If you are going to build a driveway you are going to have to decide what it will be built of. There are actually several options in this regard but for most people it comes down to a choice between concrete and asphalt. Since price is going to a major factor you will want to know how to estimate the price of each type of driveway. This article will explain how to determine the cost of a concrete driveway.
The biggest thing that you are going to have to do to estimate the cost of a new driveway is to determine how much concrete you are going to need; it is by far the biggest cost when it comes to building your driveway. This is fairly easy to do all you have to do is figure out how many square feet your driveway is. This is pretty basic math in most cases but if you do have an oddly shaped driveway an estimate will be probably be good enough for your purposes.
You are also going to have to determine just how thick you need your driveway to be. The standard for concrete driveways is four inches but if you are going to be parking heavy vehicles like trucks or RVs on your driveway you will need to go with six inches. From there the math is pretty simple; just multiply the square footage of your driveway by the thickness in feet. This will tell you how many cubic feet of concrete you need. Since concrete is normally priced by the cubic yard you will want to divide that number by twenty seven.
As an example if we were building a large driveway that took up 2000 square feet and was four inches thick we would multiply 2000 by a third of a foot to give us 667 which we then divide by 27 to get 25 cubic yards of concrete approximately. Concrete will run you about a hundred dollars a yard depending on where you live so you would estimate that it would cost about $2500 dollars for the concrete.
Of course there is more to building a concrete driveway than just the cost of concrete; you also have to factor in the cost of sand. The concrete will need to be poured on a layer of three inches of sand. You can figure out the amount of sand you will need in cubic yards the same way that you figured out the amount of concrete. Which in this case works out to be 18.5 cubic yards. Sand goes for about fifteen dollars a cubic yard so you would expect to pay about two hundred seventy five dollars. In addition you will need to factor in the cost of two by fours that will be used as forms as well as the stakes to hold them in place, figure on a couple of hundred dollars for these. It will also run you a couple of hundred dollars each to have the cement and sand delivered if you are not going to pick it up yourself.
So far in our estimate we have assumed that you will be building the driveway yourself in its entirety. That means building the forms, mixing the cement and pouring it. If you are going to pay somebody else to do this you will want to estimate about a dollar per square foot, in our case about two thousand dollars. You can of course do part of the work yourself, for example build the forms and then have somebody else pour the concrete. The way this affects the price is something that you will have to work out with the company you use for this purpose.
So far we have estimated that the cost of a concrete driveway that it two thousand square feet and four inches thick will come to about $3200 if we do the work ourselves and $5200 if we hire somebody else to do it. However this is only part of the story. Before we can even start to pour concrete we have to build a base, this will need to be excavated to a depth of eight to twenty four inches depending on how cold it is where you live. You will then need to put gravel on top and have it compacted. This can cost anywhere from one thousand to five thousand dollars depending on the depth and if any power lines or pipes have to be moved.