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Cost of Paving a Driveway: Asphalt, Paver stones and Cement

Cost of Paving a Driveway: Asphalt, Paver stones and Cement

Last modified: 2018/07/13 | 6 mins

Depending on which type of material you choose, the pavement in a house's entryway could last a very long time. However, sometimes, due to temperature changes or heavy traffic, you may need to redo it. Here is an overview of all the different types of paving materials; their respective pros and cons; the things you should include in your agreement with the contractor as well as the prepping step before paving.

Paving materials and their price

First of all, you have to choose the material. Usually, asphalt, paver stones and concrete are the ones that are most commonly used. Since their prices can vary by a large measure, your choice will  depend not only on your preferences but also on your budget. 

Asphalt

Between the three, asphalt is the cheapest material. It can last around 15 years and, with a good granular base, up to 20 years. 

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

Paver stones

Paver stones have a longer lifespan than asphalt. They are hard blocks made out of concrete, glass, clay, brick, stones  or plastic. They give character to the look of an entrance and can last up to 30 years.

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

Concrete

Concrete comes in different colors, shape and patterns. You can pour it directly on the ground. Its installation cost and lifespan are similar to that of paver stones. Excluding the cost of excavating the entrance, prices can vary a lot depending on the materials, their characteristics (shape, grade, etc.) and where they are bought. The approximate cost of paving an entrance according to different materials:

Price of paving materials (asphalt, concrete, paver stone)

Type of paving material Average price per square foot
Asphalt

starting at $3 per square foot, can go up to $10

Concrete

between $7 and $15 per square foot

Paver stone

between $12 and $20, 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.

Pavage entrée

Preparing the driveway: excavating to stabilize

To ensure that the driveway has a long lifespan, a proper excavation is necessary. It is not recommended to simply cover the existing driveway, but rather to redo it completely. By excavating the ground as it should be done, this gives a stronger stability to the driveway's structure, thereby reducing the risk of cracks appearing.

Some cracks may still occur because of changes in temperature. However, if the driveway is well made and well maintained, the amount of cracks will remain limited.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • By preparing the home entrance properly, this will ensure that you don't have to redo it after two years. For asphalt, this could mean a lifespan 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 and thaw cycle before you can cover 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, contact your municipality to learn about regulations on driveway paving, especially if you have just purchased a new construction. Many recommend that paving be done after the first year of construction. By seeking out this info, you will avoid many potential problems.
  • For houses that were built several years ago, it is not necessary to wait for a freeze-thaw cycle before covering the driveway. One can immediately carry out the excavation and fill out the hole with gravel. Once the latter is in place, one must wait about two (2) weeks before laying the asphalt. This process allows the gravel to better compact and provide greater stability for the driveway. This step should not be neglected.
  • In addition, you can also have a geotextile fabric installed to improve the flow of liquids. 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 he or she recommends to ensure the best possible stability at your entrance.

Finally, much like the roof, it is best not to do such work when the weather outside is cooler. Ideally, the entrance paving must be redone between June and September.

During the cold season, if you use a snowplow, pay attention to the type of blade you use. Some types of blades may damage the pavement by scratching. Check with your contractor to find out if they have specific recommendations for you.

Signs of pavement problems

If you have water accumulation in your entrance, it could mean that there is a problem with the pavement, whether it is with the paver stones or the surface drainage system, which could damage your entrance in the long term. Also, it is important to specify to your contractor which type of vehicle will pass on your pavement, as there is a chance this will affect the thickness of the material needed for your entryway.

Paving stones

Photo : MaxPixel

Things to know for a pavement installation project

The paving installation process should take place on warm days, when the ground is not frozen. Between June and September is the perfect time to work on pavements in Canada. In the winter be careful if you use a snow plow. Depending on the type of blade, it could damage your pavement. 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 fits 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 are 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 expiry of the 10-day cancellation (or resolution) period
  • In Ontario, the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) allows you a 10-day cooling off period when you sign a contract for a product or service over $50
  • In Nova Scotia, Service Nova Scotia (SNS) offers a 10 day period in which you can void a contract signed with a value over $25
  • In Alberta, companies that sell products door-to-door must be licensed under the Fair Trading Act as well as the Direct Selling Business Licensing Regulation. Like other provinces, there is a 10-day cooling off period for voiding any contracts that have been signed
  • The contractor’s proof of liability insurance (insurance company and policy number)
  • The dates the work is 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 will 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 incline 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 municipal specific, so make sure to do extensive research before moving forward with your asphalt paving project.

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