Asphalt / Blacktop Driveway

m1chaelJune 24, 2008

All-

Just wanted to get some opinions out there...I am getting quotes (3 so far) for getting my driveway paved. I have a bit of sticker shock so far and just wondering if anyone thinks the price is going to stay the same, go up, or down within the next 6 mnths to year? I know that petroleum (ie price of gas) is probably contributing a lot to the price of getting this done.

One more thing, a contractor stopped by (on his own, I did not call for quote) sometime either last fall or last summer. He gave me his business card and while he was there I asked him for a quote off the top of his head and he wrote down an estimate on the back of the card. I just had the same contractor out at the house for another estimate last night and the price is 3k higher? Wow....Now just to add to that I wanted to add a couple of things that I probably did not mention (like widening the driveway a few feet and bringing up a slope to almost level) but come on 3k more.....geez

Any thoughts out there...?

Thanks,

Michael

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Carol_from_ny

Getting a driveway paved is not cheap!Widening it usually means adding stone, which isn't that expensive but it can be labor intensive depending on the drive.
EVERYTHING is going up. so 3 K more doesn't surprise me. Will it go down, who knows.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 3:08PM
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heimert

A guy who gives you a card is going to give you a low-ball bid. If you think he's trustworthy, ask him to submit another bid and some references.

Petroleum is going to drive up asphalt costs. However, summer is also paving season, so that probably makes it more expensive. Ask them if they can do it for less in the Fall.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 5:37PM
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lucy

I would be very leery of the guy(s) who stop by with a card... not necessarily for every type of work, but definitely for paving (or just black-topping, which is what they usually do). Unfortunately they have a pretty notorious reputation and I would definitely go with a reputable company that I called on myself.

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 6:23PM
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concretenprimroses

Hmmm. Would you consider not paving your driveway, or not using blacktop?
kathy

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 11:32PM
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m1chael

Thank you guys/gals about the business card info...I was kind of thinking the same thing (if it sounds to good to be true it usually is). My wife likes it when people stop by offering services and frankly I do too because we kind of get the impression that due to the economy and market right now people need work so you might be able to get something done at a cheaper price than normal...but it looks like that's never the case....I guess people still want to take advantage of you even in low economy times...anyway...we may postpone this until the fall...I had a funny feeling the warm weather (spring/summer) is the "paving" season...so maybe that is driving up the price just a little...maybe we can save 1 or 2k if we wait until the fall...contractors trying to make the last few deals before winter sets in...don't know worth a shot.

Concretenprimroses - I'm a little confused about your question? "Would I consider not paving my driveway..." We definitely want to pave the driveway and most likely with asphalt/blacktop....for a variety of reasons...but most of all because it's the cheapest...can't afford concrete....LOL

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 9:02AM
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kframe19

Consider looking into concrete.

Asphalt uses a LOT of oil. Road repair budgets in municipalities all over the nation are under serious strain right now.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 10:25AM
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m1chael

kframe19-

I would assume concrete would be more than double the price of asphalt/blacktop....that is just not feasible. But thanks for the suggestion:)

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 10:43AM
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kframe19

"I would assume concrete would be more than double the price of asphalt/blacktop...."

Huh?

Why make that assumption?

Especially when the main ingredient in asphalt has gone up in price by 600% over the last couple of years.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 2:20PM
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johnmari

We're having a driveway built from scratch next week (our 107yo house never had off-street parking). Luckily we have a comparatively small project so we can be an "infill job" between larger ones, although we tried to get on the roster early before folks were booked up we've still been waiting about six weeks. Asphalt prices are skyrocketing and our contractor is not expecting prices to drop anytime soon so we just wanted to get it done and over with; he quoted us based on a certain price per ton or cubic yard or however the heck they measure asphalt, but we'll undoubtedly have to pay more if the receipts show a higher price for the asphalt. The price of fuel for the excavators, the truck to bring the gravel, the gravel itself, it's all going up and up and up.

We looked into concrete and even with the oil situation the cost was a good bit higher than asphalt, it was closer to the cost of pavers than asphalt! Concrete driveways don't last all that well in my cold, snowy, icy climate, which was also a major consideration for us given its much greater expense; in a hotter climate where it holds up better than asphalt, the higher cost may be justified. There's a lot of research that goes into figuring this sort of thing out!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 3:06PM
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marys1000

Asking to widen and change slope involves equipment, more people, maybe some dirt, grading, maybe some gravel - yea 3K.

As for people showing up in your driveway - maybe its a regional thing or maybe its a rural thing. I hadn't experienced it before moving to a rural setting in Nebraska. Got a good deal on a big box of steak and meat from some kids selling for an Omaha Steaks competitor, got a bunch of pine trees from an old native with an old tree farm and his son. Sometimes it works.

As for not paving or asphalting - I had the same decision to make, I had gravel which was fine 3 seasons of the year. Problem is you can't snowblow gravel. And the guy with the plow kept scraping my gravel to the end of the driveway so in spring I'd have to hire someone with a bobcat to spread it back. Otherwise gravel would have been ok.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2008 at 11:43AM
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