LAYOUT & DESIGN SPECS
What is the recommended length and width for a driveway?
~ The standard width for a single car driveway is between 10-12 feet wide.
Driveways less than 10 feet wide will be too narrow to drive or park comfortably. 12 feet will be
enough to assure you can get in and out of your vehicle without stepping on lawn or landscape
material. If buildings, retaining walls or garden walls surround your driveway, you should add
another 2 feet to allow enough room to open car doors without damage to either the walls or car.
~ If you plan to park more than one car in your driveway, you should allow at least an 18-20 foot
width. This will enable you to park two cars side by side. Again its is best to add another 3-4
feet to this if you are surrounded by buildings or walls.
~ The driveway length should be about 18-20 feet long per vehicle. This will allow room to walk
between vehicles, garage doors and other walls.
Where does my driveway begin and the Town or State road end?
~ On most streets, (State, Town or Village) you should allow approximately 6-12 feet at the
entrance of your driveway for public sidewalks, road widening and utility installation. Even if no
sidewalk exists now, there could be someday. You can check with your local town or state
government as to how much area they own and take this into consideration.
What else should I consider when deciding on the layout?
~ Of course you want your driveway to fit on your property, providing you with adequate access
to your home and/or garage. Whether that means straight in, and straight out or a long
meandering driveway, you’ll want to consider the rest of your property layout and landscape.
You should try to avoid negative terrain whenever possible, such as extremely steep hills or low-
lying areas and swampy or marshy wetland.
~ Other items to consider during the driveway layout would be turn-around areas additional
parking and passing areas. If you live on a busy road or have a long driveway, you may want to
consider a turn-around area. A small turn-around would allow you to back in and pull forward to
drive out of the driveway. A larger turnaround could also accommodate additional parking.
Extra space alongside or behind the house or garage is often used to allow additional parking,
either permanent or temporary. Passing areas are useful in very long driveways to allow two
cars to pass when entering or exiting at the same time.
~ It is important to consider the turning radius also when incorporating curves, bends or parking
areas and turn-arounds into the design. (17 feet is a comfortable turning radius for most
ASPHALT vs. OIL & STONE
What is asphalt and how is it made?
~ Asphalt has been around for many years and has been part of our landscape since the late
19th century. It is sometimes known to people as Hot Mix Asphalt, blacktop, tarmac, macadam,
plant mix, asphalt concrete, or bituminous concrete. This resilient material covers more than
94 % of the paved roads in the United States. It’s a popular choice for driveways, parking lots,
airport runways, racetracks, tennis courts, and other applications where a smooth, durable
driving surface is required. Asphalt is an engineered mixture of aggregate, or stone and sand,
mixed with liquid asphalt cement, which is a petroleum product similar to tar or oil. Various
sizes of aggregate are mixed with the asphalt cement and heated at a state approved asphalt
plant. The asphalt is then delivered by truck to your driveway. Once it has been installed and
compacted, the mixture will cool and harden.
What is an oil and stone driveway?
~ An oil & stone driveway, sometimes known as tar & chip, will offer the look of a gravel
driveway, but will still provide a strong and durable surface. We suggest two coats of oil and
stone on new driveway surfaces.
The driveway base is prepared, and a coat of oil (RC-250) is applied with a special sprayer
attached to the oil truck. A layer of gravel is then distributed over the treated surface and is
then compacted with a roller.
This process is generally repeated once more, to provide two coats of oil & stone. Once the oil
has cooled, it will harden and provide a stable surface for the gravel. The end result will look
like a natural gravel surface.
There will be constant loose stone, however, maintenance will be minimal depending upon the
stone type. Stone comes in a variety of sizes and colors and provides and excellent alternative
*All stone types are naturally mined products and may vary in size and color.
What is the difference between an asphalt driveway and an oil & stone driveway?
~ An asphalt driveway and an oil & stone driveway are actually made from similar materials.
The main difference between the two is how they are installed and what the finished surface
will look like. An asphalt driveway will result in a hard, blacktop surface suitable for driveway
basketball games, bike riding and roller-skating. The surface will be durable, long lasting and
require little maintenance. An oil & stone driveway will result in a loose gravel surface suitable
for driveway or parking areas. The surface will be rough, and may require periodic maintenance
as the stone moves.
Which surface should I install?
~ Obviously, the choice is yours. Asphalt is both durable and functional, while Oil & Stone is
more rustic and aesthetically pleasing. Asphalt will provide years of use with little
maintenance, while Oil & Stone will require more effort to keep it looking its best. Of course
there are some other factors that will influence your decision aside from looks. The terrain and
the very earth itself may play a big part in your final choice. A steep hill, that is vulnerable to
erosion, would not be a very good place for an oil & stone application. The loose stone will
easily be washed away and before long, the base and sub-base will be undermined. (Remember,
the Grand Canyon was cut and created by flowing water…) A more solid surface, like asphalt,
would be recommended in sloped areas. Or how about an area that is relatively low, and
frequently under water? An oil & stone surface, or even gravel only might be better in an area
like this, as it will allow excess water to dissipate more quickly.
What type of preparation work is required?
