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3 Tips For Pouring a Concrete Driveway

By Donald Kerr
3 Tips For Pouring a Concrete Driveway

Working with concrete can be intimidating, particularly for large projects such as a new driveway or patio. Mistakes are fixed with a jackhammer, not an eraser. Here are three tips that can help you avoid those mistakes.

Call City/Town Hall

Before you pour, make sure your project is in compliance with your local building code, or risk being told you have to rip it up and start over. You might need a permit or local approval of your plans.

Your town might have restrictions on how much impervious space you can have on your property. And if you'll be laying concrete in the public right of way -- generally the area between your sidewalk and the road-- local ordinances often require that this work be done by a licensed, bonded contractor.

Call Your Friends

Slow and steady doesn't win this race. When you're pouring concrete, time is of the essence. The surest way to avoid getting beat by the clock is to have enough helping hands. Once you've figured out how many people you need, add one or two more, just in case. Worst scenario: one person spends the day bringing cold drinks to everyone else.

Make a Good Bed

Imagine that when your driveway in finished, you could lift it up and sit it up on one end. What you would want to see is a concrete slab of uniform thickness. The more the depth of your driveway fluctuates, the worse it will age, and over time cracks will form at points where thinner and thicker parts of your driveway meet. To ensure uniformity of depth, run 2 x 4’s across your form, and then run a 1 x 4 (for a four-inch thick driveway) underneath to help identify any high and low points in your bed.

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