The average cost for installing a new asphalt driveway is between $3-5 per square foot. However, because there are so many different kinds of driveways out there, and so many different specifications individual homeowners require to meet their needs, it is hardly fair to say that this figure will definitely represent your particular experience. Here are a few of the factors that can increase the cost of your new driveway, and a few tips on how to lower that cost, too.
1.Non-Asphalt Paving Materials
It's no coincidence that the majority of the U.S.'s paved roads are topped in asphalt. Tough, durable, and budget-friendly, asphalt is the obvious choice for roads that are designed for function rather than form. A residential driveway is different from a municipal highway in many respects, however, and one of the most important is the need to be aesthetically pleasing as well as durable.
Brick pavers, stamped concrete, and other non-asphalt paving materials look great, but will cost more to install. It should be noted, however, that these alternative materials have other perks that have nothing to do with looks. Brick pavers, for example, are an excellent choice in cold climates because the spaces in between the individual pavers allow for better drainage as well as a little wiggle room that protects the entire installation from the detrimental effects of frost heave.
2.Difficult Soil Types and Difficult Grades
Some soils drain better than others, and since run-off and sufficient drainage are always an issue when installing new pavement, homeowners in some areas will have to make up for their soil's poor drainage with manmade elements. Deeper gravel beds and the addition of grates and drainage gutters can all increase the cost of your driveway.
The slope of your property can also play a role in both how your driveway is constructed and the elements used to ensure your installation will continue to perform well over the long haul. In some cases, significant amounts of earth must be removed and/or retaining elements installed to do the job right--each of which can drive up the bottom line cost.
3.Lowering the Cost of Driveway Installation
Obviously, many of the most influential factors in the cost of your driveway will be either directly linked to the material you choose or to factors that are beyond your control. There are, however, a few things you can do to get the job done a little cheaper.
First, any driveway paving company can charge a little less per square foot if they are dealing in bulk. The bigger the job they're performing, the lower the cost is by surface area. Some homeowners have taken advantage of this fact by going in with their neighbors and getting two or even three driveways on the same block paved by the same company at the same time.
Next, a driveway installation that is overseen by a general contractor bears an additional cost. going without a general contractor is not always a good idea, and anyone who has a lot of driveway to pave might do better to simply pay the extra cash for the extra insurance this professional provides.
Finally, for this or for any other home improvement job, the most effective way to get a great price is to talk to a number of different contractors before you hire one. In just about every area of the country, there will be plenty of different companies who will be happy to install your new driveway. By talking to each well before the project begins, you'll get a better idea of what the going rate for this work is in your location, a deeper knowledge of all the specifics of your particular project, and an excellent feel for the company you'd most like to work with. When interviewing prospective companies, don't be afraid to ask questions or even to ask for references; a good contractor will be happy to give you the answers you're looking for and will likely have several very satisfied customers willing to vouch for their competence.
To learn more about the costs associated with a driveway installation, see the following articles:
A residential driveway is different from a municipal highway in many respects, including the need to be aesthetically pleasing