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Old 06-02-2008, 04:42 PM   #1
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Question Cheap, easy, non-ugly surface for a small portion of my driveway?

I EOC the last leg of my commute into my driveway. My driveway is uphill and a little steep, and I park quite far up it. If I get my speed just exactly right and get the turn perfect, I can get the car into the space straight and proper. If I don't carry enough speed, I get the car in sideways or might even need to restart to get into the space.

Complicating matters, my water supply is a well right at the bottom of the driveway. In order to protect it from vehicular damage I've surrounded it by largish rocks. If I go into the turn too fast I risk hitting the rocks, damaging the car, and maybe even risk getting over/through the rocks and damaging the well.

Now, the worst part: My driveway surface is loose 1/2" to 1 1/2" stone.

Today I took too much speed into the turn and I think my tire may have sideswiped one of the rocks, and it kinda scared me a bit. What can I do to give me more traction for maybe a 10 x 15 foot area? It has to be nearly free, not too difficult, and not ugly. The only thing I can think of is processed gravel, which is basically dirt with a small amount of portland cement mixed in; it doesn't harden, but it packs well and results in a stiff surface. I figure I can get a half yard of it in my truck, which might be enough to cover, and would probably cost under $20.
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Old 06-02-2008, 07:24 PM   #2
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I have a solution that meets all but one of your criteria. it may be a deal breaker but at least read all of this.

cement, it is durable, lasts virtually forever, looks good, traction can be controlled by surface finish, you can add to it if desired to finish the entire driveway, also less resistance to rolling compared to gravel (I think).

I know it is a big chunk to lay out but you only have to do it once.

enough about the concrete though

another idea, and I don't even know if they sell the stuff, back when they first paved the old dirt road that I lived on, they used a tar over the existing gravel that was there. it gave it a black top look but it wasn't that smooth. like I said, I don't even know if you could buy the stuff. this is where a buddy would come in handy. if you knew someone that worked for the county or state, maybe they could acqire you some, still pay for it but it would be a lot cheaper. either that or get what they throw away. the area you are talking about is rather small compared to what they do.

just ideas more than anything. neither are free but something to think about

good luck
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Old 06-03-2008, 05:24 AM   #3
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How do you leave? Do you start the cold engine, back out, turn around and head down nose first?
Why not back up the drive when you get home with an already warmed, up to temperature, more efficient operating condition? By spending just a bit of fuel then, avoiding the well head, avoiding paving, you can roll start the engine (I'm presuming it's the bunny) saving battery, and fuel at a time when the engine is cold and less efficient.
Can't get any cheaper than that, and for easy? It's already done!
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:31 AM   #4
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Concrete won't work for me for a number of reasons, one of which is the cost. Good idea on the tar-and-gravel, I'll ask around a bit, though I think it won't work, it could.

Yes, I'm talking about the bunny for this question. I can't roll start it because of warranty and lease fears. It cautions against it in the manual.

When I leave, I roll down in neutral and start the engine as I roll into the street, so I don't run the engine in the driveway in either direction -- and I EOC on the road for the last stretch before I get home.
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Old 06-03-2008, 07:18 AM   #5
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a buddy of mine said that you can buy the tar. didn't give too many details. I would assume that you would have to mix it with some kind of hardener or maybe heat it or something.

I would go to lowes and tell them that you have gravel and you want a cheap solid surface and see what they say. their advice is cheap and you don't have to actually buy anything to get it.
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