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Removing Your Old Driveway

If your driveway is broken and patchy, it's probably time to put in a new one. One way to save money is to demolish the old one yourself. If you have some mechanical ability and some rented equipment, you should be able to remove your old driveway quickly and efficiently.


First, you need to rent some heavy equipment. Ask the rental company what tools they recommend for the size and thickness of your current pavement. A hydraulic jackhammer can be used to break up the concrete or asphalt while a skid loader can pick up the heavy pieces. The loader is also effective at digging up rocks and hard dirt. You may also need a backhoe for excavating larger areas. 


Even doing it yourself will require a moderate financial investment. The estimated cost for removing your driveway pavement is $100-$500. Some of that cost is for renting equipment, but a substantial portion may be for the landfill or recycling fee. Also, the fee for renting a backhoe may be $150 - $350 per day by itself. However, professionals can charge you $1500 or more to remove a concrete driveway. 

Other Preparations

Before you begin digging, dial the Call Before You Dig line or local city officials to make certain you won't encounter any utility lines. In some instances, they may send someone out to mark the locations for you. Also, make plans to dispose of the debris. Concrete chunks and blocks are actually in demand, so you may be able to give them away through an online advertisement. If you are removing asphalt, find a nearby facility that will recycle it. Having these plans in place before you dig will save you time and may lessen disposal fees. 


Removing the driveway will take some time and effort. After the pavement is gone, you will have to prepare the earth underneath. If you are going to replace the driveway, you have to make sure that you add new sub-levels of dirt, sand, and gravel before adding new concrete or asphalt. If you are moving the driveway, you will have to refill the open channel that will be left behind. 

If your old driveway has seen better days, you can probably handle the task yourself. You will need to rent some heavy equipment and complete some simple preparations, but the job is certainly manageable. Consult with a local heavy equipment rental company for help in acquiring the proper tools for the job.