New resi driveway without a base layer??


Old 01-28-20, 11:09 AM
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New resi driveway without a base layer??

Hi all and thanks in advance for any input/guidance.
I need a new driveway. The contractor that I'd like to use is offering two options:
1) 1.5" binder layer with 1.5" top coat; or
2) 2" top coat (ie, no binder)

​​​​​​Option 2 is being offered as a way to meet my budget. My question to all of you is what I'm losing by skipping the binder layer and doing just a 2-inch top coat on top of the compacted soil that'll be left behind after my existing driveway is removed. Is it a terrible idea??

​​​​​In case it's helpful, here's the SMS conversation between me and the contractor:

Him: Lets say I add a 10x15 in that spot you indicated i can rip out and do the 1 coat 2" driveway with the turn around for 5275... that's still a 15 year driveway and you can always overlay it in the future if you feel its not sufficient... is that more within your budget?
Me: "1 coat 2" driveway"... Is that the alternative to 1.5" binder + 1.5" top?
Him: Yes sir
Me: The natural question here is what the consequences are of not having a binder layer... I'll need to educate myself on the two options
Him: Just the longevity of 12-15 years as opposed to a 25-30 year driveway really... and as long as the base is done properly you're looking at closer to 20 years for the 2"

Last edited by fish02906; 01-28-20 at 11:13 AM. Reason: Adding detail.
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Old 01-28-20, 01:42 PM
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I've never heard of an asphalt driveway lasting 25 to 30 years, but I suppose it depends on if/how you take care of it and what climate you live in (where are you located?). I think if they were careful tearing out the old driveway and didn't disturb the existing base, then you'd probably be okay with the cheaper option. The integrity of the base has a huge impact on longevity. I had a driveway replaced about 15 years ago and about doubled its size. The area that had the original driveway is still in great shape to this day, whereas the new area started getting ruts, dips, and cracks in it after only a few years.
Old 01-28-20, 02:38 PM
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That seems thin - my driveway was a 4" pour compacted to 3".
Old 01-28-20, 04:12 PM
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That seems thin - my driveway was a 4" pour compacted to 3".
That was exactly what I was thinking,

I've had several asphalt drives and although I never measured the thickness, they were definitely more than 3" thick!
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