Table of Contents for this Page
- New Concrete Driveway Cost
- Installed Cost of Concrete Driveways
- Average Total Costs
- Overview of Concrete Driveways
- Concrete Driveway Cost Factors
- Cost Calculator
- Installation Supplies Cost Details
- Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time
- Related Projects
- DIY or Hire a Pro for this Project?
- Comparison Costs from Leading Resources
- Common Questions and Answers about Concrete Driveways
Average Cost of Concrete Driveway Installation
Overview of Paved Concrete Driveways
A concrete driveway can be very expensive, and there is a wide range of factors involved in installation or driveway replacement cost. The benefit of concrete over asphalt however, is a much longer lasting driveway that is easier to clean and proves a greater curb appeal for your home in the long run.
Note: Many refer to concrete and cement in the same way. This is slightly incorrect as cement itself is just an aggregate of the concrete and what is used as one part of the concrete mixture. To that end, we’ve interwoven both terms so there is no confusion between a concrete or cement driveway.
For a new concrete cement driveway, the topsoil is removed and up to 12 inches of base of stone, gravel and/or sand is installed. The base is compacted. Frames or forms are installed, and the concrete is poured over the base and finished.
For a replacement concrete driveway, old concrete or asphalt is removed, the base is graded and improved. Frames or concrete forms are installed, and the concrete is poured and finished. In either case, the cement driveway can be enhanced in a number of ways discussed below.
This cost estimate, or Costimate, explores concrete driveway prices for the basics and for the many factors that affect cost. Costs from other informative sources and homeowner-submitted prices can be compared below.
Concrete Driveway Cost Calculator
Driveway Cost Breakdown
Concrete Cost Factors
Here are the most important factors affecting driveway cost.
- Driveway Size – In most communities, driveways must be a minimum of 12 feet wide for a single car driveway. There is no length requirement, but it varies from 20 feet or less for homes close to the road to more than a 100 feet on large estates. 20×20 is minimum size for a parking pad. If you drive bigger vehicles, 24×24 is better. A wider drive and pad provide necessary walk-around room, so nobody has to get out of a vehicle onto the lawn or into a snowbank. Note: Small driveways cost more per square foot than large drives when other factors are comparable.
- Driveway Depth and Strength – Most driveways are built with concrete 4 inches thick and a strength of 2,500 to 5,000 psi (pounds it can support per square inch), with rebar wire encapsulated within the concrete to provide further strength and prevent cracking. When a motorhome or heavy equipment will be parked on the driveway, 6 inches of 5,000 psi or stronger concrete is recommended. In general, cold climates require stronger concrete to withstand freezing and thawing cycles.
- Driveway Shape – Rectangular drives are the easiest to install. Those with turns and a turnaround bring slightly higher labor costs.
- Removal of Old Material – Asphalt is fairly easy to remove. Concrete removal is difficult and expensive, due to the use of jackhammers and the buried rebar holding it together. For either, you’ll also have disposal costs. The upside to removing a driveway is that its gravel and sand base can be used for the new drive, reducing material costs.
- Site Conditions and Excavating Requirements – The need for excavating varies widely based on the terrain and other site factors. The most excavating is done for new driveways; very little is needed for driveway replacement. If there are low areas between the road and the house, fill will be brought in to level the terrain. If you have an automatic driveway gate installed, it may need to be removed to complete the new driveway.
- Enhancements & Extras – Enhancements include pigmenting, acid staining, embedding tile or stone and stamping the driveway to make it look like pavers or flagstone. Extras are items like flaring the driveway where it meets the road for easier entry and adding a turnaround to the side of the drive, so you can enter traffic forward. A list of enhancement costs is below.
- Time of Year – During the peak of the installation season, cost estimates will probably be higher.
- Cost of Living – If the cost of living is high in your area, expect driveway estimates on the high side of the range. In more affordable areas, they will be average to a little below average.
Cost of Supplies, Materials and Extras
Here’s the pricing for the common ways homeowners upgrade a basic driveway to customize if for their purposes.
