Concrete driveways are extremely durable and make a great transition from the street to a garage or parking area on your property. Working with a contractor that installs concrete driveways can make the process painless and result in an excellent place for your to park, your kids to play, or for you to use for a yard sale or neighborhood barbeque.
Selecting Your Driveway Style
Concrete driveways traditionally are flat, smooth slabs of concrete that you park on and don't give much more thought to. However, modern concrete driveways can be much nicer, with patterns stamped into the surface that offers the look of brick or stone and color tinting that will enhance the style and create a driveway that stands out in the neighborhood.
The style you choose is up to you, but often finding a style that accents your home's walkways and landscaping is a good option. You will need to find a concrete contractor that offers stamping and custom coloring and talk with them about the ideas you have and get their thoughts on what will work best for your property.
Preparing the Property
The concrete contractor will need to prepare the area where your new concrete driveway will sit before any concrete work can begin. The area will need to be excavated several inches so that the contractor can lay a solid base of gravel under the pad, and any drainage that is required can be installed.
Once the surface is level, steel rebar is put in place to reinforce the concrete slab and help reduce the chances of cracking or damage to the concrete. Concrete driveways often have a lot of weight on them, and the rebar will be part of the slab, so it can help hold everything together through years of use.
Once the base is in and the forms are in place, the concrete contractor will order the concrete and have it delivered to the property. The mix used for concrete driveways is often smoother, so the surface will not be full of gravel when the driveway is finished.
Finishing The Driveway
Once the concrete is poured, the contractor and their crew will begin finishing the surface to ensure it is smooth and level. If you elected to have a stamped surface, this is the time that the contractor will start to place the pattern in the concrete.
Concrete driveways need to sit unused for a couple of days after the concrete is poured but talk to the contractor about yours, especially if it is stamped, to ensure that you do not damage it by driving on it before it is ready.
Concrete driveways last for many years if properly cared for. You can also elect to seal the concrete to protect the surface further, but often that requires some curing time before the concrete is ready for the sealer. Reach out to a professional about your concrete driveway.