Pouring Concrete Footings for Cobblestone Curbing in Somers, New York

Creating a Trench for the Footing-

Belgian Block also referred to as cobblestones can add a rustic look to the outside edges of your driveway. Before these blocks can be set into place a few steps must take place first. First, a trench is dug to allow space for the concrete.


Pouring the Concrete Footings-

After the trench is dug string lines are set up at a pre-determined height to be used as a guide. The concrete footing is poured and then the cobblestones are set into the wet concrete.



Shaping the Joints-

Once the stones have been set, it takes several hours before the cement dries and the stones to fasten. Once the stones are fastened into place wet cement is poured into the cracks, known as the joints. The cement is shaped with a shaping tool to fill the cracks and give a neat finish to the stones.


Installing Drainage Before Paving Your Driveway

How Important Is Drainage Planning?

It is extremely important to have a drainage plan in place before paving a driveway. Implementing a drainage plan is the most important aspect of installing a driveway because if it’s not done correctly, parts of the driveway may have to be removed or replaced in order for it to be fixed. That will only lead to bigger costs for the homeowner.

Ways to Avoid Drainage Problems –

One of the most effective ways to avoid drainage problems when installing a driveway is to make sure the asphalt has the correct pitch. If your driveway is properly graded with the correct pitch, water will run off of the surface to the nearest low spot.  If it’s done incorrectly, the water may pool on the asphalt.

Trenches & Swales-

Trench drains are one of the best options for most homeowners who have a driveway that is sloped towards their home. Typically trench drains are installed several feet away from the cement floor of the garage. Water will flow into the trench drain and will be redirected through a pipe which is connected to the drain. The piping will lead to the side of the driveway and is pitched towards a low point, normally located on the side of the homeowner’s house or in the backyard. A solid pipe is used for collecting and redirecting the water. Swails are channels built adjacent to driveways often lined with gravel or larger stones. They’re another effective alternative chosen by many homeowners. The only difference between a swale and trench drain is swales sit on top of the soil and are lined with large rocks, riprap, or gravel. They do not need a pipe to redirect water.

Tire scuffing on an Asphalt Driveway In Somers, Ny.

What Causes Tire Scuffing On My Driveway?

There are plenty of ways for those annoying marks to show up in your asphalt driveway but timing, temperature, and tires have a lot to do with it.

Timing Is Everything. 

Starting with the age of the pavement, freshly laid asphalt is more susceptible to tire scuff marks since the material is still soft and malleable. Over time as the material hardens, scuff marks on the asphalt will ultimately fade and become invisible.

Heat Softens Asphalt and Makes It Flexible. 

It is also important to understand how outdoor temperatures at various times of the year affect the rate at which asphalt hardens after being laid. Hot temperatures, particularly in late Spring throughout Summer will slow the curing process, keeping the material soft and flexible for a longer duration of time.

Tires, Vehicles, and Your Driving Tendencies. 

Your vehicle’s weight is  another cause to tire scuffing. Sudden braking, stationary turns of the tires, and vehicles that have power steering are some typical causes to scuff marks on new pavement. Front-wheel drive cars tend to have higher loading on the front wheels which results in higher contact pressure against the asphalt. Note that asphalt laid when temperatures are consistently hot will remain in a flexible, malleable state until cooler weather returns. Therefore you should be very careful and cautious on how you move your vehicle on new pavement in hot temperatures. The types of tires on your vehicle can also play a role in tire scuffing. Typically most standard tires will cause scuffing on new pavement, but tires that contain rugged tread patterns, steel belts, or trucks with off road tires are guaranteed to leave unappealing marks. In some cases, the type of asphalt your driveway is composed of will influence the chances of your driveway being marked.

Materials Matter. 

It’s not just the materials in your tires that are important, the quality of materials in your asphalt driveway determine it’s durability. A thin sealcoat is more likely to be scuffed than an asphalt that is a coarse aggregate type. Materials that are coarse aggregate typically have a less aesthetically pleasing look, but will be more resistant to scuffing and indentation.

How Can I Prevent Marks From Tire Scuffing On My Driveway? 

In nearly three decades of driveway paving and asphalt maintenance, we’ve found the key to prevention is knowledge, preparation, and the right materials. Lean on our experience – the Northern Construction team knows what it takes to keep driveways looking their best. Our process ensures that your driveway is built on a strong foundation of durable, long-lasting materials and that you understand when it’s most susceptible to damage like tire scuffing so that you can do your part to protect it.

