Concrete plans? We’ve pored over the costs of adding a driveway

Considering adding a concrete driveway to your property or resurfacing an existing one? We’ve rounded up some potential costs and options to consider if your plans aren’t already set in stone.

A driveway is often a predominantly functional addition to a property, but it can also have some aesthetic appeal if executed well. Then there are the potential security benefits of having your car parked off the street, with a possible knock-on effect on your car insurance premiums (many insurers ask where your car will be parked at night before providing a quote on the cost of a policy). 

It could also simply be that being able to park on your own driveway is more convenient and offers greater accessibility than parking on the street when you’re coming into and leaving your home.

But are these potential benefits likely to make concreting your driveway worth the cost?

Source: Jodie Johnson (Shutterstock)

How much does a concrete driveway cost?

Like the cars that are parked on them, driveways can come in all shapes, sizes and standards. But as a general estimate, you can expect to pay around $1,500 to $3,500 to add a standard-sized concrete driveway to a residential property in Australia.

This is based on cost estimates provided by a number of Australian tradie listing services which Canstar has examined:

Hipages: approx $2,600 for a flat 18m2 driveway.

HIREtrades: approx $1,530 to $3,510 for 18m2 plain concrete driveway, including materials and labour.

Oneflare: appox $2,000 ($65 per m2) for a 30m2 concrete driveway including materials and labour

If these estimates seem to show a particularly wide price range, it’s because, as we’ll see, there are a number of factors that can affect the total cost of a driveway. In fact, HIREtrades says that on some jobs the cost can climb to more than $10,000.

What factors affect the cost of a driveway?

Size of the driveway

Concreters often quote jobs on a per m2 basis, so the bigger the driveway, the higher the cost would be.

Is there a slope?

A sloping driveway will generally make the cost, well, steeper. For example, both Hipages and OneFlare estimate that you would need to budget at least an additional $10 per m2 or so if the driveway is being built on sloping land.

Prep work required

If prep work like clearing existing concrete or excavating a lawn is required, you may need to prepare yourself for a larger bill at the end. This is due to the additional labour and machinery that would likely be involved. Simply resurfacing existing concrete would typically be a good deal cheaper.

Cost of concreting a driveway
Source: Stacy Ellen (Shutterstock)

Material/surface

The type of concrete you use can have a big impact on the cost, and there are several options to choose from, such as:

  • Plain concrete ($65-$90 per m2)
  • Coloured concrete ($75-$90 per m2)
  • Stamping concrete ($100-$150 per m2)
  • Exposed concrete ($100-$150 per m2)

Of course, concrete isn’t your only driveway surface option. Here are a handful of alternatives you could consider.

  • Asphalt ($25-40 per m2)
  • Bitumen ($25-$40 per m2)
  • Pavers ($40-$100 per m2)

Prices quoted based on Oneflare estimates.

Be sure to think carefully about the appearance, durability and life-span of the surface you select, in addition to the upfront cost.

Decorations and extras

Decorative additions like stencilling on the concrete could add a touch of style to the finish of your driveway, but they are also likely to embellish the final bill. The same could be true of incorporating landscaping features, such as plants or trees to line the drive. Consider too whether you would be adding a carport or gate to your driveway, as these could bump up the cost significantly.

Tips for keeping the cost of concreting your driveway down

As with many big jobs around the house, there may be ways to manage the cost. Here are some thought starters:

    • Ask multiple concreters for a price quote. Some may provide better value than others for the same job and quality of finish.
    • Consider whether the job could be carried out at a time of year that’s quieter for builders. Onflare suggests that autumn and spring are typically busy times so avoiding those seasons could be a savvy choice if you are flexible. Don’t forget to factor the weather into your plans too, as poor conditions could slow the job down.
    • Could you save by buying some or all of the materials yourself and simply having a concreter take care of the installation? Be sure to triple check you are purchasing the correct materials if you go down this route.

Regulations for installing a driveway on your property

Before beginning your project, particularly if you are adding a driveway where there wasn’t one previously, consider what permits you might need to get from your local council and what rules might be in place, such as a minimum driveway width. If construction of your driveway impacts in any way on a public footpath or leads onto a main road, you may need additional permits.

Your builder may be able to assist you with navigating these considerations. Alternatively, contact your local council for guidance.

Finally, if you have any pets, consider keeping them well away from drying concrete. Unless of course a paw-print design is the look you’re after.

Main image source: Bannafarsai_Stock (Shutterstock)

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