Driveway Pavers Vs Concrete with Flagstone Accents

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Old 06-07-07, 06:53 AM
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Driveway Pavers Vs Concrete with Flagstone Accents

I don't want the standard boring concrete driveway. I have gotten 6 quotes for my driveway. Concrete with flagstone accents and 100% driveway pavers.

The driveway pavers are said to be maintenance free i.e. won't crack. No need of replacing. However I can do concrete with flagstone accents for less than 1/2 the price. I have a 1400 sq ft driveway so the money difference is huge.

The paver sales people say that concrete will crack . . . it is just a matter of time. Also, they say that flagstone is not made to withstand the abuse of a driveway.

I will be the biggest driveway on a dead end 1 way street so my driveway for sure will have occasional trucks up to 48,000 lbs turning around . . . maybe 10 times a year. I don't want a cracked driveway. I live in Georgia if that makes any difference.

Are the paver sales people right? I will have a cracked ugly driveway within a few years if I choose to go with flagstone accent bands on concrete?

Are there specifications I should give to the concrete installers to avoid cracks?
 
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Old 06-07-07, 07:55 AM
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Caught between contractors!

Concrete will crack. However that doesn't mean shattered rubble, it means they put designated grooves where they try to direct the cracking. In my case that meant in a drive 100 feet long I got three "joints" that under careful examination actually contain cracks across the drive. Only the ants have noticed.

The flagstone you refer to shouldn't be taking loads as it is just border / accent, if there is a possibility of heavy trucks using your drive for turnaround, simple pick the area you think they will need and start the flagstone accent farther up the drive or farther "out" i.e. wider, than the trucks will need. Ensure you spec the flagstone be set in concrete and you will reduce breakage by properly supporting them. And ensure the area that will take truck loads is at least six inches with steel reinforcing. Should minimize breakage.

All three materials are relatively absorbent, so trucks turning in the drive will drip and stain equally.

All that said, depending on how your alternative pavers are laid you can get movement, weed growth, and pavers can break. Best paver approach I have seen was setting them in concrete! Double the contractors and money.

Pavers have the advantage of easy (relatively) repair. They can be pulled up, the bed regraded, and relaid. Broken ones are easily replaced. But the cost difference is substantial.

How about tinted concrete? With flag borders? Or since you mention Georgia, stone borders are nice and they are being pulled up in most of the older small towns that originally used stone for curbing.

Both materials have issues effecting maintenance which effects cost. Good luck!
 
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Old 06-07-07, 09:10 AM
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Concrete with Flagstone Accents

Interlocking concrete pavers should not be set in concrete or on a concrete base. That is asking for trouble and poor performance. They must be set on a 1" sand setting bed that is on compacted gravel road base.

The minimum strength of a concrete paver is 8000 psi. - compare that to the best poured concrete you can get.

Pavers are particularly well suited to high loadings beause of the design options. They have been used for sidewalks, driveways, streets, airport taxiways and even ship unloading facilities (100,000 - 200,000# container stadle lifts).

The available thicknesses go up to 100 mm for industrial applications, but 60 mm and 80mm are common. I can remember seeing pavers used on a street where large city busses with dual front steering axels made 90 degree turns as they exited every 30 seconds or so.

Pavers will cost you more than concrete.

Poured concrete will always crack, so you must saw control joints (1/4th to 1/3 of the slab thickness) so it cracks where it will not look objectional. Because interlocking pavers are smaller there are no objectionable cracks. With high loads, a paver slab should use rebars and not welded wire mesh (WWM).

Dick
 
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Old 06-07-07, 12:31 PM
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Flagstone Accents with a Concrete Drive

Sounds like I can control the cracking along lines. I prefer the concrete option to save the money if the outcome will look good for at least 10 yeras.

