How Much Will It Cost to Install a Concrete Driveway?

Katy Willis
Written by Katy Willis
Updated August 4, 2022
A newly constructed house
Photo: PC Photography / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Highlights

  • Installing a concrete driveway typically costs $4 to $15 per square foot.

  • Expect to pay more for a large, long driveway, especially if it has a unique shape.

  • This project generally ranges from $2,340 to $7,500 (including removing existing concrete) but can go as high as $10,000 or more.

  • A textured, colored, or stamped finish will cost more for the additional labor.

  • The standard driveway depth is 4-inches deep, but you may want to increase that number if you have heavy vehicles.

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Installing a concrete driveway can be the finishing touch to make your home really feel like home. Though it can be one of the more costly projects to tackle, you can still achieve the driveway of your dreams and stay within budget with some money-saving strategies. The average cost to install a concrete driveway is $4 to $15 per square foot, depending on location, type of concrete, and contractor’s experience level.  

What Factors Influence the Cost to Install a Concrete Driveway?

In an ideal world, a driveway project is straightforward and doesn’t involve extra work, difficult terrain, or regrading. In reality, many factors can impact the total project cost. Let's take a look at some of the common elements you need to be aware of and budget for when planning your new driveway installation.

9 costs involved for installing a concrete driveway, including borders, sealing, and concrete delivery

Concrete Cost

The cost of concrete itself will impact your final costs. For bigger projects, like pouring a driveway, you’ll want to order concrete by the cubic yard. On average, concrete costs about $130 per cubic yard, with a range of $110 to $150 per cubic yard. Another option is to order concrete by the truckload, which typically contains about 10 cubic yards of material. The average truckload of concrete costs between $1,100 and $1,440, though it varies by company.

Size

Driveways often come in standard sizes, which may help you better estimate the costs. Although driveways come in all shapes and sizes, you may find that your driveway is one of the following standard sizes. Keep in mind that concrete costs from $4 to $15 per square foot

Project totals are often in the range of $2,340 and $7,500 (including removing existing concrete), but it’s not unusual to have projects cost up to $10,000, depending on the dimensions of the driveway.

Driveway SizeCost RangeAverage Cost
10 x 20 ft. (200 sq. ft.)$800 – $3,000$1,900
12 x 24 ft. (288 sq. ft.)$1,200 – $4,300$2,800
20 x 20 ft. (400 sq. ft)$1,600 – $6,000$3,800
24 x 24 ft. (576 sq. ft)$2,300 – $8,600$5,400
24 x 36 ft. (864 sq. ft)$3,500 – $13,000$8,200

For more help estimating the driveway cost, use the concrete driveway cost calculator on HomeAdvisor. With just a few measurements, you can determine the average cost of your project and obtain multiple estimates from contractors to compare options.

Finish

The finish you choose has a significant impact on your cost per square foot. Plain, unadorned concrete costs roughly half the price of a high-end stamped finish. The price difference is due to the labor and skill required to finish a driveway. Here are some of the most common driveway finishes and their typical costs.

FinishCost Range per Sq. Ft.Average Cost
Plain$6 – $8$7
Broom Finished$8 – $12$10
Textured$8 – $12$10
Colored$8 – $12$10
Exposed Aggregate$8 – $12$10
Polished$8 – $12$10
Salt Finish$8 – $12$10
Slate$12 – $18$15
Stamped$12 – $18$15
Imprinted$12 – $18$15
Saw Cut$18 – $20$19
Stained$18 – $20$19

Consider the Depth of Your Driveway

Not all driveways are equal when it comes to depths, finishes, and other features. For example, a typical driveway is 4-inches deep, but if you want your driveway to hold heavier vehicles, you may upgrade to a 6-inch depth. For hefty vehicles and multi-car families, you can always upgrade to an 8-inch depth. 

Cubic yards are the typical unit of measurement for concrete pours. You'll get 25% less square-foot coverage if you choose a 6-inch depth and 50% less square-foot coverage if you go for an 8-inch-thick slab. This increases the cost of the materials by 25% and 50%, respectively, in comparison to a standard 4-inch pour. You'll also pay extra for a deeper excavation and the additional time required to mix and pour the larger volume of concrete.

Site Prep

Permits and extra prep materials will add to your final cost. Before pouring a concrete driveway, you’ll need to check with your municipality to see if you need a permit. Then you’ll need to prep the site by creating a strong subsurface of sandy soil and straight form boards. You’ll need the soil below the concrete to be compact and well-drained to avoid cracks later on. You should also factor in the cost of digging out the area—a local excavation company can help with this. Pro tip: be sure to prep the site well before the concrete arrives. 

