How to Plan a Concrete Driveway

There are several steps involved in carefully planning a driveway. Concrete is one of the best materials to use with a new driveway for durability and a pleasing appearance. So, it makes sense to start with this as a core material and build the plan out from there.

Here are a few of the steps necessary and items to consider when planning a concrete driveway.

How Large Should a Driveway Be?

When thinking about things like concrete suppliers and the costs, the first question will be, “How much ready mix concrete will be needed?” It’s a fair question, but you can use a calculator from a company like Mix It to help. They supply different concrete mixes to do-it-yourself homeowners and builders in the trade, with a handy calculator on their website that will allow you to work out what’s needed.

A good rule of thumb for a driveway is that just over 3 metres (10 feet) are required for each vehicle that will be parked there. This is a minimum measurement with more being preferable to allow easier walking between vehicles or around the parking area for people on foot.

Also, note that oversized vehicles like big SUVs may need extra space. Do factor in manoeuvring room with larger driveway configurations, so drivers don’t get blocked in and have a place to turn around if necessary.

How Thick Should the Cement Layer Be?

It’s typical to expect a concrete driveway to be around 10.2 centimetres (4 inches) in thickness for residential driveways that won’t see too much usage.

However, when vehicles may be driven up that are heavier than the standard Mini Cooper, Ford Escort, and the like, then 13 centimetres (5 inches) is a better thickness for extra durability.

Should I Plan for Drainage?

Given the variable English weather, absolutely! You don’t want to be driving through puddles. A well-planned driveway should start at a raised level and modestly slope down by around 1 percent toward the road. This works out to be around a third of a centimetre (roughly 1/8-inch) for every 0.30 of a meter (about a foot) to avoid standing water in the driveway.

Failing to do this will create puddles in the driveway, which are a safety hazard.

Should an Old Asphalt Drive Be Removed?

When there’s an older, uneven asphalt driveway already present, should it be removed first? It’s recommended in most cases that you remove the asphalt and have its remnants taken away before proceeding. The gravel base beneath the asphalt is usually reusable, which saves money.

However, it’s worth noting that part of an existing gravel base likely will be removed to ensure the thick concrete driveway won’t stand too tall once completed.

Placing the Cement

The process of receiving the cement delivery and placing it usually requires 60-90 minutes. It must be smoothed out to remove visible irregularities and ensure it sets perfectly. To get the finish right, it’s best to use a team of professionals who are highly experienced in creating new driveways for homeowners. Also, if an asphalt driveway must be removed first, then they need to know how to do this professionally too.

Once the driveway planning is complete, you’re ready to push ahead with getting a new driveway installed to enhance the kerb appeal of your home.