Installing a concrete driveway is a big project to tackle on your own. However, when done correctly, it can be a great way to improve your home’s curb appeal.
In this article, we’ll run you through the process of installing a concrete driveway. We’ll walk you through the process step-by-step, and we’ll also provide some tips on how to make the installation go as smoothly as possible.
So, if you’re ready to start paving your driveway, keep reading! Here are some tips on how to install a concrete driveway properly.
- What you need before getting started
Before getting started on your concrete driveway, there are a few things you need to take into consideration.
First, you need to make sure that the site where you’re installing the driveway is level. You can use a level tool to check this, or even just some old boards laid across the ground. If your driveway isn’t going to be level, then it’s going to end up bumpy and uneven. This could cause problems like your car getting stuck or not being able to park properly.
Next, you need to make sure that the area is clear of any debris or objects that could get in the way of the concrete mix. This means removing things like rocks, sticks, and leaves.
It’s also important to contact your local government to acquire any necessary permits. In some cases, you may need a permit from the city in order to install a driveway. You can usually find out if you need a permit by contacting your local government office or checking their website.
In Victoria, most driveway projects don’t require permits. However, the Victorian Building Authority recommends that you get the assistance of a registered building practitioner.
- How to prepare the ground for your driveway
Once you’ve determined that you’re ready to install a concrete driveway, it’s time to start preparing the ground.
First, mark out the area where the driveway will go. Then, use a shovel or power auger to dig out the grass and topsoil to a depth of about eight inches. Next, use a hand tamper or rented plate compactor to compact the subsoil. This will help to ensure that your driveway has a solid foundation. Once the subsoil is compacted, spread a layer of gravel over the area and compact it again. After this is done, you’re ready to pour your concrete.
By taking the time to properly prepare the ground, you can ensure that your new driveway will be long-lasting and durable.
- Laying down the concrete
First, you’ll need to calculate the amount of concrete needed. Be sure to account for the depth of the pour, as well as the length and width of the area.
Once you have the concrete mixed, you’ll need to spread it out evenly. A standard concrete truck can usually do this for you, but if you’re working with a smaller amount, you can simply use a shovel. In some cases, you might also require a concrete pump to transport the cement to the desired area.
Next, you’ll need to smooth out the surface of the concrete. There are a few different ways to do this. One option is to use a power trowel. This machine consists of a rotating metal plate that smooths the surface as it moves over the concrete.
Another option is to float the concrete. This process involves using a long-handled tool to evenly spread a layer of water over the surface. The water will help to fill in any low spots and create a smooth surface. Then, you can also use a hand-held power sander to sand down any high spots on the concrete.
Once the concrete is smooth, you’ll need to let it cure for 24-48 hours. During this time, it’s important to keep the area moist by spraying it down with a hose or covering it with wet burlap.
Finally, once the concrete has set, you’ll need to seal it in order to protect it from the elements.
- Finishing touches
Once the concrete has been poured and smoothed, you can add some finishing touches.
For example, you may want to consider adding a border around the edge of the driveway. This can be done with pavers, bricks, or even just concrete edging.
If you want you can also add some decorative elements to the surface of the concrete, such as stamps or stencils. These can be used to create patterns or images on the surface of the driveway.
- Maintenance and tips for keeping your driveway looking good
Once your concrete driveway is installed, you need to make sure it’s properly taken care of. Here are a few tips for maintaining your driveway:
Sweep away debris regularly. Leaves, twigs, and dirt can build up on your driveway and make it more difficult to clean. Sweep these items away as soon as you see them.
Pressure to wash your driveway once a year. This will remove any built-up dirt and grime, making it easier to keep clean in the future.
Seal your driveway every few years. This will help to protect the asphalt from the elements and prevent cracks and other damage.
If you live in an area with harsh winters, you’ll need to take some extra steps to protect your driveway. For example, you may want to apply a sealant to help prevent cracks from developing.
Keep in mind that, if you have an asphalt driveway, the maintenance routine that you need to follow will differ slightly.
Installing a concrete driveway is a complex project, but with proper preparation and execution, it can be a relatively easy process. By following the steps in this guide, you can ensure that your new driveway is installed correctly and will last for many years to come.