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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Driveways, Pools & Outdoor Living > Concrete Driveway

Concrete Driveway Cost


How Much Does a Concrete Driveway Cost?

 
low costPlain Concrete Driveway: $900-$3,000 for 12'x25'average costSingle Decorative Element: $1,800-$3,600 for 12'x25'high costCustom Concrete Driveway: $4,500-$7,500 for 12'x25'
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A mixture of cement, crushed rocks, sand and water, concrete is a durable and relatively low-maintenance choice for paving a driveway. It is more popular in warmer climates, because it does better than asphalt in high temperatures; in cold areas the salt used on roads to combat ice and snow damages concrete, and if the gravel base is not installed properly a concrete driveway could be cracked by frost heave.

Typical costs:

  • CostHelper readers report paying $3,500-$7,000 to remove and replace a concrete driveway, at $4.32-$4.40 a square foot.
  • A plain concrete driveway can cost $3-$10 or more a square foot, or $900-$3,000 for 12'x25' or $2,900-$9,600 for 24'x40', depending on soil conditions; whether existing pavement needs to be removed; drainage requirements; depth of the compacted gravel base; any slopes or curves; and any features like a turn-around or retaining wall.
  • A concrete driveway with a single decorative element -- pigmented color, textured finish, a basic border -- can cost $6-$12 a square foot, or $1,800-$3,600 for 12'x25' or $5,760-$11,520 for 24'x40'. A CostHelper reader in Virginia paid $10,255 for 903 square feet with a broom finish, or $11.36 per square foot.
  • A concrete driveway with several decorative elements can cost $12-$18 a square foot, or $3,600-$5,400 for 12'x25' or $11,500-$17,500 for 24'x40'. A CostHelper reader in California received a quote of $15,750 for a 1,187-square-foot stamped concrete driveway, or $13.27 per square foot.
  • A customized driveway with multiple decorative elements -- hand-applied chemical accents, multiple patterns and colors, complex and hand-applied stenciling -- can cost $15-$25 or more a square foot, or $4,500-$7,500 for 12'x25' or $14,400-$24,000 for 24'x40'.
  • Resurfacing an existing concrete driveway typically costs $2-$8 a square foot depending on the thickness of the resurfacing layer, the condition of the existing concrete, and whether there are any patterns or colors stamped on the resurfaced area. Resurfacing can be a do-it-yourself project, and materials typically cost about $50-$75 for 100 square feet. This Old House provides DIY instructions[1] , and manufacturer Quickrete posts a video demonstration[2] .
What should be included:
  • The process typically includes: removing all topsoil and organic material or any existing pavement; installing wood forms around the perimeter; adding, grading and compacting a 4"-10' base of gravel; installing reinforcement (rebar or welded wire); pouring concrete into the forms, and smoothing and finishing the surface. Phoenix Home Services in northern Virginia provides a video overview[3] .
  • A new concrete driveway shouldn't be driven on for a least a week, and heavy vehicles shouldn't be parked on it for at least a month. A properly built and maintained concrete driveway can last 25-50 years, depending on conditions.
  • Resurfacing a concrete driveway can only be done if it is in relatively good condition; if areas have been moved up or down or there are large cracks, it needs a new foundation and drainage, and must be removed and replaced.
Additional costs:
  • Because a driveway connects to a public street, there may be local regulations governing the width of the driveway and the materials used to build it; a permit is typically required, and fees vary by location from nominal to pricey.
  • Concrete should be sealed about 20-30 days after installation, and re-sealed about every two years. Do-it-yourself materials typically cost $50-$200 or more; professional sealing can cost $150-$500 or more.
Shopping for a concrete driveway:
  • Driveways are typically installed by concrete or paving contractors, although general building or landscaping contractors make take on the task as part of a larger project, and sub out the work. The ConcreteNetwork.com provides a searchable database of concrete contractors[4] .
  • The ConcreteNetwork.com posts a photo gallery of concrete driveway ideas[5] .
  • Get several estimates; ask for and check references (if possible, visit a previous project, to see how the driveway looks after use); make sure the company is properly insured and licensed[6] ; and check for any complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau[7] .
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External Resources:
  1.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20177880,00.html
  2.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkl3bY7Z88k
  3.  www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7olAclQAmY
  4.  www.concretenetwork.com/
  5.  www.concretenetwork.com/photo-gallery/concrete-driveways_8/
  6.  www.contractors-license.org/
  7.  www.bbb.org/us/Find-Business-Reviews/
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