Jul 12, 2016

Getting a paved driveway you will love

This is the first blog in a series we are preparing to assist the property owner in making the right choices when selecting to have a driveway paved. We will look at both completely new installations and the issues surrounding having an old driveway replaced.

First off as with any project, there is the matter of the planning and design considerations. A reputable professional paving company will take you through the process and explain the steps, but in general you want to start with design and have a clear idea of the desired finished product.

Part 1: Design Considerations

When designing your new driveway there are several things you will want to consider.

Width: The minimum width you should make a driveway is 8 feet. This is enough to allow any regular size car or truck access provided it is s relatively straight driveway. If access for larger vehicles is required it is important to identify this up-front. All things considered, and if space allows, a 10 or 12 foot wide driveway is usually more desirable. This creates a more prominent entrance and gives vehicles more room for access. If you are looking to park multiple cars side by side, the parking area should be at least 10 feet wide per car to allow for the opening of doors.

Aesthetics: Landscaping objects such as trees and rocks should be considered. When placing a driveway close to trees, you will want to take into consideration the future root growth of the trees. If you are not careful they could be tearing up the edges of your new driveway within 5 – 10 years leading to premature deterioration and costly repairs. Likewise things like planters and furniture such as benches needs to be factored into the design. This is particularly the case if such items are fixed in position and will need to be worked around.

Curved Driveways: If you decide to install a curved driveway, be sure to increase the width of the driveway in the curved areas to allow traffic additional room to maneuver. Failure to do this will result in frequent occurrences of vehicles driving off the edge and causing excessive wear and tear. If you don’t allow for additional width in the curved areas don`t blame your guests for driving over the lawn or hedges in the curved areas.

Special Features: Some pavers have the ability to provide interesting value added effects such as stamped or coloured asphalt. Stamped Asphalt is the printing of patterns (usually brick) into the surface of warm asphalt, giving the pavement an authentic brick appearance. The printed pattern is then usually given a custom colour coating to enhance the patterns overall appearance. Custom logos and designs can also be imprinted, however they can be costly to implement.

It`s also worth noting that you can reheat and imprint your existing driveway even if it’s a few years old, provided the asphalt is still in good condition.

Next Steps: Removal, Base Preparation and Grading

In our next post we will look at the steps before actual paving. If an existing driveway is in place then this starts with removal of the old driveway. Once all the old stuff is out of the way then we can access the base and make sure that the foundation is prepared and that proper drainage is in place. A key part of proper drainage is having first rate grading done so the paved layers is of even thickness and slope so that water does not pool.

Next post we will detail all these steps so check it out!

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