What I want to do is something like this with colored concrete and real flagstone accents. Even though this website says this is flagstone, their accents look like brick to me.

http://www.the-flagstone-experts.com/flagstone-driveway.html

This is what my accents will look more like:

http://www.lwstonecorp.com/gallery/?f=sunrisedriveway


There are no sidewalks in my neighbor and I was wanting to put a 10 ft area of flagstone at the top of the drive. My drive has a fairly steep incline so having an accent at the top would be nice.

If there are occasional heavy trucks (only 10 a [email protected] 48,000 lbs max), would the flagstone break under occasional heavy loads?

Also, a friend suggested adding fiber to the concrete to minimize cracking. Is it worth the expense?
 
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Old 06-07-07, 01:33 PM
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Have you seen this--stamped asphalt?:

http://www.stampedblacktop.com/

May be cheaper than concrete or pavers, plus you get lots of pattern and color options. I'm considering this for my drive.

Just a suggestion. Thanks,

Brian
 
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Old 06-07-07, 01:54 PM
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Driveway Pavers Vs Concrete with Flagstone Accents

Concrete is definitely the cheapest way to go.

As you recognize, the accents raise the cost and require a change in the construction away from a normal concrete driveway.

The fact that you feel you will have a large truck on the driveway raises the standard the driveway must be built to. It only takes one load to damage a driveway - frequency has little to do with it. If you have damage since it only takes on heavy load to make a crack. I am sure you will be at the contractor's throat and he probably knows it too.

Flagstone is a different animal from concrete and can crack if you do not have the proper suport under it. You either have to set the flagstone in or over a thick concrete slab (bottom below the driveway slab) or set it in on a well compacted base and accept that you cannot have tightly mortared joints with no cracks.

In engineering terms, a poured cncrete slab is a rigid pavement that has the strength to span over weak spots, while pavers, stone and asphalt are flexible pavements that provide an excellent surface over a uniformly well compacted base.

If you are getting down to the minimal cost of fibers, you are getting too detailed unless you plan to do it yourself, which would be a mistake. Does your "friend" know anything about concrete?

Fibers are fine for micro-cracking, but nothing beats either welded wire mesh or rebar and properly located and sawed control joints. I would fibers with welded wire mesh or rebars and control joints. If I hade to eliminate anything, the mesh would be the first to go.

The more changes and variables you want, the higher the cost and the greater chance of something not being what you expect.

Dick
 
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Old 06-07-07, 02:18 PM
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Since you do have the issue of truck turnarounds, you may want to consider doing the approach apron with pavers, and the rest concrete with paver accents (like at the control joints and running edges).
 
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Old 06-07-07, 10:43 PM
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Stamped Asphalt - Concrete

Bmears . . . I did consider stamped asphalt. Saw it on a tv show Curb Appeal and thought it would be the cheapest option.

Looked great on the show and I saw an install nearby. Didn't look as good as pavers but I figured it would be substantially cheaper so got a quote.

The person who came out did a horrible presentation. Gave me a quote thousands of dollars HIGHER than some of the paver quotes. Told me that in 7 years I would have to reseal at 1/2 the cost of the first install. It was a really bad deal.

In contrast, the paver companies are sending out landscape designers that are experienced salespeople. One contractor is even doing a picture of my house with the product options mocked up. The paver companies are selling a dream perspective of my driveway.

Concretemasonry . . . don't worry. My friend is just giving me options. If I do concrete I have a concrete specialist that has been in the business for years. There are so many options and upgrades . . . it is best to know which are worthwhile. Thanks for the advice.

Today we drove around looking at pavers and flagstone/concrete driveways. Now we need to figure out the bottomline of each option. Would love pavers but so far they appear to be 3 to 4 times the cost of concrete.

Thanks everyone for the input. You have raised points that I need to consider before making this huge investment.
 
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Old 06-08-07, 02:53 AM
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Have you considered plain concrete with stamped concrete borders that resemble flagstone? Then you've got the best of both worlds in terms of cost, longevity, and aesthetics. There is a site called concretenetwork.com that shows hundreds of photos, has descriptions of the processes available, tons of other info, and even a very specific contractor search engine. Good luck.

Pecos
 
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