, slab jacking, concrete engraving, and resurfacing.
The range of options that concrete offers for your final finish far exceeds any other driveway surface you can choose from. Concrete allows for a vast range of color treatments—stained, dyed, or colored; and the ability to create custom surface texture—to replicate stone, cutting grooves, or stamping to create the look of tile or flagstone.
Choosing concrete over asphalt will not affect resale value. Be sure to seal your concrete driveway so as to prevent oil stains from seeping in.
$5,435 | $11–$15/sqft
While starting as low as $11/sqft, the average is closer to $13/sqft. It is a very manually intensive task resulting in more than 50% of the project cost coming from the labor costs.
Good in all climates because of the joint space that allows the pavers room to expand.
Interlocking concrete pavers are also an option, offered in many styles and colors like cobblestone, granite, slab, and brick. A professionally prepared sub grade of paver base material is vital, with a recommended thickness of 4”–5”. If you’re unsure about drainage, consider consulting a soil engineer. Without a good sub base, sections of your driveway can sink. Without correct impaction procedures, pavers can drift apart.
While costing more initially, your concrete paver driveway is likely to last between 25 to 50 years. Just like concrete slab, it does pose the risk of cracking, but replacement is a lot cheaper than repairing a concrete driveway because you only need to replace the cracked individual pavers.
Maintenance for a concrete paver driveway is minimal with rarely more than weeding and sweeping or hosing off any dirt that has accumulated. Pavers can be power washed and re-sanded with newer types of polymer sand that offer a stronger bond and weed and insect protection.
As with a traditional concrete driveway, concrete pavers offer a wide range of colors and finish textures to complete your driveway, allowing you to coordinate with the colors in your home exterior.
Pavers will add major street appeal to your property when it comes time to sell the home.
$7,940 | $19/sqft
At an average cost of $19 per square foot, brick is on the high end of driveway surface options for homeowners. With the materials cost for brick costing right at $4 per square foot, the majority of the project cost will be for the labor, because all the work is done by hand. Considering how long they will last, the price can be worth it.
A well-made paving brick can last for one hundred years or more. Clay bricks that have been fired at very high temperatures for a long time do well in extreme weather. Bricks can also come in interlocking sheets and are installed without mortar, but their color can fade over time.
Brick can be dry laid in a climate with no freeze-thaw weather, with a base of compacted gravel and sand. This gives good permeability to the driveway too, but it’s not a good driveway option for heavy vehicles. The joints are filled with sand. A mortared brick driveway is necessary for heavy use, and it can be installed over existing concrete slab that’s in good structural condition with no cracks. The slab is covered in mortar and the bricks are tapped into it as they are arranged, followed by more mortar to fill the joints.
It can crack from unusual traffic like heavy trucks or objects being dropped on the driveway. A normal lifespan for a brick driveway is 30–40 years with proper maintenance, which includes applying a seal every few years to help prevent cracks. When you have the drive installed, the installer can leave behind a number of bricks to replace any that get broken, and that way you can be certain the replacements will be the same color and texture.
Compared to asphalt, brick allows for a lot of creativity in the design of your home’s driveway. In addition to the potential for creating a unique design, brick is a very strong surface that not only delivers a range of options in color choices, but also in textures. Because of their uniform design, it makes for very precise planning and design before they are set in place.
A nice addition is to hire a contractor with in-house landscape designers to not only install the driveway, but also to design and install the surrounding landscaping, like Creative Brick Paving, Landscaping & Construction in Keego Harbor, MI.
Resale value will increase with the upmarket look of a brick driveway.
$6,900 | $12–$21/sqft
Living somewhere that gets regular snowfall every winter can make clearing your driveway and falling on ice get old really fast. Get a radiant heated or hydronic driveway and get some of your life back. While this has been used for some time in Northern Europe and in Japan, for both sidewalks and roads, it is still gaining popularity in the US.
Many systems can melt as much as an inch of snow per hour, leaving your driveway completely useable and safe for your family. While a heated driveway will require maintenance costs and add to the cost of ownership, it could save you hours of shoveling time and bump up the resale value of the home.
Radiant systems of metal coils can be installed under existing driveways, which requires the driveway to be pulled up. Once plugged into an electrical outlet, the coils can be operated by a switch, using sensors (they turn on when the temperature hits zero), or with an app.
Connected to a boiler/water heater, hydronic systems pump hot water under the driveway to melt the ice and snow. It’s best to install the system before installing the new driveway. Install it during the summer months, as it needs a month to settle.
Terrain is likely only to impact the cost for a new home, since an existing home would already have had the land leveled for the drive that is in place. New driveways will always have to be excavated and graded before any driveway material is put down. You’ll need to uproot and dispose of all grass, plants, trees, etc. in the way.
Think about using a contractor like Premier II Home & Lawn Care in Westport, MA, to do both the installation of the new driveway and the removal of all shrubbery and trees. Equipment rental to scrape the ground, if it’s needed, and the cost of a steamroller, will mean a starting price point of $1,500 per driveway.
For those putting in a new driveway to replace an old one, the first task to kick off the project will be to remove the existing driveway. This involves breaking up the driveway before it is hauled away. If removal wasn’t included in the quote, you can expect to pay an average cost for removing and hauling away an old asphalt driveway of roughly $3 per square foot. Breaking up an asphalt pavement up to 3” thick and loading it on a truck costs about $9/sq. yd. Also removing the existing base to 3” and removing the debris costs approx. $29/sq. yd.
Grading costs about $4/sqft and includes grading soil, removing rocks, setup, cleanup, and addition or removal of grading materials. Any kind of slope in the driveway area will add more onto the cost. If your compacted subgrade is still in place and doesn’t need any attention, then expect an average cost of $2 per square foot to resurface with either concrete or asphalt.
If your new driveway project is to simply put a new surface over the exact size and location of a previous driveway, then there should be no permitting required.
If, however, you are increasing the size of the driveway, adding additional corners, moving the driveway, or changing its permeability, etc., then you will need to check with local governing authorities, including your homeowner’s association, if applicable, to make sure that the changes you are planning fit within the permitted rules for your home and neighborhood.
The main concern is not aesthetics at this point, but more about making sure your driveway enhancement project won’t adversely affect the permeable ground and change runoff water flow in the neighborhood. Local government websites will likely have details listed under codes and regulations, driveway permits, or driveway pavement requirements. Your driveway contractor will likely also be well educated on the matter.
If your budget is low, consider pouring slab for the main driveway but bordering it with brick or pavers. Position lighting and plants where they won’t be driven over, keeping in mind pedestrian access and the size shrubs will grow to. If you’d rather have visual aids of the finished job before work starts, use computer-generated 3D images, plan views, virtual reality, and photo realistic design images from high-tech contractors like Praiz Design Services in Waller, Texas.
Gates and pillars can make long driveways seem more upmarket and offer additional security. Even just pillars with the house number on them can help emergency services and mailpersons find your home more easily.
When looking for contractors for your driveway paving project, create a top list of 3 to 5 companies to get bids from, from which you can make your final selection.
To get the best companies onto that shortlist, look for installers who have as many of the following as possible:
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