Money is always in short supply, and yet those little jobs that need to be done around the home do not wait, and eventually something has to be done. Fortunately, for those who are active, and like a DIY challenge, laying a new driveway is not beyond anyone’s capabilities. Here are some tips to help make that driveway a major feature of the property.
Choose your material
The first thing to do is consider the different materials available, and concrete usually comes out on top, as it is durable, long lasting, and maintenance free. Modern concrete comes ready mixed, and is delivered to the customer’s door, at the required time, so the days of shovels, mixers, and wheelbarrows are a thing of the past. One would need to consider the depth of the concrete, around six inches is considered adequate for a residential drive, and then calculate the amount of concrete required.
The old driveway needs to be broken up, but don’t arrange for a truck to take it all away, as the rubble is an excellent foundation for the new driveway, once the area has been defined and sufficient soil removed to allow for the new concrete layer. The edges of the drive should be lined with thin timber boarding, to give the concrete a clean line, and is removed after the concrete has set. Hire a trailer to take away the soil, or better still, create a nice rockery in the corner of the garden.
It is essential to include reinforcing steel mesh, mainly because concrete has a strong compression, but a low tensile strength, and the steel takes the tensile load. Unless one is planning to launch a rocket, two or three sheets would suffice, and if one happens to live in Australia, Best Bar* offers top quality steel reinforcing, delivered to the door, at a reasonable cost. A reputable supplier would ensure that the steel mesh arrives promptly, allowing time for the preparation, prior to the concrete’s arrival.
A person could not really expect to complete the whole project single-handed, so perhaps some friends, family, or neighbours can spare a little time to help with the preparation stages. The steel mesh will need some connecting using wire, so some good quality gloves are advised, along with the right tools.
When the concrete and steel mesh are laid, the finish can be applied, and it is wise to think about this at the design stage, in order to be prepared, as concrete is only workable for a short period. One can buy hand held stamps or screeds that leave a textured finish, or one could opt for an aggregate finish, which can be finished off with a straight edge.
Secure the area
It is advisable to cordon off the driveway for at least 24 hours, in order for the concrete to set, and if one wants to avoid cat and dog prints across the drive, it might be wise to invest in some cheap plastic netting and string it around the entire perimeter.
With a little planning, some hard work, and self-confidence, one can create the ideal driveway to complement the home.
This post has been sponsored by Best Bar; image from BigStock