Jessica considers herself a home improvement and design enthusiast. She grew up surrounded by constant home improvement projects and owes most of what she knows to helping her dad renovate her childhood home. Being a Los Angeles resident, Jessica spends a lot of her time looking for her next DIY project and sharing her love for home design.
How Much Does It Cost to Widen a Driveway?
Having a driveway that is too narrow for your parking needs can be a major inconvenience. In this case, you may be forced to park your vehicle on the street, which leaves it susceptible to swipes from unruly garbage trucks or teenagers just learning how to drive. If your current driveway lacks the room for your parking requirements, you may consider widening it.
Widening your driveway – whether it’s for the purpose of storing more vehicles, your new RV, or simply to enjoy more space – can help keep your vehicles safe, add to the value of your property, and even leave you with slightly less lawn to mow. While expanding your driveway may seem like a complicated, pricey task, it can be a breeze when you leave it to the professionals. There are a number of factors that influence the cost to widen a driveway, with the type and quantity of materials being the most significant.
With that said, the average cost to widen a driveway is between $15 and $100 per square foot, depending on the material, with most homeowners paying between $3 and $12 per square foot. To widen a driveway with concrete, you’re looking at paying between $5 and $20 per square foot. Whereas, if you choose to use stamped concrete or bricks, you can expect to pay as much as $150 per square foot. Not to mention, if you’re starting from scratch and need to excavate the land, you’ll need to tack on an additional $1,500 to $5,300.
Continue reading for our comprehensive guide on the cost to widen a driveway, so you can have a broader understanding of how to properly budget for this major undertaking and if the cost is worth it to you.
Table of Contents
- Overview of Widening a Driveway
- How Much Does It Cost to Widen a Driveway?
- Additional Costs
- Driveway Extension Cost
- Why Widen a Driveway?
- Calculating Driveway Width for Extra Cars
- Cost to Replace Driveway
- Cost of New Driveway by Material
- Cost of New Driveway by Square Foot
Overview of Widening a Driveway
If you choose to hire a professional to widen your driveway, the process begins with them coming to your home to assess the job and provide you with a free estimate of the cost. They’ll factor in the materials required, as well as how much time it’s going to take to complete the project. Your contractor should include both the materials and labor, so there are no surprises in terms of payment.
In most cases, the cost to have a professional handle the widening of your driveway is approximately 50 percent of the total cost of the project. The sheer weight of the materials makes having the assistance of a professional a necessity. Though, if you’re skilled at laying hot asphalt or pouring concrete, you may be able to save quite a bit of money by DIYing the widening of your driveway.
Extending or widening a driveway is essentially no different than installing a brand new driveway. First, the area must be properly excavated and leveled. Though, depending on the condition of the land, the excavation may not be necessary. Then, the base of the new driveway section is created using asphalt or concrete. Finally, the expansion is installed using your material of choice.
How Much Does It Cost to Widen a Driveway?
The cost to have your driveway widened depends on a range of factors. Though, the type and quantity of material that you use have the most substantial impact on the cost to widen a driveway. Of all the materials, asphalt is among the most affordable options, however, it’s not known for being very durable. Therefore, depending on your needs, you may want to gravitate more towards concrete or a different type of material.
The size of your driveway and how much you want it widened will determine the quantity of material. As you might expect, the larger the driveway, the more materials required and, thus, the more you’ll pay for the project. On average, you can budget to spend between $15 and $100 a square foot to widen a driveway – depending on the specific material you select. However, most homeowners pay between $3 and $12 per square foot to widen their driveway.
Widening a driveway with concrete will cost you around $5 to $20 per square foot. Whereas, if you choose to opt for stamped concrete or bricks, then the price could be as much as $150 per square foot. Ultimately, the cost of widening a driveway depends on how wide you want the new area to be, whether you’re extending both sides or just one, what material you choose, where you live, and whether you hire a professional or choose to handle the project yourself.
According to a member of city-data.com, they were quoted $4.80 per square foot for a blacktop driveway extension and an additional $100 for installing a French drain. Meanwhile, another member was quoted over half that price – at $14 a square foot – to widen a concrete driveway an extra car’s width.
As you are budgeting for this project, it’s important that you also consider the building permit requirements for your area. In some municipalities, you may be required to submit a plan for parking and utilities before any work can proceed. The price of a building permit for widening your driveway will depend on your specific location – usually ranging from $50 to $500.
Before you begin widening the driveway, depending on the site conditions, you might have to excavate. The cost of excavating, leveling, and preparing the land for expansion may cost you between $1,500 and $5,300 (if you’re starting from scratch). Depending on the way your driveway is set up, you may also have to do some relandscaping of the area around the expansion.
There are a number of ways you can dress up this area of your property. Something simple like bushes or a lawn is usually the most affordable choice, while replanting trees is a bit more extravagant.
