You’re a homeowner who’s considering widening your driveway. But you have many questions in your head.
The first one is how much does it cost to widen a driveway? That’s probably the most important criterion for many of us.
Of course, we’d all want the best, most durable, finest driveway, but that’s not realistic. The good thing is that there are many materials with all kinds of prices, which means there’s something for everyone’s pocket.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the pricing of eight types of materials you can use to widen your driveway and throw in some pros and cons for each of them to help you make a better decision.
But that’s not all – we’ll teach you about the most important factors that impact the driveway extension cost and some reasons why you’d want to do it. Let’s go!
How Much Does It Cost to Widen A Driveway?
1. Concrete Driveway
Concrete is the most ubiquitous type of material used for driveways.
Although not as cheap as the materials we already discussed, it’s definitely not the most expensive thing on the market, ranking probably somewhere in the middle with a square foot price costing between $5 and $15. So, adding 600 square feet to your existing driveway can cost you between $3,000 and $9,000.
Now that we’re done with the price section, let’s briefly talk about two of its most important pros. We said that gravel could last up to 100 years. But that’s only with proper and regular maintenance. The most durable material is concrete since it can “live” up to 50 years with essentially zero care.
2. Chip Seal Driveway
Another cheap option is chip seal, as driveway installation costs for a square foot of this option go between $2 and $5. The price for a whole driveway usually is between $1,200 and $3,000, with the average being $2,000.
Compared with the previous cheap option, chip seal or tar-and-chips is much prettier, usable in various types of architectures, more durable, and doesn’t need as frequent maintenance and change.
3. Grass Driveway
The average cost of grass or grass paver driveway is $6,000, with a square foot being between $4 and $12.
With this material, you have no cracks or stains like with concrete. You also don’t have to worry about water running off to the drain or possibly accumulating on your driveway, as these are permeable pavers made out of a combination of grass and plastic or concrete.
And, you almost get the best out of two worlds: the beauty of a grass lawn and the stability of a concrete one.
4. Gravel Driveway
A gravel driveway is the cheapest way on the market to extend your driveway, as a square foot of this material costs between $1 and $3. On the low end, gravel can cost as little as $300 for a whole driveway, while the average is usually around $1,500.
What’s good about it besides its price? Well, it’s a long-lasting material, as you’ll be able to use it for almost a century. However, you will need to maintain it properly, and that includes some raking and gravel changing every year or so.
Another thing that you might not like is well its aesthetics. This material is much better suited for people living in the countryside since it’s kind of hard to fit it in more modern neighborhoods.
5. Asphalt Driveway
Next on the list are asphalt driveways. Although quite popular, they’re second on the list behind concrete driveways. They have their advantages, though. The first one is the price since this material will cost you $3 to $7 per square foot, with the average driveway price being in the $3000 range.
Some of the more important downsides of asphalt are its relatively low durability (15 to 20 years) and the need for resealing (every 3 to 5 years). On the flip side, this type of driveway doesn’t crack as much as concrete and is more resistant to salt and ice melt.
6. Rubber Driveway
Want an eco-friendly option? Rubber driveway is your friend since it’s made out of recycled rubber. It’s also relatively inexpensive since a square foot of rubber paver costs between $6 and $11, with the low end being $3,600 and the high $6,600.
Why go with this material? Relatively long durability, resistance to frost, good drainage qualities, many design options, ease of installation and maintenance, etc.
7. Paver Driveway
One of the most expensive options on the market is pavers. Driveways constructed from concrete blocks, paver stones, or brick pavers will cost you an average of $10 to $30 for a square foot. So, for a two-car driveway (600 square feet), that’s $6,000 and $18,000.
The great thing about paver driveways is the many design options you can go with. Different colors, shapes, and sizes – there’s something for everyone. They’re also quite durable, as you can find pavers that will last up to 75 years, with the minimum being 25.
However, this material isn’t perfect since individual elements might start moving. Another downside is the weeds that can start growing between the blocks. Proper installation and maintenance are key for a good-looking and long-lasting paver driveway.
8. Heated Driveway
If you live in a place where snow and low temperatures are not uncommon and you don’t feel like visiting the outdoor gym and shoveling snow every couple of days, the heated driveway is the way to go.
With heated driveways, you’ll always have a clean sidewalk and entrance to your home or garage, but you’ll have to pay a lot for this privilege since installing a square foot costs from $12 to $30. In addition, expect to pay an average of $10,000 to widen your driveway.
Besides the high cost of installation, another thing you must not forget is the cost of operating this type of driveway during the cold months.
You can make your existing concrete or asphalt driveway a heated one which is an excellent option for those who didn’t think or have the funds to do it in the first place.
What Does Drive Extension Cost Depend On?
First and foremost is the type of material used to widen the driveway. There’s a large number of these materials, and their prices can significantly vary as you have materials such as gravel that go as low as $1 per square foot and materials such as paver stone that can cost up to 50 dollars for the same area.
Another thing on which the price will depend is, of course, the size of the driveway extension. To calculate the size of your future driveway, multiply the width by the length of the area you plan to cover.
Although the vast majority of people will go for the rectangular extension because that’s what works best for most yards, not everyone has that “luxury” or wish. Curving the driveway is more complex and requires more labor and precision.
Depending on where you live, you might need a permit before you start working on your driveway.
However, if you plan on cutting the curb or extending the driveway beyond property lines, you’ll definitely need it, so you should know that it can cost up to $300. Also, some municipalities will require a permit if you’re not using a permeable material, for example.
The last factor you need to consider is the person or persons doing all the dirty work. If you decide to make the driveway extension your DIY project, you’ll be the contractor and save on labor costs. Labor costs, on average, account for 50% of the total price.
If you go the “real” contractor route, check with a couple of places and ask for an estimate from each. You might be surprised to find out that some companies will ask a lot more for the same job using the same material. Now, that can be justified because they might really be good at what they do, but it can also be a case of overpricing.
Why Would You Want To Widen Current Driveway?
There are many reasons to want to do this, but the number one is to have more space to park cars.
Next is wanting to avoid parking on the grass since, sooner or later, this destroys the lawn. Additionally, if you’re located in an area where rains aren’t rare, you will muddy your car and yard, which are additional problems you have to deal with.
You may also want to create a space where you can play basketball. And, if you’re a parent, having a basketball hoop in your yard can be both a productive and healthy way to spend more time with your kids.
But maybe productivity or utility aren’t things you’re after. Perhaps you just don’t want to have the obligation of maintaining the lawn. Fair enough – install some material over the surface, and forget about the lawn!
Let’s go over the list of all eight materials and the minimum and maximum prices of a square foot for each of them.
- Gravel $1 – $3
- Chip seal $2 – $5
- Asphalt $3 – $7
- Concrete $5 – $15
- Grass $4 – $12
- Rubber $6 – $11
- Pavers $10 – $30
- Heated $12 – $30
If you want to find out how much it will cost to widen your driveway with one of these materials, besides the price of the material itself, you will have to consider the size and shape of the driveway as well as labor and permit costs.
Let us know in the comments which of these materials is your favorite and why. Or just ask us anything you’d like to learn about them additionally.