5 Tips for Building a Concrete Driveway

If you considering building a driveway for your home, why not have it made out of concrete? Concrete driveways are very strong, so if you own a heavy vehicle like an SUV or a pickup truck, you don’t have to worry about cracks too much. Concrete is a very durable material as well, meaning you won’t have to spend a lot on its upkeep.

Working with concrete shouldn’t be a problem, especially if you have some prior DIY construction experience. The following tips will help ensure that you avoid any serious mistakes as well:

Plan Out the Dimensions

When you plan out the size and shape of the driveway, you’ll make sure that you avoid doing a sloppy job. Don’t worry, you don’t need to know how to use any sort of architecture software. Simply, construct an illustration of the driveway and note down the proper dimensions.

The length and width should vary depending on what vehicle you own and how many. For instance, you should plan out a length of 18 to 20 feet for a typical sedan, while a van will require 22 feet or more. If you own just one car, then a width of 10 to 12 feet should be adequate.

Figure Out How Much Concrete to Purchase

Concrete is usually sold in cubic yards, hence you’ll have to do a simple conversion calculation. First, multiply the length of the planned driveway by its width. This should give you its area in square feet.

Second, multiple the area by the planned depth (typically this is around 0.35 feet), which gives you the volume in cubic feet. Finally, divide this value by 27, which should convert it to cubic yards.

Determine How You’ll Build the Forms

In order to pour concrete into the proper shape, you’ll need to build a container or forms. Typically forms are made of wood and stakes are used to give them some reinforcement. If you never constructed forms before, we highly recommend you get professional advice from a trusted concrete formwork Sydney-based contractor.

Gather All of the Required Tools and Supplies

Before you get to the latter phases of the project (pouring, levelling, finishing…etc.), it’s best to make sure that you have everything you need. After you finish pouring the concrete onto the forms, you’ll have to level and smooth it out before it dries. If you don’t have the right hand float, screed, edging tool…etc. the concrete might harden before you can level it and add the finishing touches.

Make Sure To Create Contraction Joints

You can’t stop concrete from cracking as it dries. However you can stop it from becoming weak as a result. In order to this, simply create grooves in the concrete, which cuts into about 25% of the slab’s total depth. These are called ‘contract joints’ and should be present every four feet or so on your driveway.

Concrete is a great material for building a driveway. It’s strong and low-maintenance as well. If you’ve never done so before, working with concrete can seem quite intimidating. However, as long as you follow the proper tips, you’ll be able to avoid any serious mistakes.


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