Your driveway expansion could also potentially result in drainage problems, which may lead to flooding concerns in the future. This is especially the case if your driveway is built on an angle. Having a drain installed will usually solve this issue before it comes a major hazard to your home and family or results in significant property damage. A new drainage system usually costs between $400 to $2,400, this includes adding channels or trenches along the driveway.
Driveway Extension Cost
Driveway extensions are essentially the same as widening a driveway, except you are expanding the driveway lengthwise rather than widthwise. The cost to extend a driveway is virtually the same as widening a driveway, with most homeowners paying between $3 and $12 per square foot. Like widening, extension costs will vary based on the material and how much of it the project requires. Driveway extensions may also require a new drainage system, additional excavation, and a new apron where your driveway meets the street. This particular project also requires some unique considerations, including:
- Acquiring the necessary permits, which range from $50 to $500.
- City regulations regarding driveway length.
- Whether you’ll have to replace curbs or sidewalks after the project is complete.
Extending a driveway is usually a more involved process than widening one. Since you may be encroaching on the public street, the rules established by the city play a bigger role in the project.
Why Widen a Driveway?
Driveways are often considered one of the most valuable features that a home has, but only if they are practical. Nowadays, it’s not uncommon to find homes that are advertised with ‘driveways,’ but only have a tiny paved space in the front of the home that is only big enough for one small car.
In this case, you may consider widening the driveway before you sell the home or, if you are home buyer, widening the driveway after the purchase. Here are just some of the many reasons why you may consider widening your driveway:
1. More space
An off-road parking space is a major asset. Not only does it ensure that your vehicle is safer and lowers your insurance costs, it simply makes parking much easier. Gone are the days of trying to save a spot on the street in front of your house. Or, if you live in a neighborhood that has weekly street cleanings, you will no longer have to move your car to avoid getting a ticket. In fact, experts suggest that adding an extra parking space to a driveway can increase your property value by at least $5,000.
2. You own more than one car
One car families are becoming increasingly more rare. For a family of four, it’s very likely that both parents have a car of their own. This is the most convenient way to get around – whether it’s running errands around town, taking the kids to school, or commuting to work.
A standard-sized driveway (although there really isn’t a standard size) will usually only allow for one car to be parked, with someone always left to find parking on the street. Even long driveways can be an issue. While they may fit three cars, with one in front of the other, you’ll constantly be shuffling cars around when someone has to leave. Therefore, choosing to widen your driveway can make parking several cars quicker and more convenient.
3. You have larger vehicles
With so many people owning SUVs and crossovers, homeowners are finding that they need to widen their existing driveway to accommodate larger cars. This can be particularly important if you have large trucks or work vehicles that you also need to park on your driveway. By choosing to widen your driveway, you will no longer have to worry about the type of vehicle that you or one of guests wants to park.
4. You want easier access for people
A narrow driveway that has a car parked makes It incredibly difficult for people to squeeze by. There’s always a risk that your car could get scratched, or someone could get hurt by attempting to squeeze past. This problem is even worse if you have a stroller that you need to get by or someone in a wheelchair.
To allow for more pedestrian access, you may consider widening your driveway. In this instance, the expansion doesn’t have to be extra-wide. Instead, you just need a level, smooth pathway that runs alongside the driveway.
5. You want to build a garage
The final reason that someone may consider widening their driveway is so that can ultimately build a garage on top of it. A narrow driveway limits the flexibility and choices you have in terms of the type of garage you can build. However, by widening your driveway, you’ll be able to construct the garage that fits your specific needs.
Calculating Driveway Width for Extra Cars
The average car is roughly seven feet wide and 15 feet long, while the average two-car driveway is approximately between 16 and 18 feet wide. An excellent way to determine the size of driveway that you need to accommodate the number of cars you want to park is to consider the width of a typical parking spot in a parking lot. Parking spots are usually about nine feet wide and 18 feet long.
Cost to Replace Driveway
Depending on the condition of your current driveway, you may be forced to replace it entirely. The cost to replace a driveway averages around $4,300, with an extra $1 to $2 per square foot to have the old driveway removed. For most types of driveways, you’re looking at around $2 to $15 per square foot for both the materials and installation. The replacement process involves:
- Breaking up the old driveway material.
- Hauling away this material.
- Performing some minor grading of the area.
- Installing the new driveway.
If you’re making any major changes to the location, size, shape, or grade, you can expect to pay more on your driveway replacement.
