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The Best Inexpensive Roadway

Tar and Chip - The Best Inexpensive Roadway

Have you ever priced out gravel? Holy moly! Roads require bulldozer work at $200 per hour, and tri-axle truck loads of multiple tons of rock for thousands of dollars! But if you have hills or draining issues or simply wear and tear, gravel needs to be replaced frequently. Needless to say, I did some research on the best inexpensive roadway and we decided after many years of erosion to add a roadway and a shop floor in our barn made of tar & chip.

Have you heard of that before? I hadn’t. 

When pricing out gravel (so romantic I know) its hard to say what an average price is because it depends entirely on type and size of gravel, as well as how many inches of depth it needs to cover. With that being said, the average price is a range of $0.50 to $2.50 per sq ft.

A Tar and Chip Roadway

Tar and chip requires gravel to be laid and leveled, then they spread a layer of tar over the top to keep the gravel in place, then they lay river rock on top of that which is absolutely beautiful by the way, it looks like pea gravel, and then a sealant is applied to keep the rock in place. It is costing us $1.25 per sq ft, not included the gravel needed.

It’s been an interesting project to watch as a huge crew is out here with all kinds of large, unique pieces of equipment to lay this road and level it off with lasers so there is no standing water and it drains perfectly. It is coming along beautifully! I never thought I would be so excited for a new road!

Why did we choose tar and chip? Well asphalt costs $7-$13 per sq ft and concrete costs… well… let me just share with you our quote. Our indoor riding arena we are converting to a shop is 4,150 sq ft. I got a quote for half the barn, only about 2,000 sq ft for a concrete slab and the quote was $32,500! That’s $16.25 per sq ft!

So I started doing some research online and I saw and ad for tar & chip and saw it was used on roadways, I called them and asked if they did inside barns and they said yes! So we went from $16.25 per sq ft to $1.25 per sq ft! That is an insane amount of savings.

Just for examples sake, if we were to do the entire arena area in cement it would have cost us $67,437. But instead we chose tar and chip and we are only spending $5,187!! Like, are you kidding me? That is $62,250 that we saved to use elsewhere on our home and barn renovations simply by choosing a different material!

Just be diligent! You can get creative and do your research and you can save a lot of money if you think outside the box a bit. And now Drew has a huge shop to work on all of our equipment and he doesn’t have to lay in the dust or the dirt. Everything will be clean and organized, something we really haven’t had in the six years we have lived here.

I hope this is helpful and encouraging if you or someone you know is doing some renovations! 

Always here to save you money


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