Remodeling a Concrete Driveway: 6 Questions to Ask Yourself
If you’re considering remodeling your concrete driveway, there are a few questions you should ask yourself in order to make sure you get the driveway of your dreams:
How Much Parking Space Do You Need?
How many cars does your family own? Will one of your kids soon be of driving age? Do you often have guests over? These are the main factors to consider when you think about parking space. Always having to move cars around gets annoying quickly, so having extra parking options that leave the main driveway clear is very useful.
How Heavy Are the Vehicles That Will Be Here?
The weight of the vehicles that will park on your driveway determines how thick the driveway should be. An average thickness of 4 inches will suffice for most personal vehicles. But, for example, if you think there might be any reason why a heavier vehicle like a dump truck, horse trailer or tractor might travel over your driveway, you may need to increase the thickness to 5 or 6 inches in order to prevent cracking.
Does the Driveway Area Tend to Collect Water?
If your driveway tends to hold large puddles after it rains, you may want to choose a permeable material that lets the water pass through your driveway. Another option is to have the driveway area built up and graded so that water appropriately flows away from your car and driveway.
Do You Live in an Area with Heavy Snowfall in Winter?
If you live up north where each winter tends to bring piles of 2-foot (or higher) snow on your driveway, you might dream about a time when you never have to shovel the driveway ever again.
Well, fantasize no more! You can have a heated driveway sooner than you think. As with heated floors inside the home, heating elements are installed just below the surface of the concrete driveway in order to melt snow and ice. Consider remodeling your sidewalks and steps to completely eliminate the risk of slipping on ice in winter.
Do You Want Decorative Elements?
Concrete driveways can look beautiful all on their own, especially when they are kept well-maintained with regular pressure-washing to remove built-up dirt and mildew.
However, if you want to add an extra touch of sophistication, you can add some decoration to your concrete driveway.
The simplest way to do so is to add some texture and color via an acid wash and a broom finish. The broom finish is achieved by sweeping a straw broom over the concrete before it dries. This adds some traction. And it’s easy to make your driveway stand out from the crowd with an acid wash finish, which is easy to mop on and simply rinses off, leaving a beautiful coppery finish with nuanced tones.
You can get even fancier if you like by choosing stamped concrete for your driveway. These custom stamps give you a driveway that looks like brick, stone or tile for a fraction of the cost of those real materials. Colorant is added to “sell” the look; no one will know that your “brick” driveway is really just concrete!
How Much Can You Afford?
Of course, dreaming up your perfect driveway can quickly turn sour if you cannot afford all of the extra features. Familiarize yourself with the price of concrete per yard in order to calculate how much it would cost to install a “basic” driveway. This is your baseline. If you can afford more than that, great! Next, you’ll want to call local concrete suppliers and contractors to factor in local labor costs and to get estimates for some additional things, like decorative or heating elements.
It’s easy to take your driveway for granted. Once you have a dream driveway, you’ll never know how you lived without it!