If you want to set up a driveway that is both cost-effective and pleasing to the eye, you may opt to install a tar-and-chip driveway for your home. Also called macadam, this gravel-and-stone driveway would provide your house distinctive texture and color.
A tar-and-chip driveway installation is more straightforward than other types of driveways. However, paving one is not for the average DIY enthusiast but a job better suited for the professional. With that said, how much does a tar-and-chip driveway cost?
Average Macadam Driveway Cost
According to Driveway Tips, the price range for the installation of a macadam driveway averages from $1 to $4 per square foot. Say you have a 12’ by 50’ single car driveway. That is equivalent to 600 square feet, bringing the cost of installing a tar and chip driveway to about $600 to $2,400.
Aside from the square foot area, the macadam driveway cost may be costlier depending on some factors including the amount of work to prepare the base, as well as the quality and number of stones used for the top layer. Complications such as slopes, curves, grading or drains could also add up to the cost. Furthermore, your choice of design would also affect the overall price.
A macadam driveway typically lasts 6 to 10 years with little maintenance. It is not as long lasting as asphalt, but you could get a new coat of liquid asphalt and various stone colors for the resurfacing at a reasonable price.
Estimating the Costs
How do you estimate the macadam driveway cost, particularly the overall installation expenses?
First, you should know the size of your driveway. For instance, a typical single-car driveway is 9’ to 12’ wide while a two-car driveway is 20’ to 24’. The length, on the other hand, has a minimum of 20’ per car.
To get the driveway’s size by square feet, multiply the length by width. Thus:
For a single-car driveway,
9 x 20 = 180 sqft.
12 x 20 = 240 sqft.
For a two-car driveway,
20 x 20 = 400 sqft.
24 x 20 = 480 sqft.
After figuring out the size of your driveway, multiply it by the average installation price per square foot mentioned earlier. For instance, the tar-and-chip driveway cost for a single-car type that is 180 sqft. would be $180 to $720. The wider type, on the other hand, would cost about $240 to $960.
Additionally, the tar-and-chip driveway cost for a two-car driveway that is 400 sqft. in size would be $400 to $1,600 while the 480 square foot-sized driveway would amount to $480 to $1,920.
Note that the above prices are only estimates and only aim to give you an idea of the range of expenses.
Aside from the installation, you would also have to prepare for additional costs such as for permit fees. Depending on your location, the local government may be upholding regulations regarding the width of the driveway and the materials allowed to install or build one.
The cost of the permit may be nominal to pricey, so make sure to ask the authorities in your area first before pushing through the construction. Without a permit, you would likely be forced by your local government to stop installing the driveway and that would spell another expense particularly penalty fees. Securing permission firsthand, thus, would save you much trouble.
Hiring a Paving Contractor
It is quite hard to look for a tar-and-chip driveway paving contractor as most companies offer installation of concrete and asphalt types instead. But today, through searching online, you could easily access websites of contractors that offer macadam driveway installation services. Some companies that offer a free estimate for the said construction project are:
- Frank Harrison Paving
- Keystone Tar and Chip Paving
- Ace Asphalt and Paving
- ASAP Tar and Chip
Note that contractors do not charge by the square foot but instead give their quote for a specific project. With that said, the costs earlier discussed are averages taken from how much most paving professionals charge for their services.
Aside from searching online, you could also ask around for recommendations. If there’s a local construction company in your area, you could ask them to refer you to a paving contractor or probably choose them to do the job.
After determining what company you think would suit your needs, check feedbacks and photos of their finished projects and from there, decide if they are still worthy of providing you service.
As in other construction projects, you should get at least three estimates from different contractors to be able to compare their prices and services.
Pros and Cons of Installing a Tar and Chip Driveway
According to The Spruce, a tar-and-chip driveway offers a more solid surface than low-cost gravel. Aside from that, it is slightly less expensive than using asphalt, so you could save money without sacrificing the quality of your driveway.
A macadam driveway does not also require regular maintenance. Unlike asphalt, you don’t have to regularly apply a seal to this driveway type. Also, its rough texture makes for much better footing if the path is wet or covered with snow.
However, a tar-and-chip driveway would make snow removal a bit problematic because using a snowplow would probably damage its surface. To avoid such problem, you could either keep the plow riding just above the driveway surface or use a shovel or snow blower.
Note also that a macadam driveway is not as long lasting as other types as it typically lasts only 6 to 10 years.
Other Options for Driveways
Aside from a macadam driveway, there are several other types you could choose to install including:
- Cobblestone Driveway
- Each cobblestone costs about $5
- Installation costs $10 to $60 per square foot
- Lasts a lifetime
- Concrete Driveway
- Installation costs $3 to $12 per square foot
- Lasts 30 to 50 years
- Asphalt Driveway
- Installation costs $1 to $6 per square foot
- Lasts 10 to 30 years
- Stone Driveway
- Installation costs $1 to $4 per square foot
- Requires regular maintenance
- Gravel Driveways
- Installation costs $.50 to $3 per square foot
- Lasts a lifetime
Before choosing which type of driveway to install, consider the location of your house and your preferences related to appearance and maintenance. Most of all, choose a project that your budget allows so you could avoid overspending.