A concrete driveway not only brings a functional element of your property but also has an important visual function impact the curb appeal of your property. Building a new concrete driveway needs to follow a well defined process.
Why Build a Concrete Driveway?
Concrete is a durable and weather-resistant paving material, so it’s a popular choice of material in driveway construction. It also needs minimal maintenance and is easy to repair.
Constructing a concrete driveway on your property allows you to create an attractive exterior on your property. While concrete possesses a basic grey colour, decorative treatments are available to give concrete a fresher and more modern look.
Steps in Building a New Concrete Driveway
If you’re up to the challenge of building your concrete driveway, you can follow these steps.
Plan your driveway’s design.
In creating the design of your driveway, consider the number and size of the vehicles you have and whether you need space to turn or manoeuvre your vehicles. If you’re working on a large space, you might want to add a few enhancements, like greenery or a water feature.
Keep in mind that the size of your driveway affects the cost of the project as it will determine the number of materials you need.
Mobilise materials to the site.
After sorting out your design and budget, gather all the supplies, materials, and equipment you need to build.
Prep the area.
Start by removing existing material like grass, leaves, and trash. Once cleaned of debris, it is easier to for you to create the layout of the garden, firm up the base and lay down the concrete.
Drive metal or wooden pegs at the boundaries and connect them with strings. Doing this will let you see the layout of your driveway and guide you on where to pour the concrete.
Compact the base.
If the ground you’re working on is loose or sandy, a clay base will do. For loamy soil, firm it up with sand or gravel. You may consider adding weed control substances if necessary. After adding material, dampen the base with water to make soil compacting easier.
Install stabilisations sheets and grade pegs.
To strengthen the base, you can install stabilisation sheets. This can be a geotextile fabric that helps reduce materials from sinking. Grade pegs serve as a guide on how much concrete you should pour to achieve the correct height.
Lay down the concrete mix from the corner, then spread it evenly using a rake or shovel. If concrete seeps through the edges, remove it with an edging trowel. Keep in mind that the concrete needs to be at a height of at least four inches for it to withstand daily wear and tear.
Level the surface.
Use a trowel to create a flat, level finish. Edges can also be smoothened out with a bullnose to remove rough areas.
Install contraction joints.
As concrete dries, it expands and could crack. You can avoid this by using wood or plastic strips to cut into the concrete. Ideally, cuts should be every four feet and an inch deep.
Add texture to the surface.
Remember, a smooth surface provides little traction. To add texture, you can run a broom or sack across the surface of the concrete.
Moist-curing concrete until it dries prevents it from cracking. You can do this by covering the concrete slab with burlap or straw and then wetting it down until it is completely dry.
It usually takes three to four days for concrete to cure. Afterwards, you can dress up your driveway however you want.