Has the thought of having a driveway in your outdoor space ever crossed you mind? Are you thinking of changing the overall look of your modern home? If you are, think of installing a concrete driveway. Truthfully, a concrete driveway is permanent. It is a structure that will serve you for a lifetime, as long as it is well laid and sealed. This type of driveway will not only be the most fascinating element you will have in your compound, but it will also go a long way in enhancing the aesthetic quality of your vicinity.
Concrete driveways are widely used throughout the world, mainly because concrete is highly durable, versatile, and adaptable. If you install one in your compound, it will provide a perfect arena where your kids will aggressively ride their scooters without getting hurt. It will also reduce erosion, hence keeping your garden beautiful every other day. Most importantly, a concrete driveway will help you maintain your car, since it will make it super easy for your car to remain sparkling clean 24 hours a day, and 7 days a week.
Can I install a concrete driveway by myself? This is a question that most DIY diehards ask. Honestly, laying a concrete driveway is a complicated project that is labour-intensive, and that requires a lot of resources in order to bring out desirable results. It therefore requires skills, knowledge, and experience. Unlike other simple concrete works, installing this element is not as easy as people think. For this reason, it is prudent to seek the services of a professional concrete contractor.
This does not, however, mean that you cannot do this by yourself. If you area do it yourself fanatic, this job will be very challenging, but it will bring out enviable results at the end if you do everything right. Below are stepson how to lay a new concrete driveway.
Develop a workable plan
Before you even think of pouring concrete, it is important to consider a number of things that will ensure that your driveway is functional, durable, and aesthetically appealing. You will need to ask yourself the following questions.
- Where will I lay the driveway?
- Will the site of my driveway be safe for me and my loved ones?
- What is the lay of my landscape? Will the driveway compliment it?
- What obstructions will need to be demolished?
- What type of concrete will I use?
Get permits for the driveway construction
The fact that you are installing the driveway by yourself does not mean that you should break the law of the land. For any construction project, many countries (if not all), require the owners of the project to seek permit from local jurisdictional agencies such as the counties, municipalities, and other relevant institutions as defined by the law. make sure you conform to this to ensure that you are in the right path as you start doing what you love most; doing projects all by yourself.
Get an expert to determine your soil bearing
The type of soil in your landscape can determine the strength of your concrete driveway. Get a soil expert, and have your soil tested. Loamy, soft, sandy, or loose soils need to be amended before you lay your driveway. They will need to be mechanically compacted, or adding some strong additives such as clay or gravel.
Lay the sides of the driveway
This will help you visualize how the end product will look like. You can make use of metal or wooden stakes and tie builder’s line on them. Make sure you use the exact measurements you had indicated on your initial plan.
Forms typically support the concrete load. For a normal driveway, you can use normal form boards and support them with wooden stakes. For curved driveways, use plywood or Masonite that is easy to bend, and strong enough to hold heavy concrete.
Install reinforcing material
A concrete driveway needs a strong foundation that will enhance its durability. Make sure you use the best reinforcing materials such as steel and polypropylene fiber. They are available at your local building material supply stores.
Pour the concrete
This is here the labor-intensiveness comes into play. You might need an extra hand in doing this. Ensure that you have the right tools for the job, and that trucks transporting the concrete have easy access to the site. Ensure that the concrete you pour has properly cured.
Give it a desirable finish
Since a concrete driveway is customizable, give it the look you desire by giving it a perfect finish. Use a sack or broom finish to do this.
Seal and beautify
Make sure you purchase the best sealants in the market. You can seek advice from experts before you do this. Additionally, ensure that the new driveway is the most visually appealing component in your outdoor space.
Finally….Test the driveway
After the concrete has cured completely (after about 72 hours), drive your car on it for you to get a taste of its usability and functionality. After you get a smooth ride on it, call your family and friends and celebrate your success!