Building a driveway per foot can be a great way to save money, but it also requires a bit of extra work. If you’re building your own driveway, it’s important to know that the amount of concrete you use will affect how much it costs. The more concrete you need to pour, the more expensive it will be. However, if you want to save money by building a driveway per foot instead of using standard dimensions, there are ways to do this without sacrificing quality or safety.
When building a driveway per foot, you’ll need to calculate how much concrete is needed for each section before starting construction. You can do this by multiplying the width of your driveway by its depth (in feet). The resulting number represents the cubic yards of concrete needed for each section and should give you an idea of how much material will be required overall—but keep in mind that there may be some variation depending on whether or not any corners are present (such as where two sides meet).
Once you’ve determined how much concrete is needed based on these calculations, simply divide up those measurements into smaller sections so they can be poured individually between posts or other supports along with any other materials needed for their respective installation (such as gravel).
A new driveway can add some curb appeal and more. It comes with a cost and a commitment for a few days to get the project done. A driveway costs between $1,700 to $7,000 for materials and averages $4,500. Expect to pay between $2 and $15 per square foot for materials and installation. You can save money by choosing a material that fits your budget, but each material has a different lifespan, so weigh the costs against the longevity.
How do materials affect a driveway’s cost?
Driveway prices are generally quoted per square foot, with $2 to $15 per being the typical range. The most important factor influencing the price of a driveway is the material you use. Driveways are generally made from asphalt, concrete, gravel or pavers, like brick or stone.
Asphalt, aka “blacktop,” is one of the most popular driveway materials, especially in northern or other cold climates (it tends to soften in extreme heat, so southerners often stay away from it). A mixture of sand and stone, held together by tar (hence the nickname), it’s cheap (about $3-7 per square foot), can be installed relatively quickly, and is pretty easy to maintain, lasting around 20 years.
The other big driveway mainstay, concrete is also a mixture of sand and stone, only the binding agent is cement. While more expensive than asphalt ($4-8 per square foot), it’s also more long-lasting — up to 40 years — though it can crack or buckle in freezing weather or under lots of snow, sleet and ice, which is why it’s preferred for warm-weather regions. While it sounds industrial, concrete can be quite versatile in appearance, stamped or stained in different colors. The cons are that concrete is heavy, and requires a lot of time to install and set before it can be driven on.
Gravel is a go-to for those on a budget: The cheapest driveway material ($1-3 per square foot), it’s basically a bunch of pebbles dumped and spread around, and it can last for 50 or more years. It’s pretty low-tech to deal with, but you do have to maintain it — periodically replacing and re-arranging the gravel, as wind and rain and cars can move it around.
A driveway paved with brick, cobblestone or other rocks always makes for a classy look, and is especially attractive if you have a historic (or historic-looking) home. But it’s expensive — as much as $10-30 per square foot. It’ll be labor-intensive to install, too, as much needs to be done by hand. But pavers last for decades, sometimes as long as a century, and don’t require much maintenance. They can be laid in a variety of patterns, suiting driveways of different designs and shapes; plus, they’re easy to repair — you can just replace individually cracked or dislodged pieces, rather than having to redo the whole driveway.
Driveway Costs by Type
|Material Type||Average Cost (installed)||Characteristics|
|Concrete||$3,900||Cracks in freezing temps; long-lasting; affordable|
|Asphalt/Blacktop||$4,700||Gets gooey in heat; less long-lasting; affordable|
|Gravel||$1,500||Easy to displace; very affordable; long-lasting|
|Brick/Stone Pavers||$6,000||Can crack or shift; expensive; very long-lasting|
|Rubber||$9,000||Can pool water; expensive but easy to repair|
|Grass||$6,000||Needs weekly maintenance|
What Is The Cheapest Type of Driveway?
If you’re looking to save money, gravel is the cheapest material. Gravel is also one of the easiest materials to install and maintain, so if you prefer a more laid-back approach to DIY projects, it may be the right choice for you.
Because gravel driveways are so forgiving when it comes to installation mistakes, they’re ideal for first-time driveway builders who aren’t confident in their abilities yet. If this sounds like you then stop reading now because we have found the perfect material for your next project.
Gravel Driveway Cost Per Foot
Gravel is the least expensive option, but it won’t be right for every climate. In climates with low snowfall or freezing temperatures, gravel can be a good choice because its natural texture provides some traction in icy conditions. But in areas with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures, gravel will not provide sufficient traction on its own.
In general, gravel driveways cost between $2 and $7 per square foot to install depending on the amount of work required and whether stone dust is used as an underlayment instead of sand or crushed stone base material (which will add to the cost).
Pavers Driveway Cost Per Foot
Pavers are the most expensive driveway option, but they’re also the most durable and long lasting. You can use pavers to create a variety of patterns, including brick, cobblestone, or slate. So if you want your driveway to look unique and stand out from your neighbors’ driveways—pavers may be right for you.
Concrete Driveway Cost Per Square Foot
Concrete is the most expensive material, but the cost is worth it. Concrete driveways last for decades and are extremely durable, meaning they can withstand all kinds of weather and wear-and-tear. Since they don’t rust like metals or rot like wood, concrete will maintain its appearance over time with minimal maintenance required.
Concrete also has many aesthetic benefits as well: it’s smooth and shiny; it absorbs heat in the summer and radiates heat in winter; when finished correctly, it looks clean and neat (with no gaps between paving stones); and even though it takes longer to install than other materials such as asphalt or gravel, you’re not left with unsightly holes that need filling once you lay down your new driveway.
You may be wondering about environmental impact — what exactly happens when you pour cement into a mold? Well…this isn’t something we’ve worried about much ourselves until recently because historically there hasn’t been much research done on concrete’s carbon footprint compared to other materials used for building roads/driveways/etcetera…But according to one study published by Environmental Science & Technology Journal in 2016 (which took place back when I was still using Snapchat), “[the] CO2 emissions from making cement are roughly equivalent at 0.8 kg CO2 per kilogram cement produced” – so even though there were no exact figures provided on how big those molds were…it seems safe enough to assume they weren’t very big at all.
Asphalt Driveway Cost Per Square Foot
Generally, an asphalt driveway will cost about $4 to $7 per square foot. This is somewhat less than concrete driveways, which can cost anywhere from $9 to $11 per square foot.
Asphalt driveways are inexpensive because they’re easy to install, repair and maintain and they’re durable enough for most residential purposes.
Cobblestone Driveway Cost Per Square Foot
Cobblestone driveways are more expensive than gravel, but not as expensive as concrete. Cobblestone driveways are more expensive than concrete, but cheaper than asphalt. Cobblestone driveways are more expensive than asphalt, but cheaper than pavers.
The price per square foot is higher for materials other than gravel.
Gravel costs about $1.50 per square foot, so if you have a driveway that is 100 feet long and 10 feet wide, it will cost you $150 to pave over it with gravel. In contrast, concrete will cost you about $4 per square foot, so if your driveway was the same length but twice as wide (20 feet), then paving over it with concrete would cost you $800. Asphalt falls somewhere in between the two at around $2-$3 per square foot. Cobblestone also falls somewhere in between these numbers at around $6-$10 per square foot depending on how fancy or old-fashioned your preference is.
You should know that the price per square foot is higher for materials other than gravel. To be exact, the price of a concrete driveway is $8.50 per square foot, while asphalt costs $7.50 per square foot on average. This cost will vary depending on where you live and what specific type of material you choose for your driveway installation project.