How Much Does It Cost to Build a Road on My Property?

Jenna Jonaitis
Written by Jenna Jonaitis
Updated March 2, 2022
A entrance with road driveway in rural countryside
Photo: Kristina Blokhin / Adobe Stock


  • Gravel costs $1.25 to $3 per square foot and is less expensive than asphalt and concrete.

  • Factor in costs for land clearing, tree removal, resloping, and installing a drainage system.

  • Building a road yourself is a complex project.

  • It’s best to hire a pro, especially if you choose asphalt or concrete.

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If you’re building a custom home, tiny home, or remote rural home, you may be considering adding a private road to your property. The cost of building a road ranges from $1.25 to $15 per square foot, depending on if it’s gravel, asphalt, or concrete. Careful planning and budgeting go into building a road to ensure it meets local code, holds up to traffic and weather, and lasts for decades to come. Let’s pave the way by breaking down the costs, below.

Minimum CostMaximum Cost
$1.25 per square foot$15 per square foot

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Road per Square Foot by Type?

Gravel Road

A gravel road is the least expensive option, and the cost depends on if you lay the gravel yourself and if you add stabilization. If farm equipment or commercial vehicles will use your road, stabilization is recommended. In general, gravel roads are easy to repair, available in a variety of colors, and last up to 100 years. But like gravel driveways, gravel roads are not suited for areas where it snows.

You need at least a few layers of gravel rocks in different sizes along with a layer of geotextile fabric underneath. Depending on your property and type of soil, you may need a road depth of anywhere from three to 12 inches. You may also want to install a border or retaining wall to keep your rocks inside the driveway.

Gravel$1.25 to $3 per square foot (including labor)
Stabilized gravel$2 to $12 per square foot (including labor)

Asphalt Road

Paving an asphalt road is a similar cost to paving an asphalt driveway—about $7 to $13 per square foot. An asphalt road is a type of paved road that’s black and softens in the heat. Asphalt is great even in locations where it snows and typically costs less than a concrete road. Asphalt usually lasts 10 to 30 years and is easy to maintain. 

It requires special equipment and heavy lifting, so it’s best to hire an asphalt driveway pro for the job. 

Concrete Road

A concrete road is often the most expensive option, running about $4 to $15 per square foot. The upside of concrete is that it offers high durability and lasts 30 to 50 years. The higher cost of pouring concrete is due to the fact that it’s a complex job. Hire a local driveway paving expert for your project to ensure your concrete road is poured properly and lasts for as long as possible. 

Building a Road Cost Breakdown

A long driveway to large rural American home
Photo: Osaze / Adobe Stock

Building a road on your property involves much more than pushing gravel rocks around or pouring concrete. Here are the main components of road construction.


Before building a road, you’ll need approval from your city or county and pull a permit, which can range from $500 to $2,000. You’ll likely need to put together a private road maintenance agreement that specifies the maintenance you’re responsible for. You should also check with your local fire department to see if they have road guidelines to follow. You want to ensure emergency vehicles can make it to your home.

Site Preparation

If you need to remove an existing driveway, expect to pay between $2 and $6 per square foot for removal. If you need to remove trees, budget for $400 to $1,200 per tree depending on the size and height. Clearing your land for a road costs about $250 to $1,000 per acre.

Grading or Resloping

Depending on where you’re building your road, you may need to reslope or grade your land. Water should be directed away from your home’s foundation. Resloping work ranges from $400 to $5,000, with $1,900 being the average. 

Depth and Width

The depth and width of your driveway play a role in how expensive your materials and labor will be. Talk with a driveway professional or structural engineer about what’s best for your road depending on what you’ll use it for and the weather conditions in your area. 


The materials for your driveway play a huge role in the final cost and range widely based on the specific gravel stones or concrete you choose. You may get a discount for buying large quantities—lowering the cost per square foot.


It’s best to hire a civil engineer to help design and plan your road so that it meets road construction, safety, and environmental standards. Civil engineers cost $100 to $200 per hour on average. 

The labor price for installing your road depends on what type of material you use:

MaterialAverage Cost per Square Foot
Gravel$1 to $2
Asphalt$5 to $7
Concrete$2 to $3

Labor prices depend on your geographical location, property, and the length and slope of the road.

Road Drainage

You want to ensure you have a proper drainage system to prevent property damage and potholes, and meet local codes. According to HomeAdvisor, the cost of a drainage system typically falls between $2,000 and $5,500.

Tools and Supplies

If you decide to tackle building a road yourself, you’ll need specialized tools and supplies. Concrete and asphalt roads are not recommended for DIYers, but if you’re experienced, you may wish to build a gravel road. You’ll need a sledgehammer, perforated pipe, geotextile fabrics, wood stakes, and erosion control mats. 

Cost to Build a Road Yourself

Building a road yourself takes careful planning, preparation, execution, and physical labor. You’ll also need specialized tools and vehicles. If you’re an experienced DIYer, you may be able to build a gravel road yourself, but your road needs to meet local guidelines and have proper drainage. You’ll also need at least one other adult to help you with the project. 

Asphalt and concrete roads are even more complex and an expert is recommended in order to ensure your road lasts and is built to code.

Cost to Build It Yourself vs. Hiring a Contractor 

If you install a gravel road yourself, you’ll likely save $1 per square foot, but you’ll need the skills, tools, and time to do the work. Building a gravel driveway takes an average of 50 hours of work. You can expect many more hours to build a road. 

How You Can Save Money While Building a Road

There are a few key ways you can reduce costs when building a road on your property: 

  • Choose gravel over asphalt or concrete if you live in an area without snow and harsh winters.

  • Shop around for the best material prices, especially if you’re planning a long road.

  • Talk with at least three driveway contractors to get quotes and compare prices.

Building a Personal Road Questions and Answers

What private road maintenance costs do you need to factor in?

Expect to pay for repairs, regular maintenance, snow clearing, and any modifications to the road. If you share your road with a neighbor, costs are typically shared. A written road maintenance agreement can help mitigate disputes and issues.

How long or wide does a private road need to be? 

Your city or county has guidelines about the minimum width and maximum length of private roads. Requirements also depend on the amount of traffic and types of vehicles your road experiences. Check with local ordinances before planning a road on your property.

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