Pavers on the driveway - quality of pavers


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Old 10-06-12, 08:10 PM
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Pavers on the driveway - quality of pavers

Hi, I'd like to re-do my driveway (about 1000 square feet) with pavers. This morning I went around a little, first in specialized "open air" shops that sell baserock, sand, and pavers/bricks etc and then Home Depot just to make a comparison. Well, even if HD had much less choice (but maybe they can order, I don't know that) my wife liked the "Venetian" style and that was less than half the cost the specialized shops sell a similar paver: $2.05 - $2.35 vs $4.95 - $5.25 per square foot. How is that possible? I would have thought the opposite. Maybe I need to negotiate, but maybe it's a different kind of quality?
In particular I compared:
Home depot: Array | | Page 8
Specialty store: Calstone | Stone Paving, Driveway Pavers, Retaining Wall Pavers
 
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Old 10-07-12, 03:16 AM
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HD buys a million at a time. Your open air store buys 300 at a time. It's called buying power.
 
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Old 10-07-12, 10:33 AM
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I think it's reasonable that HD buys in large quantities, but I am not sure the outcome is as simple. Less than half the cost is a big difference... what is the business model of those stores then, why would people go there? There is something that I do not quite understand
 
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Old 10-07-12, 10:56 AM
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You can negotiate with Mom and Pop, but you can't with HD or Lowe's. You buy a certain quantity and tell them you want to pay that much for it. They know to either take it or you will go to big orange and buy it cheaper. Let them make a profit, but not too much.

Less than half the cost is a big difference
Not cost, but retail value. Cost is what they pay for it. If HD can buy a million and sell them cheaper, they still make a large margin of profit based on their lesser "cost". Mom and Pop can't do that. Their prices will always be somewhat higher due to overhead and lack of buying power.
 
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Old 10-07-12, 11:06 AM
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And just make sure whatever you compare is acceptable for a driveway. I believe patio pavers and driveway pavers are quite a bit different in strength.
 
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Old 10-07-12, 12:27 PM
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The larger size units are over 12" in maximum dimension and are usually thinner are not usually made to any acceptable standard because of the intended use. The larger units are only intended for patios or very light use and are really just fillers or "stepping stones." - strictly a DIY low cost item.

The real concrete pavers are smaller (usually 5"x 9" maximum) in different shapes and are made to an ASTM standard and are usually available 1 or 2 thicknesses (60 mm and 80 mm) for DIYers for use in patios, sidewalks and driveways and are not just put on "dirt". They are also used in 80 mm and 100 mm thicknesses for driveways, streets, airport taxiways and heavy duty industrial industrial applications (5 to 40 acres) where concrete is not economical, practical or feasible.

There are many very good paver manufacturers in CA, but they also make the other "price oriented" varieties, the non-standard units are a small part of their business and they make units for the small (HD, Lowes) price-oriented stores or landscape suppliers that service the DIY market. Some producers may sell to individuals, but the price is usually non-negotiable because of the small volume and problems from poor installation.

Dick
 
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Old 10-07-12, 02:09 PM
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OK thanks, this begins to make sense. In fact, nowhere in the HD description seems to mention driveways. I really want a good solution that will last me quite some time. What do you tihnk of those Calstone for 4.95 $/sq ft?

I will just buy the thing but have them professionally installed:

- removing of the existing concrete
- removing of interfering tree roots and installatoin of root barriers
- 6" base rock
- underground concrete "walls" at the sides
- pavers
- sealant
 
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Old 10-09-12, 05:59 AM
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definitely go to home depot for your stone. The only stone I've ever gotten at a mom and pop are granite counters, and that was only because I was measuring and installing myself.

I think the type of paver you purchase is fairly irrelevant. I've never installed pavers somewhere a car would be on, I would assume you would want an extremely firm base. That's one of those products where the installation is 90% of how good the results will be.

$5/sq foot sounds expensive, I would never pay that much unless my home was valued north of a million.

Theres usually guys on craigslist selling pallets of E.P. Henry's, might want to check that out too, just make sure you buy enough. Might be nice to have a few extra laying around incase some crack.
 
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Old 10-09-12, 12:30 PM
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Here's something to think about--before you buy any product, first shop around for and choose the contractor you plan to use for the install. Then have HIM recommend exactly what product he should install for you. I personally would never use a skinny, 2"-thick patio paver for a driveway, because they are too thin and don't have enough mass to remain fixed when subject to individual wheel loads (especially when sharply turned, while standing still). If your contractor is experienced and reputable, he will tell you the same thing.
 
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Old 10-09-12, 03:07 PM
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Installation is only that important (90%??? of the total cost??) if you start with a proper paver. The paver must be accurate and thick enough to develop the granular (sand) interlock that works with the spacer ribs. The real installation cost is in the base preparation and elevations for drainage, the setting of the edge restraint elvations and especially the vibratory compaction to force the surface sand and setting bed sand into the tight joints. Setting pavers is fast, cheap and a "no-brainer". On a large job each hand setter needs 3 or 4 laborers to supply him with pavers as long as the pallet is within 50 feet.

Thinner pavers (2" to 2 3/8" thick) are not intended for driveways. Due the thinness, the manufacturing equipment does not produce a dense, strong paver, especially in the wide or long sizes and interlocking strength is much less.

Good paver installers do not buy on price like DIYers since the total installation cost is higher for poor pavers.

Dick
 
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Old 11-11-13, 04:38 PM
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I got 80mm pavers that are OK also for "high traffic" areas. At the end I got the pavers to the specialty company because they also delivered the gravel and sand I needed. Keep in mind, this is no "mom and pops" store, it's big stuff. I had to have 34 cubic yards of 3/4" base rock delivered, and then I think 19 pallets of pavers. After accurate reaserch, the higher price was simply in relation to the quality of material: they also had similarly priced stuff like at Home Depot.
 
 

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