How Long Does It Take to Build a Parking Lot?

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Every business needs a parking lot to allow their customers, guests, and employees a way to access the building safely. Many business owners are curious about the project’s timeline when planning a parking lot or other pavement project such as commercial extruded curbs or commercial concrete sealing.

This guide will break down the most common factors that affect a paving project’s estimated timeline to provide an idea of what to expect when planning a new parking lot or other asphalt pavement. Having this knowledge makes it easier to understand why providing an ironclad schedule on lot paving is tough for any honest contractor.

Estimating a Parking Lot Paving Timeline

It’s important to understand the time involved in creating a new parking lot or other large asphalt pavement to plan your project appropriately and make temporary arrangements for your employees. Here are the most commonly influential factors that can facilitate or frustrate a project:


The weather can lengthen the amount of time to complete a parking lot or other paved structure. Paving cannot be done in rainy weather or if it is too cold for the asphalt to cure properly. In the right weather conditions, asphalt can cure overnight, but if temperatures are cool, it could take 2-3 days to cure properly.

Distance Between the Plant and Your Property

If the distance between the plant and your property is extremely long, it will affect both the length and the cost of your project. To find out if transportation will be a factor in your installation, just talk to your local reputable paving contractor. They will know whether this issue will have an impact on your project’s timeline.

Existing Pavement

If there is an existing pavement that needs to be demolished before work can begin on your new parking lot, this will add some time to your project depending on area size. If excavation or demolition is necessary, ask your paving contractor whether this will cause a significant delay in construction.

Those are the three fundamental factors that affect how it takes to pave a parking lot. Now let’s look at some deeper issues, which can be cosmetic surface fixes or more demanding work.

The Current Condition of the Lot and Land

Demolishing existing paving isn’t always necessary, even with lots that look like they have suffered significant wear. Some extra time may be necessary to repair cracks or potholes, which are common asphalt issues that an expert can remedy affordably and quickly. 

Other lots may need milling and overlay. This process takes longer because the contractor applies new patching layers or removes and replaces asphalt surfaces to repair widespread damage.

The most labor-intensive and time-consuming paving projects involve parking lots that require excavation or total replacement. One reason for such extensive work is when the soil layer beneath the existing lot has begun to destabilize. Weak soil makes a shaky base for parking lots to rest on, and it can be a serious liability with the amount of vehicle weight and foot traffic lots have to handle.

The contractor may therefore need to stabilize the soil before paving. This process involves removing the existing paving and blending materials such as concrete and lime with the underlying earth. This changes the physical and chemical profile of the soil by toughening it up and neutralizing any heaving.

Workers must also consider the slope of the land for drainage purposes. There’s no point in paving over a lot that will only face eventual water-related damage. Water may seem harmless, but it can pool and erode asphalt or act as a container for toxic drips of oil and gas, which further weaken an asphalt surface.

More About Asphalt Curing

The term “curing” simply means hardening. The warmer the weather is, the faster your new parking lot’s paving will solidify fully. It can be ready to handle vehicles and people in a matter of days, even in cooler conditions. 

Cold weather is a significant delaying factor, though, and will affect the project timeline right from the outset. Asphalt needs to arrive from the production plant in a hot state, and a chilly journey complicates matters because the material is already starting to cool naturally in transit. Heat keeps the asphalt blend pliable, and warmer exterior conditions help maintain an optimal application temperature at the site, which gives contractors more time to work.

Cold conditions reduce asphalt flexibility and create a time crunch that isn’t conducive to quality paving. Many companies won’t even attempt parking lot paving during winter. It can add months to your timeline if you have to wait until spring or summer. 

Accessibility and Lot Painting

Every customer naturally wants to know how long their staff and customers will have to wait before they can get back to business as usual. This is a challenging timeline to frame. 

A good team can cause as little as a 24-hour delay in your operations, but that depends on the various factors we covered above. A good idea, if your business model allows it, is to schedule paving around holidays or weekends.

Lot painting (also known as lot striping) is precision work that helps your lot stay safe, code-compliant, and nice to look at. It can’t be rushed, but a good team will be on-site within a day to discuss your needs and provide an informed assessment as to a completion schedule based on the lot’s size, current condition, and underlying state.

Parking Lot Paving FAQs

We covered the basics and the in-depth issues involved in providing a parking lot paving time frame, but there are many more factors to consider. Here are the most common questions asked before a job starts:

How Much Will Parking Lot Paving Cost?

This perennial question has no solid answer until a contractor can visit you for a thorough site assessment. Too many on-location factors influence a quote to allow any honest contractor to give you a figure off the top of their head. Telling them the lot’s square footage over the phone won’t be enough.

How Long Will New Parking Lot Paving Last?

That number’s up to the site manager in many important ways. Proper care and maintenance can help a new parking lot last for decades, even in demanding weight and weather conditions.

What Is Asphalt Sealcoating and How Often Is It Necessary?

This process protects the integrity of the surface and makes it safer, more durable, and more attractive by preventing oxidation. Every couple of years is a reasonable time frame to consider a sealcoat to keep asphalt looking good. It’s also a way to make sure it’s protected from toxic vehicle runoff like gas/oil drips or the many abrasive contents of stormwater.

What Advantages Does Asphalt Have Over Concrete?

Asphalt is the less expensive material to repair and to lay initially. This doesn’t mean it’s not as worthwhile; the vast majority of lots in the country are asphalt.

How Can I Be Sure My Contractor Is a Good One?

Check their website for reviews and ask them for proof of any claims they make. Remember the beauty of hiring a local team: You can go and assess their handiwork firsthand! You should also ask if they have liability insurance. Those who do are showing care for their customers, their staff, and their reputation as a contractor.

Do you have a question not covered in these queries? That means it’s time to seek out a great asphalt team who will share their knowledge to clear up any paving mysteries.

The Experience and Skills of a Good Company

Nothing beats a local team with many jobs under their belt. A local contractor is surrounded by their work, the quality or lack of which you’ll be able to see with your own eyes. Paving crews who operate in the same area as their customers have one significant advantage over outside contractors: They know the land, they live in the same weather, and they appreciate how the two combine to influence paving projects.

Ultimately, the paving contractor you choose to work with will be the best source of information about the timeline of your new parking lot or other asphalt pavement. This makes it critical to select a reputable contractor known for excellence and an understanding of all paving-related factors in your local area.

If You Have Any Questions, Contact an Asphalt Paving Contractor

Ultimately, the paving contractor you choose to work with will be the best source of information about the timeline of your new parking lot or other asphalt pavement. It’s critical to select a reputable contractor with a reputation for excellence in your local area. If you are working with a group of professionals, they will be able to provide you with an accurate estimate of how long the project should take from start to finish. Barring any unexpected weather, their estimate should be reasonably accurate. If you have any questions about parking lot paving or asphalt construction, you can always reach out to us at Limitless Paving & Concrete. We would be more than happy to answer them for you!

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