The thing about DIY paving is that it’s straightforward if you follow instructions on the package; mix and pour some heat, water, or tar if the material needs it, and let it set. Get a sealant, a coat or two, and your patio, porch, driveway, or the couple potholes on your curb, all fixed like those infomercials show! It’s straightforward until it’s not. Regardless of DIY paving promoters saying you can save up to 80% in costs by doing your paving project yourself, they apparently have a dedicated tool shed plus experience. In contrast, you have to keep investing in dodgy DIY paving kits.
Paving is a complex romance between weather and earth, and no DIY wingman ought to be in the middle when the stakes are high. This is why professional paving contractors exist. Not to discourage you, but please dabble in paving when you have an experienced guide with you!
Here are some things that DIY pavers often miss out and we want you all to be aware of the actual outcomes of a non-pro prepped paving project.
1. Guesstimates & High Costs
When paving asphalt, one needs to know how much is required, the thickness, the area for paving; in the case of concrete, it’s crucial to get the right consistency, the site to pour, depth, and any required additives. Temperatures and daytime are essential in both cases. And these material amounts tend to be overestimated by DIY beginners, forming quite an expense. Professionals know from experience which estimates correlate to what kind of paving. They save you a lot of money.
2. Lacking Sophisticated Equipment
You need many tools to pave, and you can’t try compaction wearing your steel toes or patting the earth down with a shovel; you need legit equipment. It would help if you had screeds and trowels, sponges and emulsions, hot rollers and sprays, squeegees and stencils, a lot of odd-sounding tools. The 80% that you’re saving doing this paving job yourself is the 80% or more going into the purchases that will end up resting in your toolshed. And bless your frustration, for you will have hired professionals by then!
3. Legal Hassles:
ADA compliance, permits, and zones for something as menial as laying a new driveway can be stressful. In Florida, if you’re a part of a Homeowner’s Association, that can cause even more confusion with wanting to upgrade your pavement. Professional contractors know how to get things done legally without you having to deal with any unpleasantries. That’s something DIY doesn’t teach you.
Hot asphalt emulsion, concrete mix dust, hot tar, spikey squeegees, and possible paving blocks (if it’s a block project) are all hazards if you don’t wear masks, goggles, boots, and gloves to protect yourself. And do you mind telling us, were you going to use a concrete board jigsaw to cut expansion joints in your driveway? There is a proper cutter for poured pavement if you just let the pros do you a favor!
5. Mismanaging Hacks:
Ah! The juiciest advantage longstanding paving pros have over DIY folk is tweaks, hacks, and techniques. Example: pave your driveway with consideration to the heaviest vehicles that may pass over it to avoid ruts. Another one: don’t use sand to blot the oily spots in your pavement before seal coating it; buy a degreaser! Even oil stain removal from concrete and asphalt are a class of hacks in themselves that experienced pros know after paving, sealing, and seal coating for so long.
If you still want to work on your DIY skills in paving, feel free to consult us for material and area estimates, plus our expert opinion. At CAM Service & Repair LLC, we not only tailor our services to your needs across Orlando, FL, we also impart professional paving knowledge to those who seek it!