Cost of New Driveway by Material
While $4,300 is the average cost to replace or install a new driveway, this can vary from $1,500 to over $11,000 depending on the specific material that you choose. The higher cost usually relates to the price of the supplies and material required for the installation, and doesn’t necessarily mean the driveway is going to last longer. With that said, the table below outlines the average cost to build a new driveway by material.
|Type of Material||Cost Per Square Foot||Average Total Cost|
|Concrete||$4 to $8||$2,400 to $4,800|
|Asphalt/ Blacktop||$3 to $7||$1,800 to $4,200|
|Gravel||$1 to $3||$600 to $1,800|
|Chip Seal||$2 to $5||$1,200 to $3,000|
|Heated||$12 to $28||$7,200 to $16,800|
|Pavers||$10 to $30||$6,000 to $18,000|
|Permeable Pavers||$8 to $30||$4,800 to $18,000|
|Grass Pavers||$4 to $12||$2,400 to $7,200|
|Exposed Aggregate/ Pebble||$5 to $11||$3,000 to $6,600|
|Rubber||$6 to $11||$3,600 to $6,600|
Concrete Driveway Cost
Installing plain gray concrete costs between $4 and $8 a square foot, or between $2,400 and $4,800 on average. If you choose to add decorative patterns, borders, finishes, or colors, the cost goes up to about $8 to $18 per square foot. Concrete lasts approximately 30 to 40 heats and is excellent at handling hot temperatures – more so than asphalt.
Asphalt/ Blacktop Driveway Cost
Paving a driveway with asphalt, or blacktop, costs $3 to $7 per square foot, or roughly an average of $1,800 to $4,200 for a two-car, 600 square foot area. Asphalt lasts between 15 and 30 years, and can withstand freezing temperatures better than concrete. However, it does require resealing every 3 to 5 years.
Gravel Driveway Cost
You can expect to spend $1 to $3 per square foot, or $600 to $1,800 on a two-car gravel driveway. Gravel is known to be the most affordable material for driveways and, with the proper maintenance and a stable foundation, it can last up to a century. Gravel driveways that are built well will require new gravel and light raking one to two times a year. Gravel ranges in price from $10 to $50 a ton, depending on the type and size of the stones.
Chip Seal Driveway Cost
Chip seal, also called tar and chip, driveways cost about $2 to $5 per square foot, or between $1,200 and $3,000. These types of driveways consist of layers of stone aggregate that are spread over hot liquid blacktop. Chip seal driveways come with the durability of asphalt and are available in many colors.
Heated Driveway Cost
You can expect to spend $12 to $28 per square foot, or $7,200 to $16,800 to have a radiant heated driveway installed. Heated driveways can be topped with pavers, concrete, or asphalt and cost about $120 to $600 each winter to operate. Instead, you can opt for snow melting driveway mats to cover the tire area of your driveway only. These cost about $1,600 each and can be rolled up and stored away when they’re no longer needed.
Concrete, Brick or Cobblestone Paver Driveway Cost
The cost to have driveway pavers installed for a two-car driveway is $10 to $20 per square foot on average, or approximately $6,000 to $18,000. The actual price you pay will depend on the specific pavers that you choose. To put things into perspective, high-end brick paver, concrete block, or paving stone driveways cost between $25 and $50 per square foot. Depending on weather and maintenance, driveway pavers can last 25 to 75 years.
You have a couple of choices when it comes to permeable pavement. Permeable pavers cost an average of $8 to $30 per square foot to have installed, or $3,800 to $18,000 on average. Whereas, porous asphalt costs $7 to $13 per square foot and pervious concrete costs between $8 and $16 per square foot. The latter drains much quicker than both permeable pavers and porous asphalt.
Grass Driveway Cost
On average, grass driveways cost between $4 and $12 per square foot, or $2,400 to $7,200 – depending on if you use concrete or plastic. Grass block pavers, also called turf block pavers or grow-through pavers, let water sink into the grid system while grass grows out of the spaces in between. The cost to install sod is $0.90 to $1.80 per square foot for a plain grass parking area. However, this is only recommended for driveways that see very minimal traffic.
Exposed Aggregate/ Pebble Driveway Cost
Exposed aggregate, or pebble finish, driveways cost an average of $5 to $11 per square foot, or between $3,000 and $6,600. These types of driveways feature stones that are mixed into concrete or seeded on the surface. The natural aggregate provides a textured, slip-resistant surface in a variety of colors – including earth tones, pastels, and deep blues and reds.
Rubber Driveway Cost
Rubber driveways consist of an eco-friendly recycled rubber material that is poured over existing asphalt or concrete. You can expect to pay between $6 and $11 per square foot, or $3,600 to $6,600 for a rubber driveway. These types of driveways are incredibly durable, easy to clean, and simple to maintain. Not to mention, they can be customized to your liking with a wide array of patterns and colors.
However, unlike most other driveway material options, rubber is non-porous. This means that water doesn’t drain through it and you’re going to need to make sure that the area is graded properly and has an effective drainage system to reduce the risk of flooding.
Cost of New Driveway by Square Foot
As previously mentioned, the cost to widen a driveway, install a new driveway, or replace an existing one is largely influenced by square footage. In fact, driveway installation costs range from between $1 and $50 per square foot – with most homeowners paying between $3 and $12 per square foot. Again, the material that you choose is ultimately going to be the final deciding factor. The table below outlines the average cost of a driveway based on total square footage:
|Square Feet of Driveway||Average Cost Range|
|400 square feet||$1,200 to $4,800|
|600 square feet||$1,800 to $7,200|
|800 square feet||$2,400 to $9,600|
|1000 square feet||$3,000 to $12,000|
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