Asphalt driveway and needed info for/from contractor

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Old 04-03-09, 12:13 PM
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Asphalt driveway and needed info for/from contractor

I've searched the forum and got a lot of useful information I'll need to begin looking for a contractor to replace our 25 yr. old asphalt drive. Dimensions about 210 ft L by 10 ft W.

There is a slight incline from where driveway meets main road, varying from 5 degree incline to a maximum of 10 degrees for 60 ft, gradually leveling out the remaining 150 ft. to the house at level.

My location is SW Pa, moderate snow and cold (+20/-20 degrees F during coldest 2 months winter, ).
The real problem is the hillside adjoining the length of the driveway; acts like a funnel for the water that comes off the hill directly onto the asphalt driveway -- even with side drainage ditch.

I know to get 3-4 contractor bids, references and to ask for any warranty in the contract. What do I ask for specific to my area regarding:
1. Asphalt mix/grade and binder. I read here where I need to ask for a 'coarser asphalt grade' but I did not write down what the specification was... ML-5 (?) I thought.
2. What about the finishing of the two side-edges? Anything specific there that I need to ask about. The one edge will adjoin the drainage ditch for the hillside run-off
thanks,
Greynold99
 
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  #2  
Old 04-06-09, 10:37 AM
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You should need about 45 tons of asphalt if you have it places at 3.5” thick. So watch and ask how much they are going to charge you. Also I would look at having some class 5 installed under the asphalt. Every state has a different term for their mix design I am from MN and I am a state construction inspector/civil engineer designer. Here is my $0.02.

Start with-
Min 2” class 5 or a class 6 Name might be different in your area.

Then install -
2” base with a MV3 (MN term) mix or any mix that has up to a ¾” rock, this will not look that good but will give you a good base

Then install –
A tack coating your contractor will know what this is. If the contractor install the finial lift of asphalt within 24hours and no one drives into the new pavement then you don’t need the tack coat.

Finial install -
1.5” wear with a MV 4 (MN term) mix or anything that has ½” minus rock. This will give you a really smooth looking driveway and it prevent you from seeing the rock at the surface and this will help protect any rock that could pop out under the freeze/thaw.

Now this may seem over kill but it will give you a great finial product that will last a long time. Any other questions just ask me.

Allan
 
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Old 04-07-09, 11:51 AM
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Reply to MNSAPP

Thanks for the information. I've met with 2 paving contractors over last weekend and I'm not getting anything proposed like you suggest. The main reason both contractors say is that the 25 yr. old surface is basically sound and has only 4 dips (largest dip dimensions 3ftX5ft oval) where water underneath has caused the asphalt surface to fail. Each proposes filling in the dipped surface areas with 'binder', rolling flat and laying the asphalt on top of that. 3 of the 4 dips I've filled in with concrete (about 30 bags worth) 3 years ago and that's held up fairly well. So neither are proposing complete tear out of existing surface.

The one contractor has bid in a 100 ft. french drain install along the hillside-facing side of the driveway where the water comes down and subsequently underneath. I believe his bid included a 2 in. base (coarse) asphalt with 1 1/2 in. finish coat. His bid was $11,250

The other contractor is proposing $5,500 for 1 1/2 inch thick finish asphalt surface for 120 ft.

Both bids include a new asphalt surface for the last 40 ft by 25 ft area where our inside garage concrete pad (20ft x 15ft)meets the currently graveled portion of the driveway that lies beyond the end of the old asphalt. This would be comprised of : compressed binder -3 in. asphalt base with 1 1/2 in. finish coat of asphalt.

I'm going to look at getting a separate bid on the French Drain for the driveway from a local contractor I've worked with in the past but who does not do asphalt.

I am actually now more confused by the bid differences and the proposed job descriptions... to the point I think I'm going to get a couple of more proposals.

Let me know what you think -- though, I understand that's pretty difficult sight-unseen.
Greynold99
 
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Old 04-08-09, 07:40 AM
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Make sure that if you install a overlay over your existing asphalt that you don’t raise your driveway up to high where you end up having drainage troubles. If your existing asphalt has any crack’s remember all those cracks will come through the new asphalt it is something call reflective cracking and there is nothing that you can do about it. That is a huge difference between bid prices and I would tell them what you want with the driveway so all of you bids are based on the same thing. Keep in mind that there are things such as good rocks and bad rocks and the good rocks will cost more money. So you cheaper bid could be getting there mix from a non-certified asphalt plant and the contractor that is getting there mix from and certified plant will cost more money and it will last longer. Each state will certify plants and that will be the only place that the state will allow contractors buy their asphalt mix from.

Also:
The 40’x25’ area I would just install a 2” base and a 1.5” wear, a 3” base is just over kill.

Things to look for:
If they do a overlay make sure that they clean the existing surface good and they install a tack coat down this will help the 2 layers of asphalt to bind together better.

Allan
 
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Old 04-08-09, 11:26 AM
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MNSAPP Thanks for the tips

Ok! I'll be sure and ask about the plant where the asphalt will be coming from. I've contacted a third contractor that doesn't do asphalt paving for getting a separate bid on the driveway french drain. I think that will be an important factor in preserving the new driveway.

