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Sultan
Sultan HalfDork
1/16/13 9:28 a.m.

I have a gravel driveway and I would love to have it paved. I know prices and quality can vary but I lack knowledge to know what I am getting.

So please share any wisdom you have please.

Related info. Driveway is about 750' The current road has a good base covered with 5/8" minus We live in Western Washington

Thank you for your time and thoughts

carguy123
carguy123 UltimaDork
1/16/13 9:39 a.m.

I'd go concrete. I had the same choice to make about 4 years ago and priced them both, there wasn't that much of a difference.

I chose concrete. Since that time we've had threads on our neighborhood forum from people complaining about all the maintenance they have to do with asphalt. You've got to seal the cracks all the time and watch for plant encroachment along the edges, or in the cracks if you don't seal them all the time.

Plus it degrades from the edges.

I've got a couple of cracks in my concrete. I haven't bothered to seal them yet, but probably will this summer. Plant incursion hasn't been an issue and it still looks good. So happy I went concrete & not asphalt.

Spoolpigeon
Spoolpigeon HalfDork
1/16/13 9:47 a.m.

I didn't have the time to wait for concrete in my particular situation, so I went with paving. The guys I found knocked out my drive way in a little over 2 hours and it was ready to be driven on the next morning.

My driveway is about 125 feet long, 45 feet wide and it cost me $2300.

JohnInKansas
JohnInKansas Dork
1/16/13 9:53 a.m.
Spoolpigeon wrote: My driveway is about 125 feet long, 45 feet wide and it cost me $2300.

Intriguing. How deep, and what kind of footing?

Ashyukun
Ashyukun Reader
1/16/13 9:58 a.m.

There are ups and downs to both concrete and asphalt... Asphalt is somewhat easier to deal with in that you can have it crack-filled and recoated easily and relatively inexpensively. Having my driveway recoated costs about $200 or so. The major downside to asphalt for most of us is the fact that it is highly susceptible to many of the fluids in a car- oil, gas, coolant all don't do fun things to asphalt, and this is why I've had to recoat mine several times in the 7 years I've lived where I do.

Concrete doesn't have that issue- it's largely impervious to most anything that you throw at it chemical-wise, so is much better if you're going to be working on cars in said driveway or have vehicles with a tendency to leak fluids. The downside is that it's a bit more of a challenge to repair/clean up at times. You're also limited somewhat in when you can have it poured depending on the climate where you live- where I am most of the concrete places don't do any work over the winter...

Spoolpigeon
Spoolpigeon HalfDork
1/16/13 9:58 a.m.

It was a gravel driveway that was in decent shape, but lower than the entrance to the garage, so it didn't take much prep work (or any extra gravel) before they started laying the pavement. I think the guy told me that it was 4inch deep.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/16/13 10:02 a.m.

Oil doesn't hurt asphalt at all. Heck, it's a major ingredient in the stuff. Gas is definitely a problem though.

If you do go asphalt, get it from a legit, permanent company. There are a lot of gypsies out there that are fly-by-night operations. Might get you a great price, but there's no motivation to do a good job. Asphalt has a limited life once it leaves the plant, be especially aware of the guys who cold call and say they "have some left over". If the company has their own hot plant, you'll get good stuff.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
1/16/13 10:06 a.m.

something to keep in mind. If you live in a place that sees a lot of snow.. Asphalt is better at melting the stuff once you get a few patches uncovered.

It is also EXTREMELY hot in the summer. Don;t even think of walking across it barefoot.

I have also found that jacks and jackstands tend to leave imprints on hot days

foxtrapper
foxtrapper PowerDork
1/16/13 10:13 a.m.

I've never priced either, so I've no comment on $ figures.

I've got an asphalt driveway. Well, I did when I bought the house a bit over 10 years ago. Now I have a gravel driveway. I didn't go sealing it yearly, so the asphalt is almost completely gone now. Weeds grow through it, grass has narrowed it, etc.