~ Every driveway must start out with a good solid foundation. The driveway area should be
properly excavated, removing any unsuitable material such as sand, topsoil, clay or large
stones. Other organic material, like tree roots or lumber, which can decay over time, should
also be removed. Once the excavation is complete, a suitable sub-grade material (usually a
gravel/loam blend) should be installed and allowed to settle. This work is usually done during
the site clearing and preparation, leaving plenty of time for compaction and settling. It is
recommended that the sub-grade material be placed at a minimum of 6-12 inches depending
upon the existing ground conditions. Generally, the sub-grade is prepared leaving 2-4 inches left
for the base, and topcoat surface.
What is the installation process for my new asphalt driveway?
Assuming the existing sub-grade is suitable, the driveway will be rough graded for proper pitch
and elevations and the RCA blend will be installed as a base. (Generally 2-3 inches of RCA
blend is required to bring the surface within final grade.) The base will then be fine graded and
compacted. Once the driveway base has been properly prepared, hot mixed asphalt will be
delivered by truck to your location and distributed into the paver. The paver then distributes the
hot asphalt over the prepared base, where it is rolled and compacted to the specified thickness.
What is the installation process for my new oil & stone driveway?
~ The same preparation work is required when installing either an asphalt or an oil & stone
surface. Once the driveway base is prepared, a sprayer applies hot RC-250 over the driveway
base. A layer of stone or gravel is then applied by spreader truck over the treated driveway
surface. The gravel is then rolled and compacted. If two coats of oil and stone are being
installed, the surface is treated again with oil (RC-250), another layer of gravel is added and
again compacted by a roller.
How long will it take to install my new driveway?
~ Most driveways that have already been roughed in will only take a few days to complete. It
is typical for the grading crew to prepare and fine grade the driveway within one day. Once the
grading is complete, it is generally recommended that the base have a chance to settle. We
usually try to leave at least 2-3 days between the grading work and the finish surface.
After the grade is set and the layout is correct, the finish surface will be applied. Again, the
finish crew usually completes this within one day.
Additional items of work such as drainage or edging will add time to the construction process.
What will my new asphalt driveway look like?
~ Initially, the new asphalt surface will appear quite smooth, and a very dark black color. It is
normal to see some of the aggregate or stone in the mix. Over time, due to weather and usage,
the driveway will wear slightly and become a bit lighter in color. You will also begin to notice
more of the aggregate showing through, and a slightly lighter, bluish-gray or tan coloration. This
is all normal wear, and is to be expected. Simple maintenance can be followed to keep the
driveway protected and help seal any small cracks that may appear.
What will my new oil & stone driveway look like?
~ Your oil & stone driveway will look just like a loose gravel driveway.
The oil base installed underneath the stone will not show through and the
stone placed on top will be loose. Over time you may develop some bare
areas where the stone may have worn away. It is important to maintain an even layer of loose
gravel so that the hardened oil base does not experience wear. The stone can be easily
maintained with a little re-raking and periodically adding more stone.
TEMPORARY OR EXISTING DRIVEWAYS
What alternatives do I have for a more temporary driveway?
~ If you are considering installing something temporarily for construction purposes, or are not
sure exactly how the driveway will be configured permanently, you may wish to install RCA
blend or stone only. RCA (Recycle Concrete Aggregate) is a blend of recycled concrete, asphalt,
brick and stone. It holds up very well under rain and snow and does not turn to mud as easily
as fill or topsoil would. The material is most commonly used as a driveway base, therefore it
makes an excellent starting point for a
temporary application. It can easily be upgraded and used under just
about any driveway surface. Stone can also be placed, over the RCA blend for a more pleasing
Can I resurface my existing driveway?
~ If your existing driveway is still in good shape, but needs to be updated, resurfacing is a good
option. Asphalt or oil & stone can be applied over the existing surface giving an instantly new
and updated look.
It should be noted though; resurfacing is only as good as the base you’re covering. If new
asphalt is placed over existing cracked asphalt, over time, the new asphalt will crack too. With
that in mind, we do not recommend placing asphalt over existing concrete, as the two materials
have different expansion and contraction rates in extreme weather. Adding oil & stone over the
top of an existing asphalt or concrete driveway can dramatically change the look. Many sizes
and color options are available, depending upon the stone type chosen.
Should I install oil & stone or just gravel only?
~ If you already have an existing oil & stone or gravel driveway, and just need to freshen up the
look, you may be able to simply add more stone to the driveway surface. If your driveway is
beginning to develop larger bare spots or potholes and ruts, it may be time to re-grade and re-oil
& stone your driveway.
MAINTENANCE & CARE
How long will my new asphalt driveway last?
~ How long the driveway will last depends on a few factors. Typically, with proper
maintenance, an asphalt driveway should last between 15 - 30 years. Factors like sun and
weather, usage and wear all take a toll on the life of your driveway. Although asphalt is strong
and durable, it is also somewhat yielding. It will move and flex slightly with seasonal freezing
and thawing, and it can sometimes scar from heavy weight or sharp objects. Over time, asphalt
can become dry and brittle from the elements, therefore, the older it is, the more vulnerable it
will become to cracking. With a little bit of maintenance, such as sealing and repairing damage
early, you’ll be assured to get the most out your driveway.
