Mark McCullough helps a homeowner add an asphalt parking spot to their driveway. Once Mark explains the plan, they call in an asphalt contractor to help. After the utility lines are marked, they excavate the ground, add gravel, compact it, and then pour two separate layers of asphalt that will last for 30 years.
Adding a parking spot to a driveway can increase the driveway’s usefulness, keep the vehicle safe and away from busy streets, and even provide an extra spot for repairs. And while it’s not exactly a DIY project, it’s helpful to understand the steps on how extending a driveway with asphalt is done.
Extending a Driveway: What You Need to Know
You Might Need Permission
In many municipalities, the sidewalk and even some of the yard may belong to the town. Adding a parking space that may affect the town’s property will require permission. On top of that, the town may require a permit. While neither item is usually a big deal, homeowners should do their due diligence and check with the town first.
Hire an Asphalt Contractor
Asphalt requires special equipment, techniques, and knowledge, so it’s best to hire a contractor. Knowing how to slope the 300-degree asphalt before it hardens is critical, else there can be low spots that collect water or rain may run off in the wrong direction.
Mark the Utilities
Installing an asphalt driveway requires some excavation, and contractors need a general idea of where the utilities lie. For this reason, asphalt companies will call utility marking agencies to come out and mark the yard wherever the gas, sewer, water, or underground electricity travel under the yard.
Excavate the Ground
Once the utilities are marked, the contractor will excavate the ground. Depending on the situation, the contractor will dig about a foot of soil out from the new parking area’s location and then compact the soil with a roller.
After the ground is compact, the contractor will pour and spread about 8 or so inches of stone, depending on the need. This is to help with stability and drainage, which is particularly important for freeze-thaw cycles. To improve stability, the contractor will compact the soil in layers or 2 or 3 inches.
Pour the Asphalt
Asphalt is poured in two layers: A base layer and surface layer. The base layer consists of ¾-inch crushed stone, sand, and asphalt binder while the finish layer consists of ⅜-inch stone, more sand, and the binder. The base layer is poured first and compacted, while the finish layer is poured last and compacted. Out of the truck, this asphalt can be anywhere between 200 and 300 degrees, so it’s best left to the professionals.
How to Find an Asphalt Contractor
With a quality installation, homeowners can expect to get 30 years out of a parking spot or driveway extension. However, this does require a knowledgeable and honest contractor. Head to the Better Business Bureau Website to find a reputable asphalt contractor in your area.
Mark recruits the help of a local asphalt contractor to install a parking spot for a homeowner on a busy street.
Contact utility locating services in preparation for any project that requires digging. Once water, gas, and sewer lines that run underground are identified and marked, it’s safe to proceed on to digging.
To prep the space, the crew will dig down about 15” to get below the frost line and use a specialty compactor, called a drum vibratory roller, to compact the soil to establish a solid base. Add a layer of crushed added for proper drainage. Pour the asphalt base and surface layers, compacting between each layer.
Visit the Better Business Bureau website to find reputable asphalt companies near you.
The asphalt is sealed with a product manufactured by Pioneer Sealcoat, LLC.