Having an asphalt driveway in your yard offers multiple advantages. The material is tough and durable, and you can spare your grass from the wear and tear of vehicles rolling over it. As with any home improvement project, you'll want to estimate the cost of paving your driveway before you make the decision to have it done. It's wise to have an estimate in your head before you talk with a contractor in order to safeguard yourself from unethical contractors who might try to overcharge you or skimp on building a quality product.

## Step 1

Measure your driveway. Determine the square footage for standard rectangular driveways by multiplying the length times the width. For irregularly shaped driveways, measure and draw a diagram. Make sure it's to scale (for instance, an inch could equal five or ten feet). Form rectangular and triangular sections on the diagram. Figure the area for each rectangle and triangle (1/2 base x height). Add the individual areas for each section to get the total square footage.

## Step 2

Convert the area in square feet into square yard by dividing by 9. For instance, if the driveway is 12 feet by 30 feet, the square footage would be 360. Divide 360 by 9 to get 40 square yards.

## Step 3

Multiply the square yards by 100 or by 220. These numbers are asphalt yield measurements, which means the thickness of the asphalt per square yard. For light traffic you'll need approximately 100 pounds of asphalt per square yard, and for heavier traffic, you'll need approximately 220 pounds. For instance, if your driveway has very light traffic, and the square yardage is 40, perform the following equation: 100 x 40 = 400 You would need around 400 pounds of asphalt for paving your driveway.

## Step 4

Call several local paving companies to find the current price of asphalt per pound. Multiply the price per pound by the number of pounds you will need.

## Step 5

Ask the paving companies to give you estimates of labor and trucking for the type of job you want done.

## Step 6

Contact several contractors and ask them to break down a price list for paving your driveway. See if their costs are comparable to the costs you estimated. Check details such as the amount of asphalt they plan to use. Find the contractor whose numbers most closely match your estimations.