Driveways & Sidewalk Cost Guide

Replacing a crumbling driveway and cracked sidewalks on your property will do a lot for the appearance and the value of your home, as well as protect you from liability should someone fall because of unsafe conditions. You’ve got several attractive options for your new driveway and sidewalk too. Even concrete offers exciting options rather than the old standby finished look. This Remodeling Cost Guide informs you about your options and gives you accurate information about what your costs will be.

Material Options and Costs

Concrete is always an option for driveways and sidewalks. Standard finishing is still very popular, but a range of new techniques is giving concrete fresh and interesting looks. For example, the concrete can be tinted to produce almost any color you want. Now your driveway and walkways can match your home or provide a nice contrasting look. Stamping concrete will give it the look of paver stones or bricks. This technique is used as the concrete is curing, though after it has stiffened up a bit.

Concrete staining uses acid to stain the surface. Patterns may be used that produce a brick appearance, or a technique can be employed that stains the entire surface to give it an appearance similar to granite. While this technique is often used indoors, it can also be a great outside remodeling project and make for a unique driveway or walkway too.

Standard concrete driveways cost $6-$10 per square foot. Sidewalks cost $1-$2 more per square foot because there is more labor per square foot involved in making the frames. Stamped or stained concrete walkways and driveways cost $9-$18 per square foot, with stamping more expensive because it requires more labor. Aggregate concrete is a less expensive cement-like material, but it’s not as durable as standard concrete. It costs $4-$7 per square foot.

Paver stone and brick remains a popular material for driveways and sidewalks, and looks very good in front of upscale homes. These stones come in a variety of colors, with red, gray and off-white the most popular. The costs for these materials range from $10-$20 per square foot based on the type of paver or brick that is used.

For walkways, there are several materials in use that aren’t suitable for driveways because they are not quite as strong. These include attractive bluestone, a general name that covers several types of natural stone mined in Pennsylvania and New York. Bluestone is expensive at $15-$25 per square foot installed. Flagstone is a less expensive option at $10-$15 per square foot.

For driveways, asphalt is an option too. While not as durable as concrete, it will last longer. Asphalt costs $2-$3 per square foot installed.

DIY Installation or Hire a Pro?

Labor is the greatest part of the cost for both driveways and walkways. You can save 50%-70% by doing it yourself. A DIY concrete driveway might be tough, since it usually takes at least 3 people working the concrete to finish it as it hardens.

But doing your own sidewalks is something you might want to try if you’ve got good DIY skills or have experience. You’ll need a Bobcat or similar skid loader to remove the old walkway or to remove top soil and prepare the ground where no walkway existed. Then, you’ll need to build forms to shape the concrete or give the basic layout to a paver, brick or stone sidewalk. Installing these items by hand can be time consuming, but the finished product can also be very rewarding.

If you decide to have your driveway or walkway professionally installed, you’ll find the best prices if you get at least 3 written estimates. This process also allows you to learn about the contractors and determine which one has the best experience. While low cost is important, the skill of the installer will play a role in how good the finished product looks and how well it holds up in the years ahead.

This driveway and sidewalk cost guide outlines your options along with costs. Our goal is to help you find the right material to meet your budget and the look you want for your home.

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