How to lay a concrete driveway

Laying a concrete driveway can be a big job, but if you’ve got the correct tools on hand, the right mind-set and attitude, then this rewarding project will be a practical and stylish addition to any home.

Concrete driveways are low maintenance and not to mention practical. I bet many readers can relate to seeing the unsightly gravel drives where cars have worn down tyre tracks to the muddy base! With concrete, you won’t need to worry about having to carry out fixes regularly, and the practicality doesn’t just end with a place to park your car. It can be a great, safe place for your kids to ride bikes and scooters, as well as a convenient way to make your house more accessible to wheelchairs.

If you’re wondering how to lay a concrete driveway, follow our step-by-step guide below!

Before you begin your concrete driveway:

  • Find out if you need planning permission – There’s nothing worse than starting a project to have it fall over at the first hurdle! We would recommend getting in touch with your local planning authorities first before carrying out the work. If your planning to turn your front garden into a driveway, then you need to make sure that that the material you use is permeable (or porous), allowing water to drain through.
  • Plan your driveway and its measurements – To figure out how much concrete you’re going to need, you need to work out the measurements! Make sure to consider the length and width and take into consideration any bends or turns in your new concrete driveway!
  • Calculate the concrete volume – Now that you have the above measurements you need to figure out how much concrete you’re going to need to do the job! You can contact a concrete company and they can supply you with their standard ready-mix concrete. As an alternative, we here at Oxcrete sell volumetric concrete, which means that you only pay for what you lay. This saves you from having too little or too much ready-mix concrete! Get in touch with us now to find out more.
  • Choose your reinforcement forms – To ensure that the concrete doesn’t escape and trickle away to where it shouldn’t be, you’ll need to make sure that you’ve got your reinforcements in place! We would recommend using wooden boards.

 

Ensure your driveway is prepared:

  • Mark out your driveway – Ensure you mark out your driveway using wooden stakes and builders’ line. This will help you to visualise where the driveway will go.
  • Use your reinforcements – lay down your forms which will contain the concrete in the shape you desire. Line these neatly from stake point to point. Ensure that the outer stakes are strong enough to support the forming boards. Also make sure that your form boards are sitting flush against each other, so you don’t lose any concrete!
  • Ensure your driveway base is as even as possible – Dependent on how heavy your car is, this could increase the amount of concrete you would need for your driveway base. If you have any dips on the ground, this too may increase the amount of concrete needed. Make sure to fill in these dips to ensure an even base.
  • Use a plate compactor to compact the fill material – The compaction of the soil is a very important part of the process as this is what the concrete will lay upon. Using a plate compactor, try to get a level base.

 

Let’s make that drive

  • Pour the concrete between the forms. Dependent on the surface area size, you may want to hire one of our concrete pumping systems to help with this!
  • Ensure the concrete is flat – You want to make sure you’re giving your car a stable drive with few lumps and bumps.
  • Create contraction joins if needed – Dependent on the size of the drive, you may need to create contraction joints which release stresses due to temperature and moisture variation.
  • Ensure the concrete is cured before use! This is the process of controlling the rate of which the concrete loses moisture during cement hydration.

Ensure that throughout all construction you wear appropriate and proper protective gear when using equipment during work at all times. If you’re a little unsure with how to go about laying down concrete for your drive, then feel free to get in touch with us hear at Oxcrete and we can see how we can help you with your project!

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