How Much Does It Cost to Pave a Driveway? A Cost Guide

Warnings

  • If your subsoil is inferior, new soil will need to be installed and compacted properly before the asphalt paving can continue.

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DIY Permeable Paver Driveway

Pros: Permeable Pavers  – (interlocking plastic grids) make the process behind your do it yourself driveway easy like Legos.  The install can be done by anyone, which leaves the choice of using a contractor up to you. These grids interlock and can be filled with grass or gravel, which stabilizes the soil and allows water to soak back into the ground to recharge groundwater and filter out pollutants.

Cons: Not all permeable pavers are created equal. Choosing a permeable paver built to withstand high traffic and made from durable high quality materials will ensure a maintenance free parking surface. TRUEGRID Paver manufactures the World’s Strongest Permeable Pavers and is built to handle heavy loads.

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How Much Does It Cost to Pave a Driveway? How to Know if You Need a New Driveway

Some wear and tear on outdoor surfaces is expected. But at some point, an old driveway will probably need to be replaced. Cracks and potholes are the biggest indicators that the driveway has lived past its prime. Other signs include warping, pooling water, and crumbling edges. Review these factors to decide if it’s time to replace your old driveway.

Cracks, Potholes, and Warping

Cracks appear when the integrity of the material has been compromised by weather or the weight of vehicles. If left for too long, those cracks can widen into potholes—and you might need a wheel alignment as well as a new driveway. Warping happens on an asphalt driveway when heavy loads rest on the surface for long periods, whether that’s a vehicle or equipment. Severe warping or undulation can affect your car’s suspension system.

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Drainage Issues

If the driveway was properly sloped or leveled when installed, but you’re seeing drainage problems like pooling water now, then there’s a problem with how your driveway has shifted over time. Weather, trees, and the movement of the earth can all affect how level a driveway remains over time. Pooling water leads to the formation of cracks and eventually potholes. Have a driveway installer consult on-site about how to handle a drainage problem.

Age

Driveways eventually wear out due to continued use and weather. A concrete driveway usually lasts 40 years before it has a really rough appearance that can only be solved with a total replacement. Asphalt driveways simply can’t outlast extreme weather conditions forever since their flexibility ends up becoming their Achilles heel. If the driveway has reached its average lifespan, it’s time to consider what kind of driveway you want to replace it with.

It’s time for a new drivewayA pro can help. Get free, no-commitment estimates from experts near you. Find a Pro ++

Crumbling Edges

Some asphalt driveways don’t have a concrete barrier around them and leave their edges exposed to nature. In these cases, the asphalt can crumble off in small or large chunks, making a rough appearance that could affect the driveway’s integrity. If a piece of a concrete driveway is damaged and falls off, the exposed concrete continues to crack and deteriorate. Significant crumbling will take more than simple repairs, so replacement is the best choice.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Additional Costs and Considerations

Every construction project has its own unique challenges that affect the time and cost to complete it. Beyond the usual factors that influence how much it costs to pave a driveway, several other factors could apply to your situation, like site preparation, sealing, and drainage. Knowing about these other factors will help you in your budgeting process.

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Grading and Site Preparation

Preparing the ground for a driveway is one of the most critical steps to building a quality paver driveway and averages between $5 and $8 per square foot. If the site needs significant grading, heavy equipment will remove rocks and add topsoil before tamping it down. Trees and plants will need to be removed as well, which could require special equipment or subcontractors. The driveway installers will level the ground or work with an existing slope to drain water properly.

Enhancements and Improvements

Some homeowners may be interested in updating an old driveway to improve the property’s appearance. Resurfacing an asphalt driveway costs $1 to $2 per square foot. If an asphalt driveway is too thin and can’t be resurfaced anymore, it may need to be removed and replaced.

Sealing

Depending on the material of a driveway, it can be sealed periodically to lengthen the lifespan. Asphalt paving is a prime candidate for this process and costs around $100 to $190. Sealing an asphalt driveway keeps it looking fresh despite the harsh rays of the sun. Asphalt paving in hotter climates may require sealing each year, but every 3 to 5 years is also recommended.

Drainage System

Though most materials are porous to some extent, rainfall needs to have a place to flow to prevent pooling around the foundation or in the middle of the driveway, where it could damage the surface over time. Driveways with slopes or angles need to be carefully sloped to force water to flow in the preferred direction. Large driveways or regions with more rain may need drains installed strategically to ensure water runs off properly.

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Widening and Extension

If you’re expanding your garage or you just need some additional parking, you can widen your existing driveway at approximately the same cost per square foot ($2 to $15) as building a new driveway. The condition of the ground and the materials you choose will affect the price point. Adding another 200 square feet of gravel might only cost $400, but laying a new section of paver driveway could cost $3,000.

Photo: istockphoto.com

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DIY Interlocking Concrete Paver or Brick Permeable Paver Driveway

Pros: It has low long-term maintenance requirements and adds aesthetic patterns and colors to your pavement for your front yard. Maintenance costs should be modest if installed correctly and the material should last a long time.

Cons: Usually more expensive than other options and installation is costly and extremely time-consuming. Most can be permeable but over time sediment fills in and can take away permeability. 

Steps on How to Install a Permeable Paver Driveway

1. Test the Soil and Excavate

Photo by William Wright

First, call 811 for an underground utilities check. Next, do a percolation test to see how fast the soil absorbs water. (Contact your local Cooperative Extension office for details.) Remove the existing pavement, and dig to a minimum depth of 15 inches, unless the perc rate is less than 0.52 inches per hour. In that case, you may need a deeper base or drainage pipe.

2. Prepare the Stone Base Layers

Photo by William Wright

Cover the excavation with a 6-inch layer of ¾- to 2-inch washed crushed stone, which has sharp edges that knit together. (River gravel, with its rounded profile, is unacceptable.) Go over it twice with a plate compactor, across and lengthwise. Top with one 4-inch layer of ¼- to 1½-inch washed crushed stone, and compact that twice, too.

3. Screed the Bedding Layer

Photo by William Wright

Install a concrete or hard-plastic edging to keep the pavers from shifting. Then, starting from one corner, lay two 2-inch-diameter steel pipes about 6 feet apart and parallel on the compacted base. Cover them with ¼-inch stone, then pull a 2×4 screed board over the pipes to create a flat bed for setting the pavers. Lift out the pipes, fill the gaps, and repeat across the remaining area.5.

4. Place the Layers

Photo by William Wright

Starting at the lowest corner, set the pavers on the bedding layer, tight to the edging and one another. (Nibs on the sides of the pavers automatically create the drainage gaps.) Check every 6 to 10 feet to make sure the pavers are square to the first row. Place all the full-size pieces, then go back and cut pieces to fit in any gaps along the edges.

5. Fill the Joints

Photo by William Wright

Once the pavers are in, sprinkle ¼-inch stone, the same used in Step 3, on the surface, and sweep it into the gaps with a wide push broom. Push the broom diagonally across the grid so that you don’t dislodge any stones already in the joints.

6. Tamp

Photo by William Wright

Sweep the surface clean, then run a plate compactor diagonally over the entire driveway. The machine’s vibrations pack the pavers firmly into the bedding layer and lock them in place. Refill joints that have settled deeply, and compact again. Now your driveway is open for business, rain or shine.

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