The range of costs for concrete driveways starts at about $4.30 per square foot. Average cost is $6.55 for basic driveways and about $10.50 per square feet for decorative drives. Driveways with multiple enhancements can exceed $15.00 per square foot.
- $4.85 – $6.50 per square foot | Basic concrete driveway
- $1.15 – $1.75 per square foot | Upgrading to a thicker, stronger driveway
- $0.75 – $2.25 per square foot extra | Designing the drive with flares, curves, a turnaround or significant slope
- $0.90 – $2.00 per square foot | Pigmenting and/or acid staining
- $2.25 – $4.00 per square foot | Stamping the concrete
- $1.00 – $2.00 per square foot | Asphalt driveway removal
- $3.50 – $5.25 per square foot| Concrete driveway removal
- $150 – $300 | Adding a 4-6″ conduit buried beneath the driveway for future projects such as a lawn sprinkler system, electrical wiring for lighting or other project, or any other small task that would normally require trenching a path through the driveway.
Permits, Inspection, and Labor Costs
Permits and Inspection
$0 – $200 | Not all cities or counties require a driveway permit. Check with your local building codes office to determine whether you or your driveway contractor will have to obtain one.
Concrete Driveway Installation Labor Cost
- $3.25 – $10.00+ per square foot | Installing a concrete driveway is a labor-intensive project. The labor portion of the total cost is two-thirds to three-quarters of the total cost, especially when the drive has a complex design or is stained or stamped. Keep in mind that this part of the cost covers the contractor’s equipment costs, travel costs, insurance and crew wages.
The size and scope of the driveway determine how long it takes to install.
For an average 700 square foot drive that includes a parking pad, here is a typical time frame.
- 1-2 Days | Remove old driveway, if needed.
- 1 Day |Prepare or install the base, set the concrete forms in place.
- 1 Day | Pour and finish the driveway.
- 1/2 Day | Remove forms and cleanup.
Here are several other common projects related to having a driveway replaced or newly installed at your home.
Are You a Pro Driveway Installer?
If so, head over to our Costimates Pro’s page, and help us make this page better and more accurate for both our visitors and your future customers.
DIY or Hire a Pro
This is a job that more than 90% of homeowners leave to pros, and that’s what we recommend you do too. It requires a knowledge of the right materials and depth for the base, the best concrete psi rating for your purposes, where to place expansion joints and finishing techniques to ensure the driveway looks and performs as it should. In most cases, there are also a lot of specialized tools and techniques used to put down a 30-year concrete driveway.
Staining and stamping are additional skills that take experience to master. A wide range of equipment and tools are used in each phase of the project. Many of them can be rented, but at significant expense. Finally, removing an old drive, if necessary and installing a concrete driveway is extremely hard work. Large, able-bodied crews are used on most driveway projects.
Compare Costs from Leading Resources
- Fixr: $8 - $12, Per Square Foot, Brushed Finish
- ThumbTack: $21 - $90, /Sqft Installed
- Inch Calculator: $8 - $15, Per Square Foot Average
- HomeAdvisor: $4 - $15, Per Square Foot
- ANGI: $4 - $15, Per Square Foot, 4" Thick Concrete
- Concrete Network: $8 - $18, Per Sq Foot
Common Questions and Answers
What's the Difference Between Cement and Concrete?
Cement is one of the aggregates along with rocks, sand and other material that's put in to concrete to provide it's strength. If you refer to a concrete driveway as a cement driveway, they are nearly the same thing when used in this fashion.
How Often do Concrete Driveways Last?
With proper maintenance, cleaning and re-sealing, a concrete driveway should last 25-40 years.
How Long Do I Have to Wait to Drive on my New Concrete Driveway?
In most cases, you should wait at least 7 days to drive a car onto a new driveway. Walking on the driveway is OK within 48 hours after the job is completed.
How Often Should a Concrete Driveway be Resealed?
Concrete driveways should be cleaned and resealed every 3-6 years, depending on the type of climate you live. In areas of snow and ice where salt and other melting agents are used, it would be on the 3-4 year side. In sunny Florida with no snow, 4-5 years is fine.