Good Homes Shouldn’t Have Bad Driveways
Driveways often represent a major cost component in the purchase or construction of a home. More often than not, driveway planning and construction is inadequate, resulting in costly annual maintenance or worse, failure. Driveways are also a common source of environmental degradation in the form of erosion, sedimentation and habitat loss.
A driveway that is safe, attractive and durable begins with thorough planning, planning that takes into account much more than the obvious goal of getting from one place to another. Surrounding habitats, soils, drainage, vegetation, visibility and aspects need careful consideration.
A good driveway is one that fits your property and obeys ALL the fundamentals of solid road construction. At V&V, we are obsessed with the skills and small details that guarantee a driveway will be long-term success. We also know that correctly built driveways ultimately cost much less and add measurably greater value to your home and living experience. To learn more about road building check out our road construction tutorial.
Site Your Driveway Carefully and Don’t Cut Corners
Many developers and homeowners in our region select and market their lots based on proximity to mountain views and waterways. This poses special challenges to driveway placement and construction. Often these challenges are not met, resulting in driveways that are too steep, lack good visibility or appropriate drainage or, worse, fail to meet minimum code or environmental requirements. On other occasions, the skill and/or equipment of the building contractor is simply no match for the task. This is primarily evident in driveways with poor slope design, improper cambers, inadequate driving width and drainage and failed compaction. Finally, many contractors simply cut corners in order to hold to low estimates or save time. We commonly encounter driveways with over-spaced and/or improperly sized culverts, drainage features without armoring (the most common offense), badly damaged keeper trees. poor re-vegetation, biomass in the road bed and incomplete surfacing. These initial costs savings are always short-lived and illusory.
Do it Right, Do it Once!
At V&V, we believe driveways are no place to cut corners. There are many wrong ways to build and only a few correct ones. Money saved through cost cutting results in failures requiring fixes far exceeding any initial savings. In some cases, mitigation costs are more than initial driveway construction. It is really quite simple, take the time to learn about road building practices. Understand the basics of Integrated Land Management so you can plan, sequence and consolidate the process.
Map your property so you can evaluate all options on the ground. Consult, on-site, with various contractors and get multiple references, including older references – it sometimes takes several seasons for a seemingly well-constructed driveway to fail. Once you’ve met with prospective contractors, compare bids in an “apples to apples” manner, making sure each contractor provides all the necessary specifications and materials. This is the best and cheapest way to plan the construction of your driveway. No exceptions!
We guarantee our driveways and will monitor your site to identify and correct issues for one year following completion. Call us. Initial consultations are free within our basic service area. We would love to show you our work and provide recommendations.