Why Should You Install Interlocking Pavers? Cortlandt Manor, NY

Value- Installing pavers can increase the value of your home. This kind of attractive curb appeal, if properly installed, especially with hardscaping that requires minimal maintenance can last up to three decades. They go a long way and are quite an appeal to any prospective buyers.


Aesthetic- Interlocking pavers come in a variety of styles and colors such as modern, contemporary, and traditional design. There are many color options to complement your home’s exterior design. They offer a much nicer finish than other alternatives such as concrete, and are quite valuable to your homes exterior design. Installing interlocking pavers will dramatically enhance the look of your walkway, driveway, pool deck, or patio.


Installation- Selecting a contractor to install your pavers is very important. Northern Construction has over 22 years of experience installing beautiful interlocking paver patios and walkways for our clients. We prioritize our clients needs and always put them first. 


Durability: Pavers can withstand severe cold, rain, ice and snow. Their strength and durability makes them a better alternative than concrete or asphalt. Cracking doesn’t occur usually in pavers because of the joint spacing in between the pavers and because they’re set on a sand and item four base. Joint spacing also allows pavers to adjust to any potential shifts in the foundation they sit on.


Repairs- If repairs are needed they’re easily done. Interlocking pavers can easily be lifted and replaced or repositioned back into alignment with little hassle, unlike repairing a slab of concrete which may require demolition and repouring. The cost to repair or replace pavers is relatively low, and their likelihood of being damaged is quite low.


How Do Harsh New York Winters Affect Asphalt Driveways In Yorktown, Ny.

Cold weather and precipitation during the winter months can cause damage to asphalt surfaces. Many homeowners unfortunately forget to take necessary precautions to help their driveway withstand freezing cold, snow, and precipitation. A neglected driveway can lead to more serious matters, like cracking or upheaving in the pavement from freeze and water damage. These problems not only look aesthetically bad, but can cost quite a lot to fix in terms of driveway reparations. Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce the emergence of any issues that can arise from cold and freezing weather.

Maintenance Essentials for your Driveway


Understand What Affects Your Sealcoating

Sealing your driveway in early fall before winter is a great way to prevent water from entering unsealed cracks and spaces where it can enter underneath the asphalt and compromise sub-base and cause heaving. Also consider a hot tar to seal the seam of your driveway where it enters the road, and other possible cracks. Ask Northern Construction about the different types of tars and seal coats that can be applied to cracks. Hot tar and sealcoat will protect your driveway from harsh cold temperatures and precipitation.


Make Sure you have Snow Shovels on Hand

It’s always handy to keep a few shovels around for quick and easy snow removal. Snow that is left to sit and melt will turn into water only to freeze overnight, leaving an icy surprise in your driveway the following morning. Choose shovels that do not have overly sharp edges to prevent chipping the pavement.

Consider the use of De-icers

Preventing ice from building up in your driveway is critical to keeping asphalt safe from freezing and thawing damage from ice. There are various kinds of de-icers such as calcium or rock salt, which are effective at preventing a buildup of ice. However, most of these products can be environmentally harmful to plants and animals. Some types of salts can be harmful to pets, getting stuck in their paws and causing irritation. It’s important to do your research to see what products will be environmentally friendly with your driveway and your property.

Apply Temporary Solutions When Necessary To Extend The Life of Your Driveway

Whomever is paving your driveway should warn you about any potholes that might possibly arise from contact between the plow and pavement. If you notice a pothole has appeared, consider cold mix as a temporary but effective solution to preventing the pothole from expanding. Ask Northern Construction about filling potholes to prevent water and ice from heaving your driveway.  Our clients who come to us with questions for keeping their driveways protected by winter snow and ice are given the best recommendations from our team based on the condition of their driveway. For nearly three decades we’ve helped our clients maintain their driveways throughout the winter, providing them with the best choices in terms of snow and ice protection.


5 Key Elements in An Asphalt Driveway In Westchester County, New York.

Appearance – Your driveway is one of the first things you or your guest will see at your home.

It can be a focal point of your house and even add value to your home. A well-paved driveway has neat and straight edges, a smooth surface to drive or walk on, and clean seams. A professional contractor will leave you with a nice looking and strong driveway.

Proper installation- The way your driveway is installed means everything to its effectiveness and longevity.

