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fluffybunny

@cipherkey.net

Digging up path for driveway.

So i want to install a huge driveway (75 ft x 10 ft) - whats the best way to dig it up ? I was thinking to rent a home depot trencher machine and set it to 8 inch depth since i want 4 inches of gravel and 4 inches of concrete on top - will that work ?
or is there a better way to dig it ? I am digging on my own and its a huge area.


robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1

Rent a small tractor with front bucket and backhoe. Use the backhoe to break it up and then then scoop and level with the the bucket.


raster44

join:2003-09-07
Niagara Falls, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon Online DSL
reply to fluffybunny

said by fluffybunny :

So i want to install a huge driveway (75 ft x 10 ft) - whats the best way to dig it up ?

That's just a normal size driveway. What are you talking about? If you have to ask, I doubt you can accomplish the task!


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada

1 recommendation

reply to fluffybunny

4" of substrate is way too thin in my experience.

Bobcat or small loader would be my weapon of choice - Dig down 10" minimum, lay a gravel base, compacted every 4" or so; then form and pour.

Are you just doing the excavation, or planning on doing the whole job?



Tex
Premium
join:2012-10-20
kudos:2
reply to raster44

said by raster44:

said by fluffybunny :

So i want to install a huge driveway (75 ft x 10 ft) - whats the best way to dig it up ?

That's just a normal size driveway. What are you talking about? If you have to ask, I doubt you can accomplish the task!

You doubt the fluffybunny?


cheks

@comcast.net
reply to fluffybunny

two things first:

call the locator service, to have them mark, for free, the locations of any utilities that might be in the driveway area.

check the local city/county etc for the building code for driveways. you may find only specific contruction types are approved, e.g. 6" concrete with rebar or wire mesh etc etc.

for both of those the idea is to limit your liability. if the locator service says the area is clear, yet you break a gas pipe, you are protected. and if you build the driveway contracode, they can make you take it out, so protect yourself ahead.
======
you might also consider hiring other shovel laborers while you do the design etc.
rental machines are often expensive.


H_T_R_N
Premium
join:2011-12-06
Valencia, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·voip.ms
reply to fluffybunny

said by fluffybunny :

So i want to install a huge driveway (75 ft x 10 ft) - whats the best way to dig it up ? I was thinking to rent a home depot trencher machine and set it to 8 inch depth since i want 4 inches of gravel and 4 inches of concrete on top - will that work ?
or is there a better way to dig it ? I am digging on my own and its a huge area.

4" base is not enough, 4" of creat is not enough.
You need to have a place to put this 8" of material too. 18.5 cubic yards of material is not easy to get rid of.


nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
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·surpasshosting
reply to fluffybunny

4" base is the minimum. You may want to do more. It depends on your soil type.
3-1/2" to 4" slab is with mesh should be just fine for a resi driveway as long as you don't have any large trucks driving on it regularly. 6" slab is probably overkill.

A trencher is for burying pipes and wires. You need a Bobcat (or bigger) front end loader. When all is said and done, it's probably cheaper to hire and owner / operator to do it. They can also probably haul away the excess topsoil.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



hortnut
Huh?

join:2005-09-25
PNW
kudos:1
Reviews:
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reply to fluffybunny

Click for full size
Click for full size
This was on a Private Lane that I owned.

Updated my driveway access a few years back. Used a Bobcat I owned to dig out the old base and dirt and then place new rock base. Brought in 2 - 12 yd Trucks of either 1.5 inch or 2+ inch crushed rock for the base. Topped off with 3/4 inch gravel. Had a nearby gravel pit and friends with a trucker and would get any rejects he could get his hands on at greatly reduced prices.

First picture shows depth and second shows overall area. I was able to do all of that myself in less than a day.

Have done a couple of concrete slabs. The largest was 25 ft x 40. Concrete was 6+ inches and base was 6-8 inches. Also had rebar and concrete mesh wire. For that bribed several buddies to show up after work.


fluffybunny

@cipherkey.net
reply to nunya

how thick should the wood form be to hold the concrete while curing ? should i use 1" thick fence panel ?



