The cost of a concrete driveway is determined using a standard method, considering different variables, and not just per square foot price. Many customers would call us and ask us about the cost of a concrete driveway. They think that there is a universal price tag for installing a concrete driveway, but there’s none. You may feel that it is as simple as A-B-C, but the truth is there are factors that a contractor needs to consider before the final cost is determined.

Why can’t the contractor just throw an exact number? It’s because your case may be a different one from the others. For instance, if they tell you that the cost for a square foot is $8, but when they see your area, they realize that the cost is actually $10, you would probably be disappointed and think they were lying at first. If in case they agreed to your bid, the case may be that they did not really give you a discount, but just cut the quality of the materials and labor they use. In the end, you don’t get any gain from it, but they do.

While asking the contractor for their square foot price is not always a bad idea, most of the time, it is. You may be setting yourself up for the biggest scam of your life, so be careful.

Another scenario that you want to don’t want to be in is getting just one estimate from one company. You may think that the contractor is giving you the best cost and the best service because you have no point of comparison. When it comes to services, it is crucial to get at least three estimates from various companies. Keep in mind that the cost is not the only thing that you should consider. You have to look into the contractor’s reputation, trustworthiness, and experience before you sign any contract with them.

There are several factors that should be considered to determine the cost of concrete driveway installation. The first variable is the size of the driveway. We also look into the extent of preparation involved to ensure the success of the installation. Is there a need to do manual labor due to the inaccessibility of the place? We also consider the location of the site from the concrete plant as well as the number of concrete mixer trucks required so that the contractor doesn’t have to wait long for the rest of the material. The answers to these questions are the most important factors that a contractor looks into to get the final cost of concrete driveway installation.

When a contractor provides you a quote, you can expect the following things to be their basis for the final price:

  • Mobilization
  • Preparation
  • Delivery Costs
  • The Concrete Mix
  • The Installation
  • Profit


Many concrete contractors take into account the cost to get their team and equipment from the site and back. The cost of the installation instantly adds up when you consider the cost just to get to the location. On average, concrete installation requires from 5 to 10 members. You also have to consider the equipment and transportation of these tools as well as the crew. Not to mention the fuel needed to get the truck to the site and the hourly wage of the crew members. All these things add to the final price of the installation. The contractor has not even put down concrete yet, but you can already expect some hundred dollars to your bill. Simply put, the larger the scale of the job, the more expensive it gets.


Another factor to look into is the preparation needed to get the job done. Keep in mind that each installation project is different from another. Thus, the preparation required may be slightly different from each one. Regardless of the complexity of the job, preparation is key to an efficient and safe concrete driveway installation. When it comes to preparing for a concrete driveway, drainage is very crucial. To get good drainage, preparation is essential. No one wants their driveway or home to be flooded with water, so it is crucial to make sure the drainage is properly accounted for when determining the cost of a concrete driveway. The contractor will not be able to tell how much the preparation would cost unless they see the job site.


Some areas require a sub-grade material to be installed before the installation of concrete. The contractor will put this on the estimate they will present to you. They will include the number of tons of base being installed.

Then, you have the concrete mix. This variable is determined based on the size of the job location, as well as the thickness of the concrete. Many people think that contractors get large volume discounts from concrete plants, but this is just a fallacy. Contractors don’t go to the supplier and bargain the price with them. Almost all contractors pay the same price as you do them for the concrete mix. Among all the factors that determine the cost of concrete driveway, the concrete mix is a fixed price.


When you obtain an estimate from the concrete contractor, they need to find out the right number of mixer trucks required to deliver the mix. If they transport too many trucks, then they might pay for truck drivers who will just sit around to wait for the others to unload. If the contractor doesn’t hire enough trucks, then they will have to wait for the next truck to arrive before they can restart work. In other words, they lose in both situations. For this reason, it is important that they know the exact amount of mixer trucks and the distance of the plant to the job site. More trucks are needed if the location is far from the plant. The closer the plant to the location, the lesser trucks will be required. More trucks are needed if the concrete slab being poured is thicker. You can’t always expect a perfect calculation, but at the end of the day, your contractor’s profit is on the line and not yours.


The contractor will have to find out how much handwork is required to get the installation done. They would also determine how much time it will take to complete the job and the use of equipment or replacement costs in case the equipment malfunctions. In some cases, heavy equipment cannot access some areas of the site, which means preparation should be performed by hand. This will take more time and add to the cost of the service. Your contractor will factor in the wages of the crew, which comprise 5 to 10 members, liability insurance, and equipment. As much as possible, your contractor will calculate to the best of their ability to ensure that they stay competitive in their pricing without overpricing. If the contractor estimates too little time, then they lose profit, if they do otherwise, they may not get your business. Again, any miscalculation on the part of the contractor has a direct effect on their profit and not yours.


The last consideration, but equally important, in determining the cost of installing a concrete driveway is the profit to the contractor. This variable is defined by the contractor, depending on their company’s standard and regulation. You have to keep in mind that they calculate their profit not just as a reward, but also as a risk number. Concrete installation comes with its own risks. Running a concrete service company is a risk. Contractors are at risk of losing a great deal of money in case something awful happens. They have to deal with malfunctioning equipment, traffic jams, inclement weather, and “no show” employees. These factors can quickly lose the concrete contractor money. Since concrete work is dangerous, accidents may happen, and they do. Unfortunately, some accidents are too serious and cause people’s lives. Whenever the contractor calculates their profit, they look into these things and decide on the most reasonable amount for the service. The crew works day in and day out to ensure the quality of the job and to get things done on time. Another thing is that concrete installation is not a year-round work. Some states have offset season in winter, so concrete contractors receive little or no wage at all.

All these factors determine the cost of the installation of a concrete driveway. We will reiterate that no contractor can give you an exact amount of the concrete driveway without seeing the site and considering other important variables. Don’t easily trust a contractor that gives you an exact number without seeing the location. You either get scammed or get the worst service from the contractor you hire. The best that they can give you is a budget and not the exact cost of the installation job.

Be more careful of concrete companies that say they’re willing to cut their profits for yours. Before you entrust your business to any contractor, make sure that you considered their reputation, experience, and reviews.