The Real Cost of Installing a Driveway

Installing a new concrete driveway is done for many reasons, and whether you are installing it due to city ordinance, a new look, or to replace an old driveway, many factors influence the cost of this project. The size of your driveway, the state you live in, and who installs it for you are the three biggest components of driveway cost.

Nationwide, the average cost of installing a concrete driveway is $3,900. This estimate is for a 16′ x 40′ driveway- the size of your average 2-car driveway. Typical cost ranges from $1,800 – $6,000, but a driveway can cost over $11,000 with additives such as special colors, features, or textures.

If you want more information about the cost of your new driveway, continue reading. We have asked 35 people on online forums as well as a few contracting companies to get all the information you need about installing your very own concrete driveway. 

The Average Cost of A Driveway

The price of your driveway will vary greatly depending on the state you live in, the company you use, the time of year, the size of your driveway, and extra features you may add into your driveway.

According to homeadvisor.com, the nationwide average for a standard concrete driveway is $3,900. Most concrete driveways will cost between $8 and $18 per square foot, depending on what additives (if any) you want.

Concrete is the most popular driveway material because it can last upwards of 40 years with little to no maintenance, can be easily customized, and is an extremely affordable material.

While a basic concrete driveway works wonderfully and costs only $3,900, there are options for customization.

One popular option in cold regions is a heated driveway. These driveways can be installed with concrete, asphalt, chip seal, or pavers, but they are a bit pricier. Heated driveways cost $7,200 to $15,000 but can be a lifesaver to those living in snowy areas as they prevent ice and make for an easier time shoveling.

Other driveway customizations like color, stenciling, and stamping add extra costs as well.

Coloring can add an extra $1-$5 per square foot and concrete driveways with decorative elements like stenciling or stamping can add anywhere from $6-$15 per square foot, depending on the intricacies of the design.

35 Real Life Cost Comparisons

When starting a new home improvement project, it is always nice to hear the advice and experience of others who have done the same thing as you. This is why I went to the internet to ask about real-life experiences that people across the United States have had installing a new concrete driveway.

SizeCostState
683 square feet$5,400Idaho
805 square feet$9,400California
603 square feet$5,200Minnesota
740 square feet$6,480Texas
640 square feet$4,900Illinois
854 square feet$6,100California
761 square feet$6,000Tennessee
534 square feet$4,400Georgia
500 square feet$4,500Minnesota
640 square feet$5,450Wisconsin
659 square feet$5,800Rhode Island
855 square feet$6,500Texas
968 square feet$7,700Texas
502 square feet$5,450Virginia
653 square feet$5,700Ohio
961 square feet$8,100Minnesota
755 square feet$6,000Idaho
711 square feet$5,700Iowa
719 square feet$6,050Utah
488 square feet$4,500Florida
793 square feet$6,000California
592 square feet$4,300Kansas
784 square feet$7,000Minnesota
649 square feet$5,200Idaho
539 square feet$4,700Wisconsin
486 square feet$3,900Utah
533 square feet$4,500Alabama
568 square feet$4,400Nebraska
872 square feet$7,100Idaho
1,014 square feet$7,750Minnesota
864 square feet$6,650California
665 square feet$5,200Massachusets
600 square feet$4,500Washington
823 square feet$6,150Texas
950 square feet$6,900Arizona

Words From A Professional

Real-life examples are always extremely helpful, but it is important to ask professionals about the ins and outs of their craft when able. Thankfully, I’ve already contacted a concrete contracting company and asked them a few questions that you should know the answers to before you start installing your new driveway.

Q: How much does a driveway installation cost?

A: That’s a difficult question to answer since every company is different, but I’d say driveways are usually between $3,500-$5,000.

Q: How long does a driveway installation take?

A: Depending on how sloped your driveway is, how large or small it is, and how difficult the working conditions are, driveways usually take between 1-3 days to install.

Q: How long before a new driveway can be used?

A: Concrete takes a while to fully cure, but you can start walking on it within 2-3 days after the installation. You should wait about a week before any vehicles or heavy objects are set on the concrete.

Q: How much does a driveway removal cost?

A: The price of concrete removal has a pretty big range, usually between $2,000-$5,000, so if you can help it, it’s cheaper to get your driveway repaired than removed and redone.

DIY Installation- Risk VS Reward

If you are looking to install a driveway by yourself, it can be done, but it is very important that you measure the risks against the rewards before you start this difficult project by yourself.

Rewards

  • Installing a concrete driveway on your own is cheaper than using a contractor (up to 50% less).
  • You will have a new skill once you are finished.
  • The installation will happen on your timetable.
  • You can customize your driveway however you please.
  • You do not need to worry about being unhappy with the work you pay for.

Risks

  • Installation is extremely difficult and it is very easy to injure yourself.
  • The installation will take upwards of 50 hours of your time.
  • You may use the wrong equipment or materials, or you may not have access to them.
  • Concrete work material is very expensive if you do not own it.
  • You may install a driveway that doesn’t meet your city or HOA code (contractors do not run into this issue as they know the rules for the area they work in).
  • You risk getting fined for working with or installing a driveway without the proper permit or licensing.
  • If you install your driveway wrong you will have to pay for professional removal as well as professional installation, likely tripling the original cost of a driveway.

Driveway installation is a complex task that requires extensive knowledge of the city/HOA codes, concrete as a material, and how to build a driveway correctly. Though DIY driveway installation may be cheaper, it is often not worth the risks it comes with.

Elements such as removing preexisting materials, adding special features, and pouring on a slope add to the complexity of this project, so unless you are confident that you can DIY a proper driveway, it is best to stick with the professionals.


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