First time widening a driveway seeking advice.

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Old 10-28-13, 12:12 PM
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First time widening a driveway seeking advice.

Hello All,

I want to widen my driveway. The total area I want to pave is about 6'x15' and it slopes downward so drainage should not be a huge issue. I want to dig down about 8" or 9". My initial plan is to get a small 2WD backhoe to dig it out. Is this worth it or should I just dig it by hand?

Then I was going to lay down about 3-4 inches of gravel and compact the earth with a vibrating plate compactor. I am not sure if this is sufficient though. There is about 4 or 5 inches of topsoil and below that is like an 70/30 clay/soil mix. I have read that clay can swell if not properly compacted and I don't want a driveway that is going to split in half in five years. Is one of those small vibrating compactors sufficient? Can I build a driveway on top of clayish dirt?

After that I'll probably call in a paver to pour, jitterbug, smooth, cure, and whatever finishing touches. I may end up doing this myself too if I can rent the tools or borrow them from a friend. I'm just not too sure about the curing. I know you are either supposed to keep the wet driveway covered or spray chemicals on it.

Any input is appreciated. Thank you for your time.
 
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Old 10-28-13, 04:42 PM
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I don't see why you need gravel or chemicals. If you are worried about cracks, use wire mesh.
 
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Old 10-29-13, 04:42 AM
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Just to be clear, pavement generally refers to asphalt but you say pour and jitterbug so I assume you are talking a concrete driveway.

I'm not sure you can eliminate cracking where the 2 slabs meet although drilling and inserting rebar to connect the 2 will help them stay even. I don't know if you've ever done any concrete work but it's not for the faint of heart - it's hard work! The fact that the slab will only be 6' wide does make it a lot easier.

btw - welcome to the forums!
 
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Old 10-29-13, 05:39 AM
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Unless you have a real desire for some hard labor (count it as exercise?) I would rent an excavator, skid steer or small backhoe to do the excavating. The area could be hand dug but it will test your determination where a machine will get the job done in an hour.
 
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Old 10-29-13, 06:02 AM
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You can spay chemicals to help the concrete heal, but expect not to be able to walk on it for at least 2 days and not be able to drive on it for like 5 days, also depending on your climate you might have to cover it up with plastic sheet but the guy that comes do your driveway will tell you that. If you are worried about cracking you can do what dave mention drilling and epoxying rebar to the old concrete, but the way you are talking we do not know if your talking asphault or concrete. Sounds like concrete. If your trying to save money I would do a small dig about 3x3 and dig 6 inches down, time yourself when you do it. Then you can calcuate how long it will take with the remainding portion.
 
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Old 11-01-13, 09:55 PM
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Hello All,

You are correct marksr I am pouring a concrete driveway. I've never done concrete work on this scale, only small slabs and nothing that I need to last for 10+ years.

Hamlet, I am in Florida and is still humid in November

A lot of people mention using rebar. Pulpo, I read that wire mesh is good too to build a base.

I will keep that in mind Pilot. A small 2WD backhoe costs $236 for the day, but I would get charged much more than that buy a paver.

I guess my real question is how deep should I be digging and do I need to lay down gravel? I just want to know what the base should so that I can build something that will last for a decade. Should I lay gravel then wire mesh then pour or is just wire mesh or just gravel enough?
 
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Old 11-02-13, 05:39 AM
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Have you priced gravel? When I lived in central fla gravel was very expensive Not counting the haul bill, a small dump truck full of gravel here is about the same price as what a pick up truck load cost me in fla. I painted a lot of new construction in fla and the only time I saw gravel used was on public road beds .... and then it was usually crushed limestone.

Wire mesh is only effective if you pull it up as you pour so it's midway in the concrete, if it lays on the bottom it doesn't do much. If you pay a little extra they will add 'fiberglass' to the mix which also adds some strength.
 
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Old 11-02-13, 07:45 AM
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You don't need gravel at all but if you insist, use crushed recycle instead. It's cheaper. Lay some of the crushed recycle down, then the wire mesh so it's not on the ground they way marksr described.
 
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