If you are cramped for space when parking your car, the best way to make your home more accessible is to widen your driveway, but how much does it cost?
It costs around $800 to $3,000 to widen a driveway, with most people paying $6 to $24 per square foot. However, the cost to widen a driveway can greatly vary depending on the materials that you choose, the price of labor, excavation costs, and building permits.
The cost to widen a driveway is highly influenced by the material that you use for the project, as well as whether you do the work DIY or higher professional contractors.
How Much Does It Cost to Widen a Driveway?
You should expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $3,000+ to widen your driveway. There are a lot of costs that need to be addressed, but the biggest determining factor is generally the type of material that you choose for the build.
Driveway materials can greatly vary across the board, which results in some homeowners paying 2-3x more than others.
Once all costs are calculated and included, you will likely pay around $6 to $24+ per square foot for your total building costs to widen your driveway. Also, consider the following material costs per square foot when widening a driveway:
- Concrete – $4 to $8 per square foot ($2,400 to $4,800 total)
- Asphalt – $3 to $7 per square foot ($1,800 to $4,700 total)
- Gravel – $1.25 to $1.85 per square foot ($1,300 to $1,500 total)
- Chip Seal – $2 to $5 per square foot ($1,200 to $3,000 total)
- Pavers – $10 to $30 per square foot ($6,00 to $18,000 total)
- Heated – $12 to $18 per square foot ($7,00 to $16,800 total)
Driveway Widening Costs
It’s easy to underestimate just how expensive it can be to widen a driveway. There are a lot of cost factors to consider when weighing out finances, which is why it’s best to leave no stone unturned.
Many homeowners only think about the cost of buying concrete or basic materials and assume that that’s all there is to it, but you actually need to evaluate all expenses to determine how much you will end up paying.
To help you create a well-constructed budget for your driveway widening project, here are some things to think about:
The amount that you will spend on materials will vary depending on the type that you choose for your driveway, with most people paying around $3 to $11 per square foot for standard materials.
This includes basic materials such as concrete, asphalt, and chip seal. However, if you want to use specialty materials, the costs can quickly add up. For heated or paved driveways, you will have to pay at least $12 to $30 per square foot for materials alone.
Each building contractor has a different rate for this kind of work. As a general rule of thumb, you should account for roughly 50% of your total costs going toward labor.
Most standard driveway projects are easier to predict given contractors are familiar with the work, and they should be able to give you a fairly accurate quote. Complex driveways with less common materials often require specialized contractors that are skilled enough for the job.
With that said, for standard concrete driveways,$2 to $3 per square foot is a pretty reliable estimate for labor work. Your contractor should take care of virtually all aspects of the build for you, including setting up the site, building forms, and laying out materials.
Virtually every state and county in the country requires you to apply for a building permit when replacing, widening, or altering a driveway.
The cost of a building permit can vary depending on where you live, with $212 to $300 being quite standard. When working with contractors, you may find that they can take care of the permits for you, and even offer a better price than what your local municipality charges.
Granted, this is usually a marketing scheme to favor certain businesses over others, but nonetheless, keep it in mind when formulating a budget and selecting contractors.
Provided that your driveway widening plans are in line with local zoning laws, you should get approval to move forward with the project.
Before you can begin widening your driveway, you will likely need to excavate space to lay the materials and create a foundation. Excavation costs can be huge depending on the size of your driveway, especially if you plan on adding a considerable amount of room when widening.
For standard excavations, you will have to pay roughly $0.80 to $0.91 per square foot. With that said, contractors who specialize in this kind of work have different rates, which is why your best bet is to call up organizations in your local area to get a realistic quote.
How Much Space Do I Need to Widen a Driveway?
The amount of space that you need to widen a driveway will depend on your needs. Are you widening your driveway to have a bit more room for an additional vehicle, or are you completely redesigning a part of your driveway to be part of a walkway to your home?
Naturally, this is very subjective and you need to consider your plans and design carefully. The average driveway in the United States is roughly 640 square feet, which is essentially the perfect amount of space to park two cars.
If you want to add additional space for a third car, it’s best to widen your driveway by at least 320 square feet so that you have enough room. For more complex driveway widening projects, you need to evaluate the space that you have available and how you want to use it.
How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Old Driveway?
When many homeowners decide to widen their driveway, they often wonder whether it’s worth it to just replace their entire old driveway and start from scratch.
At the end of the day, most driveways are built to last at least 20 years, but if it has cracks and other noticeable damage, it may be time to replace the driveway altogether.
Much like widening, the cost to replace an existing driveway will be determined by the materials that you choose more than anything. Material costs can greatly vary, and you also need to consider contractors, excavating, and permits as well.
For full driveway replacements, most people end up paying anywhere from $2,750 to $9,800 for the work. The same costs per square foot apply to materials, labor, and excavating as they do to widening, but only on a grander scale.
This figure only includes the price of replacing an existing driveway. If you want to widen the driveway as well as replace it, you need to factor in these costs on top of this estimate.
How to Save Money When Widening a Driveway
Widening a driveway can be very expensive, and most people pay thousands of dollars for their total construction costs. This can be more than what many people can afford or are willing to pay.
Luckily, there are ways to save money when widening a driveway so that you can cut certain costs. Consider the following strategies to save yourself money on a driveway widening project.
DIY vs. Professional Contractors
As mentioned earlier, you should calculate around 50% of your total construction costs just for labor. Professional contractors are not cheap, with most people charging around $2 to $3 per square foot for labor costs.
Even if you are just widening your driveway by 320 square feet to fit an additional car, this could easily amount to $640 to $960 just for labor. The price for a larger driveway will be a lot more than this.
You can cut down on these costs or eliminate them entirely by doing some (or all) of the work yourself. Widening a driveway is not an easy task, but many homeowners have successfully done it and saved hundreds if not thousands of dollars by doing so.
Materials are another huge cost factor that you need to consider. There are a lot of different materials that you can use for your driveway, and some are a lot more expensive than others.
So long as the material is appropriate for your driveway and meets your budget, there is nothing wrong with choosing an affordable option for the project, as this can help you save a lot on your total driveway widening costs.
Key Takeaways to Widening Your Driveway
It costs around $800 to $3,000 to widen a driveway, with most people paying $6 to $24 per square foot.
The cost to widen a driveway can greatly vary depending on the materials that you choose, as well as the cost of labor, excavation, and building permits.
You can save yourself money when widening your driveway by doing the work DIY and choosing an affordable material.