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Concrete Driveways: 5 Tips For Achieving The Perfect Finish

Posted on 24th May 2016 by Ever Readymix Concrete

Concrete driveways can become a fantastic, low maintenance addition to your home. If you’re willing to take on the job yourself, laying a concrete driveway can be a challenging yet vastly rewarding project. Here are five tips to help you and ensure a safe, attractive and durable driveway.


Get Planning:

Before you start getting things together, it’s vital to plan the project thoroughly.You’ll want to make sure that the driveway is not only functional, but durable and attractive too. Consider things like:

  • Lay of the land Building on a hill? Always keep in mind how steep an incline you are dealing with. You don’t want to build on a contour that is so steep that you could bottom out and damage your vehicle. You will also want to be mindful of drainage consideration so that soil erosion doesn’t become an issue in the future.
  • Location Keep in mind how you will be entering and exiting your driveway. If you’re backing out onto a hazardous blind corner, perhaps you make allowances for widening the driveway, so that you can turn around before pulling out. A circle driveway might also be worth thinking about.
  • Permissions Always check with local jurisdiction agencies to determine what, if any, planning permits you might need before your project can get the go ahead.
  • Estimates Calculate and recalculate how much concrete you will need with each iteration of your plan. You certainly don’t want to be caught out with not enough concrete to cover your driveway. This will add unneeded frustration as your project stalls and lags behind. A handy concrete calculator is an ideal tool. Easy to use, you can see an instant result, telling you how much concrete you will need for your specific driveway measurements.

Get Prepared:

You will need to install the correct forms for your driveway. These will typically be 1×4 or 2×4 nominal lumber supported by properly installed wooden stakes. Make sure to drive these stakes into the soil with a sledgehammer at a spacing sufficient enough to keep the boards on grade and straightly aligned. If you’re planning for a curved drive, you’ll need wood strong enough to support the concrete load and flexible enough to bend if necessary. Plywood or masonite are likely a good choice.

Choose Your Supplier:

All your planning and preparation will be for nought if you don’t choose a top quality, reliable supplier for your concrete. It is critical that you find a supplier with vast experience and deep knowledge so that you can be assured your project won’t come to a grinding, disappointing halt. It makes a world of difference when you use a high quality mix, making your job much easier than using an inferior substance which could cause unnecessary complications after the job is done. You can find more information on the numerous benefits of using a top quality supplier here:

Concrete Levelling:

Levelling your concrete will help provide a surface that is both smooth and, ever important, durable. An unlevel driveway will encourage puddles and cracks, and could ruin what would otherwise be an attractive and strong driveway.

  • Set a level line. You will need to set a level line by tying string, taught, to the stakes either side of the driveway and directly above the area you want to check. Measuring up from the ground will allow you to set the string at the same height on each side.
  • Check the line. You need to measure the distance from the line to the surface of the driveway. If it is completely level, the measurement will remain the same at every point along the line. If the measurement decreases at any point, the driveway is sloping up. If the measurement increases, then the driveway is sloping down.
  • Allow for slope. A small slope away from the house will help with drainage and prevent against puddles and standing water.

Concrete Curing:

To protect you newly laid driveway from extreme weather conditions and to stop it from drying out too quickly, you will need to cure the concrete as soon as finishing is completed. This involves creating a moisture-retaining barrier on its surface, protecting your driveway from loss of moisture and keeping it within a reasonable temperature range. There are a couple of options here, you can use a layer of plastic sheeting, or, more commonly, you can apply a chemical curing compound. Curing your concrete driveway is a vital final step so make sure you don’t forget or skip it. It will help prevent against unsightly and damaging patterns of cracks and look after the overall condition of your driveway in the long run.

Ever Readymix Concrete are a reliable, experienced supplier of concrete, ready to deliver first rate products to domestic and commercial customers throughout the Yorkshire region. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re thinking of laying your own concrete driveway. Our products and expertise will make sure you have a driveway you will be proud of for years to come.