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Posted: 9/13/2010 8:13:07 PM EDT
The house we bought last year currently has a gravel driveway and it sucks. I would like to concrete it as I can do that myself having done several driveways and side walks over the years. However I do not want to pay the property tax increase that comes from doing so. As an alternative I have been looking into asphalt since it carries no tax increase. I have zero experience with asphalt so there were a few things I would like to ask of anybody who does before I start getting estimates.

What type of prep work is involved in laying asphalt on an existing gravel driveway? I would like to do the prep myself to save on the cost.

Roughly what is the cost per sq ft?

What type of maintenance is required of them?
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:16:42 PM EDT
One thing to consider is how hot does it get during the summer where you live. I learned to stay off asphalt driveways during the summer after walking into a house with my boots still on.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:17:52 PM EDT
They are hard and greyish.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:25:56 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Texaspyro21:
One thing to consider is how hot does it get during the summer where you live. I learned to stay off asphalt driveways during the summer after walking into a house with my boots still on.


Upper 90s with a few days over 100. Got to 107 one day for the high this summer.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:27:17 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Texaspyro21:
One thing to consider is how hot does it get during the summer where you live. I learned to stay off asphalt driveways during the summer after walking into a house with my boots still on.

That's only on freshly poured asphalt. Shouldn't ever happen once it's been sealed.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:31:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2010 8:32:37 PM EDT by Texaspyro21]
Originally Posted By gonzo_beyondo:

Originally Posted By Texaspyro21:
One thing to consider is how hot does it get during the summer where you live. I learned to stay off asphalt driveways during the summer after walking into a house with my boots still on.

That's only on freshly poured asphalt. Shouldn't ever happen once it's been sealed.


You get 10 days of 105+ and it will still get soft and make a mess when you walk on light carpets right after.

Wait- are we talking about the smoother asphalt used for roads or the cheap shit people use for driveways and filling potholes?
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:34:35 PM EDT
You level and grade the surface, then pay some unscrupulous gypsy-types to pave it on the DL for cash. Spent some time in that line of work.
By the square foot is for suckers, do it by the cu ft of material or just as a flat rate on the job. Most pavers will rape you any way they can, i.e.
x square feet at 5.25 in of material uses less asphalt than a full 6, and won't be noticed by the poor fellow until his driveway cracks prematurely, which won't be for some time.

The prep work is really just making sure that the surface is level, firm, and properly graded. A lot of crews salt under the area to be paved to prevent plants from busting up through, and if there is any vegetation at all, douse it with herbicide before you kill it or dig it up to be sure it's dead all the way down to the roots.

Also look into having regrind laid down and compacted. Same process, but good, clean regrind runs 45-65 dollars per yard around here. Once it's compacted, it is a good hard surface. We did surprisingly many farms/businesses this way and had a lot of return business.

Remember, by the square foot is for suckers.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:35:15 PM EDT
Do you ever work on your own car? If so there's a huge advantage for concrete in not having to worry about your jack stands sinking into hot asphalt.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:38:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/13/2010 8:40:25 PM EDT by 56type]
You have any trees close to the drive way ?? if so get rid of them beforehand. Asphalt is descent as a driveway but tree roots can seriously fuck it up from underneath (cracks, splitting, etc.). Fairly easy to maintain, just seal it every few years or when it starts to get the "salt 'n pepper" look to it. If it happens to develop cracks you seal it with melted tar.

Prep work is 99.9% of getting it right. Make sure the substrate is correct for your area and compacted well so it doesn't develop dips and sink holes later on. Also try to keep all edges below grade to help keep from shearing off the edges since it tends to remain somewhat pliable.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 8:43:28 PM EDT
It is my understanding that asphalt driveways are only considered "temporary improvements", whereas concrete is a "permanent improvement". My wording may be wrong, so someone please correct me if I am confused.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 9:20:16 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Soybomb:
Do you ever work on your own car? If so there's a huge advantage for concrete in not having to worry about your jack stands sinking into hot asphalt.


In the garage.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 9:21:31 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Jason280:
It is my understanding that asphalt driveways are only considered "temporary improvements", whereas concrete is a "permanent improvement". My wording may be wrong, so someone please correct me if I am confused.


Yes that is why the tax hike does not apply with asphalt and why I am looking at that over concrete.
Link Posted: 9/13/2010 9:21:48 PM EDT
Originally Posted By luecman:
You level and grade the surface, then pay some unscrupulous gypsy-types to pave it on the DL for cash. Spent some time in that line of work.
By the square foot is for suckers, do it by the cu ft of material or just as a flat rate on the job. Most pavers will rape you any way they can, i.e.
x square feet at 5.25 in of material uses less asphalt than a full 6, and won't be noticed by the poor fellow until his driveway cracks prematurely, which won't be for some time.

The prep work is really just making sure that the surface is level, firm, and properly graded. A lot of crews salt under the area to be paved to prevent plants from busting up through, and if there is any vegetation at all, douse it with herbicide before you kill it or dig it up to be sure it's dead all the way down to the roots.

Also look into having regrind laid down and compacted. Same process, but good, clean regrind runs 45-65 dollars per yard around here. Once it's compacted, it is a good hard surface. We did surprisingly many farms/businesses this way and had a lot of return business.

Remember, by the square foot is for suckers.


TY
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