On this page:
- How Much Does a Concrete Driveway Cost?
- How Many Cubic Yards Are Needed?
- The Average Driveway Cost Per Square Foot
- The Average Residential Driveway Size
- Concrete Driveway Material Costs
- Gravel Base
- Concrete Costs
- Expansion Joints
- Concrete Driveway Labor Costs
- Driveway Price Factors
- Prep Work
- Stamping and Coloring
- Borders and Other Decorative Touches
- Calculate How Much Your Concrete Driveway Costs
How Much Does a Concrete Driveway Cost?
A standard concrete driveway typically costs $4,000 to $8,500 while a colored or stamped drive can cost significantly more. Several factors influence how much new concrete work will cost.
How Many Cubic Yards Are Needed?
To calculate the amount a concrete driveway will cost, you’ll need to know how much concrete you need. You should be aware that concrete is measured using cubic yards. Cubic yards are a way of measuring the volume of the concrete, so it utilizes three-dimensional measurements — literally what size the cube of concrete will be.
In other words, concrete is measured using the length and width of the area to be filled and then multiplied by the required depth of concrete required. The length multiplied by the width is what’s known as the square footage.
For driveways that will only be used for cars and small vehicles a slab with a 4″ thickness is sufficient. However, to support the weight of larger vehicles and trucks a thicker 5″ slab is recommended.
Calculating the square footage can be done easily by inputting the length and width measurements into a square footage calculator.
The Average Driveway Cost Per Square Foot
If you hire a contractor who uses the best quality concrete, you can expect to pay $7 to $10 per square foot of concrete.
But how do you know if the concrete is good quality? Well, the answer lies in the strength of the concrete. The strength of concrete is measured in pounds per square inch, or psi. A high-quality concrete mix for use on a driveway will have a compressive strength of 4,000 psi or more.
This mix often costs more than a typical 2,000 psi mix but is necessary to support the increased weight of vehicles.
Before hiring any contractor, find out the strength of the concrete they mix. The strength determines its longevity and ability to retain its shape without cracking during even the harshest weather conditions. A low-grade concrete won’t last as long and will be more prone to cracking.
Installing a concrete driveway is a job any homeowner won’t want to have done more than once or twice during their lifetime, so it’s essential to ensure the concrete used is the best available.
The Average Residential Driveway Size
A single car driveway should be between 9 and 12 feet wide, though a 9-foot wide drive can be quite narrow. A two-car driveway should be closer to 20 feet wide. Find the length by measuring from the entrance to the garage to the street.
Concrete Driveway Material Costs
When estimating a driveway project be prepared to account for material for the base, concrete, reinforcement, forms, and expansion joints.
In addition to concrete, a base of crushed stone will also be needed, which can cost $15 to $20 per ton on average. Use a gravel calculator to estimate how much you’ll need.
The cost of concrete varies by region and the amount you’ll pay per cubic yard is different for every supplier. Some suppliers charge as low as $100 per cubic yard while others may charge as high as $150 per cubic yard.
To prevent cracking and add strength to the concrete reinforcement will be needed. Most often this will be a fiber or galvanized steel mesh, but on thicker pours rebar may be used instead.
For a 4″ slab a fiber or steel mesh is often used for reinforcement to prevent cracking and support the weight of vehicles. Mesh is a popular alternative to rebar since it’s much thinner, ensuring the concrete above and below the reinforcement is not too thin. This usually costs $.20 – $.30 per square foot for the material.
For thicker 5-6″ pours rebar can be used for reinforcement. The amount of rebar needed will vary by the size of the driveway, size of the rebar, and chosen spacing. On average rebar will cost $2 to $3 per square foot, but it’s often priced by the ton. Use our rebar calculator to get a more precise estimate.
Some materials will also be needed to support the concrete pour, for example, forms and stakes. Prepare to spend $50 – $100 for lumber and stakes to create the forms.
Large concrete pours require expansion joints to be installed to prevent cracking as the slab expands and contracts over time. The materials can be as simple as a pressure treated board costing only a couple bucks.
Most professionals also recommend adding a sealant to protect the expansion joint to prevent the accumulation of dirt and debris and to prevent weed growth in the joint. Adding sealant will add about $2 – $3 per foot of joint for the sealant and backer rod.
Concrete Driveway Labor Costs
An experienced crew can prep and pour a new driveway at a pace of about 15-20 square feet per hour. Labor rates vary, but on average labor costs run $40 to $55 per hour.
Geographic location, experience of the crew, and size of the company can impact labor pricing.
Driveway Price Factors
There are a few significant factors that influence the price of a driveway installation in addition to size, and labor and material costs.
The amount of prep work needed may result in adjustments to the price of the project. Uneven ground, rocky soil, or a steep slope take additional time to prepare than flat, soft topsoil.
Increasing the thickness of the driveway to support the weight of heavier vehicles will increase the cost of the project. A thicker slab requires more excavation, reinforcement, and concrete, all of which contribute to a higher cost for a thicker slab.
Stamping and Coloring
Coloring and stamping concrete can significantly affect the price of the project. In many cases adding the decorative touch can double the cost of the driveway installation. It takes quite a bit of time to do well and requires much more skill than a standard driveway pour.
Borders and Other Decorative Touches
It may be obvious, but adding borders, edges, and other decorative touches will also increase the price of a driveway project. Some designs require multiple pours which increase the costs substantially.
Calculate How Much Your Concrete Driveway Costs
Our concrete driveway calculator can help estimate the amount of material and material costs for your project. Even if you choose to hire a contractor for the job you’ll be armed with rough material estimates and the information needed to ask intelligent questions before starting the project.
By inputting your specific measurements or even just drawing the driveway on the map, you can find an estimate of the cost of a concrete driveway.
All pricing information on this page is based on average industry costs, and is subject to variance for project-specific materials, labor rates, and requirements.
- Portland Cement Association, Driveways, https://www.cement.org/cement-concrete-applications/paving/buildings-structures/concrete-homes/products/driveways
- ConcreteNetwork.com, The Correct Concrete Driveway Mix, https://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/concrete_driveways/the_correct_concrete_mix.htm
- Glenda Taylor, The Average Cost of a Cubic Yard of Concrete, Hunker, https://www.hunker.com/13402086/the-average-cost-of-a-cubic-yard-of-concrete
- Mastic Solutions of Houston, All About Expansion Joint Repairs, Replacement, and Types, http://www.masticsolutions.com/expansion-joint-repair.html