As far as the height of the replacement asphalt is concerned, it looks to me like the old driveway was only laid with the 1 1/2 in. to 2 inch finish layer on top of #3 gravel. When I was digging out the failed areas to fill with concrete, that's all I encountered underneath the crumbled asphalt surface. So it appears not to have been done originally according to any standard specification.

A third asphalt contractor I called this morning expressed some doubt about laying asphalt over the concrete patches for those 3-filled driveway dips I mentioned earlier, so I'm interested on his bid evaluation visit this Saturday.
I'll touch base with you next week or over the weekend when
I know anymore.
Thanks,
Greynold99
 
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Old 04-08-09, 11:31 AM
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yea i do see his point the concrete will move in a different matter the the asphalt, and it could cause the new pavement to break up.

i am glad i could help.

Allan
 
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Old 04-14-09, 02:33 PM
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Update on last contractor

Well, met with the last contractors - one for the paving and one for the French drain. And the paving contractor has suggested complete tear-out and eliminating the concrete patches. His price for 120' of driveway and 40' by 25' unpaved section near the house is around $11K for 3" binder+1 1/2" Finish coat -- he also gave a price of $9400 for gravel base + 3" ID3 rough asphalt (which I'm guessing is equivalent to the MV-3 you mentioned).
Got to go... I'll update you later.
Gary
 
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Old 04-24-09, 11:22 AM
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Second update on last contractor

We chose the last contractor as his bid was more complete and included the tear out of the old asphalt. However, when I called him he said he had to make some 'price changes' -- now understand, I met with him at my home, he measured off all the dimensions and knows exactly what I'm asking for. He gave me verbally what I assume was his quoted price after he ran the figures -- Is it unusual to say one price and then when I call him up to schedule signing the contract, he says another price -- increased by about $500? Price of oil/asphalt has not changed significantly in the meantime. And to top it off, he hasn't called back for a week with the final quote... I think I may go back to one of the other contractors as I'm starting to get a feeling about this one.
Thanks,
Greynold99
 
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Old 05-06-09, 11:23 AM
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Question - Is MV3 the same as ID3?

Hoping someone can answer this as I want to be sure what is being specified here... MNAPPS who has helped in some of the postings is a civil engineer in MN indicated a rough base using MV3 would be advisable for a driveway on a grade and would tend to last longer with the larger aggregate than the finer aggregate of Binder used on level driveways plus a finish top coat.
In checking with our PA contractor, he has indicated an ID3 mix that is comprised of both Fine asphalt mix and 2A stone. But one he would not advise laying it without an 1 1/2 inch finish top coat. He indicated the 2A stone would start 'popping up' with water/freeze-thaw cycle...
So which is correct, can I get by with ID3 as the top surface without a finish coat and is it the same surface as used on the roadways prior to the finish top of fine asphalt or is that a completely different asphalt grade? That rougher surface would be fine for our graded driveway as long as I didn't have to worry about it crumbling after only a few years of exposure... Wouldn't even mind having to seal periodically.
Thanks,
Greynold99
 
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Old 05-11-09, 08:43 AM
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Hello again sorry I have not been around here too much I have a hard time getting online right now.

That sound about right the ID3 will have both fine and course aggregate in it. But what he is telling you is the rock in the ID3 mix has rock that will absorb water and will freeze and pop out and this will shorten the life of the driveway, and it won’t look good in a few years. I would go with 2” of the ID3 and then go with 1.5” of top coat that will give you 3.5” total and that is more than enough for a driveway you don’t need 4.5” of asphalt. Most city streets only have 2 lifts of 2”. By going to the 3.5” total you will save yourself some money and get a good product to.

To explain some more.

The ID3 is like the MV3 and LV3 that I would work with, it will have rock that is 3/4” minus - you will get a good strong base, but you will see the rock and is just won’t look as nice.

The top coat is more like a MV4 and LV4 that I work with, it will have rock that is 1/2” minus - you will get a very smooth look and will make it easier to care for in the long run.

I hope this helps you can email at allan.sapp@kimley-horn.com and I can get back to you faster if you need any more help.
 
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Old 05-14-09, 08:49 AM
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Status update on asphalt driveway

Contractor doing French Drain but not asphalt is completing drain today according to asphalt contractor's specs - 4" SDR-35 perf drain pipe along side of driveway adjoining hillside, 4" of 2B gravel as base, followed by 4" of 2B gravel on top of everything. Contractor doing French Drain actually used a wider bucket than I anticipated, giving in some places 4' of width for the drain.

When I asked asphalt contractor about my confusion with what exactly ID3 asphalt is and that I was asking about the rough-asphalt used on highways - he said that was 'too rough' a grade of asphalt and that he would stay with ID3. So, I still have no exact explanation of the difference, just that there is a difference and think that will make a fine base.

One thing I've noted with the 3 asphalt contractors, including the one we're going with is the apparent lack of needing a signed contract... that puzzles me, as I would think that a contract would protect their interests as well as mine -- on the other hand, not having a signed contract may offer the contractor more protection.
Any comments? I probably will go back after our 'accepted' contractor for a detailed quotation in any case.
Thanks,
Greynold99
 
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