Many residential homeowners are swapping to asphalt for their new driveway as the cost to pave with asphalt is significantly less than the concrete alternative. Both methods require a proper groundwork often involving demo and removal of the old material. With this cost incurred either way, the cost of the new material is where home owners finding significant savings when opting for an asphalt driveway. Historically, concrete driveways do last longer, upwards of 30 years while asphalt has been known to last closer to 20 years. However, with new asphalt mixing materials and better methods of asphalt paving the lifetime of an asphalt driveway is starting to compete quite well with the concrete alternative.
Although much cheaper to install, in order to maintain asphalt experts suggest sealing it every 5 years, depending on usage and region. Repairs however are cheaper with asphalt as they can often be patched while concrete will most often require remove of the entire block followed by complete replacement. This also often lends to discoloration between the large squares.
The initial cost break-down:
- Concrete: $5 – $10 per square foot
- Asphalt: $2 – $5 per square foot
Durability of asphalt vs. concrete driveways
For Florida and other heat-prone areas: A major advantage with asphalt is the materials ability to shrink and expand with large swings in temperatures while concrete is more likely to crack due to its density and material compound.
Gas & oil damage:
Concrete: very noticeable and hard to remove.
Asphalt: less noticeable, however, gas spills can damage the material.
Other cost factors to consider
“The size of the driveway and year it was initially constructed are the primary cost factors,” says Tony Anderson, owner of Anderson & Son’s Asphalt.
Total square footage
Obviously, the bigger the driveway, the higher the cost. There is a point at which medium sized driveways may be equally as costly as smaller sized surfaces due to the amount of equipment that will need to be trucked in regardless of size. Most likely the equipment will be needed for at least a full day for most small to medium sized driveways. This could mean your driveway re-surfacing for your two lane premium parking may be just slightly more expensive then your neighbors significantly smaller driveway.
Year constructed / age
While regulations have changed since the 70s and 80s, it may be necessary to dig a few inches deeper into the dirt below your old driveway in order to make room for a surface that meets todays regulatory standards. Some property owners may also wish secure a better longevity for their asphalt driveway and when this is the case, digging deeper and laying more material down is required. This of course will also increase the cost per square foot.
Slope of surface
In the event your driveway has a greater than normal slope, it may be more expensive as laying asphalt and steep slopes become much more time intensive and labor costs increase.
In some instances, drainage routes can conflict with the location of the driveway requiring piping under the surface to allow for safe and sufficient drainage of water run offs.
Landscaping (trees, bushes, roots)
One common question we have from home owners is “how much would it cost to take that little tree out and widen my driveway?” (or something to that effect). At the end of the day, there is no simple answer as the it always dependent on the size of the driveway, mass of the tree and other factors. Ultimately, extending the driveway usually will cost double the regular price per foot for the extended surface area as the groundwork and excavation must be done, along with tree and stump removal.
Savings tips for driveway extensions
Most asphalt companies have a local tree service they work with whom will often expedite last minute tree removals for their partner company. With this in mind, be sure to check with your driveway project manager to see if they may be able to get you a deal on your landscaping before reaching out to a landscape company directly.
Pinellas County Asphalt Driveway Professionals
Live in or around the Tampa / Pinellas area? If you are considering having your driveway resurfaced with asphalt, be sure to talk the best local asphalt service company; Anderson & Son’s Asphalt. We’ve got the know-how and equipment plus we are licensed and insured. If you are shopping for asphalt companies in the greater Tampa Bay area, be sure to look up businesses google reviews and be on the look out for bad reviews along with ‘rip-off reports’ as these things are all-to-common in this industry, unfortunately.