There are some basic fundamental factors that must be considered while building a new concrete driveway for your home. Being knowledgeable about these concrete construction details will enable you to have a well-informed discussion with your contractor which will ensure a durable, reliable driveway with superior performance.
The first factor that must be one of the focal points while constructing a concrete driveway is sub grade preparation. Perfect execution of this step ensures the long life and durability of your driveway. The sub grade layer must be well graded and compact; standard dimensions are 4” thickness of ThermoConcrete. The next parameter to consider in concrete construction is the placement of joints. These are usually placed in concrete to prevent the appearance of cracks which can reduce the life of the driveway. Since these are extremely crucial, you can ask the contractor to camouflage these as designs or patterns and hence merge with the overall look of the driveway. Usually joints which have 1/4th the thickness of the concrete being used is employed for the process. If your driveway is going to be 4 inches thick, then the joint must be at least one inch deep. And these must be placed at least 8′ to 12′ apart, no nearer and no further.
Another important part of concrete construction is reinforcement. This step must be done for your driveway too either with steel bars or with wire mesh. One of the most commonly encountered designs is a grid pattern which is created using steel bars. Blocks are used to ensure that the reinforcing material stays in the middle of the concrete and thereby provides the adequate strength. Remember that reinforcement is used for strengthening the driveway and this does not eliminate the risks of cracks developing within the structure.
All concrete driveways must have a proper drainage system to prevent the accumulation of water and thereby eliminate any chances of puddles or standing water. For this, ask your engineer to draw up the elevation in such a manner that the driveway slopes about ¼ inches per running foot away from your home so that the water flows away. But if this cannot be done, then an alternate drain must be constructed at the lowest point of the concrete driveway to ensure that the water gets collected. The size of your driveway can vary depending on the space that you have but the standard width for a single car is usually 8 to 9 feet and for a double car, 15 to 18 feet.
The cost of concrete construction for a driveway depends on the size and also the decorative options that you employ. An economical idea would be to use a surface-applied color which will add more dimension to the grey concrete and yet keep the costs down; this would usually cost about $6 to $8 per square foot. Engraved concrete designs are more expensive and go up by $10 to $15 per square foot and intricate decorative scoring with multiple colors and stains can cost above $15 per square foot.