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY

said by fluffybunny :

how thick should the wood form be to hold the concrete while curing ? should i use 1" thick fence panel ?

That's a question you will get many different answers to. Obviously 1" boards will work fine but you'll have to put the stakes holding them quite close together to keep the boards from flexing from the weight of the concrete. If you use 2" lumber the stakes can be farther apart but will obviously cost you more. It's more a matter of personal decision than anything else. I personally like using the 2" lumber but one of the biggest reasons for me is I can reuse it for something else so the cost is defrayed through multiple projects.
--
Written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking

Tig

join:2006-06-29
Carrying Place, ON
Reviews:
·voip.ms

4 edits
reply to fluffybunny

I use -3" for a base (6"-8") with a layer of gravel (2") to dress the top. IMO, 4" is minimal for the concrete, but the base needs to be thicker if you allow a truck, motorhome or any other large vehicle to drive up it.
Don't worry about digging the full depth, but be sure to remove all top soil. You want the driveway to be a few inches higher than the yard for drainage. Grade the yard away with the removed top soil.



fluffybunny

@cipherkey.net
reply to Msradell

how far apart should the stakes be for 1 inch thick ?



hortnut
Huh?

join:2005-09-25
PNW
kudos:1
Reviews:
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Here is a pretty good vid on doing a driveway, looks to be about your size. Shows number of people needed, tools, expansion joints, concrete sealing after floated, edged, etc., reinforcement, and more.

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh8OMMTW-eo


Another one, that is very thorough:

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUgiHghs8vs


Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to fluffybunny

said by fluffybunny :

how far apart should the stakes be for 1 inch thick ?

It depends on how thick you are pouring the concrete because the more concrete you have will increase the pressure against the forms. For 1" form boards I would say your stakes need to be about 18" apart for concrete that is 4-5" thick.

By the way, the video above shows how useless wire mesh is. You can plainly see that even after they pull it up it just goes back down to the bottom as they keep walking on it!
--
Written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking


hortnut
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said by Msradell:

By the way, the video above shows how useless wire mesh is. You can plainly see that even after they pull it up it just goes back down to the bottom as they keep walking on it!

One way I got around that problem was when I poured slabs at my Nursery years ago, I used concrete wire mesh, but raised it by using wire ties and 2" or thicker squares I had cut up from closed foam insulation or whatever. I used a bunch and after walking on it, tested where the mesh was resting during the pour. Seemed to work ok, as I had semis loaded with bark, plants and other driving over them. I used 2x6's for the edging, so my pours were 6 inches or more in depth. They were not fancy finished slabs, though I leveled and put a slope on the slab using a transit. Had the major tools for floating and such.

Tig

join:2006-06-29
Carrying Place, ON

For minimal extra expense you can have glass fibers mixed in the concrete when delivered. Steel mesh would not be required.



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY
reply to hortnut

said by hortnut:

I used concrete wire mesh, but raised it by using wire ties and 2" or thicker squares I had cut up from closed foam insulation or whatever. I used a bunch and after walking on it, tested where the mesh was resting during the pour

I'm sure that worked to keep the mesh in place but have insulation in that area treated a weak spot in the concrete. An alternative is to use pieces of concrete cement bricks or pavers of the appropriate thickness, that way you do not weaken that area in the concrete. The unfortunate fact is that most people who to concrete work don't take the time and effort to ensure that the mesh is in the correct location to actually do something.
--
Written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada

It's pretty common practice to just pull the mesh up to the middle of the pour depth as you go...



Msradell
P.E.
Premium
join:2008-12-25
Louisville, KY

said by LazMan:

It's pretty common practice to just pull the mesh up to the middle of the pour depth as you go...

That's where you put it but that's not where it stays. Unless you put something under it to hold it in place is going to end up on or near the bottom of the concrete.
--
Written using Dragon NaturallySpeaking


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada

Depends how thick your mix is... I've never had a problem; but I freely admit I don't do a ton of concrete...



hortnut
Huh?

join:2005-09-25
PNW
kudos:1
Reviews:
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reply to Tig

said by Tig:

For minimal extra expense you can have glass fibers mixed in the concrete when delivered. Steel mesh would not be required.

