Does your car’s bumper scrape every time you pull in and out of your gravel driveway? Is your aging asphalt developing cracks, crumbles or potholes?
If so, it might be time to pave your driveway—but you’re wondering how much it will cost. While the average asphalt driveway paving job costs about $4,000, your bill will depend on a host of factors, such as the size of your driveway and the materials you choose.
A home equity line of credit (HELOC) is a great way to finance a new driveway. But first, here’s a breakdown of the costs associated with paving a driveway.
Driveway paving costs: An overview
When planning the budget for a new driveway, major factors include your climate, the size of your driveway, the materials that will provide the desired appearance, and required maintenance.
Climate conditions vary throughout the country and will greatly impact your decision. Likewise, the cost of paving varies dramatically depending on square footage, materials and local labor costs, with the national average sitting around $4,300 for a standard size asphalt driveway. Exploring multiple options will allow you to make the best choice. Use our calculator to see how much HELOC is right for you.
Comparing costs among driveway materials
Asphalt and concrete are the two most common driveway paving materials, due to their relatively low cost and ease of installation. Pavers—which give the driveway a patterned look using brick, cobblestone or other materials—are a premium paving material, with prices varying widely by color, pattern, thickness and finish.
Because driveways can have quite different sizes and shapes, it’s most accurate to compare costs by price per square foot. Here are average prices for different materials:
- Asphalt: $3 to $4 per square foot
- Concrete: $4 to $15 per square foot
- Pavers: $5 to $50 per square foot
Don’t forget driveway maintenance costs
In addition to the upfront costs of installation and materials, you should also consider the cost of maintaining your driveway. Before confirming the project, it’s best to know how frequently you will have to treat the driveway to keep it in good condition.
- Asphalt withstands inclement weather better than any other material, which might be preferable if you live in a region that sees heavy rain, snow or drastic temperature changes during the year. Average lifespan for an asphalt driveway is 20 years, but maintenance is required every three years, costing an average of $0.15 per square foot to seal and $2.25 per square foot to repave.
- Concrete offers a middle-of-the-road option for driveway installation and maintenance costs. Concrete performs best in warmer climates because it does not soften in heat, but it should not be used in cold, wet climates since it is not pliable like asphalt. For optimal longevity, you will need to seal cracks and edge the concrete every three to five years, or as incidents occur. Repair costs might be higher than with asphalt, because fixing large damaged areas requires laborers to remove and completely reset the concrete—a process that can cost almost as much as installing the original driveway.
- Pavers have a higher upfront cost than other options, but do not require as much maintenance. Pavers are more durable than asphalt and concrete, and can last up to 40 years if treated properly. Typical maintenance consists of periodically filling in cracks created by weather changes.
Considering your options
When paving a driveway, it helps to remain flexible and open to several options within the parameters of your desired appearance and local climate. And when you include considerations about a forecasted maintenance costs, you’ll be on your way to a new driveway that fits your budget and your needs.