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Question DetailsAsked on 6/12/2015

how much does it cost to regrade a driveway?

driveway slopes towards the house (street is higher than the house)... need to regrade driveway to take care of water pooling at front door and garage doors.

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Can't really give an answer that would mean much to a particular case, sight unseen. But, generally cheaper to put in specific drainage devices or measure than to regrade the entire driveway, especially if the street is higher than the house already. Cost can run from maybe $500 range in the simplest cases on up to several thousand in the nastier "house-in-a-hole" cases.

Driveway excavation (without the repaving) could run from about a bare minimum of $5-10/CY (cubic yard) in easy digging good subgrade and rough ballpark $5/SF plus or minus for resurfacing with concrete or asphalt, up to as much as $50-100/CY for hard bedrock excavation. If looking at a driveway reconfiguration that would need a slope and layout survey and plan, and possibly a curb cut relocation (moving where drive meets street) which a Civil Engineer who does site development planning can best do.

Normally, your better bet is to put in a swale, maybe by itself or with an open-top type slot drain culvert just in front of the garage, changing the slope locally there so the first couple of feet in front of the doors slopes away from the house to the drain, and of course it would also intercept water coming down the drive to the garage and door. Obviously, a swale by itself is only feasible if it can reasonably lead to a lower elevation away from the house to drain without dumping water into a neighbor's yard and causing problems there, whereas a slot drain or such can be placed in a trench to go underground to a lower elevation place, though that can be a problem in areas with deep frost penetration.

In extreme cases, depending on slopes and soil type, if drainage to a lower surfgace elevation is not feasible, such a drain can go to a drywell (in free-draining soil with no high water table so it drops into the ground) or wetwell with sump pump (for impervious soil or high water table areas) to drain into. In that sort of case it is usually better to put a diagonal swale or raised "speed bump" in the driveway at some place near to the house (to catch as much water as possible) and divert it safely to the side before it gets to the house - again if grade is such that works to divert most of the driveway water off to a location where it will not drain back to the house.

In some cases it is necessary to extend (paying attention to utility locations) a swale from the end of the cross-drive swale or bump through the adjacent yard to divert the flow around the house. I have worked a couple of jobs where the house was in such a low spot that it was actually necessary to block the yard and drive runoff with a berm all the way around the house about 6-10 feet away from it, so the house was actually inside a reverse moat - with the drive going up over the berm and all mass runoff (including roof gutter runoff) being kept away from the house by the berm, with only minor rainfall and snowmelt filtering down into the ground right near the house.

When doing this sort of thing you need to be careful about vehicle orientation entering the garage, because making the slope from garage door to drive can tilt a vehicle up enough that a high SUV or pickup will no longer fit under the garage door header as it enters the garage. The need to keep the swale or depression in front of the garage door gentle is another reason why using a swale or speed bump across the drive to catch most of the runoff BEFORE it gets to the house is a good idea.

Answered 4 years ago by LCD

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