Asphalting Cost Guide: What is the cost of laying bitumen?

Asphalting Cost Guide - Aerial view on the new asphalt road under construction (1)

Aerial view on the new asphalt road under construction.

When considering your options in building or resurfacing a driveway, concrete is most likely the first material you think of. And why not? It's durable, low-maintenance, and adds to your home's kerb appeal. However, asphalt is a potentially better option, especially if you have a tighter budget. It's easier to install, 100% recyclable, convenient to repair, and lasts for years. While building or resurfacing an asphalt driveway is more cost-effective than a concrete one, there are several details you need to know when embarking on such a project. Let's go over them.


How much does an asphalt driveway cost in Australia?

On average, asphalt driveway cost per square metre is about $30 to $35 in Australia. If your asphalting project is residential, you should spend around $25 to $45. Note, however, that rates vary from project to project.


Factors that effect asphalt driveway cost

Each asphalting job is different. To get the best value for your money, you need to find the sweet spot between price and value. Here are the variables that you should consider as key factors when planning your driveway cost.



Size of the project

Precisely how large is your driveway? What is its length and width? What is your local council's required thickness for asphalt driveways? You should know the answers to these questions because they dictate how much asphalt you'll need for your project.

Know that asphalt cost can actually decrease for larger driveways. An asphalt mix is prepared for every asphalting project, so there's a cost associated with making the asphalt that doesn't vary depending on the driveway's size. Thus, the more asphalt you need for your project, the cheaper it costs per square metre.


Location

Asphalt delivery costs money. Your expense can increase or decrease depending on the distance of the materials supplier to your project. There's more: Using a warm or hot asphalt mix will affect the price as well, the farther your supplier is located.


Accessibility

Somewhat related to location is the project's accessibility. Some asphalting contractors won't charge more for distance, but will for accessibility. If your project's location isn't convenient to get to, the contractor will have more difficulty bringing everything they need. This can slow down the asphalting process, including any preparation work that needs to be carried out – and this will effect your asphalt driveway cost.


Type of asphalt to be used

You have several asphalt types to choose from. This includes (but isn't limited to):

  • Warm mix – Good option for paving in cooler climates and long-distance deliveries
  • Hot-mix – Great for driveways, permanent repairs, and large surfaces
  • Cold mix – Ideal for quick, temporary repairs when the temperature is too cold for hot asphalt paving
  • Recycled – Cheaper option but requires a gravel subgrade
  • Coloured – Costly but adds visual interest. Used in parks and bike paths


For best results, research more on which asphalt mix is ideal for your location.

Workers on a road construction, industry and teamwork

Is prep work needed?

If there's an existing driveway, you may have to get it excavated and removed before laying down a new one. You can also use the existing driveway as the base for your new driveway. Should you decide to remove the existing driveway, you'll have to spend on its excavation and disposal.



Additional work to be done

You can put in additional features like a walkway or carport. Likewise, you can install edging to your asphalt driveway (e.g. a patterned border, cobblestone edging, electric ground lights). Note, however, that any additional work means you'll spend more.


Market forces

Your asphalt driveway cost may also fluctuate due to other indirect factors such as petrol prices (asphalt is a semi-solid form of petroleum), environmental rules, and the world economy.


Location

Asphalt driveway cost per square metre may vary throughout Australia. Here are the average prices in various parts of the country.

State

Average cost per square metre

New South Wales

$45

Queensland

$40

South Australia

$30

Northern Territory

$30 to $40

Western Australia

$25

Victoria

$40




How many years does an asphalt driveway last?

More often than not, asphalt driveways can last up to 30 years, but it still depends on several factors including:

  • Maintenance
  • Your local climate
  • Type of asphalt mix used
  • The strength of its base (e.g. type of soil, surface condition)
  • Amount of traffic passing through the driveway

Note that asphalt doesn't last as long in warmer climates.

 

Which is cheaper: Concrete or asphalt driveway?

Asphalt driveways are usually cheaper than concrete ones. As per the iSeekplant Concrete Driveway Cost Guide: "An average-sized concrete driveway to a residential property should cost between $65 to $150 per square metre". As mentioned earlier, the average asphalt driveway cost per square metre is about $30 to $35. Even at its cheapest, concrete driveways are typically more expensive.

Can I asphalt my own driveway?

Yes, you certainly can, but asphalting a driveway is hard work, and isn't a job for just one person. Furthermore, asphalt isn't generally a suitable do-it-yourself material.

Consider that to build an asphalt driveway; you need to:

  • Break up and remove existing pavement and gravel.
  • Compact the soil using a drum roller.
  • Put in a base of hardcore and fine gravel.
  • Install the asphalt, then compact it.

For best results, it's better to hire a professional asphalt contractor.

Asphalt rates- Roller rolling fresh hot asphalt on the new road.

What is the difference between asphalt and blacktop?

An asphalt driveway and a blacktop road may look the same, but they're different. The materials used to create asphalt and blacktop are exactly the same: bitumen and crushed stone. The difference is how those materials are mixed.

Blacktop has a higher percentage of natural crushed stone added into the mix. It's also heated into a higher temperature of around 300 degrees (asphalt is heated at 250 degrees). The result? A blacktop road's surface sparkles more than asphalt.


How much does it cost to re-blacktop a driveway?

If you already have an existing asphalt or blacktop driveway, resurfacing it would be cheaper and quicker. Why? Because you won't have to excavate and clear the surface before laying down a new one.


How can I find the best asphalt driveway cost possible?

Here's how: Use iSeekplant. iSeekplant is Australia's largest and most trusted online construction hire marketplace. Through our database of suppliers, you can find and compare asphalt companies in your local area.


Bonus tips:

  • When you perform your search, gather quotations from at least three asphalt contractors, then compare their rates to get competitive asphalt driveway cost estimates.
  • Choosing asphalt contractors closer to your project can help you cut back on transportation expenses.
  • In Australia, asphalt driveways are required to have at least a slope of 1:100 to drain. However, note that you need to consult your local council to find out the maximum grade and slope they allow.

Suppose you don't have the time to find a qualified asphalt contractor yourself. In that case, you still have the following options: contacting our expert team at 1300 691 912 or emailing our Projects Team with your specifications. We'll reach out to asphalt contractors in your area and get them to contact you with their best rates.

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