DIY Driveway Paving Preparation


Last Updated on June 10, 2024

Base preparation is different for installing asphalt and concrete. More than 50% of asphalt’s strength comes from its base. If the base is done improperly, it can lead to major issues. Unlike asphalt, concrete gets most of its strength from its hardness. Both need an appropriate base for a long lasting outcome. 

Occasionally customers want to do their own prep-work. If that is the case, here is what you need to know. 

Excavating and grading

Excavate the area where you want to have the asphalt or concrete laid. Keep in mind that when excavating you need to account for base plus either asphalt or concrete. Usually asphalt is 3” thick and concrete 4”. 

After you have excavated, add back base, keeping in mind your target grade. Use 3”-12” road base for asphalt and 3”- 6” of ¾ in gravel for concrete. The grade is the slope that the asphalt or concrete will have in order to make sure that water is able to run off. Concrete should have at least a 2% grade and asphalt 3%.

Grade can be measured using some simple items you probably already have around your house. You’ll need a bubble level, tape measure, and a 2X4. Take the 2X4 and put it on the ground with one end at a high spot and the other end pointing in the direction you expect the water to drain. Place the level on the 2X4. Pick up the low end of the 2×4 and lift it till the bubble in the level is centered between the two lines marked on the level. Measure the distance between the end of the 2X4 and the ground in inches.

Take that measurement and divide it by the length of your 2X4 in inches. Then move the decimal twice to the right and that is your grade percent. Repeat this grade check in multiple locations to make sure all areas slope toward an acceptable drainage area.

Example: Measurement from bottom of an 8 foot 2×4 to the ground is 3 inches. 8 feet is 96 inches(standard 2X4 length). 3 divide by 96=.03125. Move decimal to the right twice (3.125). Slope is just over 3%.

Once your grade is correct, rake the surface smooth, moisten, and compact.

Contact Top Job 

When you have completed these steps, contact us about  laying the asphalt or concrete. If, after reading this, you realize it might be a good idea to have a professional do it we would be more than happy to help.  Call us for a quote and then we’ll schedule a time to finish your project. We pride ourselves on doing it right and making sure our customers are taken care of.

Top Job Asphalt can help customize your project to meet your individual needs. We  work hard to train our employees, so that you as the customer can feel comfortable asking questions and knowing that you are getting credible information.

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Mike Phillips
Mike Phillips
January 17, 2023.
Great company to work with. We contacted Top Job to repair a county road that we dug across for an irrigation line. They were very professional yet friendly. Our job was completed quickly. We recommend this company.
Sam Rowley
Sam Rowley
December 8, 2022.
I’m not sure how the service actually is, but some old guy in a Top Job Toyota was riding my butt today and flipped me off, or it was maybe an aggressive wave at the red light near the Logan library. Hope his day gets better. 12/8 at 230
Kim Rappleye
Kim Rappleye
December 7, 2022.
Very professional and personalized service. Highly recommended!
Mark Malmstrom
Mark Malmstrom
November 22, 2022.
They were easy to get a hold of and showed up when they were scheduled. Good communication and good work.
David Bunnell
David Bunnell
November 4, 2022.
I appreciated the pleasant attitude when talking w/the estimator as well as the scheduler. The work crew did a great job! I highly recommend Top Job Asphalt!
Steven Jacobsen
Steven Jacobsen
October 30, 2022.
Top job Asphalt did an amazing job on my project very professional, I would definitely use them again when I have the need.
Chris Salvesen
Chris Salvesen
October 28, 2022.
Did a great job on the 3" overlay for my very old and deteriorated half circle driveway. Looks brand new. All the transitions to concrete are near perfectly matched when I wasn't sure they could do it. It's almost weird now not feeling the bump driving out of the garage or over our bridge.
Matt Welch
Matt Welch
October 27, 2022.
Top Job paved our asphalt driveways and we couldn't be happier. The service, quality and price were the best I could find and I looked everywhere! Great job guys! I'll be calling back when I start my next project.
Todd Wardrop
Todd Wardrop
October 26, 2022.
I'm so impressed!!😀 Top Job has done such excellent work on my neighbor's driveway ... I'm so jealous. It's absolutely beautiful, and I can't believe how smooth it turned out. It's just perfect. What a great company!

What Our Customers Are Saying

Very impressed with the quality of their work and the organization of the company. The project estimator was spot on as to when the bid would be received and the work was professional  from start to finish. I appreciated the opportunity for a walkthrough inspection after the crack filling was completed as I had some very large cracks in the asphalt. I give this company a ten out of ten (which I really do) and highly recommend them.

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