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Driveway base

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by matthew horner, Mar 7, 2004.

  1. matthew horner

    matthew horner LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 696

    I've been asked to submit a bid to "get a driveway ready for forms and concrete". Basically, the garage cement is done, and the road cement is done, and the driveway will connect the two, but right now, that imaginary straight line is about 4 feet in the air. The man who is hiring me, also the homeowner, also a banker, suggested clay. I don't think this is a good idea. Matter of fact, I think its a bad idea. He wants me to price leveling the grade so that the driveway contractor can pour the driveway, then to continue my grading throughout his yard. I'll try to attach a pic.
    So my question is , what material is best suited for this? I don't want to end up with a cracked driveway in a year, but I don't think the banker knows his stuff.
    My pictures are 200kb, how do I make them a smaller file for attachment?
  2. kdmaint

    kdmaint LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    what is on the sides of drive or are you changing whole grade
  3. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    You're talking about a 4 foot hole right? Yes I 'd bring in some clay.
  4. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,218

    I would put in fill dirt and pack. Use this to maintain the desired grade on the side of the drive as well. Put about 6" of gravel up to finish grade. Pour concrete on gravel up to your desired level line.

    5" of concrete
    6" of gravel
    3'1" of fill compacted

    Add your top soil to the sides to carry out desired lawn grade away from drive.

    I've never done this before but I think thats the way you should do it.

    Or get with the contractor thats pouring the concrete. Do exactly what he says. If it cracks, its his baby.

    BTW...i have never seen a driveway that didn't have a crack.

    good luck
  5. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Messages: 2,702

    Make sure you compact as you go. every 4"-6" of fill. If it is not compacted well, it is sure to crack.

    it would be fill sand up here, then probably a foot of gravel on top. I'd double check with the concrete contractor too.

    Not many concrete driveways up here though. To much heaving from frost.

    My asphalt driveway got a nice big crack last winter. Sealed it, and it opened back up this year:rolleyes:
  6. upsondown

    upsondown LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    I also own a paving company so I think I know a little about this ... and here's how we would approach it to ensure no cracks appear. We would use fill to bring it to within 18" of the finished surface - vibratory roll the fill before adding item. The next layer - we would use an item - locally called #2 Crusher Run...again using a vibratory roller - bringing it up to within 12" of the finished surface...then we would add our driveway blend - again rolling with a vibratory rolller - up to within 6" of the finished surface (driveway blend when compacted properly) is rock hard! Then you are ready for the last 6" of concrete and finish off. This driveway will never move or crack - but it ain't cheap ! Otherwise - I'd do what he say's he wants done - and get a signed release of any future liability.
  7. matthew horner

    matthew horner LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 696

    Yeah, the importance of compacting is not to be overlooked. So, do I need to have my own forms? It seems that my materials would just continually go away on the sides.
    Is there anyone who would care to throw a ballpark cost to do this, minus the materials.
    The driveway will be about 55 feet long by 10 or so feet. Again, if I drew a line from garage level to the road, I'd be looking at 3 to four feet of air.
    What is confusing me is if that this 3 to four feet of air is his entire front yard. So should I do all the grading at once? That would be my approach. But he wants me to get the driveway contractor ready, and then after the driveway is done, finish the grading. Frustrating.
    I asked him who was doing the driveway so I could talk to him, and he said he was still looking for someone. I think I might be best served to require that I speak to the driveway contractor first.
    I've allready spent to much time in the office on this one.
  8. upsondown

    upsondown LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 251

    you MUST speak with the concrete contractor. this sounds like a MAJOR headache that you will be far better off without.
  9. matthew horner

    matthew horner LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 696

    I agree. The problem is that it is a reccomendation job, and the guy has been trying to run it from the start. My cousin reccomended me to this banker, and I want to do an extra great job because of that. If it goes south, the reccomendations might follow. On the other hand, if I do it halfway right, the possibility of compounded negatives is high.
  10. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    I would hope that the client would respect it if you told him that what he is wanting done is out of your league, and that you don't want to try to do something this major your first time out. Follow what I'm saying?

    If you don't know what the answer to a clients question is, don't lie, tell them you DON'T KNOW. It's the same deal here.

    At a minimum, wait until he has found someone to pour the concrete, then work with them. Whoever pours the concrete may be more than capable of setting the base, and would relieve you of many headaches....


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