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Installing Pavers Next to Existing Asphalt Driveway


Recently, we saw in someone’s yard, a newly installed area (about 8’ x 2.5’) of pavers with sand joints, that had been installed alongside an existing asphalt driveway. Unfortunately for the homeowner, it was poor construction.

Using pavers along side a driveway can be a great solution for many reasons, such as adding more space to a narrow driveway, or installing an entry walk next to the driveway.

If you have an existing asphalt driveway, and you want pavers next to it you’ll want an understanding of the proper construction methods.

If a typical residential asphalt driveway is installed correctly, wherever it does not abut another structure, it should have 45 degree tamped edges, and the aggregate base will extend a minimum of 6” beyond the edge of the asphalt.

 

This sketch shows a properly constructed asphalt edge. The 45 degree tamped edge is typically not visible because it is covered with topsoil, lawn, or other material.

 

We could see the asphalt edge of the driveway because it wasn’t covered, and it looked like it had been tamped to the correct angle. We don’t know if the paver installation was a homeowner’s DIY project, or the handiwork of a contractor.

What resulted from this poorly installed project was about a 2”-3” gap between the angled asphalt edge and the pavers, which they filled with a polysand. Plain construction sand is not a stable material could become displaced by foot traffic or a major rainfall. Polysand is more resistant to wash outs, but it isn’t a structural material and is not meant to be used as a walking surface, which it became filling this huge gap.

 

This in how the pavers were installed in this homeowner’s yard. Not only is this is poor construction, but it just didn’t look good.

 

For this type of project, typically the tamped edge of the existing asphalt adjacent to the new paver area is sawcut creating a flat vertical surface.  This allows the asphalt and the pavers (standard 2 1/4″ thick paver should be used) to become a continuous surface across the two paving materials. The new paver area should be excavated to the proper depth and the subgrade and new base for the pavers should all be in place before sawcutting only the asphalt adjacent to the new paver installation.  An asphalt cutting blade is used for the sawcut.

The newly cut asphalt edge would need to be supported to remain stable, and that’s where the new base and pavers would come in. The new paver installation would need to abut directly up against the cut asphalt edge, which creates that uninterrupted surface between the driveway and the pavers, and provides a durable vertical support for the newly cut asphalt edge.

 

If you do the sawcut yourself, follow all safety precautions for yourself and your tools, and don’t forget to wear protective goggles.

 

Really, why waste time and money on poor construction. A beautiful design on paper can only become a reality through good construction methods.

 

 

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