Your driveway is the first thing people notice passing by. This is an important element that can either make the aesthetics of your home and landscaping pleasing and inviting or it can look run down and unwelcoming. Paving contractors are skilled and experienced at installing all types of driveways, walkways and roads. This is certainly not an easy job! If you are thinking about tackling this project yourself, you should know that equipment rental and material could end up costing your more than a professional install would.
Prepping the Driveway
If you consider the time invested and machinery you are going to have to rent just to prep the driveway, you have probably already exceeded the cost of hiring a professional. You will first need to rent a tractor that has a front-end loader to level and slope the area. This usually means that you will need to create a path about six inches below the grade, making sure that the slope travels away from your home's foundation. If done improperly, you could end up with water damage in the future. You will also have to be sure there are no low spots where water will collect on the surface. Now, if you are not a professional, this could take you a long time to get right, hope you're not paying for that tractor by the hour!
Then, you are going to need to rent a 3,000 pound roller to compress the area. The soil has to be compact! If this hasn't cost you enough, you will need to lay a crushed stone foundation that can hold up to vehicle weight. This layer is four inches thick and will also need to be crushed with a construction roller.
By the time you are halfway done just prepping the driveway, a driveway paving contractor would be long done! You need to consider that they will have all this necessary machinery at their disposal to complete the project. When you try to do it yourself, this equipment needs to be rented, delivered and returned which can be quite costly!
The easiest way to save money is to hire a local contractor. Many of these types of professionals charge by the hour, this may include drive time. A referral service can put you in touch with a professional in your area that is insured and bonded which will protect you from being responsible for any liability.
It's a good idea to be honest with your budget. Sure, you may want that curved driveway but your contractor may recommend a simpler layout if you are trying to save money. Not to mention, these professionals have an eye for what will enhance your home. Sometimes going with the cheapest option will really take away from the aesthetics and lower your home's value which will be quite unfortunate when you're ready to sell later.
While there is not a lot you can do as far as buying materials if you are laying concrete or asphalt, you can make sure that the area is ready to work. If you have decorative items there, move them ahead of time. Make sure your neighbors are aware of your project so you're not having to knock on their door to ask them to move their car off the road so the trucks can maneuver.
Laying a driveway is a difficult and time consuming project. Hiring a professional can get it done right the first time in less time and will ensure that it compliments your home. A professional will also guarantee the work for a set amount of time so if there are repairs that are needed, they won't cost you more money!Posted by: TrustedPros