If you want a durable and attractive driveway that can look nice for years, concrete is one option you don’t want to count out. Since concrete is a mix of water, cement, and aggregates like sand or rock to help make it a level long-wearing surface, you may wonder about the concrete driveway cost. After all, something that lasts for years without any problems has to be expensive doesn’t it? Concrete does better in warmer weather than it does in cold, so this is a very popular driveway material in warmer states because it’s even more durable.
One thing you have to know is that your concrete driveway cost can fluctuate since you can choose to have it poured in different sizes and thicknesses, and you can also choose from different finishes to achieve different looks to enhance your home. So, budgeting for your concrete driveway cost can be challenging. The national average price starts at $3,400 and goes up to $7,000. The more detailed your driveway is and the more time-consuming it is to pour and create, and higher your price will go up on the spectrum.
Most people will have a concrete driveway cost of $5,200 for a 24-foot by 24-foot broom finished concrete driveway and is five-feet thick. If you want to pave a 12-foot by 24-foot gravel driveway, the concrete driveway cost falls to around $1,150. If you want a decorative stamped or colored concrete driveway that measures 24-feet by 24-feet, you can expect to pay over $11,500 from start to finish because it’s much more detailed and involved.
On average, the concrete driveway cost ranges between $4.00 to $15.00 a square foot, and this works out to $6.00 a square foot for most projects. Size, location, potential reinforcement measures, decorative elements, and whether or not the company has to remove the existing surface will all factor into your total concrete driveway cost. If you’re trying to get a more exact estimate for this project, this comprehensive guide will outline everything you need to know to help you create a working budget for this project.
Adding a new driveway can help reduce the mess you drag into the house when it rains, and concrete is a very durable material that can last for decades with the proper care. It adds a more complete look to your home as well. IMG_3299 by Jesus Rodriguez / CC BY 2.0
How Finish Impacts Your Concrete Driveway Cost
First up, you’ll want to pick a finish for your driveway. One great thing about concrete is that it allows you to cut, color, stain, or shape it into various looks to match your design aesthetic. You can have it textured, polished, or choose different aggregates to go in it. Each finish comes with a different style and look, and this causes your concrete driveway cost to fluctuate.
Your concrete driveway cost for a broom finish ranges from $8.00 to $12.00 per square foot. This is one of the most popular and common finishes available, and you get the pattern by pushing a stiff broom through the concrete to leave a distinctive texture behind. It makes it easy to tie to other design elements in your yard like a backyard pond or patio. It gives the concrete grip and makes it less slippery.
If you have a sectioned driveway, you can request that your contractor pushes the broom in different directions in the different sections to create a pattern and more interest. For more interest, you can choose to have borders or stains with this finish, but it increases your total project costs.
If you choose a single-colored driveway, your concrete driveway cost will range from $8.00 to $12.00 a square foot. Your contractor can color the concrete using a few different techniques. They can paint or stain it when it sets, or they can add color right to the fresh concrete.
You’ll usually avoid using concrete paint because it tends to chip or peel off after a few years due to heavy usage and exposure to the elements. In colder conditions, it’ll chip or peel even faster. Opting for a single pre-pour color or stain will stay in the range we mentioned. If you choose to add multiple colors or decorative elements, it’ll push your concrete driveway cost up.
This type of driveway starts at $8.00 and goes up to $12.00 per square foot. When people talk about exposed aggregate, they’re talking about a textured driveway that strips the concrete’s outer layer away to show the aggregate inside. Your contractor will usually add larger aggregate pieces into the concrete before they pour it. They can also seed them into the driveway once they pour the cement.
Exposed aggregate ensures that you have a more decorative texture with the bigger pieces than showing the finer pieces that many concretes have added in. You can get the choice of several different aggregates. Some offer a range of colors in the mix, and this makes them decorative.
The concrete driveway cost for an imprinted finish starts at $12.00 and goes up to $18.00 a square foot. This method is also called concrete engraving. The contractors will add patterns or textures into your concrete’s surface, and this will give your concrete different looks when it sets.
