A Basic Guide On How To Lay A Concrete Driveway

A Basic Guide On How To Lay A Concrete Driveway

A concrete driveway is permanent and low maintenance which is something that a lot of homeowners are looking for. However, it is important to note that laying a concrete driveway is bother costly and labor intensive. If you feel up to the challenge, there are a number of steps that you should take to ensure that you lay your driveway correctly.

Create A Plan

Before you start getting material for your driveway, you need to create a plan. There are a number of points that need to be considered when planning your driveway. The first is how your car is going to turn when you enter the street. While looking at this, you have to consider if your home is close to a blind corner or other traffic hazards. These will need to be taken into account when you plan your driveway to ensure that everyone is safe.

You also need to consider the land that you are laying the driveway on. If you are going to be placing the driveway on a hill, you have to take the drainage into account to prevent erosion. You also have to be careful when it comes to the steepness of the driveway as you do not want to bottom out your car.

Check For Building Permits

Many people do not realize that they may need to have a building permit for their concrete driveway. To determine if there are any legal requirements such as permits, you need to contact your local council. The reason why you may need a permit is the fact that you are linking your home to the street which is a municipal right of way. The laying of your driveway may also impact on storm water runoff and utility lines.

Lay Out The Sides Of The Driveway

Once all of the paperwork has been taken care of and you have all of the materials you need, you have to start laying out the sides of the driveway. To do this, you will need to drive small metal or wooden stakes at the point where the driveway will meet the road and where it ends near your home. You can then use a builder’s line to connect these posts.

When you lay the sides of the driveway, you need to ensure that the resulting space is the same as the plan that you made. Measuring the width of the driveway is important to ensure that you are working with the right size.

Clear The Area

Once you have the driveway area marked, you need to remove any vegetation and other items from the area. You will also need to remove any sod from the area to ensure that the concrete will be placed on the right materials. If you have soft soil, you will need to remove enough for a fill material to be placed under the driveway you are building.

Pour And Grade The Concrete

Once you have the area cleared, you will need to pour the concrete. You should have enough concrete to create a slab of at least 4 inch thickness. You can grade the concrete by placing a straightedge on the edges of the driveway to measure the depth of the concrete. You should remove and add concrete as needed to reach the size that you want.

Thickness Of A Concrete Driveway

Thickness Of A Concrete Driveway

If you are thinking of having a concrete driveway, there are several important factors you need to consider in order to get it just right. There are several things that play an important role in the overall stability and strength of a concrete driveway. Many people think that the only factor that affects the strength of a concrete driveway is its thickness.

While it’s true that the thickness of concrete driveway plays an important role in its overall strength but you also need to understand that the thickness of a concrete driveway depends on the underlying soil as well as the kind of traffic expected on the driveway. For instance, a residential driveway will usually have everyday passenger vehicles driven on it which means it does not need to be too thick but you need to have a thicker driveway in case large commercial vehicles such as delivery trucks or trash collecting trucks will be driving on the driveway on a regular basis.

You can increase the strength of a concrete driveway by increasing the thickness but it will cost you a lot more and it’s an avoidable expense if you do not need that much thickness. On the other hand, if you get a driveway that is thinner than needed, it will give away quickly and you will have to spend far more money on relaying the driveway. Keep in mind that heavy vehicles cause severe damage over time.

The best way to figure out the right concrete thickness for the driveway is to hire the services of a soils engineer in order to find out the type of soil and to create a concrete pavement design for that particular soil type. However, hiring the services of a soils engineer can be expensive, especially if you plan to use it only for everyday passenger vehicles. Even then there is no guarantee that it will stand the test of time if it’s not built by a reputable contractor. Therefore, the right thing to do in order to get a high strength concrete driveway that will stand the test of time is to hire the services of an experienced concrete contractor who understands the basics and is knowledgeable about concrete.

Many consumers have been ripped off by fly by night concrete contractors who do not have the necessary knowledge to lay down the perfect concrete driveway. As far as the typical thickness for a concrete driveway is concerned, experts recommend 4 inches thick concrete driveway with wire reinforcement for residential purposes. In case you plan to use the driveway for commercial use, the driveway should at least be 6 inches thick with #3 bar reinforcement. For industrial use, a minimum 6 inches of thickness is recommended with #4 bar reinforcement. As far as the final thickness is concerned, it will depend on the wheel load, reinforcement size as well as spacing.

Overall, the best way to make sure that your concrete driveway is thick enough to stand the test of time is to hire the services of an experienced concrete contractor who has laid several such driveways over the years in your locality and is known for delivering high-quality products.