If you are renovating an outside space and getting ready to convert an old, gravel driveway into something a little more spectacular, you may be thinking about paving its length from your boundary all the way up to your home. You feel that this will be a much better welcome when people visit and over the long run, will be easier to maintain as well.
However, you need to be certain that this new method will "take" and will be stable when finished, as the last thing you want is failure due to subsidence or another problem with the soil beneath. In other words, you need to be sure that the underlying base is stable and may need to introduce a separate process before you can continue with the actual paving itself. What does this entail?
While much will depend on the nature of the soil itself, engineers and contractors are able to stabilise the base "ex-situ" by adding certain products to the contaminated soil. These will prompt a reaction and alter its properties.
For example, they may be able to add polyethylene, emulsified asphalt, modified sulphur cement or molten bitumen as specific agents that, once complete, will make the soil suitable for your project.
This is a cost-effective way of dealing with the problem, rather than trying to remove a large amount of soil and replace with other more suitable products. For example, this will help you to avoid additional labour costs and transportation expenses. Furthermore, you won't have to buy in aggregate or base material from a third-party provider.
You will probably find that the costs of stabilisation are relatively low as well and the aforementioned agents like molten bitumen are fairly inexpensive too.
If you are in a rush to complete this job, ex-situ stabilisation is definitely the way to go. When you decide that this is the best course of action, it will add a protective layer to the top of your soil base, and you can be sure that the paving stones will remain stable for the long term, once they are laid in place.
Ask your paving contractors to look into the practicalities involved in ex-situ stabilisation and to give you a quote. This will be your best solution as you look forward to replacing your old driveway with something more appropriate for the style of your home.