Monday, May 19, 2014

Concrete Pavers For Driveways

We have pretty much given up on having professionals do the asphalt paving we need.  It appears that if the project won't be $5000 to $6000 for a day's work, it isn't worth their while to drive twenty minutes to where live.  I guess the local economy is recovering.

It appears that we need to do this ourselves.  I am leaning towards use of concrete pavers for the apron on the telescope garage.  (Amazingly enough, telescopes on casters are actually more demanding on the surface than an automobile on pneumatic tires, which spread a lot more load over a lot more area.)

From what I have read, 2 3/8" thick pavers are sufficient for automobiles, but we are getting some damage to the chip seal surface between the telescope garage and the poured asphalt driveway from the UPS trucks.  I think what may make the most sense is to use 4" thick red brick pavers (which will match the color scheme on the concrete around the house) for the garage apron, and then, over several months, extend this until it meets the asphalt driveway.

This also has the advantage that we can expend the money for this in relatively smaller chunks.  The garage apron will be 25' wide and 3' long, or 225 of the 4" x 4" x 8" brick pavers.  These are $0.49 each, so about $130 with sales tax.  Extending this three feet at a time is a tolerable expensive each month.


  1. I've sometimes found the best price on pavers at a landscape supply, home-center, or construction supply. But mostly the best bet is a specialist in premade concrete products.

    Bear in mind that the base and edges are what are really providing your support, and the block is just the low maintenance surface. The cost of gravel and sand has to be factored in, as well as starting with a flat compacted base that is low enough that the gravel, sand, and any tech-fabric all added up come to the desired grade. After placing and leveling 7 tons of gravel by hand, I will never do that again.

    I've actually had pretty good luck using the cheapest and most common type of local pavers, and having the town dump look out for them for me, as well as looking at Craigslist for homeowners that are replacing them. I always have had to buy the majority, but getting even just 20% of the materials for free is a boost to the project budget.

  2. The work - and expense - isn't the pavers or laying them. It's building the compacted stone base and including drainage.

    In a freezing climate one needs to go down well over a foot to put in a coarse gravel base (5/8" - 3/4" stone) for drainage, compact it, then 3"-5" of compacted fines (coarse stone dust), then a 1" smoothed (but uncompacted) sand base, then lay the pavers. The stone, both gravel and fines, go in a few inches at a time, compacting as you go. It's real work, and depending on soil, going down the 14-16 inches to start on the gravel base calls for medium-size power equipment (skid loader with a bucket), or a whole lot of evenings and weekends with an Idiot Stick.

    I'm not sure how well all that will work out if attempted piecemeal over months.

  3. Pavers are labor intensive ground must be compacted and pavers set with sand, plate vibrator etc. look up on DYI before committing to this . can have bad frost heaving in cold climates