One of the most common questions J&W Asphalt team members get is ‘how much does a driveway cost?’ In many ways, this question is a bit like asking how long a piece of string is. While we wish answering customers’ pricing questions was as easy as doling out a per-square-foot price, pricing is done on a project-by-project basis because each driveway has its own challenges and personality. But don’t fret, we’ll walk you through what to expect when considering a driveway project and why spending just a bit more upfront could end up save you big in the long run.
Over the course of a typical driveway replacement project, you can expect over $1 million worth of equipment to arrive onsite. Mobilizing this sophisticated equipment means that asphalt driveway projects have somewhat of a price floor and get progressively more cost effective as the size of the project increases. In other words a smaller project might appear more costly up front relative to a larger one. In light of this, many often turn to concrete, which is easier for a small crew with limited equipment to pour.
But if you’re worried about the cost of an asphalt driveway, it’s important to remember a few things. Firstly, unlike concrete, asphalt can be repaired when localized issues occur. This means more savings in the future because you won’t be replacing the whole surface. Second, a well-maintained asphalt driveway can be expected to last well over a decade or more and has been known to outlast concrete.
Another important factor to consider when weighing your driveway options is whether to repair or replace. Some of the more involved repairs can require similar amounts of labor and equipment, so we’ll often encourage our customers to replace most or all of their driveways so they can get the most bang for their buck over the life of their driveway. Replacing outright, while seemingly more costly, can lead to big savings when you consider the fact that crews will have to bust out $1 million worth of equipment just once, not two or more times. This is particularly true if the damaged driveway begins posing structural risk to the home to which it’s attached.
But, the question of repairing versus replacing is often a two-way street. Often our customers call us thinking they need their driveway replaced, when a repair to the apron (that area between your garage floor and the body of the driveway) or a fresh coat of sealcoating will do the trick.
Also know that some challenges, like poor soil conditions, can’t be known until old asphalt is removed. This is another reason a square-foot pricing estimates are less useful for homeowners. Our specialists instead, like to provide individualized attention to each project. Once the ground beneath the surface is revealed, we’ll take a look to determine if there is too much clay in the soil and whether we need to add material for proper drainage. Don’t worry, though, the asphalt that gets torn up gets ground up and reused as aggregate material, so you can rest easy knowing that it won’t end up in a landfill.