How Much Does It Cost to Pave a Driveway?

Jenna Jonaitis
Written by Jenna Jonaitis
Updated December 1, 2022
A father and his son walking up a driveway
Photo: MoMo Productions / DigitalVision / Getty Images

On average, paving your driveway costs between $2,500 and $6,600

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Typical driveway paving costs run between $2,500 and $6,600, with a national average of about $4,500. Paving your driveway can boost the value of your home, increase your curb appeal, and add recreation space to your property. The primary factors that influence the cost of paving a driveway include driveway size, whether you use concrete or asphalt, site preparation, and local labor costs.

Low CostAverage CostHigh Cost
$2,500$4,500$6,600

Driveway Cost Breakdown

When you get a quote for driveway paving, you can expect the following costs: 

Size

Remodeling your driveway costs approximately $2 to $15 per square foot for materials and installation. However, this cost varies greatly depending on the material you choose for paving and does not include the cost of labor.

Materials

The materials you choose as you plan your driveway model will impact both the cost of the project and the overall look and usability when you’re done.

Site Preparation and Grading

Before your driveway material of choice is laid, the base needs to be cleared and leveled. This costs an average of $5 to $8 per square foot. Grading may include removing trees, plants, and rocks and also includes leveling any slopes or integrating the slope into the driveway. Leveling and grading will ensure that water drains from the driveway effectively and prevents serious (and often costly) issues down the road. 

Size and Thickness  

The size and shape of your dream driveway will play a key factor in the price you ultimately pay. In general, driveways that are short and straight will cost far less than those that are long and curved, winding, or circular. 

Likewise, the thickness of your driveway will affect the cost of your project, with thicker driveways costing more. Most driveways are 3 or 4 inches thick, but this is material-dependent. 

Layout

The shape and design of your driveway impacts the total cost by anywhere from 10% to 30%. An L-shape, S-shape, half-circle, or other curved driveway costs more than a standard square or rectangle design. That’s because a contractor has to build custom forms. But if a customized driveway improves the functionality or curb appeal of your home, you can rest easy knowing it can also increase the value of your property. 

Labor

Labor costs for a driveway remodel can make up as much as 50% of the overall price. Labor costs are high for this project because it typically involves specific equipment, like a dump truck, skid steer, roller, plate compactor, and asphalt paver or concrete mixer. Even the most dedicated DIY’er doesn't usually keep this sort of equipment in the garage so this is a project that is probably best left to the professionals.

On average, labor costs approximately $5 to $7 per square foot but costs can vary locally. For a 450 square foot driveway, this comes out to approximately $2,250.

Permits

Driveway installation permits cost between $50 and $200 on average, and usually a contractor covers the cost in their expenses. Your city or county might waive the fee if there’s a driveway apron already connecting your home to a public street.

Accessibility 

Easy access to your land, such as if you live in a rural area, often lowers the cost of paving a driveway. Tackling the project in a dense metropolitan area can be trickier and, therefore, more costly. 

Location 

Construction costs and living expenses in your area will impact how much it costs to pave a driveway. The location of your driveway on your lot can also affect the price. For example, paving a driveway on an incline costs more than a flat surface.

If you’re moving the location of your driveway, you may pay more due to demo and grading costs.

Driveway Cost By Materials

Details about and expected costs for the various materials you might choose are listed below.

7 driveway material costs per square foot compared, with asphalt ranging from $7 to $13 and concrete ranging from $8 to $18

Gravel

Gravel driveways cost an average of $1 to $2 per square foot and require very little upkeep. Gravel can handle inclement weather well and has a lifespan of 100 years with adequate maintenance. 

Chip Seal or Tar-and-Chip

Chip seal or tar-and-chip driveways cost an average of $5 to $10 per square foot. Chip seal is a mixture of hot asphalt and a fine aggregate such as crushed rocks or gravel. This is a less expensive option than asphalt and has a lifespan of approximately ten years.   

Asphalt 

Driveways made of asphalt cost an average of $7 to $13 per square foot. While it’s typically dark black in color, it’s easy to add a little flair to your driveway by using colored asphalt or stamping a brick or rock-like pattern into it before it dries and seals. Asphalt can handle both extremely high and low temperatures well but must be sealed every three to five years to fend off cracks and widening. Asphalt has a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. Asphalt is a good material to consider if you’re thinking about building a road on your property. The cost to build a private road with asphalt is about the same per square foot as a driveway.

Concrete 

Concrete costs an average of $8 to $18 per square foot. Concrete is available in several colors and, like asphalt, can be stamped into visually pleasing patterns.   Concrete is prone to cracking in very cold temperatures but is otherwise exceptionally durable and has a lifespan of approximately 40 years. 

Rubber

Rubber costs an average of $10 to $25 per square foot and is available in several colors. A rubber driveway needs proper drainage since it is a nonporous material and has a lifespan of 20 years or more. 

Pavers

Driveway pavers cost an average of $10 to $50 per square foot, with a wide variation of cost between different styles. Pavers may be made from concrete, natural stone, bluestone, brick, cobblestone, marble, and paving stones. Pavers can add serious curb appeal to your home since they can be matched specifically to your overall aesthetic. They are also simple to repair over time as only individual pieces will need fixing rather than the whole driveway. Pavers have a lifespan of 50 years or more.

