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Thread: Driveway Paving

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Hawkesbury Ontario Canada
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    Default Driveway Paving

    I don't want to be bilked by paving companies. I need to repave my driveway. Can someone please give me the proper details for paving a driveway in the upper eastern USA , more specifically southeast Ontario, i.e. Hawkesbury Ontario Canada. By details, I'd like to have the depth of base needed, the size of rock base needed, usually referred to as 0- 5/8 or 0 - 3/4, the thickness of pavement needed, and details about compaction etc. The driveway will be used for parking only, for a 27 foot x 8 foot trailer that is not heavily loaded but has 4 tires. Thanks so much. Kathy

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Driveway Paving

    Kathy:

    That info can be found in this thread:

    Repaving Asphalt Driveway vs. Just Filling Cracks

    which is about 8 threads below yours in this "Exteriors" forum.

    In a nutshell, when I had my parking lot repaved, ALL of the companies bidding on the job submitted the following work proposal:

    1. Excavate down 12 inches

    2. Lay down geotextile material to prevent the limestone from mixing into soft ground below it

    3. Put down EITHER:
    a) 6 inches of 2 inch down crushed limestone, compact, and then three inches of 3/4 inch down crushed limestone and compact again

    b) 9 inches of 3/4 or 1 inch down crushed limestone, compact.

    4. Pave with 3 inches of asphalt with a slope to ensure water drainage off the pavement.

    When you say 0-3/4, what you mean is "3/4 inch down" which means everything that will drop through a 3/4 inch square wire screen. 75 percent of this material will be dust.

    They should deliver the limestone dry and add water to it before compacting it. The hardness to which crushed limestone will compact depends largely on it's moisture content. If the limestone is too dry, it won't compact nice and hard. Also, if it's too wet, it won't compact nice and hard either. It has to have the right moisture content to compact well.

    In my case, within a month after paving my parking lot, I had a "bucket truck" do some work on the windows above the back door to my building. A bucket truck is a truck with hydraulics on the back of it that will lift a man standing in a bucket up so that he can do work safely at an elevation above the ground. But, in this case the truck they sent had two buckets and could support two guys 63 feet above the ground. That's 6 stories up! That truck was very heavy, and it put down four "outriggers" which were basically hydraulically actuated steel "feet" that stabilized the truck against tipping. I was concerned that these steel outriggers would leave dents in my new asphalt, but they didn't... not at all.

    And, then, not more than a month after that, one of my tenants came home in a company 3/4 ton truck with the bed absolutely full of ground (soil). The weight in that bed made the back end of the truck "squat", and I'm sure the the springs on the back axle of that truck were fully compressed. I took pictures of the truck and the full load of earth in the back of the truck so that if his rear tires damaged the asphalt in his parking spot, I could hold him responsible. But, there was no damage that I could see at all. It rained the day after, and I intentionally went out to look for "puddles" where either the outriggers from the bucket truck or the rear tires of the 3/4 ton truck left dents in my asphalt, and I found nothing.

    As a result, I'm convinced that doing it either way in Step #3 yields good results.
    Last edited by Nestor; 07-30-2011 at 12:13 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Hawkesbury Ontario Canada
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    Default Re: Driveway Paving

    Hi Nestor,
    Thanks for your helpful and informative reply. I thought I had read the thread Repaving vs Cracks but I guess I missed it.

    For the size of your paving job, $20,000 seems like a good price because my neighbour had only his driveway done and it was $20,000, although perhaps the square yardage might be the same as yours.

    Anyway, I have the following comments and questions:

    1) I have quotes from the three paving companies in this area. None of them mention geotextile. I think it would be a good idea to add it, I just don't know how much they will charge me for it.

    2) The company that I'm thinking of going with has quoted removing the existing old paving and about 12 inches of gravel underneath. I have warned him about my underground power line to the garage. He says he won't hit it. He has quoted 4 inches of 0 - 3/4 stone as a base, compacted. He didn't say anything about wetting it, and I agree with you that wetting it sounds like a good idea. I don't know if he is using limestone, I notice that in your photos, your base is a light yellow colour, here they use stone that is gray, like gravel.

