Removing Your Driveway through DIY

A driveway is a near-permanent fixture of most homes, but it can be removed with some hard work. Whether it is because of major changes to your property or just out of personal preference, digging up a driveway can actually be done as a mostly DIY project to save some extra money.

Eagle Dumpster Rental is the preferred junk hauling company for homes, businesses, churches, municipal organizations, and others in and around Shiloh, New Jersey and the 08353 ZIP code.

However, it is not easy. Knowing what you need to do before you start is important, so here are some core tips on the process that you will want to keep in mind. The more you understand about what is involved, the easier it becomes to avoid costly mistakes.

Why DIY?

Removing a driveway can cost anywhere between $2,000 and $2,500, on average. This does not include the costs of anything else that you do, like replacing it or filling in the hole that it leaves behind, making it a very costly process.

If you can do the bulk of the work yourself, then you save a lot of money and earn some new skills along the way.

  • Checking your driveway

It is important to check your driveway’s current state before you try to remove it, just in case it overlaps with anything important. In general, most of your electrical and water lines run directly under the driveway, which means that there are certain digging depths that you will want to avoid.

Try to get an inspector to visit. They can mark out the location of the lines and help you avoid rupturing any pipes or cutting any cables while you are digging up the drive, something that can save you a lot of accidental repair costs.

It also helps to estimate the total volume of your driveway, if possible, so that you know how much you will have to throw away. Our dumpster rental options can help you dispose of the debris that is left behind after the project is over and will provide a good place to dump it during the driveway removal itself.

  • Plan ahead

Think about what you are going to do during each step of the process. Even if you do not know the specifics yet, you should be aware of some basic things: have you scheduled a dumpster rental for when you plan to start the project, how much free time you will have.

If you go into a project like this without any kind of plan, then it can quickly become a mess. Even something small, like moving your car to the bottom of the driveway so that you do not have to drive across the broken materials to get to work, can be something that you might not initially think of.

  • Gather your tools

For an asphalt driveway, it helps to have a jackhammer and/or circular saw. For concrete driveways, you will just want a jackhammer since the saw might not be as effective. You can rent both if you do not already own them, which saves on the costs of having to buy outright.

It is a good idea to try and practice with your equipment, or at least review the manuals and controls, before you start. This can help you avoid making any major mistakes and might also make the project easier in the long run.

Face coverings and protective clothing are important, too. Never assume that you are safe in casual clothing, especially when dealing with potentially toxic materials.

  • Break the driveway

Your first step should be to break into the driveway. How you do this depends on the materials that the driveway is made out of.

With an asphalt driveway, try to find a damaged area and cut (or jackhammer) it into smaller pieces, then shove it into a pile (or dumpster). You can either do this in sections or just break up the entire driveway at once and then dispose of it later.

Asphalt driveways are easier to break up overall, so you can usually start to crack it anywhere as long as it is weak enough. This makes it easy to begin breaking it open if you do not have any obviously damaged spots to start with.

Concrete is harder and less likely to be damaged initially, so you will want to start at a top corner and jackhammer the concrete into smaller pieces. This can take a while, so do not hesitate to enlist help if you have a lot of concrete to move – or if you have extra tools and want to break it up faster.

Since it is so tough, you will want to try and choose the weaker corners instead of starting in the middle. This can require some extra planning, so be sure that you have an idea of how you want to break up the driveway before you begin, just in case you end up using an inefficient method.

  • Dispose of the driveway

It can take a while to fully clear up a driveway. If you are using one of our dumpsters, then you can always toss each ‘pile’ of materials into the dumpster itself between periods of breaking up the driveway, meaning that you are clearing it at a regular pace. You can always let the pile build up, then throw the rest away at the end. 

Either way, it is a good idea to get help from friends or family, especially if you have a large driveway. The more you need to throw away, the longer it will take, so having more pairs of hands to move it around can really speed things up when you have a lot of debris to move.

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