Grass

Grass driveways cost an average of $10 to $15 per square foot. A grass driveway typically includes the use of plastic or concrete pavers with small gaps of grass between them. The gap provides adequate drainage, but, like your lawn, a grass driveway will need to be cut and watered regularly. The lifespan of a grass driveway will vary depending on the material you select for your pavers.

Additional Cost Considerations 

Your specific project, material, and style preferences might mean a few add-on expenses. It’s often best to set aside 20% more than the project estimate for unforeseen issues or extra features.

Sealing

On average, it costs $1.50 per square foot to seal an asphalt driveway. Sealing offers extra protection and slows cracking and shifting.

Drainage

Drainage systems drain water away from your home and foundation. A driveway culvert costs an average of $1,500 to $5,000 and creates a crossing from the street to your property.

Landscaping

If you want to landscape around your driveway, such as with edging, driveway pavers, or plants, the cost depends largely on your design and materials. You can hire a local landscaper or tackle the project yourself.

Widening or Extensions

The cost to widen or extend your driveway ranges from $2 to $15 per square foot,depending on the condition of your land and the materials. 

Heated Driveways

Heated driveways cost an average of $12 to $25 per square foot. Heated driveways are not a material themselves but consist of a radiant heating system that is installed underneath the surface of the driveway. This sort of radiant heating system can be installed under pavers, chip seal, asphalt, and concrete. If you’re ready to kiss your snow shovel goodbye, a heated driveway could be for you, as they work quickly to melt any snow or ice. Heated driveways have a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. 

Cleaning and Maintenance Costs

No matter the type of driveway, every material requires maintenance to limit cracking and shifting. Depending on your location and climate, your driveway might need more care than other locations.

Asphalt sealing should be done every three to five years, costing $2 to $7 per square foot. Concrete sealing should be done every two to three years and costs between $1 to $2 per square foot. Repairing small cracks in your driveway costs less than $0.20 per linear foot, whereas extensive driveway repairs can cost anywhere from $800 to $2,600. 

DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

Driveway installation is best left to a pro with the proper experience and equipment, such as a dump truck, jackhammer, skid steer, roller, and plate compactor. If your driveway is paved incorrectly, you risk damage to your home’s foundation, and you may end up with a driveway that doesn’t last long or hold up to the elements.

A local driveway paving pro can save you time, hassle, and unnecessary expenses. Plus, paving a driveway requires intense physical labor and multiple work days.

Can I repave my driveway myself?

Since repaving your driveway is labor-intensive and requires very specific equipment and vehicles, it is not a DIY project. Unless you happen to have driveway demo and paving equipment and expertise yourself, it’s best to hire a professional in your area. 

How to Save Money on Paving a Driveway

While you don’t want to skimp on details like grading the land and installing proper drainage, you can still save on driveway paving costs.

  • Choose a less expensive material, such as asphalt instead of concrete. 

  • Opt for a standard-shaped driveway, such as a square or rectangle. 

  • Use recycled asphalt instead of new asphalt. 

  • Compare estimates from at least three driveway paving pros in your area. 

  • Tackle the surrounding landscaping yourself, such as planting bushes or grass.

  • Demo the old driveway yourself, but you’ll need a jackhammer, physical strength, and a way to dispose of the materials.

Repair vs. Replace a Driveway

A paved driveway leading to a closed double door garage
Photo: Elenathewise / Adobe Stock

Replacing your driveway is far more expensive than repairing it. Resurfacing can cost anywhere from $1 to $15 per square foot, while removing and replacing a driveway rises to about $8 to $15 per square foot. But replacing it might be a better investment if you have major potholes, cracks wider than one-quarter inch, drainage issues, or your driveway is more than 20 years old.

On the other hand, patching small cracks, pits, and drainage problems can prolong your driveway’s life before you need to replace it. Consider having a driveway pro come look at the condition of your driveway before deciding the best route.

How To Pick the Right Material for a Driveway

The right material for you depends on three factors:

  • Style

  • Price

  • Environment

As you think about style, consider what material and color will boost your curb appeal and help you feel good gazing at your home from the street. If you plan to make other exterior improvements in the next couple of years, like painting your home's exterior or adding major landscaping, think about how your new driveway can complement these additions. 

As with most projects, the overall price of your driveway project will vary greatly with the material you choose. As you plan your project, it can be helpful to identify your budget range and look exclusively at materials that will fit within this budget. 

Where you live and the climate you experience season to season should play a big role in your choice of material. While some materials thrive in cold weather and others do well in extreme heat, not every material is a fit for every climate. Ask your local pros which materials are best for your climate and consider how those fit within your budget and style desires.

Frequently Asked Questions

Paving asphalt driveways is less expensive than paving concrete driveways. Asphalt costs an average of $7 to $13 per square foot, while concrete costs an average of $8 to $18 per square foot. Keep in mind that concrete tends to last 10 to 15 years longer with proper maintenance.

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