You can use imprints alongside stamping. One example of this is to imprint on a stamped stone pattern to give it additional texture so it looks like the driveway is actual stone pieces. This is very popular on single color concrete. It is possible to have multiple textures and colors added in, but this will increase your concrete driveway costs.
Plain concrete is more cost-effective at $6.00 to $8.00 a square foot. It’s extremely basic, and you can choose to pave in continuously or in sections. There is no decorative color, detail, or elements added in. Depending on the mixture your contractors use, it could have a very smooth feel with a little texture. This can make it slick in wet conditions.
If you plan to park heavy machinery or cars on the driveway, you should have it between four and five-inches thick, and five-inches is recommended to make it more durable. This is the type of concrete that is popular with businesses, and it gives you a smooth area to set your raised planter boxes on.
On average, the concrete driveway cost for a polished finish starts at $8.00 and goes up to $12.00 a square foot. Having a polished finish means that your driveway will have a reflective surface that is ultra smooth. You can also polish a plain driveway or add color for more interest.
This isn’t a very popular option because the ultra-smooth surface makes it very slippery. The polish also won’t seal your concrete driveway, so it allows stains to be much more visible than other options. It also won’t enhance how strong your concrete is, but it does change your surface texture. It’s more popular for indoor applications than outdoor use.
A rock salt or salt finish increases your concrete driveway cost by $8.00 to $12.00 a square foot. This is a unique texture where your contractor will seeded the fresh concrete surface with salt. This creates a random pattern of small craters and indents that disappear as it melts.
You’ll get a beautiful texture that never looks like another driveway, so it’s completely unique to your home. You can vary how much salt goes in each area to give it a different look. You can also add color if you’d like more interest, but this will push your concrete driveway cost higher.
This driveway has a slightly higher cost associated with it at $18.00 to $20.00 a square foot. This process involves cutting apart your concrete in different sections, so it makes it more labor-intensive. You’ll get a more realistic pattern than you will with stamping.
You can make irregular or even sections, like a flagstone pattern. You’ll typically combine this finish with a stain to create a unique look, but they also drive up your concrete driveway cost. The more colors and patterns you want, the more you should expect to pay at the end of the project.
Slate is another more expensive choice at $12.00 to $18.00 a square foot. You’ll get a driveway that looks like it uses individual pieces of slate to complete it, and it’s a popular garden edging idea. You can get a more natural look if you have a slightly varied pattern across your driveway.
Your contractor will typically hand apply your color to give it a more natural tone and variation to make it look more realistic. Depending on the company you choose, you can pick from different sizes in the faux slate pattern. Different color choices are possible as well.
On average, a stained concrete driveway cost ranges from $18.00 to $20.00 a square foot. It usually involves one color if you have a colored driveway, but stained driveways use multiple colors and techniques that help to add texture and interest to the finished product. Many times, your colors get hand applied, wiped away, and re-added.
This allows your driveway to have a lot of nuance and depth that you simply can’t get from a single color. You can have a matte or highly polished finish, depending on your installer’s methods and your preferences. You’ll get a wide array of looks, including stone-looks or emblems if you want them.
If you have a stamped patio, you can continue the pattern with a stamped concrete driveway. Your concrete driveway cost for this option ranges from $12.00 to $18.00 a square foot. The contractor will take a mold and stamp or press it into the wet concrete to leave an imprint. You can create various patterns on your driveway when it sets.
This type of driveway can mimic the look of stone, brick or other textures. A lot of stamped concrete has at least one color added as part of the stamping process. You can add borders and additional colors, but this will increase your concrete driveway cost.
A textured finish costs between $8.00 and $12.00 a square foot. This is a broad term that can refer to several different finish options, including salt, broom, or exposed aggregate. Adding texture to your driveway before it sets will work to add interest.
There’s also a safety factor where the texture will make it more slip-resistant, especially when it gets wet. Textures won’t increase how durable your concrete is, but it can help to disguise minor cracks or discolorations that come with age and regular use.
