There is no solid answer for how much a driveway can cost. It can vary on a range of factors, such as the size of the driveway the land’s contour and the type of concrete that is already there.
Concrete could be plain, while there are decorative options available.
Let’s break this down to give you a better understanding of how much a concrete driveway costs based on your circumstances.
How Much Does A Concrete Driveway Cost in 2022?
The standard driveway in Australia is 30 square metres. Based on the approximate labour and material price of $65 per sqm, this equates to just under $2,000.
This standard driveway assumes flat surfaces. A sloping surface is typically an extra $10 per sqm.
Coloured concrete can cost anywhere from $75 to $95. Decorative pebblecrete or stencilled or stamped concrete driveway costs an extra $100 to $150 per sqm.
Asphalt driveways can cost from $25 to $40, bitumen $25 to $40 while paver driveways can cost from $40 to $100.
What influences the cost of a concrete driveway?
Along with the type of concrete used, a range of factors influence the cost of a concrete driveway. These include the slope of the land, the amount of preparation, if an existing driveway needs to be removed or demolished, and ease of access to the site.
For example, if you live on a busy road, traffic control may be required, thus adding a significant amount to labour costs. Speaking of such expenses, the tighter labour market has increased labour costs significantly.
The season can also make an impact. Cement can be poured during winter or summer, but the ideal time is spring or autumn. The downside is that this impacts labour costs.
An often forgotten component of a driveway is fencing and a gate. Driveway gates for both single and double timber can cost anywhere from $450 to $1,200. Wrought iron and other elaborate gates cost far more.
How to style a driveway?
Many Australian homeowners look for something more than the standard grey colour commonly seen in driveways. There are several ways to go about this.
Driveway paints can be inexpensive, and can be done as DIY project. Better quality driveway pains can give longer-lasting results. However, do expect the driveway may need to be repainted occasionally. This is a particularly good idea if you plan to list your property for sale or rent.
Other options include spray-on concrete. Although this costs between $50 to $75 per square metre, it will outlast concrete paint.
Coloured concrete notably has colour added through the depth of the concrete. This costs $10 per sqm more than plain concrete as it is added to the concrete mix, but will be the most durable option.
How to choose a professional for your driveway?
Concreting is a difficult process. Therefore you should select a concreter who takes it seriously and doesn’t cut corners (no pun intended).
As a concrete slab does need to last a long time, paying extra is more worthwhile.
Requirements vary among the states and territories in terms of a trade licence. Nonetheless, all tradespeople should be insured. There is nothing wrong with asking for references – many would have an online or social media presence – and evidence of completed work, especially if you are seeking a more decorative driveway.
This type of work can be highly complex, thus an expert is less likely to make mistakes.
After all, a driveway takes up visible space and can enhance the streetscape. This is extremely powerful if you decide to sell your home.
Five tips to get an accurate estimate
Before you start the driveway project, you should take into the following to get the most accurate estimate.
- Have an on-site inspection
- Have accurate measurement of the driveway, also how many cars need to be parked on it
- Gather information to calculate the best slope design
- Consult with your local council to understand the minimum and maximum requirements for driveways, and obtain the correct permits
- Calculate demolition costs, including the removal of debris, if you need to remove the existing driveway.
What is the process of building a driveway?
- Preparation of subgrade
- Spraying the subgrade
- Properly mixing the concrete
- Installing control joints
- Pouring the thickness properly
- Proper finishing
- Proper drainage
- Using proper curing techniques
- Time frame for use
Preparation of subgrade
A subgrade that is adequately prepared will provide both robust support and slab thickness. Crucially, it is a key component for preventing structural cracking. For land that has weak spots, this should be removed and filled with either crushed rick or gravel.
Spraying the subgrade
Bone-dry subgrade should not concrete poured on it. Therefore, subgrade should be sprayed with water before concrete is poured, which prevents the concrete from curing too fast.
Properly mixing the concrete
Concrete that is mixed properly will impact the longevity and performance of the concrete driveway. It is ideal to use a cement truck, although, of course, this may not be practical or economical.
Installing control joints
When installing control joints, they should be installed at a maximum spacing of three metres for a 400mm thick driveway slab. The depth of the joints is essential too – your concreter should saw cut them to about one quarter of the thickness of the slab.
Your concreter must utilise steel reinforcement, such as wire mesh or rebar, which forms a grid pattern. This will keep the slab together even if cracking occurs. Synthetic fibres can also be added.
Pouring the proper thickness
Pavements that are designed primarily for foot traffic usually have a minimum thickness of 75mm. The minimum thickness of a concrete driveway is 1,000mm for standard vehicles. Adding depth costs more, but is necessary to increase the load capacity, such as if you wish to park trucks on the driveway.
A mistake that occurs during the process is overworking the surface while bleed present is present. Typically, finishing is a three-step process which involves levelling the concrete with a screed, using a bull float and applying a broom finish. An additional process may include stamping or other decorative finishes.
A concrete that is well-designed should not have standing water on it. Ideally, the driveway should be sloped from existing structures. A drain may need to installed at its lowest point as a water-diversion mechanism.
Using property curing techniques
The final step when building a concrete driveway is curing. It is also the most crucial step. A driveway that has not been cured correctly can have its strength reduced by 50%. This makes it far more susceptible to cracking and surface defects. The use of wet curing sheets or blankets are among the best curing techniques.
Time frame for use
Although foot traffic isn’t an issue after curing, you should wait at least a week before you park on the new driveway. For heavy and large vehicles, you should wait a month or so.
Article source: Queensland Property Investor
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