    3) I don't know what you mean when you say 2 inch down or 3/4 inch down, perhaps the word down is used in place of what they say here, i.e. zero, as in 0 - 3/4. Since I am in a french area, this is said as "zero trois quar". Ah, sorry, I see now your explanation of down as meaning passing through a screen.

    4) The quotes I received say 2 inches of asphalt. The one company specifies that it is 2 inches rolled of EB 10 asphalt (EB may be a french abbreviation). The other two companies say 2 inches but don't specify whether that is the raw asphalt put down and then ends up being rolled thinner than 2 inches. I'm worried about that. No one has mentioned 3 inches, so I asked about it. I didn't really get an answer.

    5) The pickup that arrived full of earth, was, as you say, very heavy in the back, and I imagine if it was overloaded in the back, as you say, the driver also had much diminished steering in the front, since the load in the back would pull the weight off the steering axle in the front.

    6) The company I was thinking of going with has a one year guarantee (not much), and for 13 feet x 30 feet the price quoted is $2,150 plus taxes.

    7) The company I am thinking of going with says they will compact the base (presumably dry base since he didn't mention wetting it), with a hand-held power compacter and then (I think) with a big rolling machine (the ones driven by a man with a roller front and back).

    8) You mention 4 inches of asphalt, I've been quoted 2. You also bring up other worth concerns, like the geotextile, and wetting the base.

    I'll have another talk with the contractors, I have to struggle a bit in french, but can kind of get by.

    Is there anything else you think I should know, or can suggest?

    Thanks so much. Kathy

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Driveway Paving

    Kathy: If all three paving companies that quoted on your driveway never included geotextile material and only suggested 2 inches of asphalt, then that's probably what's standard in your area. You don't always need geotextile material; it depends on how soft and wet your soil gets and how much it tends to want to mix with the base of your driveway. I asked for it simply because it's inexpensive, and so, it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. However, I don't know what's typically done in your area, so it could be that you really don't need it in your area.

    If you were to want something more than was in the quotes you got, I'd opt for the geotextile fabric and/or 3 inches of asphalt instead of just two. The additional asphalt would be more expensive than the geotextile fabric.

    Quote Originally Posted by willowbay View Post
    1) I have quotes from the three paving companies in this area. None of them mention geotextile. I think it would be a good idea to add it, I just don't know how much they will charge me for it.
    Geotextile fabric isn't expensive, but it isn't always needed. Soil conditions change from place to place, and there would be a big difference between your area and Winnipeg. I'd phone around to some of the paving companies you haven't gotten quotes from and simply ask them if it's common to put down geotextile fabric before the base in your area. If it is, I'd definitely include it. If the guy you talk to has never heard of the stuff, then you don't need it in your area.

    2) The company that I'm thinking of going with has quoted removing the existing old paving and about 12 inches of gravel underneath. I have warned him about my underground power line to the garage. He says he won't hit it. He has quoted 4 inches of 0 - 3/4 stone as a base, compacted. He didn't say anything about wetting it, and I agree with you that wetting it sounds like a good idea. I don't know if he is using limestone, I notice that in your photos, your base is a light yellow colour, here they use stone that is gray, like gravel.
    They use crushed limestone here simply because Winnipeg is situated on the bed of an ancient lake, Lake Aggasiz, and so there's an awful lot of limestone in this area that was formed from the reefs that grew in Lake Aggasiz. If you have some other type of rock common to your area, they'll use it. Limestone has the advantage that it packs down well when it's at the right moisture content, but if other driveways last a long time in your area, yours should too, even without a lime stone base. They wouldn't have trucked limestone from Winnipeg to do the other well done driveways in your area.

