Driveways can be made from many different materials, but concrete is one of the most popular, durable and versatile. A concrete installation contractor can pour a concrete driveway, walkway, path or other hardscape feature for an average cost of $5–$6 per square foot. The driveway width determines how many cars can park in it side by side. Its length allows for tandem (stacked) parking or for a car to turn around. A single-car driveway is typically nine to 12 feet wide, and a two-car driveway should be 16 to 24 feet wide. For a single-car turnaround, you’ll need an area that is at least 10x20 feet. Joe Pilson, owner of Complete Concrete in Denver, Colorado, estimates that a typical driveway is about 500 square feet or about 10x50 feet long.
A standard concrete driveway costs $5–$6 per square foot. Curved driveways or those with other design features usually cost more because the pros have to build nonstandard forms for pouring the concrete. Complete Concrete charges $6 per square foot for a standard concrete driveway, which includes removal of the old driveway, but not all contractors factor in that cost.
When installing a driveway where previously there was none, contractors may need to prepare the ground by clearing trees and bushes (excavation), leveling the ground (grading), or performing other treatments to get the site ready for the concrete driveway. The more removal of trees and bushes required, the higher the overall cost. Most excavators charge $30–$50 per hour. Removing tree stumps can cost anywhere from $50 to $350 per stump or about $2–$3 per inch of diameter. Most grading contractors charge $50–$70 per hour, and total costs for a grading job can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on the work involved. Most experts recommend installing a concrete driveway on a base of four inches of compacted gravel with good drainage.
Instead of brick or other masonry, which can get expensive, more and more homeowners are opting for stamped concrete driveways and hardscapes. Complete Concrete typically charges $7–$12 per square foot to install stamped concrete driveways.
Adding a stamped concrete border is less expensive than stamping an entire driveway surface yet still adds visual interest. For a 500-square foot driveway that costs $3,000 to install, Pilson of Complete Concrete estimates that including a two-foot stamped concrete border would increase costs by about $1,500.
Color and visual interest
Concrete can mimic a variety of natural materials, including clay, masonry and stone. Adding effects such as engraving or using of two or more colors or patterns, increases costs to $12–$18 per square foot.
If a driveway must be installed on a surface with a steep slope, most contractors will charge more to cover the increased materials and labor needed. With a slope, contractors must install the driveway in sections reinforced with rebar. A severe slope or grade may also need additional grading to ensure proper drainage, which will also increase costs. Depending on the region, installing a sloped driveway will most likely require a building permit.
Adding built-in heat to a concrete driveway is a nice feature in regions where it snows in the winter. Adding a heat function to a concrete driveway may significantly increase the overall cost per square foot.