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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Construction & Renovation > Asphalt Removal

Asphalt Removal Cost


How Much Does Asphalt Removal Cost?

 
low costLow: DIY $0-$500average costMedium: Short Driveway $500-$1,000
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The need for a longer driveway or a larger paved area can vary from one homeowner to the next, sometimes leading to a desire for less asphalt and more grass or garden. The difficulty and expense in removing asphalt will depend in large part on the thickness of both the asphalt and the rock/gravel base.

Typical costs:

  • Costs for do-it-yourself asphalt removal might range from zero to $100-$500 or more depending on local dump/recycling fees; how much equipment needs to be rented; the size of the area being removed and whether it's attached to something that must be preserved. Prices vary considerably by region, but renting an electric jackhammer should be about $50-$100 a day. If removing only part of the asphalt and needing to leave a straight line, renting a concrete saw should be about $30-$50 (plus possibly another $25-$125 for wear on a diamond-tipped blade). For large projects, renting a small backhoe or skid-steer (also called a bobcat) with a breaker attachment can be $150-$350 a day. The biggest portion of the work will be hauling away and disposing of the debris. Asphalt can be recycled, so dumping/recycling can be free or as low as $5-$30 a truck load, although in some areas it costs more.
  • Hiring a company to break up and remove asphalt paving runs roughly $2.50-$3.50 a square foot (although small jobs may cost more per square foot). A short driveway (10x20 to 12x25 feet) might run $500-$1,000 or more, depending on total size and the thickness of the asphalt and the gravel base.
Related articles: Driveway, Driveway Repair, Debris Removal, Dumpster, Concrete Removal, Landscape Design

What should be included:
  • At least two business days before any digging, call 811 (the free national Call Before You Dig service) to have utility companies mark any underground lines on your property. Check with your local planning office to see if you need a permit, particularly if you're going to replace the asphalt with a structure or another type of paving. Local regulations vary considerably about when permits are needed. If you're doing the removal work yourself, wear eye and ear protection and possibly a dust mask. Depave.org provides a detailed overview[1] .
  • The time and effort involved will depend a great deal on the asphalt being removed and the tools being used. Although good asphalt paving should be 3-4 inches thick on a 4-6 inch gravel base, residential asphalt may have been installed only an inch or two thick, with little or no base under it -- which makes removal easier. RentalHQ.com gives tips for using a rented skid-steer or concrete saw. An eastern New York homeowner shares his experience removing asphalt with a pick, shovel and a rented excavator.
  • Most companies use heavy equipment to remove a typical asphalt driveway in about 2-4 hours. The contractor should verify that all underground utility lines have been identified and marked. The debris will be hauled to a recycling center. If included as part of the project, the contractor may then add a layer of topsoil and grade (level) the site. Homeowners in Alaska[2] and California[3] share photos of their asphalt removal projects.
Shopping for asphalt removal:
  • Removal work can be done by day laborers or a local handyman. For larger projects requiring heavy machinery, most excavation or paving contractors also remove old asphalt. Asphalt companies often have equipment specifically designed to rip out old asphalt, although typically they do this as part of a replacement project. Referrals are available through the National Pavement Contractors Association.
  • Get several estimates. Ask about specific experience with this type of project. The estimator/contractor should walk the site with you, discussing any potential problems with machinery access and underground utility lines. Be sure you understand exactly what's included in each estimate, such as how the area will be left when the work is done. Will a layer of top soil be added? How deep? Will the site be graded (leveled)? Ask for and check references. Make sure the company is properly insured, bonded and licensed[4] in your state, and check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau[5] .
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External Resources:
  1.  depave.org/learn/how-to-depave/
  2.  home.gci.net/~glen/home/excav/01excav.html
  3.  holliganlee.wordpress.com/2009/01/31/asphalt-removal/
  4.  www.contractors-license.org/
  5.  www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business-Reviews/
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