When you’re starting a project and need to build a concrete driveway, you have several options. You can hire a contractor, or you can take on the construction yourself. If you’re looking to start your own project, this is the information you need.
Preparing to build a concrete driveway
When you start to build a concrete driveway, you’ll first need to prepare all of your materials. Always review every step before you begin your project so you have everything prepped and ready before you begin. The last thing you want is to start your project and then realize you’re missing a key material.
The key steps
First, you’ll want to prepare your gravel. Make sure this gravel is on a 2% slope, at least, in order to ensure proper drainage off the driveway. And once your gravel is poured, and leveled, you can move on to the next step. After pouring gravel, you’ll need to pour concrete. In order to start pouring, you’ll first need a form. We recommend this being at least 4″ thick for the best results.
Once this is in place, you can begin pouring your concrete. Make sure the concrete fills the form evenly and reaches all the corners, but don’t overwork it. Then, you’ll need to strikeoff the concrete in order to level it. You could use a 2×4 to accomplish this, by moving it across the top of the concrete. After this, smooth the surface by using a bull float or other similar tool.
After your driveway is smoothed, you can edge it to help prevent cracks or chipping on the edge. Use a trowel between the concrete and form, and follow this up with an edger. This edger will help smooth down the edges and make the concrete more compact. You’ll also want to add joints to the concrete to help prevent cracks, since large slabs of concrete can crack with changes to temperature. Use a jointer to make joints that are one-quarter of the slab’s thickness. They should occur every 1.5 times the width of the slab and should not be more than 30 times the driveway’s thickness.
Now, you’ll need to float the concrete to smooth out the driveway’s surface. Once it’s smooth, you can leave it to dry. Just make sure the driveway has at least 3 days to completely dry, and don’t drive a vehicle over it for at least 10 days.
Where you’ll find the materials you need
When you’re looking to build a concrete driveway and you need quality concrete and masonry materials, Elston Materials has everything you need. There’s a reason we’re the number one source for masonry construction supplies in Chicago!