How to plan for an asphalt driveway with a minimum budget

By | May 16, 2014

Introduction

Making improvements or repairs to your home is essential to maintaining and increasing the value of your property. One of the key considerations is not to over-capitalise your home – particularly if you have an eye to selling your home in the near future, you want to avoid spending too much money on the property if the associated increase in the value of the property does not increase by the same amount.

Installing or improving the driveway of your home is an easy first step to make as it has both practical and aesthetic benefits.
There are lots of different types of material that you could consider when planning to upgrade or repair the driveway to your home. You could go with concrete, decorative bricks, cobblestones, paving, or granite. But if you only have a http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,20689869,00.html limited budget to work with, then an asphalt driveway is likely to be the most cost effective choice for you.

The advantages of asphalt

If you are working with a tight budget then asphalt has a lot of benefits to consider. This is a surface that is durable, resilient, and low-maintenance – if prepared and installed correctly, your asphalt driveway will last as long as forty years.

Keeping the costs down

While the installation of an asphalt driveway is relatively straightforward, it does require specialised and heavy equipment that you won’t have easy access to. So you will need to engage a contractor in order to get the job done.

However if you are working to a tight budget, then you can keep costs down by doing some of the preparation yourself.

If you have an existing driveway in place, the surface of this will need to be broken up and removed – you are going to need to create a clean base from which the contractor can then work from.

The other essential first step before your new asphalt driveway is installed is ensuring that the area has the correct drainage in place. Once you have removed the existing driveway and cleaned the surface, pour some water across it to test how the water drains.

If you find that your driveway has a flat surface, you will need to build a gentle gradient so that the runs away easily and doesn’t create pools of water on the driveway.

If it looks too good to be true

pothole in asphalt driveway resized 600 A bad contractor can leave a bad taste in anybody's mouth but this fall I had the opportunity to fix a paver ...

No matter how tight your budget is, ensure that you are only engaging quality local contractors to undertake the work. There have been a number of reports recently in Australia about homeowners being taken advantage of my unscrupulous contractors who quote unbeatably low prices but then fail to deliver the driveway or the quality is so poor that it has to be redone anyway. If if it looks too good to be true then you probably need to be fairly cautious.

Conclusion

Make your new and improved driveway a feature of your home – ensure that visitors (and potential buyers) get a great first impression as they turn through your front gate and up your smooth and stylish asphalt driveway.

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