costs to build a parking lot

How Much Is It Going to Cost? Learn the Costs to Build a Parking Lot

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There are as many as 2 billion parking spaces in the United States. If there’s one thing Americans expect, it is convenience and easy access to businesses.

Are you wondering “how much does it cost to build a parking lot?” Read on for a full explanation of the costs to build a parking lot.

What are the Costs to Build a Parking Lot?

There are various factors that impact how much it costs to build a parking lot. Most companies will give you a cost per square foot or per parking space. But, in order to get that quote, an estimator will have to perform a complete evaluation, explain the options and then give you a quote.

Generally speaking, small parking lots (in the ballpark of 25,000 square feet) will range between $3 to $6 per square foot. 

You can expect to pay on the lower end of the range if you will have light duty car traffic. Heavy-duty truck traffic may cost you the top end of this range. 

For asphalt paving of a new parking lot, you might pay between $2.25 – $3.00 per square foot.

Sealcoating your parking lot is a smart way to protect your lot. The price for this can range depending on the type of product used to seal it, the state of your lot (clean or dirty) and the number of mobilizations needed. This cost can range from $40-$50 per square foot.

Now, let’s look at the factors that impact the cost of a parking lot.

Factors That Impact the Cost to Build a Parking Lot

Many of the variables that impact the total cost of a parking lot are things that you can’t control.

For example, the pricing of asphalt and aggregate in your geographical area, the distance of your location to a supplier, and the cost of labor.

Some things you can control, however. These include the size of the parking lot, the scope of the project, and the expected amount and type of traffic.

Here are the major factors to be aware of.


Your new parking lot must comply with all municipal, state and national codes. You’ll need to get permits and approvals before construction starts. 

Parking Lot Use and Size

A school parking lot is quite different from a hospital or shopping mall lot. Apartment buildings and hotels and many other businesses have specific lot needs too.

The design, layout, and size of your lot needs to be right for your intended use.

Site Preparation & Accessibility 

A big cost when building a parking lot has to do with preparing the site. This includes clearing the land and removing trees.

Also, you will need to have the soil tested to ensure that the ground can support pavement with the weight of cars on top.

Drainage and poor soil issues will raise your parking lot cost.

Is your parking lot in a big city or in a remote part of the country? Your location’s accessibility will impact your labor and possibly your product costs. 

Paving Materials

The larger your lot size, the more you will spend on materials. Yet, there are cost-effective materials available that you could consider.

Gravel, concrete, and asphalt are the most popular options.

Gravel is inexpensive and perfect for temporary lots. Concrete has a higher upfront cost but needs less repair over the long-term.

Whichever material you choose, make sure that your estimate includes all the materials including aggregate base and any sealers.

Local Labor Rates

Labor rates largely depend on your geography. Labor tends to be more expensive in large cities vs rural parts.

Other factors that impact labor costs include the availability of equipment, the number of crew members needed and the size of your lot. 

Important Markings and Sign Installation

You will need to mark each spot in your lot. Then there’s the fire lanes, accessible spaces, crosswalks, and loading zones that all need to be stenciled as well.

Ideally, lot striping should be included in your estimate.

Traffic signals and speed limit signs are necessary for safety in your parking lot. All the signage you will need (and the hardware) should be included in the contractor’s quote. Be sure to confirm that this is the case.


Check with your local municipality about the number of lights and the type of lighting that you need for your parking lot.

Though expensive, light poles are important for the safety of your customers (and in order to be compliant). 

Safety and Security

Parking lot safety needs to be a top priority. Around 500 deaths happen each year in parking lots where either drivers or pedestrians are killed. 

Safety items like surveillance cameras and barrier gates can ensure your customers are safe.

Proper safety and security features help prevent unfortunate accidents. They also protect you against being held liable for the death or injury of anyone on your lot. 

Parking Lot Maintenance

Remember, when your parking lot is completed, that is not the end of your costs. You need to budget for regular maintenance including cleaning, leaf and snow removal and refreshing paint lines. 

Then there are the repairs that will be needed from time to time. Though these costs aren’t usually paid upfront, it is a good idea to keep them at the forefront of your mind so you can fully understand the price of your parking lot.

How Much Will It Cost?

We hope this article on the various costs to build a parking lot has given you a good idea of pricing for your new lot.

Contact us to schedule a free consultation on any type of construction project for your business.

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Dan Kirksey
Dan Kirksey

Dan is an asphalt paving contractor and has been helping business owners and homeowners with their asphalt and concrete projects throughout Maryland for over a decade.

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