Your car’s tires get a lot of wear and tear while on the road, so you want your driveway to be gentle on them when you get a chance to park it at home.
This is why asphalt is one of the best materials for residential driveways. But before you can schedule an installation, you have to figure out the finances.
We’ve put together this guide to help you learn about the typical cost of asphalt a driveway and what will make the cost go up (or down).
So let’s get started!
Image by Paul Brennan
A Closer Look at the Cost to Asphalt a Driveway
The national average for installing an asphalt driveway is about $5,000. However, depending on the specifics of the job, you might end up paying much less (as low as $1,500 in some cases) or much more (the price can get close to $10,000).
To get an accurate estimate, you need to consider the following things before you hire a contractor.
Type and Grade of Asphalt
Despite what most people mistakenly believe, there are several different types of asphalt you can use for your driveway (though they all look quite similar).
For example, if you don’t have a lot of wiggle room in your budget and want to save as much money as possible, you can install hot mix asphalt. This is the most common type of asphalt for driveways, and it’s also the cheapest.
You can also use porous asphalt if you live in an area that gets a lot of rain. This type of asphalt is a bit more expensive, but it’s worth the investment. Since asphalt doesn’t withstand water well, picking hot mix asphalt in an area that gets a lot of rain could leave with high maintenance costs.
Do you want your driveway to have some color? Installing colored asphalt gives you a lot of flexibility in the design, but it will bump up the price.
After you pick the type of asphalt you want, you also need to consider the grade. This affects the durability, longevity, and texture of your driveway.
Most residential driveways are made of Base 1-2 grade asphalt. Since this grade is rougher than others, it serves as the base layer of the driveway. If you want to cut down the costs, though, you can use it as the top layer, too.
Base 1-5 is much smoother than Base 1-2. This is the top layer of many driveways, and it has a much nice appearance. Commercial driveways that get a lot of traffic may need Top 1-4 grade asphalt because it is much stronger.
Size and Shape of the Driveway
Short driveways are much more affordable to pave than long, wide driveways. If you want to build an asphalt driveway that has enough space for two or three cars to fit side by side and stacked, you should be ready to pay more money for the job.
The shape of the driveway will also impact the overall price.
Does your driveway have a lot of curves? Is it on a steep slope? These features make the installation more difficult, which means the contractor will have to spend more time on it and maybe even use special tools.
To account for the extra labor, you’ll need to pay additional fees.
Who You Hire
Don’t forget that you also have to pay for the price of labor, not just the cost of the asphalt. When you break down the cost of installing an asphalt driveway, the average homeowner spends about $1 to $5 per square foot of material. The contractor then charges another $4 to $10 per square foot on top of that.
If your driveway doesn’t have good accessibility or if it requires special features, they may even charge more than that.
It all depends on who you hire. Every state has different price ranges when it comes to this type of work, and each contractor sets their own rates. Because of this, you should spend some time researching companies in your area and comparing quotes to ensure you get the best price.
Not sure where to look? Start with these asphalt driveway contractors for affordable services you know you can trust.
Condition of Your Current Driveway
Are you installing a brand-new driveway or do you already have an old driveway on your property?
A brand-new driveway requires excavation and base layers (though these are typically already added in the initial cost of the installation). Old driveways, on the other hand, will need to be removed before you can lay the new one. This means the contractor will have to tear it up and dispose of it.
This will add an extra cost to the overall price. In most cases, it’s still affordable, but you should expect to pay at least $800 for this service (if your driveway is average size).
Is Asphalt the Most Affordable Choice for a Driveway?
This depends on where you live and the conditions of your property. However, for many homeowners, asphalt is more affordable than things like concrete and, since it doesn’t require nearly as much maintenance, gravel. Asphalt is an especially good choice for homes in colder, damper environments.
But do your research.
If you spend the time finding a reputable company and looking for the best deals, you’ll be able to handle the cost to asphalt a driveway and end up with beautiful results at the same time.
Want some other home maintenance and improvement tips? You’re in the right place. Don’t hesitate to take a look at the rest of our blogs today!