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Price Your Heated Driveway in 2024

Snapshot of costs: fast and straightforward.

Breakdown of every cost to expect.

Pinpoint nearby experts for your project.

Heated Driveway Cost Per Square Metre?

In the UK’s winter months, a heated driveway is a practical solution to prevent ice and snow build-up. However, the average heated driveway cost can be significant and varies based on installation size and location.

How Much Does A Heated Driveway Cost Per M2?

There are many factors to be taken into consideration. Still, a heated driveway system will cost between £20 – £50 per square metre. You will then have to factor in the installation of the driveway’s surface, which is usually concrete or asphalt.

Sometimes you can run electric heating systems under a current driveway but this comes with its problems, the main one being that you won’t know if it’s been installed beneath the surface correctly. Often these installations don’t have a warranty like a new heated driveway would.

The third option is to purchase driveway snow mats.

Portable mats provide an alternative, though their effectiveness may be lower than an installed radiant heating system. As with block paving, costs can increase in southern regions like London. Free quote buttons can provide estimates from local installers.

What Is A Heated Driveway?

Heated driveways are basically radiant floor heating systems designed for outdoor use.

The heating system consists of tubes filled with an anti-freeze solution and hot water (called an hydronic system) or electric heating elements installed under the drive.

A thermostat controls both. If you install an automated system, it will switch on automatically when the temperature drops; alternatively, a manual system requires you to flip the switch when the snow starts to fall.

Sometimes you can run electric heating systems under a current driveway but this comes with its problems, the main one being that you won’t know if it’s been installed beneath the surface correctly. Often these installations don’t have a warranty like a new heated driveway would.

The third option is to purchase driveway snow melting mats; these can be installed on an existing driveway and cost anything from about £200 – £1000, still much cheaper than installing a hydronic system.

If you live in the North of the UK, chances are you’ve spent countless hours every winter shovelling snow and ice off your driveway or paid a snow removal service to do it for you. Well you won’t have to anymore if you install a heating system

Types Of Heated Driveway

Below, you will find the main types of heated driveway systems.

Electric Heated Driveway

Electric systems consist of heating elements laid out in a grid pattern beneath the driveway surface that sits beneath your driveway’s surface.

When switched on, these electric systems instantly get to work; the automated sensors detect temperature and moisture levels heating the entire drive evenly.

Customers tend to like these automated systems as they are easy to maintain and the electric cables resist corrosion, meaning they should last several decades. However, you will need to hire a qualified electrician to install a dedicated 240-volt circuit.

Electric driveway heating systems are cheaper to install than hydronic systems but have higher operating costs. Depending on your location, the electricity tariff in your area may make automated electric systems impractical, expect operating costs of £1.50 – £3.00 an hour for an electric snow melting system. The bigger your driveway, the larger the electric system, and the more expensive it will be.

If all this sounds a bit out of your price range, you could install heated driveway tyre tracks instead. Whilst you will only achieve snow removal from a much smaller proportion of the driveway, they require less electricity and will be much cheaper to run

Solar Heated Driveway

Heated driveways can also be powered by the sun. Solar panels can convert the sun’s rays into electricity powering the heating cables or alternatively, if using a hydronic radiant heat system they can power the boiler used to heat the water

So, solar heated driveways work exactly the same as the other two and will save you money in the long run but it’s not all roses. Solar-powered drives are costly to install. Not only will you need to factor in all the costs associated with installing a radiant heat system you’ll need solar panels and a backup battery system in case you run out of juice

Hydronic Heated Driveway

Instead of using electric cables, hydronic driveway heating systems use a system of plastic tubing beneath the surface of a concrete or asphalt drive. A boiler heats the water and anti freeze which then gets pumped through the tubes, heating the ground to melt snow and prevent ice accumulation.

One of the main benefits of this is that whether you use oil, natural gas or propane to heat the water it’s still much cheaper than an electric heating system to operate and a hydronic system typically comes with a 20-30 year warranty.

