Paving a long driveway

   / Paving a long driveway
  • Thread Starter
#11  
Thanks all. I appreciate all the replies. I had spoken with a friend of mine in the concrete business. He figured it would require 150 yards of mix @ 115.00 per yard... Not including labor to form the strips. Concrete is just going to be out of the question. I'm thinking a 3" thick asphalt driveway may me my best option.
 
   / Paving a long driveway #12  
If you can buy asphalt millings or crushed asphalt it packs really nice and works well for driveways. You can always asphalt over it if you want something prettier.
 
   / Paving a long driveway
  • Thread Starter
#13  
If you can buy asphalt millings or crushed asphalt it packs really nice and works well for driveways. You can always asphalt over it if you want something prettier.


That's what we have now, it's about 5 years old a dim tired of the dust and dirt. Not to mention it's a pita to plow.
 
   / Paving a long driveway #14  
Thanks all. I appreciate all the replies. I had spoken with a friend of mine in the concrete business. He figured it would require 150 yards of mix @ 115.00 per yard... Not including labor to form the strips. Concrete is just going to be out of the question. I'm thinking a 3" thick asphalt driveway may me my best option.
If the existing base is holding up well the three inch overlay will be good for you
 
   / Paving a long driveway #15  
concrete done right will outlast asphalt many times. But strips require twice as much manual labor doing excavation, forms, etc. By the time you get done, the labor savings may exceed the cost of the extra concrete for doing it full width in the first place. When I've had concrete driveway work done, half the cost was labor and that was with a pretty low priced crew.

BTW, we have 2200 ft of driveway, all concrete, 3/4 of it coming up a steep hillside. Half of it was done in the 1970s and we finished off the rest and widened all of it.
 
   / Paving a long driveway #16  
Everyone gets way to caught up in asphalt vs concrete. If you don't have a good sub-base it doesn't matter what you put down, its going to fail. Drainage needs to be addressed next, the sub-base has to be able to drain to carry the loads placed on it by the tires. The surface covering does nothing to carry the load if its not supported properly. One more thing, if you do concrete, put in rebar!!!! Don't get cheap on it because concrete will crack. You have to have enough steel to deal with atleast temperature and shrinkage but more is suggested.
 
   / Paving a long driveway #17  
A few things to remember when having asphalt done. The mixture of what is used to create it is done at the plant, specified by the person buying it. There are ways to make it stronger, but that costs more money. One of my clients runs the local plant, and they had a parking lot fail. The owner of that parking lot was not happy, and during the course of the lawsuit, it came out that the contractor did not order the specified mixture of asphalt. He went with driveway grade asphalt instead of parking lot grade. I'm paraphrasing a conversation, and my terms are not accurate, just how I remember them. The contractor then tried to blame the plant for mixing it wrong and that they should provide the new asphalt needed to do the parking lot for free. In the end, the plant spent tons of money defending itself and the contractor ended up tearing out the parking lot and doing it over again, paying for all of it.

If you are going to do asphalt, be sure to know how thick it needs to be in your area, how wide it needs to be. You never want to be driving at the edge of it, so there needs to be a certain amount outside the tires. And of course, you need to know what your options are in the mixture of it, and what you want to pay for. Lastly, you have to make sure you actually get what you order!!!!

Having said all that, road base gravel, called different things in different places only fails when it's too thin. Sadly, this usually happens because some guys just love regrading it and dragging their box blade over it several times a year. This is the worse thing in the world for a gravel driveway. Once compacted, it should NEVER be touched again. If you get a pothole, you dig out the pothole, fill it, compact it and then leave it ALONE!!!

No matter what you think you can do asphalt for or concrete for, gravel is going to be a small fraction of those costs. Making the gravel twice as thick as you need it is still going to be a fraction of the cost of having a paved driveway. Do you really need a paved driveway or would it be more cost effective to put int he very best gravel driveway possible for a lot less money?

Here in East Texas, 4 inches of crushed limestone from 3 to fines is what we use. I went with 6 inches ten years ago and have only had a few potholes that have developed. I built up my dirt base several inches to bring it above the surrounding grade, so water is never an issue. Then after compacting the soil, I spread the rock. Water it down and compacted it, and nothing else in ten years.
 
   / Paving a long driveway #18  
My friend has a asphalt company that he married into. One daughter for the original owner. He has the equipment and labor ,and it still took ten years to pave his fathers farm lane. You can live with a good gravel drive for a long time. With the recent low cost for a barrel of oil asphalt has a chance to go below 65.00 a ton. If it does now might be the time to go full width and do it right.
 
   / Paving a long driveway #19  
Having said all that, road base gravel, called different things in different places only fails when it's too thin. Sadly, this usually happens because some guys just love regrading it and dragging their box blade over it several times a year. This is the worse thing in the world for a gravel driveway. Once compacted, it should NEVER be touched again. If you get a pothole, you dig out the pothole, fill it, compact it and then leave it ALONE!!!

.

This might be relative to somewhere south that never sees frost but couldn't be any further from truth/reality for frost country. Even our County maintained gravel roads that are built with several feet of layered and compacted gravel/crushed rock still break up and need grading from frost moving it around every year....sometimes several times a year if it's a bad freeze/thaw winter.
 
   / Paving a long driveway #20  
Can't argue with what happens that far up North, but I wouldn't compare country roads to a driveway either. I bet 90% of the issues with county gravel roads has to do with the weight of the vehicles traveling on them. Same as paved roads in the rest of the world. Weight is always going to cause the most damage to a road.
 
 
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