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How Much Does A Chip Seal Driveway Cost?

Typical Range: $650 - $3,050

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Tar and Chip Driveway Costs

The average cost of a 16x38 foot tar and chip driveway is $1,850. The base cost can range between $1 and $5 per square foot. Driveways on the cheaper end can cost as little as $650 while more expensive ones cost about $3,050. This kind of paving is usually less than the cost of installing a concrete driveway but more than one made of gravel. While several variables affect the price of a residential roadway, a new two-lane roadway can cost between $130,000 to $635,000 per mile.

A tar and chip driveway - also known as macadam, chip seal and oil and stone - consists of hot liquid asphalt covered with crushed stone, which gets compacted before the asphalt hardens. Let a professional, who can safely work with the equipment and hot asphalt, install your driveway, residential road or parking lot.

Average Cost for a Tar and Chip Driveway

Average Cost$1,850
High Cost$3,050
Low Cost$650

Chip Sealing Driveways Cost Per Square Foot

The average base cost of chip sealing is about $3 per square foot. The size of the project, the state of the site, and local labor and materials cost will affect the overall price. As the commodity price of oil rises or falls, expect the cost of this project to do the same.

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Macadam Road Cost Per Mile or Square Yard

the average cost to install a tar and chip a driveway is $1 to $5 per square foot.

For a mile of macadam road with a width of 24 feet (about two lanes), the average cost per square foot can range between $1 to $5 and the cost per square yard can fall between $9 to $45. The total cost for one mile of a two-lane road in a rural area can range between $130,000 to $635,000.

Average Price of a Macadam Parking Lot

The price of macadam for a one-spot lot, or about 18x9 feet, is roughly $500. A 1,000-square-foot parking lot with four spaces and room to pull in and back out costs about $3,000. A 1,512-square-foot parking lot with six spaces is about $4,550.

Tar and Chip Commercial vs. Residential Roads

Learn where your property lines begin and end before starting this project. Check with your local property appraiser and consider hiring a land surveyor.

Rural areas, which are more likely to have private roads, frequently use tar-and-chip. Multiple households may have use of the private road. If there isn't a homeowner association, neighbors should work out a legal agreement as soon as possible on maintenance costs.

Single vs. Double Chip Seal Cost Calculator

Chip seal preserves existing pavement. There are different types to fit different levels of need. The greater the need, the pricier the project.

Single Chip Seal:

  • Cost: $1.50 per square yard
  • Application: Apply liquid asphalt directly to the pavement and follow with a layer of ¼ or ½ inch aggregate.
  • Usage: On good roads to maintain quality and protect from moisture.
  • Surface Texture: Improves skid resistance and traction.
  • Benefits:
    • Protects from moisture.
    • Minimal traffic disruption due to quick and straightforward application.

Double Chip Seal:

  • Cost: $3 per square yard
  • Application: Apply two layers of single chip seal one right after the other.
  • Usage: On roads with moderate to severe damage or deterioration.
  • Surface Texture: Improves skid resistance and traction.
  • Benefits:
    • Protects twice as much from moisture and oxidation.
    • Reduces damage from snow plows.

High Performance:

  • Cost: $1.85 per square yard
  • Application: Consists of a higher asphalt application rate and higher quality aggregate, which embeds in the asphalt during placement, unlike single chip.
  • Usage: Good for high daily traffic use.
  • Surface Texture: Highest skid resistance and traction.
  • Benefits:
    • Best at protecting from oxidation and moisture.
    • Longest life cycle due to higher asphalt application rate.
    • Quality appearance.
    • Can install traffic markings after two days.
Consult with a paving pro for your tar and chip driveway

Construction Price Factors

There are a few factors - in addition to the size of the project and the commodity price of oil - that influence the cost of installing macadam.

Hire an experienced professional with the right equipment to perform this kind of paving work. It may be costlier to find the right company because there aren't as many contractors who specialize in this type of paving.

The terrain type may also affect the overall cost. A homeowner may spend as much as $9,000 or as little as $450 to clear land and prepare the site. It all depends on how many tasks the crew has.

Weather & Climate Considerations

The best time to install an oil and stone driveway is when the weather is hot and arid. The asphalt should be poured onto a warm and dry surface. Stone chips don't take to cool or hard asphalt.

Location/ Accessibility

Tar-and-chip paving works best on rural, low-traffic and slow-speed surfaces where loose or excess chips won't be as likely to damage vehicles.

Slope Pitch a Driveway Before Installing Oil & Stone Chippings

Plan to slope your driveway away from your home. Pitching, or tipping, the driveway directs water safely away from your property.

When installing oil and stone chips over a concrete driveway, the foundation shouldn't be cracked or sagging. The average cost of leveling a foundation is $900. The typical expense for driveway repairs falls between $300 and $4,500.

Licenses & Regulations

Permits typically cost between $500 to $2,000. A municipality may require them if the tar-and-chip driveway connects to a residential street. The average cost is about $1,100, but that can vary significantly depending on the city or state.

Land Survey for New Driveways

Hiring a land surveyor costs most homeowners between $400 to $700. A professional can help in finding property boundaries if you're not sure where they start and stop. This can also be useful in case of future land disputes.

Chip Seal vs. Asphalt vs. Gravel Driveway Costs

The installation of a driveway costs most homeowners between $2,250 and $5,900. The average cost of asphalt paving is $4,800 while the average price of a gravel driveway is about $1,500.

Comparing Tar & Chip with Other Driveway Types
Cost Per Square FootFeatures
Chip Seal$1 - $5
  • Maintenance: Low, easy to repair
  • Durability: Can be damaged by snow plows
  • Installation: Hire a pro
Asphalt$4 - $6
  • Maintenance: Easy to repair
  • Durability: Softens in high heat temperatures
  • Installation: Hire a pro
Gravel$1.25 - $1.80
  • Maintenance: Easy to replace
  • Durability: Can loosen in rain or snow
  • Installation: DIY or hire a pro
Concrete$5 - $9
  • Maintenance: Hard to repair
  • Durability: Cracks in freezing temperatures
  • Installation: DIY or hire a pro
Pavers$10 - $50
  • Maintenance: Easy to replace
  • Durability: Can crack or break
  • Installation: DIY or hire a pro

The return on investment (ROI) for each kind of driveway varies. Material, condition, local real estate trends, and homebuyer preferences will affect ROI.

DIY vs. Hiring a Paving Professional

Many homeowners enjoy a DIY project but leave oil and stone paving to the professionals. An asphalt paving contractor needs to have the skill and equipment to pour the hot liquid asphalt, spread the stones and compact them before the asphalt hardens.

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