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Old 07-27-2013, 12:17 PM   #1
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Gravel Parking Pad into Concrete Driveway Contractor Question

So I had a contractor give me a quote on installing a concrete driveway. He was sketchy with some of my questions, so I doubt I'll be using him regardless. But in particular, I asked him how far down he would excavate down to install the driveway. He said he would excavate down to 4 inches (wtf!) then compact and level. I asked him why so shallow, and he said because it was gravel already and packed down by years of parking cars on it (15-20 years), to excavate, replace the gravel and pack it down again was pointless. I asked him "how do you know it's gravel all the way through" (I suspect it's just gravel poured on top, then clay soil underneath), he said he would judge it when they start excavating, if it's not, they would dig up to 4" deeper.

So he was planning on excavating to 4" deep, compact, level, rebar, than pour 4" of concrete. I believe it will be done in 3 sections, to match the original driveway. The area is a 10' x 22' gravel pad. There is a large deciduous tree in the neighbor's yard located approx 10' away (branches extend all the way to the far end of the gravel pad), so I was a little concerned there might eventually be roots heaving under the driveway. There are also neighbor's bushes lining the driveway.

My question is how would you install a concrete driveway in this situation? Is there some merit to his excuse for such a shallow depth?

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Old 07-27-2013, 01:37 PM   #2
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Gravel Parking Pad into Concrete Driveway Contractor Question

We generally aim for 6" of gravel base under all driveways. I would put an allowance in for digging and piling the gravel, undercutting the sub-soil as necessary, and then re-installing the gravel, just in case the gravel wasn't thick enough. If the gravel is thick enough after digging 4" out for the concrete thickness, I see no logical reason to disturb an otherwise adequately compacted base......

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itsreallyconc (07-27-2013)
Old 07-27-2013, 02:01 PM   #3
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Location: hilton head & atlanta
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Gravel Parking Pad into Concrete Driveway Contractor Question

sure would be a help if responders knew where your ' where ' is eg, in sc, we often used sand-clay for county/municipal road base per engineer specs,,, d/w's were placed on compacted dirt

all things being equal, its usually more important you have a properly installed joint pattern than anything else !

not sure why anyone would use rebar in 4" conc as it adds no compressive strength,,, wire mesh helps some while the conc's curing but usually it just holds the crk'd pieces together making rprs a larger pita rebar does, however, add flexural strength - we use it at the d/w throat but its 6" thick,,, in ga, conc's placed on compacted dirt ( sand-clay is our local soil )

if you hear it from a guy in the apron store, be VERY suspicious the mtl/method will work,,, when it time to build something together, they won't answer phones NOR help
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:54 PM   #4
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Gravel Parking Pad into Concrete Driveway Contractor Question

I live in Calgary, Alberta, canada
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