One of the most popular building materials for paving modern driveways is concrete pavers. Many homeowners choose concrete pavers for their appearance and strength. However, before making a decision about which material to use, it is important to determine whether concrete pavers fit your budget.
What Are Concrete Pavers?
Concrete pavers are made using a dry concrete mix that consists of cement, gravel, sand and pigments. Although some people may refer to them as cement pavers, the term can be misleading because cement is not the only ingredient used to make the pavers, and this sets them apart from cement driveways. They are manufactured by pouring the wet mix of ingredients into molds of different shapes and sizes. The molds are then vibrated to compress the concrete, and then it is left to cure.
Thanks to their manufacturing process, these pavers can withstand more than 8,000 pounds per square inch of pressure. Standard poured concrete, in contrast, can only stand up to around 3,000 pounds per square inch of pressure. The high standards used in manufacturing concrete pavers means the end result is a uniform and durable product that is extremely strong. In fact, concrete pavers typically come with a lifetime warranty for integrity.
How Much Do Concrete Pavers Cost?
Here is a closer look at the cost of a concrete paver driveway:
Concrete Paver Driveway DIY
Concrete pavers generally cost between $2 and $10 per square foot. This means that covering a 12-foot by 25-foot driveway with concrete pavers could cost between $600 and $3000, while a 24-foot by 40-foot driveway would require between $1900 and $9600 worth of concrete pavers.
These figures only refer to the materials. Some homeowners may consider paving their driveway as a DIY project because the pavers are fairly lightweight and small compared to other types of driveway paving materials. However, it is important to keep in mind that installing these pavers is a labor-intensive process that requires the use of a tool known as a plate compactor. The typical rental cost of a plate compactor is between $75 and $175 per day.
Between the pavers, rental equipment and gravel base needed to support the pavers, the total cost for a DIY concrete paver installation can range from $3 to $12 per square foot. This amounts to $900 to $3600 for a driveway measuring 12 feet by 25 feet and $2600 to $10,900 for a driveway measuring 24 feet by 40 feet.
Concrete Paver Driveway Professional Installation
Given the amount of labor involved in installing these pavers, hiring a professional driveway company to carry out the work is advised. The typical cost of a professionally installed concrete paver driveway is between $6 and $20 per square foot. This means that homeowners with a 12-foot by 25-foot driveway can expect to pay between $1800 and $4500, while those with a 24-foot by 40-foot driveway can expect to pay between $5800 and $14,500.
Factors That Influence The Cost Of Concrete Pavers
Some of the factors that will influence the actual cost of the project include the type of pavers chosen and the complexity of their design. These pavers are available in a range of styles, colors, sizes and types, and they all come with different price points. However, this means that homeowners are able to create a unique driveway that suits their home, whether they wish to have a driveway that exudes old-world charm or a more modern and sleek-looking driveway.
The amount of landscaping or existing pavement that needs to be removed prior to laying the driveway will also influence the overall cost of the project. In addition, there are geographical variations in prices. Paving contractors will typically quote a total price for the project rather than charging by the square foot because so many factors are involved.
Another consideration is the cost of permits. Driveways that connect to public streets may need to follow local regulations pertaining to the material of the driveway and its width. This might involve obtaining a permit, and the fees for permits vary by municipality.
In addition, some types of concrete pavers may be sealed after installation. This is not always required, but it is a helpful step to protect against staining. Having professionals seal a concrete paver driveway may cost a few hundred dollars, although it is possible to obtain the materials and seal it as a DIY project.
What Needs To Be Done Prior To Laying A Concrete Paver Driveway?
Although concrete paver driveways are extremely durable, they need to have a good surface supporting them. Placing them over an inadequate foundation can cause them to settle unevenly, which can create major problems in the future.
First, any existing pavement or landscaping must be removed. Then, the area needs to be excavated between 6 and 12 inches deep. Following excavation, the subsoil needs to be compacted and leveled to ensure proper drainage. This compacted subsoil is then covered with a layer of compacted gravel 4 to 12 inches deep.
Homeowners can use their paver driveway immediately after it is installed.
What Kind Of Maintenance Is Required For A Concrete Paver Driveway?
A concrete paver driveway will last between 25 and 50 years if it is installed and maintained properly. Although pavers may get stained, a simple solution of detergent and water is usually enough to clean them. For stubborn stains, the paver can be flipped over or replaced without needing to replace the rest of the driveway. It is a good idea to keep some leftover pavers on hand in case any individual pieces need to be replaced as it may no longer be possible to purchase the same pavers if one becomes broken several years down the line.
Get Started With Your Concrete Paver Driveway
If you are interested in finding out more about the benefits of a concrete paver driveway, get in touch with the residential concrete paving professionals at Dirt Connections. We offer a broad variety of decorative concrete pavers and other driveway materials to help you get the driveway of your dreams. Contact us today to discuss your project.
Dirt Connections was started with one goal in mind: providing quality residential and commercial construction services to clients on time and on budget. Reach out for more information on how we can support your next project.
For your convenience our estimates are free and by appointment. Call 703-940-9949 for a free estimate today!