driveway replacement

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 30, 2014 3:30 AM GMT
    Here's a question for the home and property owners.

    My driveway has major cracks in it. In some places they're probably an inch wide. All of my neighbors who haven't replaced theirs have lots of big cracks as well, obviously the original home builder cut corners (they were built in the 1950s).

    So just today I had some out from System Pavers to give me a quote to replace the driveway with pavers. Pavers are basically bricks, set on a base of ground stone that's been packed and then has fine sand sifted between them. I don't doubt the quality of their work or the company; they've been in business for 20+ years and the driveway would get a 25 year warranty. But the price is seems a bit steep to me. My garage is barely wide enough for 2 tiny cars, but more likely a car and a motorcycle. So the driveway is about the width of 1.5 cars. The length is slightly longer than my car. The quoted price is $10,460.

    I'm wondering if anyone has replaced their driveway with concrete and how well it's lasted. The salesperson was telling me that concrete driveways only last about 2 years, which seems way too short to be believable.
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    Aug 30, 2014 5:36 AM GMT
    I assume you got a quote to have the cracks of the existing drive filled with asphalt - probably the low-cost solution. (Barring the bucket-o-Filler from Home Despot.)

    Seems like for a small area like that, you could buy a truckload of sand, a couple of pallets of pavers, rent all the tools you need... couple of cases of beer and invite some studs over for a sand-pounding party. Probably less than $2K.

    Personally, I've got more than a mile of driveway, so just getting a little gravel spread on it and graded once in a while is a bit of a stretch for me. Just for areas around the house, I've got one of these things. It's a bit tedious - not difficult. I'd use it more often but getting set up and cleaning up after are worse than the actual job. Materials costs are roughly 20 or 30 cents a square foot. walkmaker-03.jpg

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    Aug 30, 2014 6:14 AM GMT
    This is all personal preference. But I really dislike the way pavers look. I think they're ok for walkways, but definitely not for large areas like entire yards, patios, or driveways.

    Also, I'm a little weary of the fact that the only thing holding them in place is sand. I know there's some new modern sand additive that holds things tight. But also consider that you live in California where the earth moves every once in a while. So there's a possibility that all those nice pavers will look a little crooked after the next earthquake or two.

    And in terms of cost. Pavers cost a lot because of labor involved. I mean, $10K seems kinda nuts for such a small driveway. But I'm sure if you ask around, the cost will still be higher than just pouring concrete. You can probably get a better deal if you find a "contractor" that uses labor from the Home Depot parking lot.

    And that dude is full of shit. Concrete lasts forever if it's poured with the right mix. I mean, 2 years might sound right if the concrete slab is like 2 inches thick. But ideally, for a driveway, you'll want 4 - 5 inches. The house I grew up in was built in the mid-70s. The concrete driveway looked pristine throughout the 35+ years we've lived there. And that included 2 bad earthquakes and many many tiny ones.

    Enter your zip code and the square footage of your driveway for a rough estimate. Then call around for quotes..
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    Aug 30, 2014 6:37 AM GMT
    I don't know much about construction cost, but $10K for a narrow driveway sounds outrageous. icon_confused.gif
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    Aug 30, 2014 6:46 AM GMT
    polfsky saidI don't know much about construction cost, but $10K for a narrow driveway sounds outrageous. icon_confused.gif

    Agreed. I think paving blocks are smart, because they look better than asphalt or concrete, and can be individually replaced as needed.

    My husband had our whole condo complex done in them, including all around our pool. It's late now, he's asleep, but I'll ask him tomorrow about cost.

    $10,000 does seem a bit steep for such a small driveway, unless removing the old surface will be especially difficult.
  • jo2hotbod

    Posts: 3606

    Aug 30, 2014 7:53 AM GMT
    If you're telling me that the driveway has lasted since the 50's then the builder didn't cut any corners, that's very good. If I were you I'd replace the asphalt, pavers will not last as long as the asphalt did.
  • metta

    Posts: 44196

    Aug 30, 2014 8:13 AM GMT
    I have actually been researching different options for my mom's driveway. None of the options that I found are cheap. She does not have large cracks like you but there are at least 2 hairline cracks and there are some oil stains on a cement driveway.

    Pavers are on the high end of replacing a driveway. One of the most costliest parts of getting a new driveway is actually removing and disposing of the old driveway. For example, if you were to put back cement, approximately 2/3 of the cost is removal and disposal and the other 1/3 would be installation of the new driveway. I have even looked into the possibility of breaking up the concrete myself using a plastic cement that expands (like ecobust ) and then paying someone to haul and dispose of it.

    You may also want to look into filling in the cracks and then resurfacing. I think this kind of thing may work better in warmer climates....but not sure.

    Here is an example:

    There is also pebble paving...which I kind of like because it seems more flexible. There are many companies that do is just one. I think it might be possible to do it yourself with some well.

    If your driveway is asphalt, I think that asphalt can be repaired and then slurried (sp?).

    Cost to remove concrete in your area:

    Cost To Install a concrete driveway in your area:

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    Aug 30, 2014 12:20 PM GMT
    For $10K you should get real clay brick. Sounds expensive for the size.

    So neighbors' driveways are similarly cracked? I'd advise against overbuilding in your area unless you really, really want the look of pavers and are doing it for yourself and want to be "the first on the block." Perhaps they'll make your house sell faster but they won't add much more value than crackfiller and new asphalt/sealcoat.
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    Aug 31, 2014 5:21 PM GMT
    i have an asphalt driveway that is getting worse by the minute. The trees flanking it were not planted deep enough so the roots are coming up thru the driveway. I hate the look of asphalt, nor do i have $10k to fix it. I figured (if I do decide to fix it) that I would need to have the layer of asphalt removed, possibly put down road base that will stay for a couple of years allowing the water to get at the tree roots therefore sending them back downward. I saw a product that was 24" square thingies that had numerous little square compartments that held either rocks, sand or even grass, which was kinda cool looking. Think I will sell the house before fixing the driveway..
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    Aug 31, 2014 6:49 PM GMT
    icon_neutral.gif That's not really how tree roots work. If roots are breaking the surface, you've probably got the wrong species of tree planted too close to the driveway. And/or there is rock or hardpan under there forcing the root to grow on the surface. Some species tolerate having their roots buried more deeply, but others will just die if you do that.