Concrete Driveways

A driveway is a functional and important part of your home. Not only does it add appeal, but it also provides a place to park your car and keep you dry when walking to the front door. Unlike some other home improvement projects, installing a driveway is a big job that should only be attempted by those who know what they’re doing. This guide will teach you everything you need to know about installing a concrete driveway, from start to finish.

Types of Driveways

The three different types of driveway that you can choose from are:

Concrete driveways:

Concrete is the most popular type of material for building a driveway because it is durable, strong and easy to maintain. Concrete can also be made to resemble any design or pattern. It can be poured in any shape and size; however, it requires regular maintenance otherwise it could crack due to heavy weight vehicles driving over it.

Gravel driveways:

One of the cheapest types of driveways that you can install is one made out of gravel. It also requires very little maintenance and has a long lifespan. The only drawback with this type of driveway is that it’s not as attractive as an asphalt or concrete driveway, but you can get a variety of colors and sizes to choose from when you choose gravel as your material.

Asphalt driveways:

Asphalt is an extremely strong material that can withstand heavy weights and frequent use without cracking or breaking apart; however, like concrete, it will require regular maintenance if you want to keep your driveway looking its best.

Concrete Driveways


Benefits of a Concrete Driveway

There are many types of driveway surfaces available for the modern homeowner. While each type offers its own unique benefits, concrete is by far the most popular choice for homeowners across the country.

Concrete driveways have a number of advantages over other materials, such as asphalt, gravel, and clay pavers. The following list goes into more detail about some of the benefits that make concrete such a practical option for your driveway:


Concrete driveways can stand up to harsh weather conditions such as heavy snowfall and extreme temperature ranges, from frigid winters to hot summers. The strength and durability of concrete makes it ideal for areas with high traffic and harsh weather.

Low Maintenance

A concrete driveway needs very little maintenance to keep it looking great. All you need is an occasional power wash or clean with a garden hose and warm, soapy water.


Unlike other materials, concrete can last for decades without losing its beauty or functionality. It will continue to perform well in all kinds of weather conditions and provide safe access to your home year after year.


There are many options available when choosing how you want your driveway to look. You can choose from different colors or even add decorative elements like stamped patterns or exposed aggregate finishes.

The process of installing a concrete driveway

Installing a concrete driveway is a tedious process, but it’s one that you can do yourself (with a little help). Here’s what you need to know about the process of installing a concrete driveway.

Site Preparation

First, you need to prepare the site by removing any trees and shrubs from the area. Make sure you contact your local utility companies so they can mark any underground utilities for you. Once that’s done, compact the soil and make sure it forms a solid base for your new driveway.


Next, you’ll need to mark out where your driveway will be located. The most common way to do this is with string and stakes, which you can use to outline the perimeter of your new driveway.


Now comes the hard part: breaking ground on your new driveway! Using a shovel and pickaxe, dig out the areas marked off by the stakes. You want to dig down about 6 inches below where your final pavement will be located. This will allow room for at least 4 inches of gravel base material and 2 inches of concrete—enough to ensure that your new driveway is strong enough to handle all of your driving needs.

Prepare the site and base material:

This step involves clearing the area of all vegetation, roots, rocks, and any other impediments that could disrupt the integrity of your new driveway. This also includes making sure there’s no slope or elevation in the land (it should be level) before you begin installing materials such as gravel or sand, which will serve as a base for your concrete foundation.

Rebar placement

Reinforcements will help prevent cracks and holes from forming, especially in inclement weather. Rebar is usually made of steel or iron and can be placed over an old driveway as well as a new one. You can use a grid pattern and tie it together with wire ties, but make sure that it’s secure—you don’t want these reinforcements to move around while the concrete is drying.

Formwork setup and pouring the concrete

Formwork refers to any material that holds wet cement in place before it dries. The most common type of formwork for driveways is wooden boards arranged in a box with stakes placed at each corner to keep it from moving around while drying. Once you’ve set up your formwork, pour the concrete into the area you want paved (this may require several bags depending on how much space there is) and smooth out any rough spots with a trowel or shovel before letting it dry overnight.

Finishing (floating, edging, curing, sealing)

After pouring the concrete it is essential that it is compacted using a vibrating plate compactor. This will remove any air pockets from within the mix. Next, the concrete must be leveled using a screed rail and smoothed over using a bull float (a large hand held tool with a flat rectangular head). Once this has been completed, you are ready to edge and seal your driveway.


Concrete driveways are often seen as being very low-maintenance, but in order to ensure their longevity, it is best to keep them clean and sealed. Concrete sealer can be applied once a year to protect your concrete from dirt, dust, and other debris. A good scrubbing with a hose and stiff brush should usually take care of any cleaning needed. If you live in a cold conditions, the ideal time to seal your driveway is in the fall, so it can resist road salts and harsh winter weather.


What Kind of Concrete Should I Use?

When it comes to concrete, there is a whole range of types and strengths available that are designed for specific uses. For driveways, you will want to use 4000-5000 PSI concrete with air entrainment. The air entrainment helps the concrete withstand freezing temperatures without breaking.

How Much Concrete Should I Use?

A good rule of thumb is one cubic yard for every 80 square feet of driveway. This will give you an inch thick driveway that is four inches thick at the edges where it meets the grass.

How long will it take to install my driveway?

The length of time that it takes to pour a driveway depends on many factors, including the weather and how much previous prep work was done. A contractor can give you an accurate estimate of how long it will take to complete your project.

Will my new concrete driveway crack?

All concrete cracks eventually; however, the purpose of expansion joints is to allow for the normal expansion and contraction that occurs with temperature changes. It’s important that these expansion joints are installed with the correct amount of space (1/4″) between each slab and that they are filled with an appropriate filler material.

Will my new concrete driveway be slippery when wet?

A properly installed concrete driveway is textured to create a slip-resistant surface, but you can improve traction by adding a gritty substance called silica sand to the sealer. This typically makes sealcoated surfaces more slip-resistant than unsealed surfaces.

How much does it cost to replace a concrete driveway?

On average, it costs anywhere from $8-$18 per square foot to replace a concrete driveway. However, this price can fluctuate depending on where you live and what type of materials your driveway needs. For example, if you live in an area that gets a lot of snow or rain, you’ll probably need to install rebar under the concrete so it doesn’t crack under pressure during cold or wet weather conditions. You also have various options when it comes to concrete thickness–thicker concrete costs more than thinner versions.


If you need help with a driveway project, don’t hesitate to contact ABC Concrete Services. You can rest assured that you will get only the best quality work when you choose us as your contractor.