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Cost of Asphalt, Paver Stones, and Concrete Paving

Paving installation
Paving installation

Cost of Asphalt, Paver Stones, and Concrete Paving

Exterior renovationsCost of Asphalt, Paver Stones, and Concrete Paving

Homeowners, note that a paved driveway can last a very long time. However, that's according to which type of material you have chosen to use. Sometimes, due to temperature changes, heavy traffic, or improper installation, you may find yourself needing to redo it shortly thereafter. Or, if you simply realize after years of use that your old driveway is no longer in good condition, or you just want to switch things up and opt for pavers instead of gravel. If that may be, and you wish to learn more about the figures involved and the most popular choices, keep reading!

Here's an overview of all the different paving materials, their respective pros and cons, and things you should include in your agreement with your contractor, as well as the prepping step prior to paving.

What are the different types of residential paving materials?


Source: Canva

First things first, choose the material of your liking. Usually, asphalt, pavers, and concrete are the most sought-after materials. Since their costs can vary quite significantly, your choice can't solely be based on your preferences, your budget has to be considered as well.

Asphalt driveway

Of the three presented here, asphalt is the cheapest material, aside from gravel. It can last around 15 years and, with a good granular base, up to 20 years.

Combined with pavers (also known as paving stones), it can give a more sophisticated look to the pavement. However, since it cannot be reused, it's one of the least environmentally-friendly options and you’ll have to pay to get rid of it properly.


Pavers have a longer lifespan than asphalt. They're hard blocks made out of concrete, glass, clay, brick, stone, or plastic. They give character and flair to any driveway and can last up to 30 years. 

Although installation costs are higher than asphalt, with proper maintenance, this material can save you money in the long run. Another advantage to pavers is that you can easily remove and reuse them somewhere else if need be.


Concrete is available in different colours, shapes, and patterns. You can pour it directly on the ground. Its installation cost and lifespan are similar to that of pavers. Excavation costs aside, pouring concrete costs can vary a lot depending on several factors, their characteristics (shape, grade, etc.) and where it was purchased. 

Regardless of the type of material you choose, and there are some great options out there depending on the condition of your driveway, there are still a few factors you should keep in mind. First, there has to be a proper drainage system in place under your paved entryway. The contractor should ensure the pavement has at least a 2% slope to ensure that water collects and flows to a lower level, meaning away from the property. Also, depending on the state of the driveway, grading should be carried out by a group of people specializing in parking lot paving. 

In the chart below, take a look at the ballpark cost of paving a driveway according to different materials. (Note that final costs depend on the finished product, meaning the size of the driveway, material used, labour costs, etc.).

How Much Does it Cost to Pave a Driveway Per Square Foot in Canada? (Asphalt, Concrete, Paving Stones, Gravel)

Type of paving material

Average price per square foot


Starting at $5 per square foot, which can go up to $20


Between $8 and $20 per square foot

Paver stones

Between $10 and $25, depending on the type of paving stone

Regardless of the type of material you choose, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you must have a good drainage system under your paved entryway. The contractor should make sure the pavement has a minimum 2 % incline to ensure that water collects and flows to a lower elevation away from it.

Fixing a Damaged Driveway: Should You Excavate?


Source: Canva

To ensure that the driveway has a long service life, proper excavation is necessary. Professionals in the industry don't recommend simply coating the existing driveway in a new material, but rather redoing it completely. Excavating the ground, as it should be done, gives the driveway a stronger base, thereby reducing the risk of future cracks appearing.

However, due to certain factors, some cracks may still appear because of temperature fluctuations. Albeit, if the driveway is well-made and well-maintained, the number of cracks will still be limited.

Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

  • Properly preparing a residential driveway will ensure that you don't have to redo it after two years. For asphalt, this could mean a service life of up to 20 years. In doing so, this investment will pay off in the long run.

  • For new homes, it will take a year, or at least one freeze-thaw cycle before you can coat the driveway. This process will allow the soil and gravel to be well compacted, especially with the weight of rain and snow. This waiting period will help solidify everything.