A professional asphalt contractor will discuss with you a game plan for your driveway. Many people have their driveway repaved because either their driveway is old and cracking or they have water issues. Driveways can either be overlaid or torn out and re-paved. An overlay is when new asphalt is paved directly over the existing driveway. When this is done, a sticky glue-like substance called tack coat is applied to the old driveway. This will create a strong bond between the old and new asphalt. When a driveway is removed, the old asphalt and sub-base are trucked away. A new sub-base is installed and compacted. Then a new finish layer of asphalt is put down.

Foundation – The key to a long-lasting driveway is the foundation.

Just like anything else you build, if the foundation is weak, then the structure that you put on top of it will be weak. A good driveway has a sub-base  Item 4, which is a common base material put down under roads and driveways. You should discuss with your contractor which item 4 they are using as there are several different grades.  Compaction is incredibly important in installing a good sub-base because if your sub-base isn’t compacted properly, it can cause sinkholes and heaving.

Drainage- Water is one of the most damaging elements to asphalt.

If water is not diverted away from the pavement and low lying areas, it will form puddles and destroy the pavement over time. In the winter, standing water in your driveway can freeze and cause slipping hazards. It is crucial to pitch the pavement to allow water runoff.  If your home is downhill and your driveway is pitched towards your home, you may have to install a drain to capture the water and divert it away.

Maintenance- Proper driveway maintenance ensures the longevity of your driveway.

After time, the asphalt will start to wear and may be subject to cracking, It’s important to fill these cracks with crack sealer so water will not penetrate and cause further damage. Seal coating is another option for maintenance. Seal coat is a liquid tar that can be applied every couple years to protect your driveway from weather elements and keep it looking new.

Trust Northern Construction’s 20+ years of expertise in driveway paving and maintenance, contact us today for a free estimate.

5 Questions to Ask Your Driveway Paving Company In Westchester, New York.

What’s Important to Know When Picking the Right Driveway Paving Company?

There are many factors that go into choosing the right driveway paving company however many people that are looking to hire a paving company know little about the process, which is completely understandable. You want to make sure you are asking the right questions to ensure that you hire the company that is right for the job.

1. References –

When looking for a company to pave your driveway, you want to make sure they have great references. A paving company should always have customers that are happy with the work that was done to their driveway. Ask to see pictures of the work that was done or maybe even personally drive by a job they recently did to see if you like the finished product.

2. Accurate Quotes –

It is a good idea to get several estimates from different contractors for your paving job. However, chances are the quotes will vary with both price and job description. You must compare “apples to apples” when comparing quotes and determine which contractor has the expertise to do the job correctly. The longer a company has been in business the more experience they have! Northern Construction has been in business for over 25 years!

3. The Importance of Drainage –

When hiring a paving contractor to pave your driveway, it is vital that the contractor understands how the water drainage effects the pavement and what needs to be done to ensure adequate drainage is in place prior to paving. Unfortunately many paving contractors do not understand how to properly installed adequate drainage. Northern is highly skilled with installing or repairing drainage. Rain water must drain off the driveway and there should be minimal ground water that drains underneath the driveway – in addition a proper sub base must be in place before paving. If the correct drainage in not in place, you can have driveway settling, frost heave and premature failure. Make sure the contractor doing the work has the knowledge needed to get the job done correctly!

4. How long has company been in business and is the company insured

When looking for a driveway paving company, you want to make sure you find a company that is insured. . Always ask for an insurance certificate before you hire any contractor to work at your home! A company that is not insured may be able to give you lower prices, but in the end, it could lead to many problems for you (the homeowner). If a company is not insured, the homeowner is ultimately responsible for everything, such as an accident or a worker getting hurt on the job Northern Construction has been in business since 1993 serving both Westchester and Putnam County. We take pride in the fact that we have our Home Improvement License in both counties and have adequate amounts of insurance coverage.

5. Is The Right Equipment Being Used –

A company paving a driveway should be working with equipment that is up to date and ready to get the job done. You don’t want to bring in a company that has machines that are worn out and breakdown easily. Machines that are on their way out could potentially slow down the process and leave you with a driveway looking worse than it did before. Northern Construction takes pride in delivering a superior finished project for each job that is done. We use “state-of-the-art” heavy duty equipment and top quality material to ensure impeccable results, and our products and services consistently exceed industry standards. Quality workmanship and exceptional service is more than a slogan at Northern Construction ….. It’s our promise to you.