The radiant heat system requires no maintenance. However, you do need to ensure the pump and boiler are working correctly, just like you would with your home’s central heating system

Cons of a hydronic heated driveway system

As with most things, there are a few drawbacks. A hot water heating system can’t be installed under an existing driveway. However, if you plan on replacing an old or damaged asphalt driveway, this won’t be an issue.

A hot water radiant heating system is expensive per square foot to install. Not only does all the tubing have to be laid, but the thermostat, pump and controls need to be considered.

These types of heated driveways take longer to heat up than an electric heated driveway, especially if you have a large driveway as the water may take a while to circulate

Why Heated Driveway Prices In The UK Can Vary

Heated driveway costs depend on a wide range of things, not least the size of your driveway and whether the need to dig up and remove the old driveway. There’s the choice between electric and hydronic heated driveway systems, the latter costing much more per square foot.

Plus, there’s drainage and what edging you use to consider. In fact, with so many variables, it’s difficult to predict precisely how much it will all cost.

Who's Installing the Driveway?

There’s no getting away from it; installing heated driveways is a job for the professionals, not your local odd job man.

You will need a company that specialises in the process and has experience. It is a good idea to shop around and do your research, as national companies have much larger overheads, whereas a local expert with a smaller concern may be much cheaper.

Supply: The Cost Of Heated Driveways

Depending on which option you go for, the price will differ significantly.
Installing one from scratch is the most expensive but most efficient option and will cost between £1500 – £5000; then, you need to factor in the price of the driveway on top.

You can, of course, install heating underneath an existing driveway depending on the compaction of the soil and the proximity of any tree roots. Still, you would be unable to determine if the installation was correct.

Lastly, heated driveway mats are much cheaper, costing between £200 – £1000 and providing an excellent solution.

Labour Cost - How Much Is A Heated Driveway Installation?

It can take anything from a few days to a couple of weeks to install a heated driveway, so labour is a significant cost factor. A good idea is to get several estimates where the company will Include everything, such as excavation and drainage, so there are no nasty surprises.

If you need someone to come in and remove an old surface, a labourer will typically charge from £150 – £250 per day.

Additional Cost Factors

Wouldn’t it be great if we could get an all-in quote? But unfortunately, there are many other things which can see the cost of a heated driveway soar!

Driveway drainage

Drainage can be a significant factor in any drive installation quote and heated ones are no different. Any water from rainfall or melting snow needs to be able to drain away. Some concrete and asphalt mixes are not porous. In fact, in many cases, both materials are sealed, in which case the appreciated drainage would need to be installed at the cost of between £4000 – £6000.

Manhole covers

If your existing driveway has utility covers, you may wish to disguise them to blend in with your new driveway. Whilst a basic one can be bought for less than £50, a fancier recessed option can cost £200 – £300.

Edging

Any new heated driveway cost should include edging as both concrete and asphalt will collapse without it and look awful (You might get away with it if you use block paving, but we are entering a whole other price bracket there) Depending on what edging you use, the size of your drive this could easily see another £1000 added to your heated driveway cost.

Waste removal & skips

Whether you excavate the existing driveway yourself or hire a labourer, you will need to factor in getting rid of the rubble either using a waste removal company or hiring a skip which can cost anything from £275 – £600 depending where you live in the UK.

Cost of excavating old surfaces

Getting rid of a previous driveway is sometimes unavoidable, but it can add thousands to your heated driveway cost. Expect to pay anywhere from £500 to £1000 to remove a single-car driveway.

Automatic controls

Another consideration is whether you want an automatic system or one that operates manually. For asphalt and concrete driveways, manual systems more often cost less, but they are not as efficient. Also, they’re useless if there’s a snowstorm in the middle of the night when you’re asleep.

Whereas automatic systems are on continuously and can detect changes in the temperature and ambient moisture levels, meaning you won’t have to shovel snow before breakfast.

