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Paverstone driveway

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by zenn68, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. zenn68

    zenn68 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    Have a client that wants me to rip out their 22x25 asphalt driveway, and replace it with pavers. I have done paved walkways before. What are the main differences with a drive, how to deal with the weight of a vehicle. Obviously the sub-base will have to be heavier, more gravel, thicker sand bed. What do I need to know when dealing with a driveway as opposed to a walkway.
  2. BOEpavers

    BOEpavers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    Don't know where you're located but our driveways have a minimum of 16" base, same 1" sand setting bed, definitely geotextile under the base, and depending on the weight thats going on the driveway we sometimes run a layer of geogrid about 6" from the top of the base. Pavers need to be minimum 2 3/8" thick, thicker is better.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    As Beo said, the base kind of depends on what part of the country you're in. In my area, 8" is standard and 10" is better.

    As for prep., there is a big difference between a driveway and a patio. For a driveway you'll want to install some geo fabric on the bottom, before adding any gravel. This product is similar to pond underlayment fabric, if you've ever used that. See this site for why you want to do this;

    Then add your gravel 3" at a time and compact every 3", what we call "compacting in lifts".

    After you get all the gravel down and compacted correctly, it's pretty much like doing any other paver patio. Screed sand, install pavers, add sand, compact pavers, add sand or polymeric sand to finish.
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,601

    Zenn - the bedding sand thickness will not change. You use 1-inch whether it's for vehicular use or pedestrian use. The bedding sand is not structural persay. It's used to *interlock* the pavers. The aggragate is the structural component of the pavement, it's the skeleton.

  5. coolluv

    coolluv Banned
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 4,514

    I also get tired of the attitude from the experts. Everyone has to start somewhere. I see all the time these supposed experts installing patio's or whatever and they don't have a clue. They learn on the customer's dime. We all were not born with the knowledge of hardscapes, like some on here.

    You have to take classes and read and study and then finally jump in and do it. Every job leads to more and more education. If you care about what you do and you do everything possible to educate yourself and do things right then you will do ok. If you are just looking for easy answers and don't want to spend the time and money to get educated then your setting yourself up for failure. I understand the frustration of the experienced guys getting lowballed by new guys just starting out that don't want to invest the time or money to learn, and then come on here looking for the easy answer.

    But come on man, everyone has to start somewhere. You can tell if someone has researched what they are trying to do based on the questions that they ask. Most of the questions can be answered in the installation instructions from most manufactures. You can get installation guidelines and practices from the ICPI material that you can buy online. You will always have the guys that just see dollars and have no sense that are willing to experiment on someone's dime. I'm not like that myself. If you want to learn this trade you have to spend some time and money getting educated first.

    Then if you have trick of the trade questions that are not in any books you should be able to come on here and discuss with the pro's. If they are willing to help. Most are not. I always found out that the guy that is willing to learn the right way is not your competition. Its the lowball hacks that are. I willing to share information with anyone who is wanting to learn, but not with the easy way out types.

    Some on here make hardscapes out to be rocket science and think they are the $hit because they can install them. Get off your high horse. If you can do simple math and can understand compaction and can comprehend what you read and are a hands on type of guy with common sense, then hardscapes are not the rocket ship everyone will have you believe.

    Some of you guys need to get real.

  6. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I'm with you so far. And I agree that sometimes guys here on lawnsite are a little too high and mighty and not trying to be helpful.
    Ok. Here's where you start to lose the argument with me. You're basically saying, "I see others who don't have a clue doing crappy work for customers. What's wrong with me doing that?"

    Sorry, man. You don't use other people's bad behavior to justify your own bad behavior. We teach our kids that, don't we?...... "But Johnny did it!!"

    The standard shouldn't be; what you see others doing. The standard should be do it right - period - regardless of what others are doing. That's what earns you respect. That's what makes you stand out from all the other contractors out there. Your aim should be to always do high quality work and do it right or don't do it at all. That should be your goal, regardless of what others out there are doing.

    Understood. And I am not sure anyone here is saying they were born with the knowledge. While I agree that some here on lawnsite are not as helpful as they could be, the converse is even more true. There are hundreds of people here on lawnsite who just want to delve right into projects they have no business doing. Those of us who've been around the site for a long time (10 years myself) have seen this more times than you could realize. It gets old. You get tired of it. So sometimes it's easier to smart off rather than try to help because you're just so tired of seeing newbies come in and ask questions about jobs they really shouldn't be taking on.

