How Much Does an Asphalt Driveway Cost? Uses, Prices & FAQs
Asphalt is a practical option worth considering when you’re looking to upgrade or revamp your driveway. An asphalt driveway costs roughly $4,700–$5,000 on average, making it a more affordable yet long-lasting smooth surface alternative to concrete.
Its sleek modern appearance, durable construction, and versatile function make asphalt an attractive investment for many homeowners. We’ll help you budget for your new driveway with this breakdown of how much an asphalt driveway costs this year.
Asphalt Driveway Benefits
Asphalt is an excellent blend of affordability and durability. It’s almost half the cost of concrete, and it lasts twice as long as gravel, giving you up to 35 years of use when you take care of it. The smooth surface also maximizes the different ways you can utilize it outside of parking your car, such as using it as a basketball surface or a place to roller skate.
Although it can last a long time, asphalt needs sealing every 3–5 years and more maintenance than concrete if you want to get the most enduring life. It suffers in hot temperatures as it can soften and become sticky. It will solidify again when the temperature drops, but the cycle of softening and hardening can make the once-smooth surface warp and crack.
How Much Does an Asphalt Driveway Cost?
An asphalt driveway has an average cost of around $4,700–$5,000, with a typical range from $3,000 to $8,000. Materials run approximately $3–$5 per square foot, with asphalt costing around $100–$150 per ton.
One ton will cover roughly 40–80 square feet, depending on the depth (between 2–6 inches). A deeper asphalt driveway will be more stable and longer-lasting. It would take about 7.5–15 tons of asphalt to cover a two-car driveway measuring 25’ long by 24’ wide.
Labor adds $5–$7 per square foot or roughly $40–$55 an hour. With these rates, you can get a rough estimate of how much an asphalt driveway would cost.
Additional Costs to Anticipate
Whether replacing an asphalt driveway or starting from scratch, you can expect extra costs beyond installing an asphalt layer.
If you’re replacing an asphalt or concrete driveway, you’ll have to remove it. Having a professional do this could cost an extra $1–$3 per square foot. If you’re handy with a jackhammer, you may be able to skip this added cost.
Excavating and grading for a new driveway will add to the cost. Moving land and removing trees and bushes can add an extra $1,000–$5,000 or more if the area is expansive or the terrain is complex. The cost to grade the space can add another $0.50–$1 per square foot.
Some municipalities may also require you to obtain a permit before laying a new asphalt driveway. Before excavating your old driveway, research the legal requirements in your area, and budget an extra couple hundred dollars if they demand permits.
- Related Read: Asphalt vs Concrete Driveway: Pros, Cons & Verdict
Sealing and Resurfacing
You need to seal asphalt at least 6 months after installation and once every 3–5 years during the driveway’s life. Sealing creates a thin, protective membrane that repels liquid, eases cleaning, and prevents water, air, and sunlight from fading, cracking, or damaging the asphalt otherwise. It costs roughly $0.17–$0.24 per square foot to reseal an asphalt driveway.
Resurfacing adds a new layer of asphalt. It’s more expensive than sealing, but you only need to worry about doing this after about 20 years. It costs $2–$3 per square foot to resurface an asphalt driveway, and doing so will extend its life by up to 15 years.
Asphalt Material Options
Hot mix asphalt is the most common type of asphalt for driveways, but there are a few other options to select for aesthetic and functional benefits. Porous asphalt, for instance, lets water drain through more efficiently, allowing it to last in warm, rainy climates. It costs $8–$15 per square foot if you opt for porous asphalt.
Recycled asphalt has roughly 1/10th the cost of standard asphalt, so it’s a great way to save money and do some good for the environment. If you’re replacing an existing asphalt driveway, you may even be able to recycle some of the old asphalt and cut costs even more.
Other asphalt options include stamped or colored asphalt to spruce up the look of your driveway. These run $12–$17 per square foot.
How Long Does an Asphalt Driveway Last?
An asphalt driveway can last 12–35 years. Several variables such as climate, driveway thickness, slope, and maintenance practices (i.e., resealing) will affect your driveway’s longevity. Soil shifts and heavy loads can also stress the asphalt and cause it to crack.
Does Insurance Cover Asphalt Driveway Costs?
Insurance companies generally consider the driveway as falling under the “dwelling” or “other structures” policy portion because it connects to the house. You should always check the exclusions to ensure your policy covers the driveway.
Your driveway will have coverage against sudden, unexpected events and covered perils. Unfortunately, while damage from fire, hurricanes, or falling trees may fall within your plan, many common causes of driveway damage, like earthquakes or floods, are not covered. You will need additional riders to cover many natural disasters.
Taking Care of an Asphalt Driveway
You set yourself up for success when you properly grade your driveway and select a thickness that can handle the weight. For instance, a driveway 2” thick will be sufficient for most cars, but you will want a thicker cover for RVs and heavy machinery.
Proper installation is critical, but you can do plenty to ensure it stays in good condition for as long as possible. Clean your driveway at least twice each year, sweeping it clean and hosing it down to remove any stuck-on dirt. Take the opportunity to fill any cracks. Additionally, you must add a high-quality topcoat sealant every few years to get the most longevity.
Asphalt is one of the most cost-effective options for an attractive, long-lasting driveway, but you can expect to pay over $1,000 even with a small area. It’s crucial to shop around for estimates and assess how much of the prep work you can do yourself. With this price guide, you’re well on your way to getting a great deal on a stunning new driveway.
Featured Image Credit: charmphoto, Shutterstock