My mother has a concrete driveway. It was installed way back in the 1970's. It's cracked, and one of the pieces has shifted a few inches. That's it.

As far as working on cars goes, I far prefer concrete. Jackstands don't sink into it, it washes off easily, trolleys roll on it, I can get things level on it, etc.

Gearheadotaku
Gearheadotaku UltraDork
1/16/13 10:21 a.m.

Pour concrete for the last 30' or so by the garage for a work surface and anywhere you park long term (like a trailer etc). Asphalt the rest for a big cost savings. I personally don't like sealcoat. Slippery when wet and always has to be redone. I've had better luck leaving it bare.

racerdave600
racerdave600 Dork
1/16/13 11:28 a.m.

I've been reading about stamped asphalt, anyone have any experience? I've got to replace the driveway sooner or later as mine is pretty cracked, and i live on a slope, so it moves somewhat depending on if the soil is wet or dry. The stamped asphalt looks like stamped concrete, but flexes more according to what I've read.

N Sperlo
N Sperlo UltimaDork
1/16/13 11:34 a.m.

My asphalt is divitted from all the jack-stands.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UberDork
1/16/13 11:36 a.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: If you do go asphalt, get it from a legit, permanent company. There are a lot of gypsies out there that are fly-by-night operations.

I had a 75' driveway done at my old house - got 8 different quotations and was amazed the span of pricing between them. The guy I liked promised 4" deep asphalt but I believe he ended up stretching some sections in the end and they were thinner than promised.

In the Chicago area most folks yearly reseal the driveway as a Labor Day weekend project. I don't miss that driveway.

Quasimo1
Quasimo1 New Reader
1/16/13 11:39 a.m.

Growing up my parents had an asphalt drive way. It requires yearly maintenance. You have to fill in any cracks that develop yearly and seal them. Then ever few years you get to reseal the entire driveway surface with those 5 gallon buckets of tar. Not a fun job.

Also as someone already mentioned an asphalt driveways will get VERY HOT in the summer and can soften enough that it will cause a vehicle on jack stands to sink into the asphalt surface by 1/2" or more. Ask me how I know The only upside to asphalt is that it quickly melts snow in the winter.

Personally I prefer concrete.

golfduke
golfduke New Reader
1/16/13 12:15 p.m.

Cheese and crackers guys, a few 12" square pieces of plywood solve all of your 'jackstands melting into your driveway' issues lol. I prefer asphalt because it is easier to plow and it melts snow much much faster. Concrete chips and you can't plow over it if you live in a snowy climate.

On the downside however, I did have to have a company patch a small section of mine after a sudden and unexpected fuel leak from my project car... It did one hell of a number on a 3' round patch...

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/16/13 12:20 p.m.
Datsun310Guy wrote:
Keith Tanner wrote: If you do go asphalt, get it from a legit, permanent company. There are a lot of gypsies out there that are fly-by-night operations.
I had a 75' driveway done at my old house - got 8 different quotations and was amazed the span of pricing between them. The guy I liked promised 4" deep asphalt but I believe he ended up stretching some sections in the end and they were thinner than promised. In the Chicago area most folks yearly reseal the driveway as a Labor Day weekend project. I don't miss that driveway.

The cost is going to depend on what equipment the company has. My wife's company does mostly highway work and industrial parking lots. You don't want to pay to move one of those big pavers out to your house so they can pave your driveway in 15 minutes

If the paver doesn't give you the full depth he promised, he's putting some extra money in his pocket.

California endurance racing rules require that all jackstands be placed on a wooden base.

dculberson
dculberson SuperDork
1/16/13 12:32 p.m.

Reseal every year? That's not just unnecessary, it's bad for the asphalt. Every 2-3 years is more like it. And at least around here, asphalt is less than half the cost of concrete. If you're going to live there 30 years then maybe the concrete would come out equal in cost, eventually. Just make sure you don't put salt on it, as that will damage it. And don't plow it. Also make sure you don't mind stains because it will be covered in stains within a few years, from leaves leeching tannins to cars leaking oil you'll have spots everywhere and they don't wash out easily.

