It is November 2018 and I am sitting at my desk wondering What does it cost to pave a driveway in South Africa?

The cost to pave a driveway in South Africa would most probably be very close to R 26 149.50. That is R 290.55 per m². This in my view would be close to the minimum a descent contractor would charge to get the job done with the standard bevel pavers available.

On such a price you can expect a guarantee with a contractor who should be in business to honor his guarantee a few years down the line. Just remember there are lots of other considerations to take into account as well.

You normally pay for what you get. So if it sounds too good to be true it normally is. If someone offers to pave your driveway for R 200 per m² then be very weary.

I will break the costs down to explain why.

  1.  Let us work on an average driveway size which could be 15 m long by 6 m wide. That is a total of 90 m² of paving to be done.
  2. A very good price to pay for bevel paving bricks is around R 110 per m² ex Factory
  3. In my scenario I am pretending the site is 10 km from the Factory.
  4. Getting the paving to site would mean I would have to hire a delivery truck to get the approximately 4000
    bricks there. 4000 bricks weigh approximately 10 ton. The Contractor of a 10 ton truck would probably charge around R 1500 to deliver the bricks on site. That is R 16.67 per m²
  5. I have my own team and they are very efficient. That translates to one skilled laborer and 2 laborers being
    able to prepare and pave around 15 m² per day. They can cost around R 700 per day. That means labor would
    be R 46.67 per m².
  6. Additional material like river sand, plaster sand and cement will cost around R 2370 per 90 m². That is R
    26.33 per m²
  7. For preparation of paving we will need a compacting machine of some sorts. I prefer a heavy compacting
    vibrator. It compacts around 150 mm per layer which should be quite adequate if the soil compacts
    reasonably well. Unless you want trucks and heavy machinery to travel over your paved driveway which will cause the driveway to be prepared in a totally different way. Such a compactor will cost around R 500 per day and I it will take 2 days to prepare and compact 90 m² of driveway paving. This will add R 11.11 per m² to the cost of the paving.
  8. We grout the paving bricks to stabilize them and to keep them together. For that we also need a vibrating
    plate compactor (light duty). This machine will set you back around R 400 per day. The grout work can be
    done in 1 day. That is R 4.44 per m².
  9. Profit on such a project would be in the vicinity of around 30 % to 40 % of the cost. Let’s work on 35 % to
    leave some leeway for unforeseen issues that may arise. So the total cost is R 215.22 per m² plus R 75.33
    per m² for hidden costs and Profit. Total minimum cost to the consumer would come to R 290.55.

As you can see someone offering to do paving at R 200 per m² would work at a loss or if he is very efficient he might break even or make a small profit.

If he makes a small profit where is he going to find the money to pay for petrol, insurance and what about vat? So you can see this contractor will not be in business in 1 to 2 years down the line, if he lasts that long.

Now let us look at a contractor sitting in front of the hardware store offering to do the labor for R 60 per m².

First let us look at the cost aspect.

The consumer will pay R 228.55 for driveway paving material and Joe Smo’s labor. That is a saving of R 62 per m². Total cost to pave your driveway will be R 20 569.50. So you will save R 5580.00 going this route.

Now let us look at the real cost of hiring someone in front of the hardware store compared to the reputable contractor with years of experience, with a guarantee and lots of references to show for it.

  1. Does Mr. Joe Smo from the street have all the necessary tools to get the paving Done? If not how much will
    the extra costs be to get the necessary tools? This headache would not arise with a reputable contractor.
  2. Where are you going to find Mr. Joe Smo from the street in six months time when the paving starts to sag or
    something needs to be fixed? The repair on a poor job would definitely cause you headache and additional
    costs to fix.
  3. A Reputable contractor will have a guarantee in place and will honor his guarantee at no extra cost to the
    consumer. Also remember a good contractor with a guarantee in place will make sure the job is done right
    the first time.
  4. It costs lots of money to honor a guarantee if something goes wrong. I myself as a contractor do not want
    to incur such costs so I always make sure the job is done right the first time.
  5.  Another scenario that may arise is the following. Your driveway is done in July and you are happy with the
    way it looks. You saved some money and the world seems quite well.
  6. But then on 10 October the first rain falls and your garage floods because Joe did not think about the
    water flow and the level the driveway paving should form in order for the water to dissipate safely in the
    right direction.
  7. The driveway paving needs to be lifted and redone. What will that cost?
  8. When hiring Joe Smo the client needs to make sure all material is on site on time. How much time will you
    as a home owner builder waste if What happens many times and you are at work and Joe calls you and say
    “Eish the bricks is finished I need more Bricks now? This will most definitely create a bad bad day for
    Any person in his or her working environment. This kind of issue will be handled by the contractor.
  9. Let’s say Mr Joe Smo from the street brings in someone who has the intention of scouting for break inn
    opportunities. The consequence of such an irresponsible action could be that you can have a break in within a few weeks or days after your driveway has been paved. One break in will most definitely cost you more than R 5580.00 that you saved on the initial project. It could even cost way more considering people’s lives could be at stake.
  10. I for one can honestly say that I always screen the people that I hire and that I have not once in my
    eleven years of being a contractor had such an issue with any client.

In conclusion hiring the right contractor for the job will always cost you more. But consider this. You will spend between R 20 000 and R 30 000 on paving your driveway. That is a lot of money to spend especially if you spend it and the result is not what you expected it to be.

So be prepared to spend a few extra rand when using a reputable contractor on the paving in your driveway and have peace of mind for the next 10 years to come.

Related Questions

How Much Should Paving cost?

Paving Should Cost very Close to R 290.00 per m²

Paving Installation Prices South Africa?

Installation Prices vary between R 60 and R 200 per m² depending on who gives the installation material, the client or the contractor and also on the contractor. Remember you get what you pay for….