Heated driveways have a single advantage. You guessed it—snow removal. This solitary quality is no small matter for some homeowners. If you live in the northern United States, you may spend countless hours each winter shoveling your driveway. Just hearing the words “Nor-Easter” or “Lake Effect Snow” can make many Americans cringe. Having to shovel two, three, even four times in one day can leave northerners begging for a solution. Even if you don’t live in a region that gets hit with heavy snow, if you have limited mobility and have no neighborhood kids who want to earn a little extra cash, installing a heated driveway can allow you to endure the winter with safe passage to and from your home without ever picking up a shovel or firing up a snowblower.
How Heated Driveway Systems Work
Heated driveways are actually a radiant heat flooring system, which can be installed both indoors and out. For outdoor use, radiant floor systems are quite beneficial to those who live in snowy climates. When temperatures drop, heated water and antifreeze are pumped into the tubing, melting any snow that collects on your driveway. From the comfort of your home, you can flip a switch and watch the snow melt away.
If you want a heated driveway, you don’t necessarily need to install a whole new driveway because sometimes the tubing can be run under your current one. Many factors influence whether you need to have the driveway replaced including time of year, soil compaction, trees in proximity, etc. Replacing the driveway ensures that the heated driveway system has been installed correctly. Many of the systems that are installed under existing driveways either won’t come with warranties or the warranties that they do come with won’t cover very much.
Heated Driveway Costs
Typically, the cost of a heated driveway system is between $12-$21 per square foot. Looking at our data, the average cost of a radiant heating system installation is $3,892, with a low of $1,300 and a high of $7,500 in that range. Unfortunately, our data doesn’t show the cost to remove the old driveway, but we do show the average asphalt paving cost ($4,457) and concrete driveway cost ($3,650). The range of asphalt driveway projects is much greater at $2,000-$25,000 than concrete at $650-$7,091. If your project falls right on the average, then you are looking at a cost of $8,594 to install a driveway heating system under asphalt and $7,542 under concrete.
So if these numbers put the project outside of your price range, consider two things.
- Get estimates from professionals. The numbers quoted above are just averages and don’t reflect the rise and fall of material prices or the cost of living in your particular area. So always get an accurate bid from someone who would actually do the work.
- If replacing your driveway, upgrading to a heated driveway system is a smart idea while your old one is already ripped out.
DIY Tip: If you’re capable, rent a jackhammer and a sledgehammer, bust up the old driveway, and haul it off yourself. If you need to save a little, this is the part of the process that you can do yourself. Ask your contractor to bid out the demolition part of the process so that you can see how much there is to be saved.
More Options with Heated Driveway Systems
Driveway heating systems can be installed under almost any driveway surface, including patios, sidewalks, and decks. Wherever you don’t want to have to shovel, you can install this same heating system under there, too, so you never have to worry about shoveling. Remember that it’s best to have your boiler placed as near as you can to the driveway. Most systems will have a mechanism that activates the system when snow falls. Even when you’re on vacation or away from your home, your driveway will stay clear for your return.
Ready to start your heated driveway?Find Pros
Have you installed a heated driveway before? What were your process and the advantages/disadvantages of having one? Let us know in the comments!
I am looking for contractors to bid on heating an existing driveway as they re/coat it with
1/1/2 ” new asphalt. It is a long drive approximately 2000 feet long and 10 feet wide.
(near Franklin Tennessee)
Looking for contractor to bid on replacing old drive way and adding heated driveway. Approximately 400 feet long and 10 feet wide . Bedford, NH
Looking for a contractor to bid on replacing an old driveway and installing a heated driveway. 55 feet long by 35 feet wide
Can a heated driveway be installed on a 15-20 deg slope? If so, what are the critical considerations? Currently the driveway is gravel, about 400′ by 10′. Would like to pave it with heater.
What is the lowest ambient temperature for a heated driveway to function properly?
Have a heated driveway, don’t know how to turn it on, no obvious switchs in garage or furnace room.
It is a geo-thermal system and I would like to think they are tied together
Would like a heated brick paver drive. Need to total replace old cement drive. Looking for a contractor in the Detroit/Toledo area.
Would like a quote on a heated driveway. New home build.
Answer the questions provided when clicking on the following link and someone will contact you.
Can a the driveway be channeled out where the tubing would go and then new concrete poured over? (An alternative to tearing out the entire driveway
Electric Radiant Snowmelt . We have found that Hydronic snow melt runs at two thirds less energy and is more suitable for larger areas .
We lived in Santa Fe for 6 years and we had a driveway that was heated. Best invention ever.
We live in Phoenix now and have pool we are thinking about doing a remake of the pool.
Why could you not do the same thing with pool and do a solar water heater and a cover at night?
Any thought on this?