There’s a lot to love about paver driveways. They’re durable, they’re beautiful, and they’re easy to maintain. Yet there’s one thing that’s not so great about them—the cost. Of course, although they are undeniably more expensive than concrete or asphalt, many homeowners still manage to afford pavers, begging the question of just how much they really cost.
Unlike concrete or asphalt, pavers are made from a variety of materials, making it harder to determine an average price. For example, brick pavers are less expensive than stone pavers but they’re also less durable. And while concrete pavers are the least expensive option, they fail to achieve the same look as stone. So, to better understand the costs, we must first consider a few factors.
From the quality of materials to the overall size of your driveway, you could end up spending between $8-$30 per square foot. And while that may seem like a wide range, there are ways to keep the project on budget. This guide will help to clear up any confusion and provide you with a better understanding of what goes into the cost of a paver driveway.
Start By Measuring the Size of Your Driveway
Before you can start planning a budget, you’ll first have to measure the amount of space you’re working with. The average driveway is about 600-700 square feet, but obviously, this number will vary depending on the size of your property.
We recommend measuring the area using a tape measure or ruler to get the most accurate reading. Simply measure the length and width of the space and multiply the two numbers together. With this information, you can then estimate the number of pavers you’ll need, as well as the amount of sand, gravel, and mortar you’ll need to complete the project.
Estimating the Cost of Materials
Once you know the size of your driveway, you can begin to estimate the cost of materials. As we mentioned, pavers are made from a variety of materials, each with its own price tag. Rarer stones, such as granite or limestone, are far more expensive than basic brick pavers simply because they’re more labor-intensive to produce and harder to find in bulk.
To get a more accurate estimate, contact a local landscaping or masonry company. They’ll be able to give you a better idea of the materials available in your area and the going rates. Along with the cost of the pavers, you’ll also have to estimate the cost of installation materials. In general, every square foot of driveway will cost around $2-$5 in sand, gravel, and mortar.
You’ll also need to factor in the cost of any tools or equipment you may need to rent or purchase, such as a power washer, trowel, or level. Generally speaking, though, it’s more affordable to install your own pavers if you’re willing to put your back into it.
A Cost-to-Benefit Analysis of Different Paver Materials
As we’ve established, the cost of pavers can vary quite a bit depending on the materials you choose. Here, we’ve broken down the three most popular types of pavers to help you decide which is best for your needs and budget.
- Concrete Pavers: Concrete pavers are the most popular choice for driveways because they are the most affordable option. They’re made from a mixture of Portland cement, sand, gravel, and water and can be cast in any shape or size. They’re also very durable, easy to install, and require very little maintenance. Price: $6-$10 per square foot
- Brick Pavers: Brick pavers are made from a mixture of clay and shale and are formed into their characteristic shape using extreme heat and pressure. They’re a popular choice for driveways because they offer a classic look at a relatively affordable price. They’re also very easy to install and require very little maintenance. Price: $10-$15 per square foot
- Stone Pavers: Stone pavers are made from a variety of natural stones, such as granite, limestone, or sandstone. They’re the most expensive option but they’re also the most durable. They can last for decades with very little maintenance and will only increase in value over time. Price: $15-$30 per square foot.
As you can see, there’s a big difference in price between the three types of pavers. If you’re working with a tight budget, concrete pavers are the way to go. But if you can afford to spend a little more, stone pavers are definitely the better investment.
Calculating the Cost of Labor
If you’re planning to install the pavers yourself, the cost of labor will be minimal. In fact, the only real cost you’ll incur is the price of renting or purchasing any tools or equipment. However, if you’re planning to hire a professional, the cost of labor will be significantly higher. For a basic 600-square-foot driveway, you can expect to pay around $1,500-$3,000 for installation.
Of course, the actual cost will vary depending on the complexity of the job and the experience of the contractor. It’s always a good idea to get several quotes from different companies before making a final decision.
Additional Costs to Consider
In addition to the cost of materials and labor, there are a few other factors that can affect the overall cost of your project.
- Permits: Depending on the size and scope of your project, you may need to obtain a permit from your city or county. The cost of a permit can range from $100-$500, so be sure to factor this into your budget.
- Drainage: A good drainage system is essential for any driveway to prevent flooding and pooling water. If your property doesn’t have an existing drainage system, you may need to have one installed, which can add $500-$1,000 to the cost of your project.
- Grading: If your driveway is on a slope, you may need to have the area graded before installation. This is a fairly simple process but it will add to the overall cost of the project.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, there are a lot of factors that go into the cost of a paver driveway. By taking the time to understand the different costs involved, you can be sure to stay on budget and end up with a beautiful, long-lasting driveway.