Picking out a finish will impact your price points because it’ll dictate how time-consuming and labor-intensive the project is as a whole. Figuring out the size and finish are the first two things you should do when you set a budget. IMG_3336 by Jesus Rodriguez / CC BY 2.0
Cost by Size
Your concrete driveway cost will have a wide range of factors. You could pay around $4.00 a square foot to pave over gravel, or it could jump to $20.00 a square foot for patterns. You may have noticed that the majority of them fell between $8.00 and $12.00 a square foot to pour a new driveway. There are several colors, styles, and finishes you can pick that impact your concrete driveway cost.
Additionally, the thicker your driveway is, the more it costs. A thicker driveway is more durable overall and it’ll last longer than a thinner one. However, it will have additional costs. If you choose to pave over an existing gravel driveway, your concrete driveway costs will be higher than if you needed to grade for a new driveway or remove existing concrete to start fresh.
Price Per Yard
Most companies will sell and pour concrete by the cubic hard, and this ranges from $125 to $150 per yard. Many people prefer to speak in square feet over cubic yards, but it helps to know your total concrete driveway costs. There will be variations baked on your driveway’s finish, type and thickness.
Common Price Points and Sizes
One of the biggest concrete driveway cost factors is the size of the project. They come in all different sizes and shapes, but there are a few that are considered to be standard. They include but are not limited to:
- 10 by 20-feet (Single Stall) – $800 to $4,000
- 12 by 24-feet (Single) – $1,150 to $5,800
- 20 by 20-feet (Double Stall) – $1,600 to $8,000
- 24 by 24-feet (Double) – $2,300 to $11,500
- 24 by 36-feet (Triple) – $3,460 to $17,300
Price for the Driveway Apron
Your concrete apron price will add between $1,540 to $4,320 to your total concrete driveway cost. Depending on the finish and size, the price will fluctuate. The apron is the section of your driveway that connects it to the finished roadway. It usually crosses the sidewalk area if you have one in front of your home.
Typically, the apron will measure the driveway’s width by 8-feet to 15-feet long. Some aprons can be small while others are much larger. You’ll spend the same cost per square foot as other concrete driveways, but many people like to add decorative looks. This helps the apron stand out from the driveway where they go across your sidewalk.
Labor Cost Factors
There are several different costs involved in pouring your driveway. If you want a brand new driveway, you’ll have grading and excavation costs to get the area ready. Most companies change between $50.00 and $70.00 an hour for this service. If you have little vegetation and a relatively flat area, you’ll have a lower concrete driveway cost because there is less prep work involved.
Once your contractor grades the land, they’ll put a sub-base down. If your driveway is already gravel, they can pour concrete right on top of it. If it’s a new driveway, they’ll pour the sub-base. The sub-base has a cost that ranges between $12.00 and $18.00 a cubic yard, and it uses gravel and sand. Depending on the soil you have and your location, this layer can range from a few inches to a full foot thick.
Your labor costs to set up the concrete forms to pour the wet concrete in, settling and raking the concrete, and breaking down the forms once the driveway cures ranges from $1.50 to $2.00 a square foot. Most companies don’t include this cost in your finishing costs for speciality finishes. This is just included in setting up for a standard pour. The delivery price is around $110 per cubic yard, and you can’t forget to add the delivery cost of $60.00 to your concrete driveway cost estimate.
For specialty finishes, you’ll add between $3.00 to $18.00 a square foot in labor costs, and where you fall in the spectrum depends on how involved the project is and the finish you pick. All of this increases your concrete driveway cost by $4.00 to $20.00 a square foot. It can take between two and three days to get the land flat and pour the sub-base. You’ll add two to three more days for the concrete to cure enough to finish. You can drive on it in another week.
Your labor costs will largely depend on the finish and size of the project. The more involved and larger the project is, the more you can expect to pay out since it’s more labor-intensive. IMGP4088_gutter by Rae Allen / CC BY-NC 2.0
Cost to Seal Your Concrete Driveway
Per square foot, sealing costs between $1.00 and $2.00. Many specialty finishes get sealed as part of the finishing process, particularly colored or stained options. Sealing will help to keep the surface from staining, and it makes it easy to take a pressure washer to it to clean it.
