LESLIE: Next up, we’ve got Jim. Welcome to The Money Pit. How can we help you today?
JIM: Yes. I’m shopping for a new driveway.
JIM: My old one’s cracked really bad. And I was wondering what to look for as far as to know whether a guy is going to give me what I really need and something good that won’t crack again very well.
TOM: What kind of driveway do you have now? Is it a concrete or asphalt driveway?
JIM: It’s a concrete.
TOM: Well, the key here is going to be the preparation of the base. I mean that’s where the rubber meets the road. If the concrete is not thick enough, it’s not going to be strong enough. And if it’s not strong enough, it’s going to crack. So what I would focus on is making sure that you get a quality contractor first.
And how would I find a quality contractor? Well, I would thoroughly check the contractor’s references. I would go online and check some of the review sites. Take a look at Angie’s List, for example. And see if you can find somebody who’s got a good reputation for doing good work in the area.
And then, once you’ve selected one or two guys that are good, then get their estimates and compare those to try to make an apples-to-apples comparison, because there’s a lot of ways to kind of cut corners when it comes to driveways. You know, one guy could put 3 inches of concrete down and another guy could put 6 inches of concrete down. One guy could tamp the base really solid with equipment that’s designed to do that and another guy might just throw the mud down and drive off.
So, it really comes down to technique and making sure it’s applied correctly. And if it is, you’re going to have a concrete that can – a driveway that can last indefinitely.
JIM: OK. This one gentleman I was talking to about it said the concrete he uses was – has fiberglass in it?
TOM: Yeah. Well, there’s a way to put a – different types of material in concrete that helps it resist cracking and that’s just one of many elements that would go into a good driveway job.
JIM: OK. Do they still use mesh and rebar and stuff like that?
TOM: Oh, yeah. Mm-hmm. Yep. They sure do.
JIM: OK. Well, I really appreciate the help.
TOM: Alright, Jim. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.