Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 05:25 pm
Why are driveways predominately black top or hot top or whatever that black goo is today?

Why have cement driveways disappeared?

When I bought my house, it came with a loose gravel driveway that is ugly, difficult to shovel in the winter and sifts into everything. In the Midwest, the material would be called clinker or cinder.

I was told it would be a good base for a real driveway. I was also told the old drive was in terrible shape and that the sellers were instructed by the realtor to repair it. This mess was allegedly less expensive than black top.

They put down far too much of the crap. Does anyone know if I even can rid myself of it and how?

The house is very early 20th C century, a sort of folk Victorian.

I would like to use tinted cement blocks, with a ochre color, so they resemble limestone.

My parents had a ribbon driveway in 1951 which they later replaced with wider poured cement. They eased out the ribbons and put them together to make a patio.

I would like the cement segments particularly near the rear of the drive so that it can be used as patio but double as parking.
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MARYALAN
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 05:40 pm
@plainoldme,
Cement driveways have not disappeared. I got my driveway concreted with an imprinted design that looks like a cobblelock driveway. You can get this done with any colour mixed into the concrete. If you use the cement blocks......what about weeds etc coming up in the future in between the blocks?
I'm sure the existing gravel can be used as a foundation mixed with agregate.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 05:43 pm
@plainoldme,
Concrete, concrete, cement is part of that. Concrete driveways take some expertise even at a basic level, trust me on that. Really good concrete driveways take a lot more expertise, trust me on that again. Expertise oft equates with cost.

My view of concrete here in new mexico is as of fools pouring glue, not to be too disparaging, as I can't put into words the general lack of clue re adequate pours, re psi or depth or steel support (don't ask me what I saw when I took my new-to-me house carpet up), any sense of grading, not to mention various joints re expansion or contraction.

(I've specified/graded hundreds of driveways.)

I do, though, like the odd gravel pathway, but not usually the pebble stuff, more sharp rock for better compaction, and preferably hemmed in.
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 06:54 pm
@plainoldme,
You can put down concrete pavers by yourself quite easily, POM.

http://www.concretenetwork.com/concrete/pavers/

It doesn't matter much what the base is, concrete can be poured on dirt, it matters what the sub base is. I'd suspect that as this has been a driveway for a long time, it should have a decent sub base.

I like ribbon driveways.

Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 06:55 pm
@plainoldme,
blacktop is about half the price of a concrete drive, and easier to maintain (you can re-top it...)
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 07:12 pm
@Rockhead,
But it is sooooo ugly. My parents had the ribbons for years and they remained in good shape as the patio. After the cement was poured, it never needed replacing. I know people do some sort of top coating to black tops annually. My ex husband was going to do it once and made up a long list of excuses, started the job but never finished it.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 07:17 pm
@Rockhead,
Or way less than half. I agree with Rockhead re the usefulness of blacktop in various situations.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 07:19 pm
@ossobuco,
if you folks think asphalt is half, you don't live in earthquake country.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 08:02 pm
@JTT,
YEah, pavers is more along the lines of what I want. Actually, I was thinking of large blocks, not necessarily uniform in size, with space between them where low growing herbs can spread . . . sort of like ground cover thyme. Rustic and French.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 08:11 pm
@plainoldme,
frowns

got a maintenance crew?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 08:13 pm
@ossobuco,
The simple thing is an asphalt driveway with plentiful growth reaching over from groundcover, shrubs, and trees. Or, would you like aggravation?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 08:17 pm
@ossobuco,
You want those pavers to stay steady?
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 08:18 pm
@ossobuco,
I'll be quiet, I'm retired, yes.
0 Replies
 
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 09:33 pm
@ossobuco,
I dislike the ugliness of a asphalt drive and the heat it produces. In this part of the country, what are called Boston pavers are popular, particularly in the lower drive.

But, this drive is fairly level . . . and I am thinking of rather large blocks, like the sandstone one sees in southern France or northern Italy.

My father lived in that house from 1951 until 1985 with only two driveways and there was no shifting. The only reason the ribbons were replaced was they felt a need for a wider drive.

I would find black top much more aggravating. The generation of heat is just one of the reasons. That it would remind me of my ex is another. The ugliness is the clincher.

BTW, although the realtor advised the former owners replace their old blacktop and they chose cinders over asphalt because the cinders were cheaper, according to my next door neighbor. The realty of the situation is that the cinder drive was a negative factor in the sale. Several people cited it as a reason not to buy the house.

I, frankly, want to get rid of it. The cinders are everywhere and they allow weeds to sprout yet they don't seem biodegradable.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 09:34 pm
@plainoldme,
That's nice. Do you plan to set them on a concrete base? or perhaps some nice mortar?
plainoldme
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 09:37 pm
@ossobuco,
I have no idea . . . just starting to put out feelers because I don't know how much longer I can stand this driveway, particularly since it extends far over too big an area.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 16 Jun, 2010 09:39 pm
@plainoldme,
I have been near teasing. Really, look it up. Driveways that last need a sturdy base. Never mind what you see on top, it is the base that matters.
0 Replies
 
 

 
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