How long will my new oil & stone driveway last?
An oil & stone driveway could last as long as 10 - 12 years before needing to be replaced. As
with an asphalt driveway, things like weather and usage play a big part. Proper maintenance is
important. Gravel is easily washed down slopes in heavy rains, and often carried away in
vehicle tires. It is easy for weeds and potholes to quickly become a headache.
How long should I keep vehicles off my new asphalt driveway?
~ Technically, you can drive on the newly installed asphalt almost right away. Once it is
cooled and hardened it is ready for traffic. However, we suggest for aesthetic reasons that you
try to keep off of it for 2-3 days. Driving and parking on the driveway surface right away could
cause tire marks and other impressions you may find unsightly later on. Allowing the surface
enough time to cool and harden will prevent most scaring from occurring.
How long should I keep vehicles off my new oil & stone driveway?
~ Again, you could drive on the surface right away if you must, however, we do suggest waiting
about 1-2 days before doing so. It is always best to wait till the oil & stone has had a chance to
cool and settle before driving on it. After the initial waiting period, driving over the oil & stone
actually helps to compact it further.
What type of maintenance is required or suggested for my new asphalt driveway?
~ Your asphalt driveway should be relatively easy to maintain. The first part of this is simply
keeping the driveway clean and free of things like oil drips, which can cause damage to the
surface. Broken or damaged areas should be checked regularly to see if they should be
repaired. Weeds and vegetation should be kept in check to prevent further cracking or heaving.
The second part, is keeping the driveway sealed and protected. Seal-coating the driveway helps
maintain elasticity and prolong the drying process that causes asphalt to crack. It also helps
protect the asphalt from chemical and oil spills. For best results, we suggest sealing the
driveway about one year after it has been installed and then approximately every 2 - 4 years
after that. It is important not to seal-coat to often, as this will result in a build up of sealer,
which may split and peel.
What type of maintenance is required or suggested for my new oil & stone driveway?
~ Oil & Stone surfaces will require a bit more maintenance than an asphalt surface. Because
the stone will shift over time, regular maintenance items such as re-raking and top-dressing will
be required periodically. Bare spots will normally appear around areas where cars turnaround,
pull out or go around curves. Raking the existing stone or adding additional stone when required
will help keep the driveway looking good and prevent the oil base from wearing away. Weeds
and vegetation can also easily spread throughout the oil & stone surface, so regular weed
control should be kept up. Hand weeding or over the counter weed killer can be applied to help
control this. *Weeds can be very aggressive and will actually grow through the oil & stone
surface. The application of oil & stone will not prevent weeds.
What do I need to know about salting or plowing the driveway in winter?
~ Both Asphalt and Oil & Stone driveways can be salted or plowed in the winter. It is
particularly important however to keep the plow blade raised slightly when plowing an oil &
stone driveway. Stone will easily be picked up with the snow, leaving unsightly bare spots if
not done properly. It is sometimes necessary to touch-up the surface in the spring, usually
simply by re-raking the stone. Salting will not cause any damage to either surface.
ADDITIONAL ITEMS TO CONSIDER
Do I need to install edging around my new asphalt driveway?
~ Edging is often chosen to clearly define the driveway and parking areas. It is completely
optional, and is often chosen in order to obtain a clean finished look. We commonly install
either a Metal Edge or a Belgian Block Edge around the driveway perimeter. If this is something
you are considering, here are a few questions to ask: Is it necessary? Often, no. While edging
provides a clean finish around the edge, and distinctly marks the driveway, it is often installed
for aesthetic reasons. Another thing to consider is drainage. If you have edging installed
around an asphalt driveway, you could have problems with water draining, once you’ve closed
off the edges where water would typically run-off. This is often the case when overlaying
existing driveways or adding edging after the driveway has been installed. The driveway edging
should typically be installed prior to the driveway to avoid possible problems later on. Asphalt
Berms or Tip-up Curbing can also be installed to help direct water flow.
Do I need to install edging around my new oil & stone driveway?
~ Edging around an oil & stone driveway is a bit more practical. Because the stone will move
and shift, edging is often installed in order to help keep the stones from migrating into lawn or
garden areas. With this in mind, the edging should have a reveal, (the amount of edging
extending up over the driveway surface) between 2-3 inches to be functional.
Do I need to install an apron at my driveway entrance?
~ A driveway apron (or skirt) is typically optional. Some county or state roads may require you
to install a hard surface at the apron area such as asphalt or concrete. If you are having an oil
& stone driveway surface installed, you may want to check to see if an apron will be required.
What is the recommended length and width for a driveway apron?
~ A typical driveway apron will extend the width of the driveway with a slight flare or radii at
the entrance. Aprons can extend as far into the driveway as needed, ie; to meet a gate or
pillars, or be as small as one foot in, to simply separate the driveway from the roadway.
DeLalio-South Fork Asphalt ~ 631-283-0037 ~ 224 N. Main St., Southampton, New York, 11968
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