One of the challenges that many types of homeowners face is how to maintain a driveway for easy access to and from a garage or as a place to park vehicles outdoors. For those who want a more permanent solution than gravel, several paving options cover a range of price points. However, price isn't the only financial consideration when paving a driveway.
According to Metcalf Paving, the average cost of paving a driveway with asphalt is around $2 per square foot as of June 2011. However, if you also need the installers to remove an existing driveway that is damaged, this price can nearly triple. A top coating of oil and stones, which restores an old driveway without major damage, costs around $1 per square foot. According to the Concrete Pavers Guide, more elaborate paving options, such as hand-laid cobblestones, can cost as much as $50 per square foot, representing the high end of the cost spectrum for driveways.
Materials are one of the major factors in the cost of paving a driveway, with natural stone and brick incurring significantly higher material and labor costs than basic asphalt paving. In addition, the size of your driveway will play a role in determining your total cost. At $2 per square foot, a driveway that is 10-feet wide and 40-feet long will cost $800 to pave, but if the driveway is 100 feet long this will rise to $2,000 for the complete job. Prices also vary by region and from one paving service to another.
Return on Investment
Despite the relatively high cost of most types of driveway paving, the price you pay is, in part, an investment in the value of your home. Depending on your climate and the type of paving you choose, a paved driveway may require less maintenance and care than a stone driveway, which would force you to purchase new stones on a recurring basis and sweep your yard or risk damaging lawnmower blades. When you sell your home, a paved driveway will appeal to buyers, though there is no rule as to how much a paved driveway will increase your property value.
Sources of Money
The cost to pave a driveway may be within your ability to pay for by saving money over a period of months or dipping into a savings account. You may also choose to borrow the money you need for a driveway paving job, which is an option if you use a second mortgage or home improvement loan to complete multiple repairs or improvements on your property. For example, after living in your home for a number of years, you may wish to use your home equity to get a home equity line of credit, which you can use to pave a driveway and perform other value-raising tasks such as landscaping, roof replacement and window replacement.