When comparing construction materials, it’s tempting to rule out the higher-priced item to meet budget needs and go for the lower cost item. But when it comes to choosing concrete for your parking lot, “good investment” is a better phrase than “most expensive”.
Concrete is extremely durable and can last twice as long as asphalt. It’s also more comparable in price to asphalt than it used to be. Even if you understand that concrete is a better long-term investment, you still need to know how much it costs. Let’s break it down.
The Price of Concrete
Cost Per Square Foot
Depending on the specifications of your project, a concrete parking lot can range between $4 and $7 per square foot. This price typically includes the cost of material and labor.
Cost Per Parking Spot
You can also estimate your project’s cost by the number of parking spots instead of square footage. For small projects, a lot with six spots would range from $5,000-$14,000. On the larger side, a 200-spot lot would range from $174,000-$490,000.
Cost Considerations for a Concrete Parking Lot
When considering the costs of a concrete parking lot, it’s not just the price of labor and materials you need to factor in. Here are some other factors that should be taken into account when asking yourself how expensive your concrete parking lot will be:
Maintenance costs: When considering what the cost your parking lot will be, you need to factor in the cost for annual maintenance. Over time, the maintenance costs of concrete are minimal, whereas asphalt parking lots need to be recoated every few years and completely resurfaced every ten years. Concrete only requires some joint and/or surface sealing along with some annual cleanings. This translates to low maintenance cost and few business interruptions. If you look at the life of a parking lot over 20 years, the maintenance costs of an asphalt lot can be as much as 80% of the initial construction cost. In some projects, asphalt turned out to be twice the cost of concrete over 20 years.
Scope of work: Overlaying an existing lot can be much less expensive than building a new parking area, you can build on previous investments in most cases. Sidewalks, ADA accessibility requirements should also be considered.
Size of lot: The cost per square foot will typically be lower for larger areas due to crew production efficiency.
The number of phases required: the number of phases that a project requires will impact the cost. If you can get by with a couple of days of limited access you should be able to reduce the cost.
Location: The cost of materials will vary based on where you’re located, not just state-to-state but also city-to-city.
Distance: The distance between the supplier and the location will affect the cost.
Traffic: The type of traffic you expect will impact how thick your concrete slab needs to be. You'll only need thicker concrete in areas of heavier truck traffic.
Drainage requirements: Every municipality will have different drainage and retention requirements.
Customer safety & comfort: A light broom concrete finish provides a lifetime slip resistant surface for pedestrians. Even kids know that on a hot summer day it is better to walk on the concrete sidewalk than on the hot asphalt.
Cleaning costs: Foot traffic can pick up bits of asphalt and track it into the business, this is not the case for a concrete parking area.
Lighting requirements: Number of light fixtures and wattage of the bulbs all are reduced for naturally reflective concrete pavement; this can be a significant cost saving over time. A bright reflective concrete surface adds to a safe feeling. Highlight your business, get people’s attention.
Construction time: Concrete pavements can be placed in service within a couple days, the construction timeline for placement multiple layers of asphalt pavements can be greater – curbs sidewalks grade work adds time impact to your business access.
As you start your paving project, rather than asking yourself, “How expensive is a concrete parking lot?” ask yourself, “What is a concrete parking lot worth?” Then, when it’s time to get started, browse our site to find the right concrete contractor for the job.