Installing a concrete driveway will cost you, on average, around $4,000. However, some homeowners pay as little as $3,200 — or as much as $5,250 to $15,000.
Ultimately, how much you'll spend on your driveway will depend on many factors, including the size of the driveway, whether you want a heated driveway and if you opt for stamping, coloring or borders. And, of course, your cost will also depend on how much driveway contractors in your area are charging.
Concrete driveway cost:
|National average cost||$4,000|
What's in this cost guide?
- Concrete driveway installation cost per square foot
- Concrete vs. gravel and asphalt driveways
- Concrete surface prep costs
- Heated concrete driveway installation costs
- Concrete stamping, colors and borders
- Concrete driveway maintenance costs
- How to hire a driveway contractor
- Find a driveway contractor near you
The national average cost to install a concrete driveway is about $6 a square foot. According to Joe Pilson, owner of Complete Concrete in Denver, Colorado, a typical driveway big enough for one car and room to turn around is about 500 square feet, with an average total project cost of $3,000.
If the garage is located far from the street or if you need enough rom for two cars, the price to install a concrete driveway goes up accordingly. A single-car driveway is typically 9- to 12-feet wide, and a two-car driveway is usually 16- to 24-feet wide. For a single-car turnaround, you'll need an extra 10-by-20 feet of concrete, which will increase the total cost of the project.
Concrete mix is made from cement, sand, gravel and water. It's one of the most expensive choices for a driveway material, yet one of the sturdiest.
A cheaper option is asphalt, which costs around $4 per square foot of driveway. Asphalt driveways are popular in colder regions, as asphalt adapts to extreme change in temperature better than concrete does. The material is also a good choice for homeowners in rainy regions – asphalt's porous makeup allows for water drainage.
A gravel driveway is even cheaper, but there are a few downsides to going with a cheaper gravel or asphalt driveway. Gravel may need to be added as stones are washed or carried away over the years, and asphalt driveways need fresh coats of sealer applied on a regular basis.
You can also choose hand-laid pavers, brick or cobblestone, which are typically more expensive. Because pavers must be laid individually by hand, the labor will be much higher than laying a concrete driveway.
Concrete durability is rated at 40 years, and asphalt clocks in at 20 years. Concrete is prone to cracking in cold weather, so concrete driveways may require a bit of repair down the road.
The cost of your concrete driveway will partially depend on the amount of surface preparation needed. If your remodeling project involves the installation of a new concrete driveway from scratch, the path of the new driveway will have to be cleared of any trees or bushes. The contractor will then need to level the surface by excavation and remove the topsoil.
Most excavators charge $30 to $50 per hour, on average, nationwide. Removing tree stumps can cost anywhere from $50 to $350 per stump or about $2 to $3 per inch of diameter. Grading contractors typically charge $50 to $70 per hour, and total costs for a grading job can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand.
Most experts recommend installing a concrete driveway on a sub base of 4 inches of compacted gravel with good drainage. If you already have a concrete driveway in place that needs to be removed before installing the new driveway, the total project cost will go up.
If your house and garage sits on top of a hill, additional costs will be incurred as the driveway will need to be installed in sections and held in place with rebar. If the slope is too severe, the site may need to be re-graded, which means the price of your home improvement project will increase.
Your contractor should be able to gauge the severity of the slope and incremental cost when they provide you with an estimate.
You can add heat to a concrete driveway for a cost of $12 to $20 per square foot. A radiant heating system will melt snow and can be installed under the driveway. The system is composed of tubes filled with a mix of water and antifreeze. The liquid is heated up with a boiler, and the system can be set up to come on automatically whenever snow falls.
Because concrete is a porous material, concrete dyes can penetrate its pores and color it to mimic the house color, stone or clay – unlike gravel or asphalt paving. Textures can also be stamped, which generally raises prices for the driveway by $12 to $18 per square foot.
Adding a stamped concrete border is less expensive than stamping an entire driveway surface and still makes things visually interesting. For a 500-square-foot driveway that costs $3,000 to install, contractors at Complete Concrete estimate that including a 2-foot stamped concrete border would increase costs by about $1,500.
Driveway installation is generally a fairly straightforward affair, and concrete does not require regular maintenance. Every once in awhile, however, you might want to consider pressure washing your driveway to remove grim, dirt and mildew.
Unlike paving a driveway with asphalt, concrete does not require a reseal.
The cost of installing a concrete driveway can be estimated by figuring out how many square feet you need to cover, but you should always get at least three free quotes from contractors before plowing ahead with the driveway project.
To find driveway contractors in your area, look online. Compare the top-rated pros with the best reviews. When you're reading reviews, pay attention to the customers' feedback when it comes to the contractors' professionalism, punctuality, responsiveness, quality of work and their ability to show up on time.
You'll also want to look for red flags. For example, are many customers complaining about cracks in their driveways shortly after the installation? Are they complaining that the contractor showed up late, failed to complete the job and didn't offer a fair price? If so, you may want to consider other contractors instead.
Once you've identified the top contractors to install your concrete driveway, ask them to send you estimates. When you message the pros, provide as much information — if you need them to pour new concrete, if they need to replace existing concrete, how big the driveway is, etc. — as possible.
And finally, before you make your final decision, make sure that the pro you choose has the proper credentials or license.
Visit our Smart Hiring guide for more information on how to safely hire a pro.
Concrete is an excellent choice for a driveway. If you're ready to take the next step, get free estimates from the best driveway contractors near you today.