Are you planning to install a Driveway and do not know which is better, an Asphalt Driveway or Concrete Driveway? Well in this post you find everything in detail and comparisons between the Asphalt driveway cost vs Concrete driveway cost for your home. Most driveways are made of Asphalt as it is cheaper compared to concrete. It is also known as blacktop due to its color, asphalt is a mixture of stones and sand, bound together with materials left over during the production of Petrochemicals such as Pertol, Diesel and Gasoline. In 2018, homeowners spent an average of 7,560 U.S. dollars on home improvement, an increase of over nine hundred U.S. dollars on 2017 (6,649 U.S. dollars).
The cost to install an asphalt driveway could be between $2,300 and $10,300 and typically the cost is calculated per square foot. Reibling adds the average cost per square foot between $3.50 to $4.50. However, some asphalt contractors may charge per ton and the cost could range from $100 to $150 per ton but cost may vary according to the location. On the other hand the concrete driveway costs between $5 and $7 per square foot to install but if you want to install the one with with decorative colors or finishes then costs could be in the range of $8 to $18, or more, per square foot.
Asphalt, Concrete or Paver Driveways- Which is the best?
Asphalt Driveway Cost per Square Foot
A basic asphalt driveway costs about $2 to $6 per square foot, including installation. That provides you with a base and a top coat. The price goes up from there if you add features like a chip seal top coat, which extends the life of the driveway, or a decorative top coat that is stamped or colored. With those features, you could spend $8 or more per square foot.
Average Asphalt Costs Per Ton
You’ll notice that most asphalt manufacturers sell new material on a per ton basis, averaging $100 to $200 per ton. One ton material usually covers 40 to 80 square feet. The quantity you need depends on the thickness of the layers such as a 2 inches thick would cost 80 square feet per ton while 4 inches think would cost 40 square feet per ton.
For the average driveway, you’ll need 7.5 to 15 tons.
Paving an asphalt driveway costs $4,562 on average, with a typical range between $2,856 and $6,313. This project runs $7 to $13 per square foot, including $2 to $6 per square foot for materials and $5 to $7 per square foot for labor. If you need replacement, you’ll pay $8 to $15 per square foot. Although driveways are the most common use of asphalt in the home, other applications include:
- Sidewalk/Walkway: $2,100 to $6,500
- Backyard Blacktop: $3,500 to $32,500
- Private Road: $84,000 to $468,000
If you’re building a driveway where none existed, budget about an extra $2 to install a layer of gravel beneath the asphalt.
Asphalt Paving Cost Per Square Foot
Asphalt Driveway Replacement vs. Resurfacing
Asphalt resurfacing costs $3 to $7 per square foot compared to $8 to $15 per square foot for replacing. The ideal choice depends on the condition of your existing driveway. If your driveway is in relatively good condition with no potholes, resurfacing can save you $5 to $8 per square foot. If it’s more than 15 years old or in poor shape, replacement is usually the better bet. Asphalt repair costs $1,000 to $3,500. This project is best for a top coat that is less than 10 years old with minimal cracks.
Asphalt Driveway Pros
- Less expensive – Asphalt is considerably less expensive than concrete. In some cases, it’s about half the price.
- Suitable for Cold Climate – Asphalt is less likely to crack in cold weather. It performs better than concrete in very harsh or snowy climates. Snow removal is also easier with asphalt.
- Won’t show stains – Because asphalt is generally dark in color, in doesn’t show oil stains.
- Easier to repair – Cracks and holes can be filled more easily with asphalt driveways. Asphalt driveways can be repaired or re-layered, while concrete generally needs to be replaced.
Other Asphalt Pavement Costs
|Path||$1,750 to $3,750|
Asphalt Driveway Cons
- Shorter lifespan – Asphalt doesn’t last as long. The lifespan is generally about 15 to 20 years – half that of concrete.
- More maintenance required – Asphalt needs to be resealed every three to five years, particularly if you want it to last.
- Oily texture – Asphalt has an oily texture that softens in heat or direct sunlight. If the asphalt gets stuck to your shoes and you track it through the house, it can stain your floors.
- Rough edges – WIth asphalt, it can be difficult to get a straight, clean edge.
Concrete Driveway Cost Per Square Foot
The average cost for a 20′ x 30′ (600 square foot) concrete driveway that is 4-inch thick with steel mesh is $3,266:
|Item||Unit Cost||Quantity||Line Cost|
|Material Cost||$2.84 per sq.ft.||7.6 cubic yards||$1,706|
|Labor Cost||$2.60 per sq.ft.||45 hours||$1,560|
|Total Cost||$5.44 per sq.ft.||600 sq. ft.||$3,266|
As we all know that concrete is highly durable and long lasting and it is another popular material for driveways, especially in the Southern region. Concrete prepared by mixing Cement with a variety of sand and gravel to create this strong, durable material.
Basic, construction-grade concrete costs about $5 to $12 per square foot, including installation. If you opt for more fancier, decorative versions such as stamped or colored concrete, then prices go up by few dollars per square feet. However, high-end concrete could cost as much as $15 per square foot.
Again, if you’re building a driveway where none existed, budget about an extra $2 to install a layer of gravel beneath the concrete. Removal of an existing driveway usually runs $50 to $60 per hour.
Concrete Cost Per Yard
Concrete Driveway Pros
- Durable & Long lasting – Concrete has a long life expectancy. Properly maintained, it can last 30 to 40 years.
- Low maintenance – Concrete driveways don’t need to be resealed as often, particularly in mild climates.
- Suitable for Warmer Climate – Unlike asphalt, concrete will not soften in hot weather.
Concrete Driveway Cons
- Cracks Build up in Cold Temperatures – Due to frost heaves, concrete will eventually crack in cold climates. It is also susceptible to salt damage. Unlike asphalt, damage to a concrete driveway is difficult – if not impossible – to repair. The driveway usually needs to be replaced.
- Stains easily – Due to the light color, concrete shows almost every type of stain, particularly oil stains.
- Expensive than Asphalt – Concrete is significantly more expensive than asphalt.
Types of Driveways and Cost Comparison
|Concrete||Concrete is the most durable, but cracks in freezing temperatures and cracks may cost $300+ to repair||40-50 years||$5 – $6 per sq. ft.|
|Asphalt||Asphalt softens in extreme heat, but repairs are easy||20 years||$3 – $4 per sq. ft.|
|Gravel||Gravel will move in rain and snow, but very easy to replace||100+ years||$2 – $3 per sq. ft.|
|Pavers||Pavers will eventually break or crack but are easy to replace||30 – 40 years||$5 – $20 per sq. ft.|
|Brick||Bricks will eventually break or crack but are easy to replace||30 – 40 years||$10 – $40 per sq. ft.|
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Denise Wimmer says
Thanks for writing in details about asphalt and concrete driveways. I am able to compare both the driveway costs and it’s very helpful for me as a homeowner to save costs on building a driveway. Thank you!
Eugeni Dorado says
You made some good points in the post. I looked on the web to find out more about the Asphalt Driveway and found this post to be very informative!