How to Install an Asphalt Driveway

Asphalt makes a great choice for a driveway since it’s low maintenance, durable, and less expensive than concrete. However, if you want to border the driveway with bricks, known as a rowlock, it can be difficult to lay and compact the asphalt right up against the brick edge.

Here’s how to go about laying an asphalt driveway bordered with a brick rowlock:

    • Form Boards: Position form boards, held in place by stakes, to mark the outline of the driveway.
    • Dig Footing: Dig a trench outside the form boards for a concrete footing for the brick.
    • Pour Footings: Pour the concrete footing and allow it to set.
    • Lay Border Brick: Lay the brick rowlock on the concrete footing, with one edge of the brick flush against the form boards.
    • Grade Driveway: Grade the driveway surface flat and smooth to eliminate any peaks or valleys.
    • Lay Asphalt: Lay the asphalt on the bulk of the driveway with a paving machine. Shovel asphalt by hand in the areas next to the brick rowlock to keep from staining or damaging the brick.
  • Compact Asphalt: Compact the asphalt next to the brick rowlock by hand using a tamp, then compact the remaining asphalt in the driveway using a rolling machine. Cover the brick rowlock with plywood while rolling to protect it from damage.

Asphalt is a low maintenance surface, but sealer should be applied every few years to keep the asphalt driveway in good condition and extend its life.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information


  1. I am looking into using asphalt instead of concrete. Thanks for your tips about molding it to where you want it to be. After watching professionals lay asphalt, it makes sense that it would be hard to get it to fit around decorations like bricks. I imagine that the heat that comes from it would be another reason it would be difficult. I have much more respect for the professionals!

  2. I want to asphalt my driveway and outline it with the same color brick/rock that is on my columns, rowlock I guess. Who do you suggest I call in the Henrico Virginia area, 23227. Do I need to get a mason first?


  3. Dont try this at home, as they did not show the most important step of an asphalt drive and that is the base. It is extensive and very important. It is the part that the asphalt lays on. In northern cold regions, it is called the permafrost layer, as it is the layer that freez’s. If not done properly (thickness and consistency wise) it could buckle the asphalt layer!
    Also, no there is no “mortar between the bricks and form boards, ” as suggested!
    Otherwise, pretty good. Great job with this drive!

  4. I am about to have a complete level of asphalt laid down to form a new driveway. I have the base of stone laid in there now

    Here is my concern

    In my community there has been a tremendous amount of rain in the past week; should I wait for the base of stone that is tremendously damp right now…..should I wait for the sun to dry out this base and not have my asphalt be laid down on an extremely wet surface?

    Please give me your expert opinion on how I should proceed.


    • Hi, John,
      Danny says, “It’s perfectly fine if it’s a little wet but if it’s saturated I would certainly wait. The most important thing is that it is compacted properly to support the asphalt. Good luck!”


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