A driveway replacement is almost inevitable after many years of natural wear and tear that every home's driveway typically endure. Even if you rarely use your driveway, nature takes its toll, and severe weather damage can erode and destroy its essential components.
Consider the amount of weight that rests upon or passes over your driveway every day. Cars and larger vehicles can sit for days, weeks, months, and years impacting the surface. Driveway replacement costs and new driveway costs vary depending on materials and labor. But rest assured, we’ll dive into more on this below.
How Long Does a Driveway Last?
On average, you’ll have to consider doing an asphalt driveway replacement after approximately 20 years and a concrete driveway replacement after 25 years. If your driveway is nearing this age, repairing it isn’t as cost-effective as replacing it. Most older driveways will benefit from a replacement to add to the aesthetic appeal and value of a property.
Repairing vs. Replacing Your Driveway
For newer driveways, you have more options when it comes to repairing vs. replacing. When you’re looking into driveway replacement or repair, you may have questions like, ‘How much does a concrete driveway cost to repair?’ or ‘How much is a concrete driveway if I pour a new one?’ Some telltale signs your driveway is beyond repair and needs replacing include the following:
Multiple Visible Cracks
Multiple cracks are a sign that you need a driveway replacement. This issue is common on both concrete and asphalt surfaces. Over the years, gases and oils seep into the driveway surface and exacerbate existing cracks, causing rapid deterioration.
Potholes form when the ground under your driveway expands and contracts. This causes the surface material to weaken and pieces to fall inwards, causing large holes.
If your driveway drains water easily, it’s a sign that the materials are in good condition. However, if you have drainage issues, you need to consider a driveway replacement. Uneven, sloped driveways can cause water to collect in the middle or at the sides. The water can spill into your home’s foundation, causing irreversible and costly damage.
Your driveway is continually exposed to wind, rain, and UV rays. These conditions can cause fading, discoloration, and damage. Sometimes, a sealant will suffice to repair the aesthetics and functionality of your driveway. However, if your driveway is old and weather-beaten, a driveway replacement may be your best bet.
Average Driveway Replacement Cost
The cost to replace a concrete driveway is $1,800–$6,000, or about $4–$15 per square foot, though keep in mind, your cost can vary greatly depending on where you live. The median concrete driveway cost in the U.S is about $3,000, or $6 per square foot. Driveway costs are also determined by factors such as decorative elements, sloping, added drainage, size, location, and removal of the existing surface.
Concrete vs. Asphalt
Concrete driveways, also commonly known as cement driveways, are durable and strong. Since they often require little maintenance. they’re incredibly popular, as concrete is an excellent building material.
Asphalt driveway replacement costs are generally less than concrete, equating to $3–$7 per square foot, and can vary depending on location. The price of asphalt fluctuates in line with the price of crude oil, so concrete driveway prices tend to stay stable, although they may vary from supplier to supplier.
In some cases, you may be able to resurface an asphalt driveway to offset a more expensive new driveway cost. Asphalt driveway resurfacing is about $1–3 per square foot, depending on size, prep work involved, type of sealer used, and number of coats. Resurfacing is ideal for driveways less than 15 years old that are in good shape foundationally but are faded or weathered.
Concrete driveways run $4–8 per square foot, depending on the same factors above, plus whether you opt for reinforcement such as rebar or wire mesh. You can also select decorative options like stained or stamped concrete, and add borders, designs and inlays, and more. If the concrete is professionally installed, regularly maintained, and laid in a suitable climate, it could last for several decades, as mentioned above.
Crushed Concrete vs. Gravel
Crushed concrete (recycled concrete ground down into a gravel-like substance) and gravel are additional driveway replacement materials worth considering, running about $2–$10 per square foot.
The benefits of crushed concrete and gravel include sustainability and price. They’ll never crack or need repairing, and both can be replenished in low spots and raked over. You can also choose from a variety of types, colors, and sizes to match the style of your home, which, of course, will impact your overall driveway cost.
Keep in mind that all the cited costs in this article will vary depending on where you live.
Pavers vs. Cobblestones
Cobblestones look fantastic and are incredibly durable. That said, if you’re budget is tight, you may prefer concrete pavers over cobblestones. Ho¬wever, if you want a unique, tough, attractive driveway, cobblestones are an elegant driveway replacement option.
Cobblestones have been known to last longer than 50 years since they’re made from stones. They generally range from $15–$30 per square foot, yet your total driveway cost depends on size, design, type of stone selected, location, and installation. Concrete pavers run $10–$20 per square foot, and like cobblestones, are available in many colors and styles.
Taking on a driveway replacement project can be a big investment, so it’s important to choose the right material for your property. Another investment many homeowners choose is to purchase a home warranty plan. Coverage can help protect household budgets when appliances or home systems break down unexpectedly. First American home warranty plans cover many major home appliances and systems that you use every day. Learn more about what our home warranties cover and get a home warranty quote.
The contents of this article are provided for general guidance only. First American Home Warranty does not assume any responsibility for losses or damages as a result of using this information.