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What is Involved in Paving Costs?

By T. Alaine
Updated May 17, 2024
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Expenses associated with paving are highly variable, and depend entirely on the specifics of each project. Generally, however, there are three main categories of production that tend to influence paving costs. The type of materials used, the size and scope of the project, and the employment of professionals all affect the total price of a paving endeavor.

Perhaps the most obvious factor to account for when considering paving costs is the type of materials that are used. Cement paving is one of the cheapest options available, and is often selected for large projects because of its low price point and ease of installation. Asphalt paving is another relatively inexpensive choice for similar reasons. These two materials are poured as one cohesive unit, which drastically cuts down on cost because price is usually based on footage or yardage. Block paving bricks are a more expensive option, because they must be produced and paid for as many individual pieces.

Another element that contributes to paving costs is the size of the project. Logically, narrow walkways or small patio spaces will cost less to pave because they will use fewer materials and require less time and effort for installation. Long driveways or extensive patios will most likely be more expensive to install because they use more materials and require more time and effort. Typically, it is cost effective to pave larger surfaces with inexpensive materials, and use fewer quantities of more expensive materials for landscaping details, focal points, or embellishments.

Cost of labor is potentially a big contributor to paving costs, and one that is inherently tied to the type of paving materials to be used and the scope of the project. Pouring cement or paving with asphalt are fairly quick processes, and requires less meticulous labor than other methods. Block paving, for example, needs to be installed one piece at a time and constantly be monitored to make sure the blocks are neat and level. Hiring highly skilled professionals generally comes with a bigger price tag.

Labor fees are also dependent on how much time a project takes to complete. Paving costs can skyrocket if a job is so large or time consuming that professional installers need to work for a long period of time — especially if they are paid on an hourly basis. Accordingly, even though each project is unique, it is likely that the most paving costs will be incurred by hiring hourly labor to install expensive paving materials for a large project.

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