Installing a Concrete Driveway Cost Breakdown

A worker finishing a new concrete driveway
Photo:constantgardener / iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

There are many different parts of a driveway installation project, so let's take a look at exactly where your money goes when paying for a new driveway.

TaskCost RangeTypical Cost
Excavation$50 – $70 per hour$60 per hour
Adding the Subbase$12 – $18 per cubic yard$15 per cubic yard
Concrete Delivery$100 – $170 per cubic yard$135 per cubic yard
Labor for Basic Pour$1.50 – $2 per square foot$1.75 per square foot
Specialty Finish Labor$3 – $18 per square foot$10.50 per square foot
Borders$6 – $15 per linear foot$10.50 per linear foot
Heated Coils$10 – $20 per square foot$15 per square foot
Rebar or Mesh Strengthening Forms$1 – $3 per square foot$2 per square foot
Sealing$1 – $3 per square foot$2 per square foot

Concrete Apron Cost

A concrete apron typically costs $1,530 to $4,320. The apron is the section that runs from the main portion of your driveway to the road and crosses the sidewalk, if there is one. Driveway aprons may be tightly controlled by the regulations of your municipality, so check with your local building regulations office and your contractor before you start the project.

Lumber Rates Impact Overall Cost

Another cost consideration is the price of lumber. You may not realize it, but concrete installation requires many two-by-fours for framing. These additional costs can increase your contractor’s rates, especially if a material shortage drives up the price of lumber. 

Adding a Security Gate

Adding an electronic gate to your driveway costs an average of $6,700. Costs vary widely depending on whether you add cameras, a remote entry system, a communications unit, or choose a manual or automatic gate entry system.

Dealing With Steep Gradients

If your driveway is steep, uniquely shaped, or unusually long, you'll need to hire an engineer to figure out the best options for grading and drainage. Hiring a local structural engineer typically costs $100 to $200per hour.

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Concrete Driveway?

In general, expect to pay between $2,340 and $7,500 to replace your existing driveway. This includes removing and hauling away the old driveway, any necessary regrading, and installing the new surface. Be sure to check with your contractor to see if their quote includes the full replacement fee, so you don't get a surprise when it's time to pay.

DIY vs. Hire a Pro 

Labor makes up about half the cost of installing a new driveway, so if you do it yourself, you could save about $2 to $3 per square foot. But a new concrete driveway isn't a project you can successfully take on yourself unless you have all the right tools, knowledge, and experience. If you get it wrong, you'll have a lot of costly repairs to make. So, even if you're fairly confident in your DIY prowess, it’s often best to leave a driveway installation to the pros. 

But if you do decide to go the DIY route and install your own concrete driveway, you should also account for the time and manual labor you’ll need to put in, as well as the cost of renting an excavator or hiring a professional to do that part for you. 

When to Repair or Replace a Driveway 

Knowing when to opt for a repair instead of a complete driveway removal can save some money, as repairing small cracks with sealants ranges from $0.10 to $0.15 per square foot. If your driveway is just looking a little dirty, you may opt for a pressure wash, which only costs between $80 and $220. With regular maintenance and upkeep—especially in the winter—concrete driveways can last decades. You might even consider the cost to seal a concrete driveway, either DIY or professionally.

FAQs 

How do I find a reputable cement driveway contractor?

It’s important to protect your investment in your project by hiring a reputable contractor. First, make sure they’re insured and with a licensed company. Get referrals by asking friends and neighbors who were happy with their finished products. 

While you may initially think it’s more affordable to use an independent contractor or friend of a friend, you might benefit in the long run from working with an experienced contractor who can take the job entirely off your hands. Hiring a concrete driveway contractor takes a bit of upfront research.

What questions should I ask when hiring a pro to install a cement driveway?

To prevent a tough situation and make sure you’re both protected in the transaction, consider asking the following questions:

  • Do you have proof of insurance? A professional contractor should have no hesitation to show you this and answer any questions about the policy.

  • Are you a member of any national trade organizations, such as the National Association of Home Builders? While not required to do a great job, this shows investment from the contractor and that they’re interested in best practices.

  • Do you have references you can provide from former clients? This will allow you to talk to people who have worked with the contractor before and potentially see some of the work the contractor has completed. 

  • How much have past jobs similar to this one cost? By asking this question you can get a better idea of the rate range you’re being quoted and what the final product included.

  • What’s your typical turnaround time for a project like this one? While they may not be able to give you an exact date that your project will be complete, this can help you set your expectations.

  • What potential issues could you run into that may increase the cost mid-project? You can budget for potential extra costs if you’re away of them from the beginning. 

Call a concrete driveway contractor near you who can help you plan the job and get it done so you can enjoy your new driveway.

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