Heated Driveway Cost Calculator.

Below you’ll find a ballpark figure of how much it will cost to install a heated driveway:

Factors
Average Cost
Heated driveway installation
£1500 – £5000
Installing a heated asphalt drive
£6000 – £7000
Instaling a heated concrete driveway
£6000 – £8000
Installing drainage/soakaway
£3500 – £5000
Excavation by hand
£130 per m2
Excavation by machine
£50 – £60 per m2

How To Save Money On The Cost Of A Heated Driveway

You can save money on installing a heated driveway in several ways

  1. Install the heating system under an existing driveway (it doesn’t work with hydronic heated driveway systems)
  2. You can reduce your heated driveway cost by installing radiant heating systems just where your car is parked.
  3. Get rid of the old driveway yourself, as paying the specialist contractor for excavation will see prices soar
    Why not try heated driveway mats?
  4.  fantastic solution for new builds and smaller driveways, they are entirely portable cost much less than an electric system and heated mats can be brought out to melt snow when needed.

Comparison - How Much Does The Average Driveway Cost?

Heating driveways isn’t a cheap process. Not only will you need to take into account the cost of the surface per square foot but also the heating system, whether you are installing an automated system which requires a temperature sensor, a pump and appropriate drainage.

Driveway Surface
Approx cost per m2
Gravel
£40 – £60
Asphalt
£50 – £80
Block paving
£100 – £120
Resin bound
£100 – £150

How To Hire The Best Heated Driveway Installer.

Ask friends and family for recommendations if you want to use a professional tradesperson to install your heated driveway system. Remember, heated driveway systems are not something every driveway contractor has experience with, so ask to see photos of previous work or customer reviews.

We recommend checking out Bark.com if you’re looking for someone to install a heated driveway, as reviews back up their recommendations and you can rest assured you’re getting someone who knows what they’re doing.

FAQs

How effective is a heated driveway?

A driveway heating system is highly effective in melting up to two inches of snow an hour. Having a heated driveway means that even significant snowfall won’t last.

Can you add heat to an existing driveway?

You can add heat to an existing driveway by purchasing portable heating mats, typically made from a heating element coated in heavy-duty rubber. Normally bought in pairs for both sides of the tyres, they are a much cheaper alternative than installing a heated driveway.

Alternatively, in some cases, you can add heat to an existing driveway by installing it underneath or digging channels; however, we wouldn’t recommend either as your drive’s surface won’t look as good and you won’t know if either is installed correctly.

Where does melted snow go on a heated driveway?

Where the melted snow and ice go on a heated driveway really depends on which driveway surface you have used. It will most likely drain into a lawn or flower border through a permeable sub or soakaway.

Last Word

So, there you have it, everything you need to work out your heated driveway cost per square foot. When you install a heated driveway, there are many things to take into consideration, including any related cost of removing the old driveway if necessary.

You also need to take into account what surface you’ll be using.

An asphalt heated driveway will be slightly cheaper than a heated concrete driveway.

Suppose you don’t feel like removing your existing concrete driveway. In that case, installing an electric system underneath may be possible rather than installing a new driveway. Still, it would be almost impossible to know if it had been installed correctly. In this situation, the best option may be to use heated driveway mats.

Whichever you choose, a built-in heated driveway will save you from having to shovel snow and avoid accidents on the slippery surface. It can also help prevent damage to the surface caused by rock salt and de-icing chemicals.

If you live in the south, a built-in heated driveway may not seem like a cost-effective investment, but if you live in an area with a fair share of snowfall, they can be a godsend.

About The Author

John, owner of Easigrass North East for seven years, has lived and breathed landscaping. He evolved from running a leading paving and landscaping business to influencing the industry through online publishing. His real-world experience and hands-on background inform his genuine, insightful guidance for others navigating this space.

Meet The Author - John

The former owner of Easigrass North East, a significant landscaping player known for leading successful paving and garden companies, is now sharing his expert insights.

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