Evaluating Driveway Widening Proposals


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Old 10-09-20, 11:21 AM
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Question Evaluating Driveway Widening Proposals

Hi all!

Not exactly DIY, but I figured this would be THE place to get the dirt (pun intended) on how to evaluate the driveway widening proposals, as they start to roll in (sorry, couldnt help myself...

Here is the job:
  • Tear up existing driveway (8' wide, I believe)
  • Widen the driveway by 10'
  • Pave
  • (optional) install Belgian Block on both sides
Key Details:
  • existing Driveway is flat at top/slopes downhill after one car length, roughly
  • new area will be cutting into a slope
  • a gutter leader will need to be re-routed to the street
I understand that the devil is in the details. I know there is a big difference in the base, making sure it isnt crowned, etc. But I really DONT know this stuff. Each contractor is specifying different approaches to depth of base, for example. For instance, should there be a layer of clean stone under QP? Clay soil/poor drainage

Proposals (at time of writing):
  • Contractor #1:
    • 3" FABC I-5 asphalt, raked and rolled
    • Under new section, add 6" of QP
  • Contract #2 (30% more expensive):
    • 3" layer FABC I-5 compacted to 2.5"
    • 5" layer of QP under new section
How do I evaluate this? I plan on asking for references. Not sure how else to go about this.
 
  #2  
Old 10-15-20, 04:18 AM
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You want a stable base. Around here they generally excavate clay and put down 4"-6" of slate rock for the base. But a lot depends on both your soil and climate conditions. The better the base the less likely you are to have dips/cracks develop in the asphalt later on.

It sounds like 6" is the norm for your area. They guy wanting to use 10" is likely one that's accustomed to putting in premium driveways [usually at a premium price]
 
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Old 10-15-20, 11:17 AM
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Be sure to check references before hiring one of them.
 
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Old 10-09-20, 12:37 PM
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What are you calling "QP"?
 
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Old 10-09-20, 03:44 PM
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What are you calling "QP"?
I am assuming they mean 'Quarry Processed'-- like paver base. If I am correct, then its clean stone + stone dust

BTW: Contractor #3 submitted their proposal (20% more than contractor 1, but includes walkway):
  • 6" stone (not sure if clean stone or QP-- just says stone)
  • 3" I-5 "new blacktop"
  • Also ripping out and replacing my walkway (I forgot to ask the other contactors to quote that)
 
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Old 10-14-20, 03:02 PM
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Got another quote. This company is recommending 10" of 'stone' for the base. The two other companies I am leaning toward are specifying 6".

Is there a minimum for base? I think I read more than 4" somewhere... That my soil is clay--does that make a difference?
 
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Old 10-15-20, 07:50 AM
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thank you for the reply! Thats my hunch as well, though this contractor (lets call them #4) was right around the price of contractor #1 and contractor #3 (if I removed walkway redo from the quote)

I think that I have settled on contractor #1. Unlike plumbing/electrical work, where I know enough to be literally dangerous (lol), I have 0 knowledge of driveways nor how to sniff out potentially shoddy work before signing.
 
 

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