.
Interesting, would have been a lot easier. Wonder if it would be strong enough to withstand these loads, as my slabs would experience the limits, when bark and mulch came in for my potting media:
My State's limits: the maximum legal gross weight limit is 80,000 pounds. The gross weight of a single axle cannot exceed 600 pounds per inch of total tire width on the axle (limited also by manufacturer's sidewall tire rating), or 20,000 pounds, whichever is less. The gross weight of a tandem axle cannot exceed 600 pounds per inch of total tire width of the wheels on tandem axle, or 34,000 pounds, whichever is less.


hortnut
Huh?

join:2005-09-25
PNW
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Reviews:
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reply to Msradell

said by Msradell:

I'm sure that worked to keep the mesh in place but have insulation in that area treated a weak spot in the concrete

It has been a while and I have since sold the place. Did visit it a few years back and no cracks yet. I know I used something appropriate [did not have internet then to research, just books and asking the guys at the local watering hole]. And I did have a bunch of cement bricks I threw under sections. When one has acreage, one takes in a lot of friend's left over materials from their projects, never knowing what it can be used for. And if it is wood, once or twice a year have a big bonfire.


fluffybunny

@cipherkey.net
reply to fluffybunny

Update :
Ive checked with the local call before you dig group. Gas line is running about 6 ft down below the driveway area across the whole thing to the street at an angle. They recommend avoiding machines which can dig down deep.
Would the trencher still be ok ?
Also the concrete company said they can mix fibers so i dont need a mesh. Will do that.
Also thinking i would build it out of 10 x 8 forms with screwed in joints and basically make 1 foot thick, 10 inch wide and 8/10 ft long fence boards to form a rectangle and then put 5 inches of concrete and 5 inches of gravel below it. I can paint the forms and leave them permanently in. Is that a good idea ? Then i dont need to worry about putting that groove in the concrete to assist in cracking. Driveway only has to support a light vehicle (3000lbs) and some foot traffic but no more. Still waiting for a response from the city but the city office said it seemed to be ok & they dont really care about inspecting driveways.



LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada

Trencher isn't the right tool for the job...

And the wood will quickly rot, I wouldn't leave the forms in place. Substrate needs to be compacted fully, and I don't think you could do that in a form...

Fibres are a good move.


H_T_R_N
Premium
join:2011-12-06
Valencia, PA
kudos:1
reply to fluffybunny

You should really pay to have someone put it in for you. No expansion joint, painting the forms, and that groove thingie. 10 yard pour is no fun to do alone. I do crete and I HATE doing anything over 4 yards alone.



fluffybunny

@cipherkey.net
reply to LazMan

will fence boards rot ? I thought they were protected against rotting with some solution or something.
cant afford to hire someone for it - no budget.
was thinking of compacting it with the tool they sell at HD. allows you to bang in the gravel.


H_T_R_N
Premium
join:2011-12-06
Valencia, PA
kudos:1
Reviews:
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1 recommendation

said by fluffybunny :

cant afford to hire someone for it - no budget.

Then how in the world will you afford to have the hardened pile of concrete removed when you don't get it worked in time and done again? I have a 200 foot driveway that I would LOVE to do. It has remained gravel, and will until I can afford to do it. If you can't afford to do it right then you can't afford to do it period.


fluffybunny

@cipherkey.net

it will be dispensed out of the concrete truck into a wheelbarrow one at a time. that will prevent it from hardening. i dont think one wheelbarrow full should be a problem. truck will wait for 2hrs for $60 which is ok i think.



LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to H_T_R_N

+1 - this isn't the kind of project to learn on...

This isn't a 10x10 patio, or a pad for a shed... This is a pretty big job.

You don't know what you're doing - no shame in that; but not knowing how to prep, how to form, and I'm assuming you've never finished concrete either...

There's a lot of ways this job could go sideways.