    3) I don't know what you mean when you say 2 inch down or 3/4 inch down, perhaps the word down is used in place of what they say here, i.e. zero, as in 0 - 3/4. Since I am in a french area, this is said as "zero trois quar". Ah, sorry, I see now your explanation of down as meaning passing through a screen.
    When it comes to stone and gravel, "DOWN" means everything smaller than a certain size. So "One inch down" means everything smaller than 1 inch in diameter, and most of that will be dust. "CLEAN", on the other hand, means the stuff that will go through one screen, but not the next smaller size screen. So, "One inch clean" means all the stones that will pass through the 1 inch screen, but not the 3/4 inch screen. As a result, "1 inch clean" won't contain any dust, and all the stones will be approximately the same size... between 3/4 and 1 inch in diameter.

    4) The quotes I received say 2 inches of asphalt. The one company specifies that it is 2 inches rolled of EB 10 asphalt (EB may be a french abbreviation). The other two companies say 2 inches but don't specify whether that is the raw asphalt put down and then ends up being rolled thinner than 2 inches. I'm worried about that. No one has mentioned 3 inches, so I asked about it. I didn't really get an answer.
    Well, I expect standard practice changes from region to region depending on climate and what's been found to work well. Here in Winnipeg, 3 inches is standard for light duty paving like driveways and parking lots. Again, I'd check with some of the other paving companies in your area and find out what's typically done in your area. Certainly, you'll always get a stronger driveway with more asphalt, but you might not need to spend the extra money. If you can afford the extra money, I'd opt for geotextile material and the extra inch of asphalt, but I wouldn't insist on that until I found out what's typically done in your area since you might not need either one.

    6) The company I was thinking of going with has a one year guarantee (not much), and for 13 feet x 30 feet the price quoted is $2,150 plus taxes.
    Well, I got my paving done for about $5.15 per square foot, whereas your's works out to about $5.50 per square foot, so it's in the same ball park. But, you're not getting the geotextile material or 3 inches of asphalt. I expect that much of the reason is that Winnipeg has a slower economy and people are willing to work for less money and operate at lower profit margins. Maybe bring this up with one or two of the companies that are bidding, and find out if they can't put down a 3 inch layer of asphalt for the same price, maybe? Ask how much extra geotextile material would be, too.

    7) The company I am thinking of going with says they will compact the base (presumably dry base since he didn't mention wetting it), with a hand-held power compacter and then (I think) with a big rolling machine (the ones driven by a man with a roller front and back).
    They'll do most of the compacting with the large roller. They'll use the smaller plate compactor in tight areas, like around fence posts, along the side of your house (if it borders the driveway) and anywhere the large roller can't comfortably go.

    Wetting is important with limestone because it compacts particularily well when it's at the right moisture content. However, I don't believe that would apply to all rocks, and people will use the materials that are cheap and abundant in their area. They will use whatever rock is available, inexpensive and works well for driveways, you can at least be sure of that much.

    Is there anything else you think I should know, or can suggest?
    You say they're wanting to excavate 12 inches, put down 4 inches of 3/4 inch down, then top with 2 inches of asphalt. What about the other 6 inches? Find out about that. I'd be comfortable to see them putting down 6 inches of 2 inch down rock, three inches of 3/4 inch down rock and 3 inches of asphalt. I'd prefer that over four inches of crushed rock and 2 inches of asphalt, but the 1 inch of asphalt will cost a lot more than the 1 inch of crushed rock.

    If I wuz you, I'd also find out if 2 inches of asphalt is standard in your area. Everyone here uses 3 inches, so it could be because you live in a warmer climate, or because "EB" asphalt is stronger, or because the stronger rocks you use for the base out there make for a stronger base so you don't need as much asphalt. I just don't know enough about it to give you a reason for only 2 inches instead of three.

    But, you can pretty much assume that if all three companies suggested much the same gameplan, then that's what's typically done when repaving driveways in your area, and that's probably all you need to have done.

    Also, that underground power line you mentioned... was that installed by your electric utility or was that done by the homeowner? Typically the paving company will make all the "Call Before you Dig" calls cuz it'll be their people and equipment that'll be doing the work, so they don't want any foul ups, but you should mention that power line to whomever is operating the excavator so that they know it's there too. Better if you knew how deep it was buried.
    Last edited by Nestor; 08-02-2011 at 06:21 PM.

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