Sealing also prevents moisture from absorbing into the concrete to extend how long it lasts. You’ll have to wait for your driveway to cure 100% before you apply the sealant. It could be as far at as six months before you apply it after you pour it.
Price to Replace Your Concrete Driveway
If you want to replace your concrete driveway, the cost ranges from $5.00 to $25.00 on average. This price will depend on the driveway you want to replace it with. To break up the existing concrete and haul it away, you’ll spend between $1.00 and $4.00 per square foot. The concrete’s depth and whether or not it was reinforced will factor in. The depth, finish, and size are also things to consider when you’re trying to figure out your concrete driveway cost to replace it.
Maintenance Costs for Concrete Driveways
This is a very low-maintenance material to have, especially in warmer planting zones. You’ll have to seal and clean it regularly. Sealers only impede any stains without stopping them 100%. You’ll have to clean your surface to remove any stains before they soak through the sealant. Don’t use any chemicals, and pressure washing can keep it clean. Reapply your sealant on the schedule your contractor recommends.
Cost to Enhance Your Concrete Driveway
There are several optional things you can do to enhance or improve how your driveway looks. However, you can choose not to add them if you’re worried about your concrete driveway cost going over your budget. These enhance or improvement costs include:
- Block Concrete and Grass Pattern – You’ll pay between $9.00 and $14.00 on average for this pattern, and you can use real or artificial grass with your concrete. You’ll get large concrete squares with grass squares between them to set them apart. It gives you a unique look, but the maintenance can be more involved.
- Extension – If you want to extend your current driveway, it’ll cost between $8.00 and $12.00 per square foot. The new section will require grading and excavation before a new sub-base goes down and concrete gets paved over the top.
- Gate – A driveway gate adds security to your home, and an electronic model costs around $6,700. You can pick from automatic or manual, and they come in different styles and materials that influence the costs. You’ll want to match your home’s style and any existing privacy fences.
- Leveling – If your existing driveway sank, you can choose to level it. For 100-square feet, you’ll pay around $950 for this service. Depending on the damage levels and how much of your driveway you have to repair, your costs can fluctuate up or down.
- Panels and Block Edges – You can line your driveway with cinder blocks, but it’ll add between $2.00 and $3.00 a linear foot to your concrete driveway cost. You’ll stack cinder blocks onto one another to create a short wall that lines your driveway to help add definition. They can make plowing a challenge in snowy climates.
- Tree Removal – You’ll apy around $450 to remove a medium-sized tree to clear out space for your driveway. If you need to remove multiple trees, you can get a discount per tree, including stump removal. If the company takes the wood, it could even be free.
Where to Find Concrete Driveway Contractors Near You
If you want to have a new concrete driveway installed or you need your current one repaired, you’ll need the help of a contracting company to ensure it lasts. You can use the following resources as a starting point to help you find reliable companies:
Frequently Asked Questions
Knowing which questions to ask when you start looking for a company to complete your driveway will help to ensure you get a good price without sacrificing quality. New concrete driveway into FrankenBarn! By joejinky / CC BY-NC 2.0
1. What is the average lifespan of a concrete driveway?
At a minimum, your new concrete driveway should last at least 20 years. If you make a point to maintain it correctly and live in a more moderate climate, it can last beyond this period.
2. Can a new concrete driveway increase your home’s value?
Unfortunately, installing a new concrete driveway doesn’t necessarily increase the value of your home. If you had a gravel or dirt driveway before, then yes, it can increase the value a little bit.
3. How long does it have to cure before you can drive on it?
Once your contractors finish the driveway, you want to give it at least a week before you drive on it. This essential time will allow it to cure and harden enough to support the weight of your vehicles.
Your concrete driveway cost has several factors that go into it. Finding out which factors apply to your situation is a great way to create a working budget for this project. Make sure you call a few different companies to get comprehensive quotes that will help you get the driveway you want while staying inside your budget.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.