How much does an exposed aggregate driveway cost and what are the factors the drive different price points?
Whether you’re looking to resurface or you’re starting from scratch, if you’ve settled on exposed aggregate as your concrete of choice, then you’ll want to know what you need to budget.
If you’ve been searching online for an answer, then don’t fret – you’re not alone. More than 2,000 Aussies are turning to Google each month in search of the same answer.
A quick search will reveal significantly different price estimates. So then, what’s driving the different price estimates for exposed aggregate concrete in Australia?
In many cases, the exposed aggregate driveway cost estimates that you find online are sourced through third-party sites. In most cases, there is a degree of separation that makes it almost impossible to get a true reflection of costs.
At Conker, we work directly with homeowners in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne across hundreds of resurfacing projects each year. As such, we’re in a good position to provide you with first-hand data that will help you to estimate aggregate concrete costs ahead of your next project – whatever size that may be.
Table of contents
- What is exposed aggregate concrete?
- Exposed aggregate concrete costs per square meter (SQM)
- Exposed aggregate costs by driveway size
- Exposed aggregate vs. comparable concrete costs
- Factors that influence the cost of exposed aggregate concrete
What is exposed aggregate concrete?
Before we delve into the nitty gritty of costs, let’s take care of some housekeeping. What exactly is exposed aggregate concrete, how popular is it, and how does it stack up against comparable materials.
Exposed aggregate concrete removes the top layer of the finish to expose the aggregate materials that are mixed in with the concrete. The “rough” finish creates a textured look that is notably different to traditional concrete surface whilst offering a customisable stencil, stamped, or stained look to suit your desired finish.
In addition to the obvious cosmetic and curb appeal, exposed aggregate offers a number of other benefits. Namely, under Australia’s harsh climate, exposed aggregate concrete is resistant to wear and tear, low maintenance, and is easy to clean when compared to other concrete finishes.
Exposed aggregate concrete costs per square meter (SQM)
The average costs for exposed concrete in Australia will vary based on the size of the project, the quality of materials used, and the accessibility of the location. As a rule of thumb, the cost of exposed aggregate concrete in Australia ranges from $120 – $180 per square meter (SQM).
Using those numbers as a guideline for exposed aggregate driveways prices in Australia, here is a breakdown of what you can expect to pay based on the size of your project.
15 SQM: $1800 – $2700
20 SQM: $2400 – $3600
25 SQM: $3000 – $4500
30 SQM: $3600 – $5400
35 SQM: $4200 – $6300
40 SQM: $4800 – $7200
45 SQM: $5400 – $8100
50 SQM: $6000 – $9000
Remember, there are a number of different factors (outlined below) that will influence the end cost of your project. However, as a guide, if you are receiving quotes that are significantly lower than these numbers, then there is a high chance that the quality of materials and workmanship will be compromised.
Exposed aggregate costs average by project
Now that we know the average cost of exposed concrete per square meter (SQM) in Australia, let’s now take a closer look at how that translates to some of the most common areas where exposed aggregate is used in residential properties around Australia.
Average Driveway (30 SQM): $3600 – $5400
Average Backyard (50 SQM): $6000 – $9000
Average Pool Surround (20 SQM): $2400 – $3600
Average Pathway (15 SQM): $1800 – $2700
Like anything: fast, cheap, good – you can only choose two. If you’re paying for a timely, high-quality outcome – don’t expect it to be cheap. Conversely, if it’s cheap – don’t expect it to be fast or a high-quality end product.
Exposed aggregate vs. comparable concrete costs
Wondering how exposed aggregate prices stack up against comparable concrete finishes? For a complete breakdown of the most popular concrete finishes and how these stack up in price for driveways, check out our complete concrete driveways materials breakdown.
Pressed for time? Here’s a quick run-down of how exposed aggregate prices compare to other materials.
Plain concrete: $110 – $130 SQM
Coloured concrete: $120 – $180 SQM
Exposed aggregate: $120 – $180 SQM
Honed concrete: $200 – $250 SQM
With a price range of $120 – $180 SQM, exposed aggregate is not the cheapest option for concrete, however, it’s still significantly less expensive than a premium honed concrete finish.
Factors that influence the cost of exposed aggregate concrete
Like anything in the home renovation and construction space, there are a multitude of different factors that will influence the final cost of your concreting project. Some of the most important factors to consider include:
- Location of property
- Accessibility of concreting location
- Complexity of the surface
- Current condition of the surface
- Quality of materials used
- Quality of workmanship
- Warranty provided on works
- Permits required to complete work
Remember, what you put in is what you get out. A lower upfront cost will (in many cases) lead to a lower quality end-product, shorter shelf life for your concrete surfaces, and a less-than desirable finish.
There we have it, a complete breakdown of exposed aggregate driveway and concrete costs in Australia.
Of course, there will be third-party websites that advertise different prices, however, it’s important to remember the source of information and their authority on the matter.
With hundreds of jobs under our belt, this price guide for 2023 should help you to budget and forecast for your next concreting project – whatever finish you choose.