Your business has decided to construct a new parking lot from scratch. You want to give your customers or clients space to comfortably park as well as be able to accommodate service vehicles, but may be wondering how much it’s going to cost you.
How Much Does It Cost to Build a New Parking Lot?
A new parking lot costs between $10,000 and $150,000 on average. Factors that can influence the cost of a parking lot include its size, the building material, and the scope of the project.
Our paving experts will elaborate on the cost of building a new parking lot, including a detailed section on the factors that influence the price. We’ll also delve into which are the cheapest versus the most expensive parking lot materials. Keep reading!
Important Costs To Consider
Before you can begin ordering materials for your new parking lot, you need to create a budget. If your parking lot project is on the lower side of the price spectrum, then you might spend $10,000 on a new lot. By using inexpensive materials or building a smaller parking lot, a budget of $10k is possible.
The average price for a new parking lot, according to recent numbers from HomeAdvisor, is $75,000. We’re assuming this price accommodates an average parking lot size, which is between 7.9 and 9 feet.
For a bigger parking lot or one that uses pricier materials (more on this later), you can expect to spend the most money, at least six figures. You’d need a budget of around $150,000, possibly more.
What if you’re interested in sealcoating your new parking lot? We discussed this in another recent post, but a sealcoat is a product that maintains the quality of the parking lot, sometimes for up to several years. The larger your parking lot, the more sealcoat you need, so you can expect a higher sealcoat price per square foot of lot.
Besides that, not all sealcoat is created equal, with some brands or types more expensive than others. Per square foot then, you might pay $0.05 to $0.20 for sealcoating.
Factors That Affect the Cost of Building a Parking Lot
Now that you have a good idea of what you might spend to build a new parking lot, let’s examine the factors that can determine why your project is more expensive or less so.
This is a big one and a factor we’ve already touched on. For the most part, you can anticipate that a larger parking lot will cost more than a mid-sized lot or a small one. Exceptions may exist, such as choosing a premium parking lot material for a mid-sized lot. In such a case, you might be looking at prices on par with the cost of building a large lot with less expensive materials.
Most parking lots are concrete or asphalt, but some companies prefer gravel or tar and chip lots. Later in this guide, we’ll contrast the prices of concrete versus asphalt parking lots by square foot. We’ll also introduce you to those other parking lot materials and their costs.
You’ll quickly see how some lot materials are more budget-friendly than others, which will likely influence your choice.
What kind of vehicles will use your parking lot the most? Will it be everyday cars, trucks, and SUVs? Perhaps you’ll have garbage trucks, freight trucks, and other commercial vehicles coming in and out of the lot daily.
If it’s the latter, then you need a parking lot material that’s strong enough to handle this heavy traffic without cracking, buckling, or leaving potholes in the vehicle’s wake. Since you must reinforce your lot, the scope of your project now increases, as must your budget for the parking lot.
You don’t want to wait until water damage has accrued before you add drainage to your parking lot. Water will pool anywhere the lot isn’t even.
You might find that the people who use your parking lot will steer clear of these water-damaged spots because they don’t want to ruin their vehicles.
The lot material can begin deteriorating from all the water. One such form of damage that can occur is called rutting. This is where the wheels of cars and trucks leave depressions shaped like tires in areas of your lot that get a lot of traffic. All the pressure from the rushing water can crack the top layer of your parking lot too. The lot material can also separate, which is known as bleeding.
Drainage vents give the water a place to go rather than linger in your parking lot.
Adding these vents is more costly than going without. Not every parking lot needs a drainage option, but for those that do, the vents save so much money in the future.
By reinforcing your concrete and adding drainage options, your parking lot builders have to expend a lot more time and energy. The extra labor drives up the overall price of your project.
Concrete vs. Asphalt Parking Lots: Which Is More Expensive?
As mentioned, you’ll more than likely choose between concrete or asphalt for your parking lot. Asphalt is the traditional gray or black building material you see on streets, freeways, and highways. Repairing asphalt is easy, but it requires frequent maintenance, including resealing. In very hot temperatures, asphalt can become unstable.
Concrete tends to outlast asphalt, but it costs more. This material also demands fewer repairs, which is good, since concrete is harder to patch up. In very cold conditions, concrete might crack or buckle, and it stains quite easily.
According to 2020 numbers from HomeAdvisor, pre-poured concrete slabs are $1.40 to $4 a square foot. If you’d prefer pouring the concrete yourself, that costs $3 to $4 for each square foot. Overall, you’re looking at a concrete parking lot price of $4 to $7 a square foot when you add in labor as well.
Asphalt might be $2.50 to $4.50 a square foot with labor added in.
Other Parking Lot Surface Options and Their Prices
You don’t necessarily have to choose between asphalt and concrete. Here are a few other materials for your parking lot that you might consider instead.
A gravel parking lot has the look of asphalt but not the price. Maintaining your lot will be easier compared to an asphalt or concrete lot, and installation of a gravel lot typically doesn’t take long either. Do make sure you’re using specific types of gravel for the longevity of your lot, including marble chips, pea gravel, or crushed stone.
Per square foot, you’d pay $1.25 to $2 for a gravel lot. Do keep in mind that if the weather gets very hot or very cold, a gravel parking lot might not be able to handle it. You also get less longevity than with a concrete or asphalt lot.
Tar and Chip
The paving style known as tar and chip resembles asphalt as well. To construct a tar and chip parking lot, you use gravel and other loose stone as well as bitumen asphalt that’s heated until it becomes a liquid. The resultant parking lot is quite visually appealing. Repairing or maintaining one of these lots isn’t terribly difficult, and again, there’s the low price.
Just how low? Tar and chip parking lots might cost $1 to $3 a square foot, which isn’t bad. Like gravel driveways, tar and chip driveways can degrade from weather extremes and everyday wear and tear.
How Much Does It Cost to Repave or Resurface a Parking Lot?
No matter the material used for your parking lot, the day will come when you need to repave or resurface the lot. When you resurface your parking lot, you first fix the lot damage and then add new asphalt on top of the preexisting layer.
This costs $3 to $5 a square foot, says HomeAdvisor. Although resurfacing is expensive, your parking lot can last decades longer than it would have if you skipped this job.
Resurfacing is different than repaving, which is when you replace the damaged paving with fresh areas of asphalt or concrete. It’s less expensive than resurfacing, as you may pay $0.90 to $2.50 a square foot for the job.
Building a new parking lot requires many considerations, such as the size, material, and whether you need drainage. Once you can answer those questions, you’ll have a clearer idea of how much your project will cost.