It looks more like a finished home once the driveway gets poured and as you can see, they’ve completed that job. Our builder contracted the driveway company, so luckily we didn’t have to find a concrete company to do the work. But, there are some things you need to know about pouring a concrete driveway before you start whether you do the work yourself, or hire a concrete company.
First, you must grade the soil and compact it to the best of your ability to give the concrete stability. Although the homes in our subdivision are narrow lot home plans for the most part, these homes may be on sloped lots. Our home’s lot tends to slope right to left, so you’ll want your driveway not to look too sloped from one side to the next.
Then, it’s important to put a thick gravel base underneath the concrete to help filter water away from the concrete. This will ensure there will be less cracks. Cracks in concrete will occur over time, especially as settling occurs, but making sure the grade is good and adding the gravel creates a solid base that helps keep things looking their best for much longer.
There are a couple of other things to consider as the concrete is mixed. It is very important to make sure your water to concrete mixture ratios are where they should be. If there is too much water added to the mix, then it compromises the strength of the concrete. So, this is a very important step. Much like baking, if any measurement of your ingredients is off, then the end result is not the best it could’ve been. Another way to add strength is to include rebar when pouring the concrete. For your concrete to reach maximum strength typically takes up to 60 days, so it’s wise to pour concrete driveways on new homes well before closing day.
Also, it’s important to include control joints every 10-15 feet so there is a certain amount of give. That’s why there are lines, or separators in a poured concrete driveway. If those weren’t there, pulling your car onto it would have it cracking right away.
Regarding the aesthetics of a driveway, there are many things you can do to make it standout. Driveway design ideas include trim with brick or stone, color or stamped concrete and pavers. The only thing we did a little differently was to make our driveway 2 feet wider than the entrance into our garage on both sides and we extended the concrete all the way to the edge of the home’s exterior. This gives us more space stepping out of our cars onto the driveway and it’s nice for guests when they pull in and they don’t step outside their cars onto grass. My husband thought of this and it never occurred to me to do this, but I’m very happy with the end result and know it will make our driveway nicer for everyone. And, I guess it’s less grass to cut, too!