Angela Erny Cobblestone Paver Driveway Project
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COBBLESTONE PAVER DRIVEWAY PROJECT BY ANGELA ERNY, JASPER, IN.
There were several reasons I did this project. First and foremost, I love projects and whether it's remodeling our home, restoring furniture, landscaping or a myriad of other things, I jump right in and my husband and I do our own work. I don't have a fear of projects, big or small.
We had completely remodeled the inside of our home and hadn't even thought of the driveway up to that point, but it was pea gravel and ugly and needed help. At first I considered just concrete, but after pricing that at the size of our drive, I would easily have been in the $14,000 plus range and I knew in my heart I'd hate it for being so bland. I started looking around for ideas, and that's when I came across the Olde World Stone & Tile site, quite by accident, and my first thought was I could probably handle that.
My husband, who is an engineer, wasn't so worried about me getting into it because he knows that's how I am, but he was very concerned that'd I'd have a strong enough block. Being an engineer, he's all about process and I'm a little like an artist and sort of wing things. But I had read about the paver formula on Olde World materials site and it didn't seem that complicated. I ordered just 4 molds late in the summer and made a few pavers just to see how difficult it would be.
Fortunately, I have a business that is two blocks from my home that makes cinder blocks and landscape blocks but they also sell bulk rock and sand. That's the thing that made this both easy and very cheap. I was able to buy a truck load of chip rock for about $24 and sand for less than that. And then the Portland cement was about 8 dollars a bag. I used two 5 gallon buckets of rock, 1 bucket of sand and 1 Portland cement for my raw mix. For each bag of cement I got about 80 pavers.
It's really funny because as you can imagine in a small town, people could not figure out what I was doing. And now I'll be out somewhere, and someone walks up who I don't even know and says, "oh, you're the one with the beautiful driveway." We've even caused a couple of accidents as people stop and check it out.
I don't have an exact figure but I'd estimate that each paver likely cost me anywhere from 12 cents to 20 cents on the high end. It wouldn't be quite that cheap if someone used ready mix concrete. I'd say on the high end I probably had about a total of $1200 into the 6100 pavers I made for this whole project, not counting my molds. The molds got a work out and I prolonged their lifespan by surrounding the whole base and lip of the mold with spray-on expanding foam insulation. It hardened onto the mold and kept the plastic from breaking after heavy use.
I think my husband thought I'd lose interest because I did this over two summers. But I kept going and couldn't be happier with the results. We spent about $3400 on excavation and filling in the excavation with lime rock base to have a solid foundation. We used about 52 tons of lime rock under the pavers. It's got a solid foundation and has held up beautifully over the winter. In terms of project difficulty, it wasn't at all difficult. It was just an investment of time. Thanks so much. It was a fun project. Long, but fun.