Asphalt driveway dilemma. Please help!

pingpongAugust 30, 2014

Current blacktop driveway in terrible shambles with large holes and areas of water pooling. We have a circle front (4000sq ft) which loops to back of house/garage/back driveway (7500 sq ft). Budget dictates we will redo the back driveway in asphalt. Two dilemmas:
1. One quote for $16k to pour 2"' layer over existing asphalt after taking up loose pieces (but tons of cracks too vs. $40k for complete redo with taking up entire old asphalt and re-doing base. This guy said a 2" layer pour is only a temporary fix and all existing cracks will start to show through in a few seasons Is this true?
2. Another option for our circular front driveway is to do in asphalt alone or with a 12" paver border that's even with the asphalt. Various asphalt companies in our area have not done that and said the pavers would have to go on after the asphalt pour with cutting the asphalt edge (our paver guy said cutting the asphalt as part of his job would not be worth his time), but everything I've read online said put the paver border first and pour asphalt to the pavers. Anyone with experience in this?
We will likely be in this home for next 20 years since our kids are very young. We are in southwest Ohio near Cinci with mild to moderate snowfall from November to March. Thank you for any input!

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Like many other things, the base is they key to longevity. If you just pave over a poor base the new layer will fail too.

Maybe it's me but wouldn't pavers make things more expensive?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 8:25PM
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Here's a picture of what I hope for our driveway to look like. Again, which comes first?-- asphalt pour then cut perimeter edges to be straight to lay pavers, or lay pavers first so top is a few inches above gravel base and pour asphalt to be level with top of pavers.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 8:28PM
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We had pavers put in at the bottom of my driveway when we repaved. Damned if I can remember which happened first, tho', since the paver did both. We wanted to do exactly like your photo, but it was way, way too much money.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2014 at 10:24PM
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I really don't know but it seems to me technically it would be pavers last.

I would think that with the pavers in place they'd get marked or stained from the blacktopper's boots and raking and shoveling etc. If they use a paving machine that could hit the pavers. Or leave a gap which would be filled in by hand. Don't forget the roller - can they roll it without hitting the pavers? Maybe, but it'd have to be exactly along the edge. And the edge bulges out a bit during compaction. That woud move the pavers. Or they'd have to use hand tampers - not as good.

Also look in the streets. They only ever lay a mat over the old and it cracks up before not too long. Well what is not too long?

For comparison have you priced concrete?

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 12:03PM
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Here's how one paving company edges asphalt with pavers.

Here's what our "cap" looks like in not that many years. Saved a bunch though!

This post was edited by worthy on Sun, Aug 31, 14 at 15:40

    Bookmark   August 31, 2014 at 3:34PM
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To "worthy" from last posting ...
How many inches asphalt did they cap the old layer with? And did you follow up with resealing every couple years?
Also, did not see a link or additional information about your first comment on how an asphalt company did paver edging.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 12:46AM
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I'd abandon the idea of so much blacktop. This would really cut costs. Start thinking where you could use this:

Here is a link that might be useful: Core grass

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 10:06AM
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Here's the link showing the asphalt going down after the paver edging is set. Just requires some care. To be doubly secure of a firm edge, I would anchor the paving stones with an edging restraint. (Not shown.)

The one-inch cap on our driveway was put down by the previous owner, within the last 15 years, I gather from the neighbours. The section pictured began falling apart after the POs removed the dumpster they used to "pack"; no protective plywood was placed under it. You can also see the crack patterns that are everywhere. I don't know when these started reappearing. (It's a teardown, so I don't care much.)

Since the expected useful life of an asphalt driveway is ten years, according to HUD (see table C-3), I'd say they got their money's worth.

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 8:52PM
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Paving companies typically claim a useful life of resurfacing of 8-12 years, often with a proviso of surface sealing every two years.

Like you, I'd be torn between being sure with a new surface and reworked base and saving $24K by resurfacing.

My preference is for paving stones. With bi-annual sealing and regular maintenance, a 25-year useful life should be no problem. I'm judging by ones that I did put in 25 years ago. Or perhaps consider a mix of the two, as in rear drive asphalt and front done in pavers.

[Nostalgia moment: I remember when driveways, other than for mansions, were gravel and dirt; then came those two narrow strips of concrete in the grass. Now it's pave the world.]

This post was edited by worthy on Mon, Sep 1, 14 at 21:21

    Bookmark   September 1, 2014 at 8:58PM
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Does anyone have anecdotal (not just reading off the internet or heresay) experience with the life expectancy of an asphalt driveway complete redo (taken down to the gravel base) or with an asphalt overlay (1.5-2" new asphalt over old one)? We like likely be in this house for 20 years so if I have to redo the driveway in 15 years, I need to take that into account vs using pavers or concrete which will last longer, although I have to keep in mind concrete over 20 years is surely to crack.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 12:36AM
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