Driveway Pavement Options?

I'm a homeowner with a 1920s house in Columbia, SC and want to install a new driveway. It will be about 2700 SF in all so I need to keep costs in line.
I have bids for as low as $9,500, and that includes some engraving or scoring in a nice diamond pattern. I'm concerned about color and texture. I want something other than gray brushed concrete, and I don't like the stained or stamped look. I saw online some interesting looking aggregates with very fine aggregate, more natural looking colors. The site is: http://www.exposedaggregateconcrete.com/menu.htm
But every dealer and contractor I speak to here wants to do what they do well, not what I want. It seems they work with local materials and warn me that importing stone or dyes is going to be very expensive. They quote prices that are double or more what the current bid is, and even then it doesn't seem they are confident they could produce what I want.
I feel like I'm going against the grain and it is wearing me down.
What is your advice on building an attractive driveway at a reasonable cost?
--Don
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I'm sorry I can't help with driveway options, but as someone in the midst of a home construction, I symathize with your plight. just cause you've seen a neat detail on TV or elsewhere, don't count on getting it done locally. If they try something new and different and it goes south, it makes them look bad and you are disappointed. Can't blame them, really.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
In a previous post Don wrote...

Either pay the money or use what the local experts can provide at the price you want to pay.
--
Bob Morrison, PE, SE
R L Morrison Engineering Co
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It's a DRIVEWAY. pour the concrete, saw it and be done. It's a driveway, you're going to park and drive cars on it. It's a driveway.
--
Steve Barker




"Don" < snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com> wrote in message
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Along the same lines, is the rest of the lot and surroundings so hideous that you want to draw everyone's eyes to the driveway pavement? (Tough neighborhood.)
Sometimes you want things to recede visually so that something else can be prominent.
--


MichaelB
www.michaelbulatovich.ca
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Have you considered a concrete paver driveway? They come in a variety of colors and shapes which you could install in numerous patterns. It could potentially be a do-it-yourself project if you're so inclined. My wife and I installed about 300 SF on a weekend last summer for just over $4 a square foot. We're planning to put in another 500 SF or so this next summer. That's one nice thing about pavers, you could do it in stages if you wish. And, if you need to do any underground work for some reason (running electrical, drain pipes, etc.), pavers are easy to take up and put back down. If you keep a few extras around, you could also make repairs easily if one should get stained or cracked.
Of course, the standard gravel drive works well too. It's very inexpensive, easy to install, drains nicely, and is simple to repair and maintain. If you want to get fancy, use a different type or color of rock for the final surface layer.
If you want concrete, you can choose the basic grey, various dyes, stamped surfaces, and exposed aggregates. If the drive is fairly straight, maybe you could do the old style "strips" with grass or gravel in the middle.
Another option is asphalt, which is a very popular driveway material in my area. Just your basic black.
I have no idea what the cost is, but every year at our county fair there is a company promoting epoxy based driveways. I don't know anything about the surface prep (i.e. if it goes over a concrete base), but they have displays showing a wide variety of stone colors and textures. Looks nice, but I always assumed it would be out of our price range (Since I have never seen any drives actually done this way).
Anthony
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Don wrote:

Dang for 10K I would park on the grass, but heh I'm in TX.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Neighbor down the street has what appears to be an asphalt driveway. Deep black color, really pops out at you. Closer inspection seems to have a rubberized compound embedded with the asphalt, not really asphalt per se. Its been down for 3 years that I know of, no weatherizing of color is visible so far.
--
Noncompliant

Money don\'t wag the dog\'s tail.
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for your advice on this. The reason I was asking about suggestions for an attractive looking driveway (at reasonable cost) was because we have a good looking house and wanted to have a nice looking driveway. Why do something that is not good looking when, with a little effort and expense, you can create something you and others will be pleased to view?
What we decided on in the end is a standard concrete (integral color was out of sight and no one wanted to do it anyway) with a colorant on top to give it a lighter, cream color, and then we had them do a rock salt finish. You get big chunky rock salt and throw it into the still soft concrete. After it sets up, you wash away the salt. The pits give the concrete a natural stone like finish. We had someone lined up to do diamond shaped engraving in which the expansion joints would be part of the design, but he went missing and right now it is unscored.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
It's a pity you live in Columbia, SC. If you were here, I could give some recommendations. The finish you decided upon is different than what you pointed to on that site. What was on that site is easy. I don't understand why you were having trouble finding someone to do it.
And integral color is easy [1] too. You just add it to the mix and wait a while (40 turns is what they say, but you don't really need to count). The price depends on the color and the concentration of the color. Concrete Network has some info: http://www.concretenetwork.com/chris_sullivan/colored_concrete.htm Red Brick is the most expensive. On the last color project I did, I bought some expensive coloring available form Carter-Waters Corp and spent about $660. The price of the concrete (material only) was a bit over $4.5K. Thus, color added 15% to the price of the concrete. The customer was worried at first because in the precured state the color is darker than what it will be. The final color was just right. If I may say so myself, the result was beautiful.
[1] There's a little brain work necessary. If the size of the project requires more than one truck of concrete, then you need to make sure the color of both matches.
-- (||) Nehmo (||)
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
We had about 3,000 square feet of surface. I think they were counting on 7 truckloads. Integral color was something that was going to cost more because they had to add the bags by hand, I was told. I found it frustrating dealing with suppliers who would be happy to give me what they do and are comfortable with but don't want to give me what I want! I kept getting concrete people pushing stamped concrete on me. Sorry, I look at that and am reminded of those fake linoleum or vinyl brick and stone kitchen floors from the 1960s. And w 3000 sf, it was just too expensive. I think, in the end, we found something that will look good but not be the center of attention as you drive by or walk up to the house, and all at a reasonable price.
Don
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

7 truckloads? A smaller truck holds 10 (cubic) yards. And many trucks hold 11. A yard ^3 is 27 cubic feet.
For example: Say a 6 inch thick slab. A cubic foot will then make 2 square feet of slab. A yard ^ will then make 2 x 27, which is 54 square feet. 3,000/54 = 55.5 . Thus, less than 6 trucks, counting error margin, a thick slab and smaller trucks.
And adding color by hand? How did you expect them to add it? By mouth? You just pour it into the mixer truck as I described.
How much are you paying for this job? -- (||) Nehmo (||)
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

As I understood it, one way to add colorant is to dump it in the truck and mix it (integral) and the other is to add a color hardner broadcasting it by hand from the bags after the cement is poured. They did the latter. I'm not a contractor; I'm a home owner learning about this as I go. Why would you want to make such an insulting remark I wonder? I thought these groups were a place for people to share information, not make gratuitous attacks.
Re the question on the cost: I don't have a separate price for the cost of the driveway, but I'm now working with the general contractor on a cost plus basis, so it will be what it will be. We have not settled up on the final tally yet. Still some work to be done.
It looks good and I'm glad I went to the extra effort to have something a little extraordinary done. --Don
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.