Whether it is your driveway, parking lot, or subdivision road, asphalt pavement is a worthwhile investment.
When it comes to paving material, asphalt is easily one of the top picks. Asphalt boosts the property’s aesthetic, increases property value, and improves the drivability of the driveway. It is also preferred for roadway systems because of its performance and durability in heavy traffic conditions. Asphalt is known to withstand the harshest conditions and can tolerate extreme weather conditions. Compared to other paving materials, asphalt is more cost-effective. The chemical properties of asphalt also make it safe and eco-friendly.
Considering its numerous benefits, it’s not surprising how asphalt has become the most popular choice of government agencies, communities, property owners, developers, and home builders.
If you’re planning to install asphalt pavement, perhaps one of your major considerations is the price. Here’s a quick guide on asphalt pavement estimate and costing.
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Understanding Asphalt Pavement Cost
The cost of asphalt pavement varies depending on several factors such as the size and location of the area, the type and asphalt grade, the asphalt mix and manufacturer, and the asphalt paving contractor. The type of project, whether it’s repaving, repair, or new installation, also affects the final project cost. However, you can make assumptions and calculate the project cost of asphalt pavement with these guidelines.
How to Determine the Amount of Asphalt Needed?
To come up with an accurate estimate, you need to determine the volume of asphalt needed. Usually, hot mix asphalt is distributed by the ton, and coverage varies depending on the ratio of aggregate and bitumen, and the presence of additives. The average weight of asphalt mixes intended for parking lots and driveways is around 145 pounds per cubic foot. Using this estimate, you can find out the estimated volume of asphalt for a project.
First, calculate the surface area of the project. Measure the width and length of the area in feet. Multiply the width, length, and depth of the area. Alternatively, you can use an online surface area calculator for a quick result.
Next, find out the total weight needed by multiplying the cubic footage by 145, then convert it to tons by dividing by 2,000.
Let’s do a quick asphalt pavement math for a 15 feet wide and 35 feet long driveway with a depth of 3 inches.
- Surface area
15’ x 35’ x 0.25’ = 131.25 cu.ft.
- Asphalt tonnage
131.25 cu.ft. x 145 lbs/cu.ft. = 19,031.25 lbs
19,031.25 lbs ¸ 2,000 tons/lbs = 9.52 tons
So, for this asphalt driveway above, you will need around 9.52 tons of asphalt mixture to cover the entire area.
How Much Does Asphalt Mixture Cost?
Now that you have the approximate asphalt tonnage needed, you can have an idea about how much the materials will cost. Asphalt hot mix costs around $100 to $200 per ton. So, for the project above, you’ll likely spend anywhere between $950 and $1,900 on asphalt paving. Asphalt paving experts from ABC paving & sealcoating estimate that a typical driveway would require around 7 to 15 tons of asphalt.
As mentioned above, the price of asphalt depends on the material used. If you want a cheaper alternative, you should consider reclaimed or recycled asphalt which costs only around $7 to $60 per ton. It can help bring down the volume of asphalt needed as well as the overall material cost. Talk to your contractor if they recycle old asphalt, especially if it’s a repaving project. You can also ask if they offer a reclaimed asphalt option.
You could potentially save as much as $1,200 on material costs by using recycled or reclaimed asphalt. Aside from cost-effectiveness, recycled or reclaimed asphalt is also eco-friendly.
Project-Specific Affecting the Final Project Price
While the materials account for a major portion of the project cost, other factors can affect the final price.
Will the project need permits? Is it a rush project? Does it fall during peak season? Will some obstructions need to be demolished? How far is the area from the asphalt production plant? These are just some project-specific factors that need to be considered when making an estimate.
The asphalt costing process discussed above only offers a quick approximation of the potential project cost. However, it should not be relied upon to provide you with an exact costing. To get an accurate final project cost, it is best to consult a reputable asphalt paving contractor. Usually, contractors visit the site to assess the existing conditions before making an estimate.