How To Estimate Asphalt Driveway
Asphalt driveways are typically priced by the “ton”. Currently in this part of New England asphalt driveway costs about $120 to $150 per ton installed with little to no base prep. In order to estimate the cost of a driveway resurfacing or a complete new driveway you need to understand how to calculate the total tons. We use the following equation:
Tons Of Asphalt Pavement = Square Yards Of Pavement * 0.057 * Depth Of Pavement In Inches
So my example is as follows: 1 Inch thick wearing surface with 3,423 square feet of pavement. To get square yards I needed to take 3,423 sq. ft. of pavement divided by 9 sq. ft. per sq. yard = 380 sq. yards. Therefore my tons of asphalt = 380 sq. yds * o.057 * 1 inch = 22 tons of asphalt pavement. If you assume an average cost of $140 per ton then the driveway costs $3,080.
If you’re building a new driveway then you need to base it on a depth of 3-inches. Most asphalt driveways have 2 inches of base pavement followed by 1 inch of wearing pavement. Obviously the asphalt driveway cost will depend on exactly how thick your new driveway is.
The example above is one way to estimate the job cost. Another gut check for me is to look at the cost of the asphalt plus the crew/equipment cost. Right now (July 2012) just asphalt alone is at $75/ton. So 22 tons at $75/ton = $1,650. A driveway that size will take about 4 hours, lets say a half day (you can usually do either 1 or 2 driveways in a day so just figure out if you’re a really large one or an average size. Crew costs plus equipment is around $400/hr for 4 hours = $1,600. Materials plus labor therefore is around $3,250. So my point is these are tools for getting you in the ballpark….i.e. this is a $3K +/- job and not a $10K job.
The asphalt surface is only one factor in having a strong driveway. Be sure your new driveway has an adequate driveway sub-base with proper drainage.