No one ever thinks about their driveway. You drive up, park, get out and go in your house or leave your house and get in your car and drive away. At no point do most people look down and say, “I think I need a new driveway.” It is usually not until someone says something or code enforcement comes knocking that you realize it is time to fix your car’s area of the property. Then the fun begins and you have to make a considerable investment in your home’s appearance.
There are a number of factors that go into determining the cost of a new driveway. First and foremost, you have to decide on the type of driveway you want. The two most common materials to pave your parking space with are asphalt and concrete. Asphalt is cheaper up front, while concrete lasts longer. Furthermore, asphalt is easier and cheaper to care for and maintain. Regardless of which material you choose, you have to decide if you will spend more on customization or stick with a standard installation. Another factor in the cost of your new driveway is the size of the area you will be paving. Obviously, the bigger the driveway, the more expensive it will be. Other aspects that will increase the cost include: slopes, curves, drains, complex designs, and whether or not your driveway includes lots of grading. You also have to expect your costs to increase if the area being paved needs to be excavated or cleared or if trees need to be removed because they are in the way.
Other things that will increase the cost of your driveway include any extras you desire. These include:
- Customized finishes — both asphalt and concrete can be colored or cut to your liking.
- Adding berms around the edges – This makes the edges look pretty.
- Adding storm drains – This may be required by code enforcement or your homeowners association.
- Adding slopes or French drains – While French drains are a nice addition and will certainly make your home stand out because they are a different way to go, slopes may be required by the codes for your area or by your homeowner’s association.
You have to determine what your budget is before your hire a contractor. You should also get more than one quote from more than one company or contractor to ensure that you are getting the best price. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there are any claims against the company and ask for references. In addition, you have to decide how many extras you would like to include and whether or not you can afford them.
One way to reduce the amount you will pay is to resurface your existing driveway. This means that nothing will be ripped out or removed and that contractors will simply lay the new driveway over the old one. Less labor means less cost. While it may see less expensive to do it yourself, if you are inexperienced, you may make a mistake that ends up costing you more than if you let a professional do the work from the beginning.