announcement

Check our homepage for new, visually rich, fast and immersive experiences!

Asphalt Paving

Asphalt Paving

Are you planning to pave your driveway this summer? You surely must have considered asphalt as one of your options, given its affordability and other advantages.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Jun 23, 2018
Asphalt ground space with seaside background
Asphalt paving is done using an aggregate of stone and sand, mixed with liquified slurry of asphalt. Asphalt slurry is made by heating asphalt to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, at which point it liquifies. 
As it cools quickly and hardens, the job of asphalt paving has to be completed while it is still in a molten state. Asphalt paving has many advantages over concrete paving. As a result, it is fast replacing concrete as an option for paving driveways.
Advantages of Asphalt Paving
Modern Home
Firstly, it is cheaper than concrete paving. Secondly, it sustains extreme cold weather and is less prone to cracking, owing to its flexibility. It also facilitates easy snow removal. Lastly, it allows re-layering, which is not the case with concrete. 
Asphalt allows you to paint patterns, similar to those on concrete roads. Besides, asphalt paving can be finished quickly as asphalt sets by cooling, rather than drying, which often takes several days. Once, you pave your roads with asphalt, you won't need to pave them in the next 15 years, except for some routine maintenance work.
Installing Asphalt Paving
Blacktop Paving Road with Slipform Paver
Paving your driveway is definitely not a job you can accomplish on your own. You need a paving contractor who can do the job for you. 
The installation process will mostly depend upon the condition of existing road, whether you have a dirt road, gravel or a proper constructed road that is cracked or damaged. If you do not have any major damages or cracks, then paving can be done right on top of the existing road.
However, this is likely to elevate the road by 3''- 4'', which could become a problem if you have fences, garage doors at this height. Another option is to rip off the existing pavement and pave asphalt directly on the soil.
However, this method may not be very durable. The best technique of asphalt paving is to lay a base of stone and sand aggregate and then pour asphalt upon it. For 3'' layer of asphalt, you need a base layer of thickness of about 6'' to 8''. This method turns out to be pretty expensive, nonetheless, it is extremely durable.
Asphalt Paving Cost
Assigning the job to a right contractor is of utmost importance as cost of asphalt paving is highly influenced by the contractor fees. Unfortunately, you will most likely come across many con contractors who may rob you off your money.
Hence beware of contractors who approach you first, rather than you approaching them. Do not deal with a contractor who offers you a discount just because he has a left over material from the previous job.
Often, a contractor arranges for the material, equipment and labor. Inquire with him, if his fees also include transportation charges, else you will have to pay for additional charges. If you have a Federal or state highway re-paving going on nearby, call the crew to check if they have any extra asphalt left.
Laying Fresh Asphalt
Often, the contracting companies ship the materials to the job site at their own expense. If there is any left over material, companies may have to shell additional cost to transport the material back.
Hence, they would be happy to get rid of material, though at a slightly less cost than its market value. Chances are, you might get a good deal if you buy asphalt from these companies.
Cost of asphalt paving also depends upon the condition of existing road. If you are required to do excavation work before paving the road, then expect to pay an additional amount towards this job. Asphalt paving cost is greatly dependent upon the total area to be paved.
On an average, you are likely to pay somewhere around USD 4 to USD 6 per sq ft. This comes to around USD 1800 to USD 2700 for a 450 sq ft driveway. The cost also varies extensively depending upon your area of residence, availability of materials etc. If you can arrange for materials and transportation, then you will have to shell a few hundred dollars less.
Cost of asphalt paving is indeed lesser than concrete, but these days, concrete rates have also slumped, so you can consider that option as well. Asphalt paving takes only a few hours for laying and a day for setting. So you can get this job done even on a weekend.