    I agree again - to a point. But doing a paver driveway isn't where you start. Several years ago I didn't know anything about pavers. So we would just subcontract it all out to a paver company. After helping them on dozens of projects and watching how they did it, and learning, and reading, and classes, etc. we finally decided we could probably do one on our own. My first paver job was a simple 10' x 10' tiny little patio. THAT'S WHERE YOU START. Not on driveways. Then you work your way up. That way, if you make a mistake, it's easy to go back and fix. And trust me, you will make mistakes and have to go back and fix some jobs. But better to go back and fix a tiny little patio for someone than an entire freakin' driveway!
    Correct. But again, this kind of thing (a driveway) is something you should probably work your way UP to. And by the time you get up to that level, you probably won't have to ask too many questions.

    The point is every contractor needs to learn which jobs are way too big for them - and be able to admit it to themselves and the customer. Don't get so damm money hungry that you just go after some big job you have no business doing just because you found some customer foolish enough to believe you could handle it.

    I can honestly say I've never taken on a job that I didn't feel we could complete competently and stand behind the work. Whenever we've gone into something new, I learned everything I could about it and then started SMALL and worked my way up. Now we sometimes do some fairly large projects. But it took a long time and years of experience on smaller projects before I felt we were at the level to take on some of the larger jobs. Every contractor should do things that way. Too often they get all excited and then jump right into a project that's just beyond what they are qualified for. That's not professional.

    If you're that desperate for work that you're considering taking on projects that you really don't have much knowledge about, then you probably aren't advertising enough. You should be advertising and marketing enough so that when you come across a job that you start to feel uneasy about - you're not worried about recommending someone else for the project. Because you know you've got a dozen more bids to give that week. So no big deal. So you don't land this one, fine. There are a bunch more coming that will be within your grasp. Focus on the ones you know you can handle and do well.

    I'm not judging who here is qualified to do a driveway or not. I am just explaining why some of the "experts" feel the way they do. Because so many of the rest think they can just jump right into too big of jobs. It gets frustrating sometimes constantly seeing that.
  7. coolluv

    coolluv Banned
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 4,514

    You said exactly what I was thinking and I could not have said it any better myself. No argument here. I just don't like the pompous attitudes of some on here that think they are gods gift to landscaping.

  8. coolluv

    coolluv Banned
    from Atlanta
    Messages: 4,514

    Well, if you read Lawn & Landscape magazine, they list the top 100 contractors in the united states. And one thing you'll notice is that yeah, they may do construction....but their main bread and butter is maintenance

    We started out as a maintenance company that I started in highschool. We have not done maintenance in about 11 years. Had a heck of a maintenance business going. And I will tell you the beauty of maintenace is that you develop *CONTACTS*. You make contacts for construction, and you make contacts for snow removal. Not to mention that many of your maintenance clients will call you and only you when they're ready for a hardscape, landscape, etc. if you play your cards right - you can totally benefit.

    Folks, face it, this industry is a pain in the backside. There is no glory about it. First of all it's called "Hardscaping" for a reason. So many logistics; employee production, employee reliability, the weather, the economy, back problems, client relations, competition is growing by leaps and bounds, and I could go on and on, literally. It's a VERY tough industry to be in.

    There are guys that were mowing back when I was. And to this day they are still mowing and they're DOING VERY WELL. They're smart. With mowing there are no logistics, no production required, just keep it looking nice, no employee reliability issues (easy work good pay nobody wants to leave!).

    I have a buddy near Pittsburg that had a heck of a maintenance company. Last year he started phasing out of mowing to get into hardscapes and landscapes. I told him "hang on to the mowing it's easy, steady income. He didn't listen.

    You have to crawl before you walk and walk before you run.

    Spend about 10 years mowing lawns. Over that course of time you will learn about landscaping. Take classes. Education is key. I did maintenance work for 15 year when I ventured into hardscaping. From day 1 we had success with hardscaping because one of my employees used to work for a medium size excavating company, so we benefited from his knowledge (in terms of grading, leveling, etc.). Then I had another employee that was a math wiz and had a knack for perfection. So figuring out radiuses and all that other
    stuff was a breeze.

    Boy how soon we forget. These are quotes from the almighty. You know who you are.

  9. Budlightshooter

    Budlightshooter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    newsest driveway .......almost done...


  10. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I've seen this idea somewhere before! Nice, but need to work on your curves a bit more to get them smoother. Instead of laying out the border first, overlay then cut in place (which I refuse to do), or bring to a saw and cut.

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