How Much Does It Cost to Pave a Driveway?

Meg Scanlon
Written by Meg Scanlon
Updated January 11, 2022
A father and his son walking up a driveway
Photo: MoMo Productions / DigitalVision / Getty Images

On average, paving your driveway costs between $2,403 and $6,563

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Paving your driveway can boost the value of your home, increase your curb appeal, and add valuable relaxation and recreation space to your property. Paving a driveway usually costs between $2,403 and $6,563. The national average is approximately $4,482. The primary factors that influence the cost of the project include the size of the driveway, the material you use, how much site preparation must happen before paving begins, and local labor costs.

How Much Does a Driveway Remodel Cost Per Square Foot?

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.

Driveway Cost Breakdown

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

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

  • Gravel costs an average of $1 to $2 per square foot and requires 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 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 costs 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 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 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 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 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.

  • 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. 

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. 

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. 

Repair of Full Replacement 

Depending on your current situation, you may find yourself needing to repair small parts of your driveway or totally replace it. If you opt for a full replacement, you’ll need to work with your pro to determine if you can pour or install the new material over your existing driveway or if you’ll need to tear out the existing driveway and start fresh. If you’re starting fresh, you’ll need to plan for the cost of leveling, grading, and installing drainage. 

FAQs About Driveway Paving

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

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. 

What factors should I consider when choosing a material for my 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. 

How should I choose a pro when repaving my driveway?

As a best practice, it’s smart to get estimates from several driveway professionals near you before making your final decision. Ask for a breakdown of labor and material costs and for their recommendations on the specifics of the project. You’ll also want to be sure you receive your estimate in writing and that it includes a detailed timeline and list of what costs are and are not included. 

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