  • Before starting any type of work, homeowners must contact their municipality to learn about regulations on driveway paving, especially if they have just purchased new construction. Many recommend that paving be done after the first year of construction. By seeking out this information, you will avoid any potential problems down the line.

  • For houses that were built several years ago, it isn't necessary to wait until after a whole freeze-thaw cycle before covering the driveway with paver stones or any other material. One can immediately carry out the excavation and fill out the cavity with gravel. Once the latter is in place, one must wait about 2 weeks before laying the asphalt. This process allows the gravel to better compact and provides greater stability for the driveway. This step shouldn't be overlooked.

  • Also, you can have a geotextile fabric installed to improve the rainwater (or other liquid) flow. The Perrier Guide defines geotextile as "(...) a synthetic, filtering, rot-resistant and highly resistant fabric that is used in the soil to prevent fine particles from entering the gravel, keeping it from fulfilling its drainage task." Check with your contractor to see what they recommend to ensure the best possible stability when it comes to your driveway.

Finally, much like the roof, it is best not to do such work when the weather is cooler. Ideally, driveway paving should be done between June and September.

During wintertime, if you use a snowplough, pay attention to the type of blade installed. Some types of blades may scratch the surface of your driveway and damage the pavement over time. Check with your contractor to know if they have specific recommendations for you.

Factors to Consider When Planning a Paving Project


Source: Canva

The paving installation process should take place on warm days when the ground isn't frozen over. In Canada, the best time to carry out a pavement project is between June and September. In winter, be careful if you use a snowplough as the blade might damage the paving. 

Check with your contractor to see if they have any specific maintenance recommendations to ensure the durability of your pavement. Last but not least, make sure the paving contract is within legal standards.

To give you a better idea of what the contract should specify, here is what CAA Quebec suggests for asphalt paving:

  • The contractor’s name and address;

  • In Quebec, the Office de la protection du consommateur (OPC) permit number if you're dealing with a door-to-door salesperson; in such cases, to avoid any source of conflict, never agree to have the work done before the 10-day cancellation expiration (or resolution) period;

  • In Ontario, the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) allows a 10-day cooling-off period when you sign a contract for a product or service over $60;

  • In Nova Scotia, Service Nova Scotia (SNS) offers a 10-day period in which you can void a contract signed with a value over $30;

  • In Alberta, companies that sell products door-to-door must be licenced under the Fair Trading Act as well as the Direct Selling Business Licensing Regulation. Like other provinces, there's a 10-day cooling-off period to void any contract that has been signed;

  • The contractor’s proof of liability insurance (insurance company and policy number);

  • The date the work is set to begin and end (the OPC advises including the following sentence in the contract: “The work will be completed no later than (date), or the contractor agrees to refund the deposit.”;

  • The exact dimensions of the surface to be paved;

  • The depth of excavation, whether a geotextile fabric is to be used, the type of fill and asphalt and their thickness after compacting;

  • Specification of all extra items (e.g., moving a fence, installing a grid on the driveway drain, etc.);

  • The terms and duration of the warranty provided;

  • Total cost and terms of payment;

  • That the presence of puddles (resulting from a poor drainage slope or settling of the asphalt) will not be tolerated;

  • That the contractor will keep the site reasonably clean and will dispose of the debris and excavation material in keeping with work completion standards.

Further rules and regulations regarding residential paving are province and municipality specific, so make sure to do extensive research before moving forward with your asphalt paving project.

Pavement Problems: Factors to Watch Out For

If you notice an accumulation of water in your driveway, it could mean that there is a problem with the pavement, whether it's with the paver stones or the surface drainage system. Either way, it could damage your driveway in the long term.

Also, it's important to mention to your contractor which type of vehicle will frequently traffic the pavement, as there's a chance this will affect the density (thickness) of the material needed for your entryway.

Wanting to know all about the price of your renovation project? Check out our 2023 Home Renovation Price Guide.

Get 3 renovation quotes for your driveway paving project can help you get quotes for your driveway paving project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with the best contractors in our network. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from home renovation specialists.

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Last modified 2024-05-29

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