I have an asphalt and a concrete driveway, so bestworst of both worlds.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
1/16/13 12:37 p.m.

something a lot of people do around here to save money on concrete driveways.. the parts they drive on from kerb to house.. is usually done in two strips with either grass or rocks in the middle. The parts they park on are full concrete pads

spitfirebill
spitfirebill UltraDork
1/16/13 12:50 p.m.

My experience with the sealers you currently get at HD and Lowes in the 5 gallon buckets is its mostly window dressing. The good stuff has to come from a professional and is still tar based. At least it will save you the better part of a day.

Ian F
Ian F PowerDork
1/16/13 12:54 p.m.

My g/f doesn't believe in sealing asphalt so her 100' driveway has never been touched in the 10 years she's owned her house. I have to admit, it hasn't really changed much over that time. We don't plow snow off it, but we do run a snow blower over it.

My house has two driveways, one of each. The concrete (older and leads to the garage) is cracked and shifted in places, but I believe that is due to run off drainage from one of my down spouts. Within the next couple of years, I'll need to replace it as well as the concrete sidewalks. I doubt it'll be cheap, but I plan to run a hydronic snow-melt system under it since the overall coverage isn't much.

The asphalt driveway was put down by the previous owner and is about 22 years old. It's still in decent shape. The PO worked for the township so I'd be willing to bet it was leftover material from an area road project.

mattmacklind
mattmacklind UltimaDork
1/16/13 1:13 p.m.

I had mine redone in asphalt. Looks better, resists stains or hides them better from leaks, and was cheaper. I resealed it a few years after install and it still looks great (going on 8 years now).

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy UberDork
1/16/13 1:30 p.m.
Keith Tanner wrote: If the paver doesn't give you the full depth he promised, he's putting some extra money in his pocket.

Yeah, he ran a foot short at the end and thinned it out a little bit. I was a young 24-year old pud and let him barrel over me. Yeah, E36 M3 happens in life.

carguy123
carguy123 UltimaDork
1/16/13 1:49 p.m.

WOW! After reading all the issues with asphalt I'm even more glad I opted for concrete now.

Due to oil prices asphalt hasn't had any significant price advantage over concrete in quite a while now. It's been more of a preference thing.

We just had to redo the asphalt roads in our neighborhood (private roads, gated community) and it was mega bucks. Some hardy soul calculated that even if asphalt had been 1/2 the price of concrete when the roads were originally installed that the maintenance costs to date put the cost of asphalt at well over twice the price of if they'd have done concrete in the first place. In other words it was false economy.

Plus there's the look. The asphalt is all patched and with dark sealed cracks everywhere. Now granted these roads get much much more traffic than any driveway will get.

I hadn't even considered the jack stands, or heavy equipment sitting impressions into the asphalt aspect.

The one thing I can say is that if you opt for concrete definitely water down the sand base prior to applying the concrete, even if you have to delay a day.

Because of the quick timing I missed one section of the sand and it's the only section that has developed cracks. The dry sand wicks water out of the concrete too quickly plus when it packs down it leaves part of the concrete unsupported. it was also mid summer and in the midst of a drought so that didn't help.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
1/16/13 2:14 p.m.

On roads (particularly highways), asphalt is less expensive over time. It's also a lot more forgiving - it's flexible enough to move with the ground, it won't crack as badly as concrete on the same moving surface. There's one empty subdivision near here that was done in concrete at the height of the 2008 oil price spike, and it's a miserable place to drive through.

If you have to cut through to get access, well, it's tough to patch well with a bucket and shovel.

I've got a concrete pad in front of the garage, it's what I would want there. But I want my roads in black.

dculberson
dculberson SuperDork
1/16/13 2:25 p.m.

Concrete roads are a terrible idea. At least where it ever gets anywhere near freezing. Drive through Michigan some time to find out why.

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