Concrete driveway

A favourite material for driveways, concrete is strong, durable – and cost-effective.

What’s involved in the installation of a concrete driveway?

If you’re looking at laying a new concrete driveway, there are a few steps before you start pouring that you’ll need to follow.

Planning permission
If you’ll be using a non-porous concrete mix, you’ll need to apply for planning permission. However, if you’re using a porous substance, you can skip this step.

Size
Decide on the size and location of your driveway. The dimensions will directly impact how much concrete you’ll need. Once you’re settled on the size and layout, you can create a sub-base at least 100mm deep.

Laying out the perimeter
Your contractors will then layout the perimeter of your driveway and will then add wooden forms.

Sub-base
A sub-base will help provide a solid and level base for your concrete driveway.

Reinforced layer
If necessary, your contractor may suggest adding a steel mesh to help reinforce your driveway. This will drastically improve its strength and can help evenly distribute the weight of vehicles.

Pour the concrete
Concrete can now be poured in even loads. Once all the concrete has been poured it can be flattened to create a smooth surface.

concrete driveway

Cut in contraction joints
To ensure that concrete can expand and contract, contraction joints will need to be cut. They should be evenly spaced, roughly every four feet and around 1 inch deep.

Create a non-slip finish
To improve traction, a hard-bristle broom can be used to create grooves along the surface.

Curing
Create a moisture-retaining barrier by sprinkling, laying a wet curing blanket, or a plastic sheet.

Remove wooden forms
Curing should take between 7 to 10 days. Once complete, the forms can be removed. But a word of caution – the concrete driveway won’t be fully hardened. You should wait at least 10 days before you start parking your car on your new driveway.

Are there any building regulations for concrete driveways?

If you plan on using non-porous concrete, you will need planning permission. If you’re laying a concrete driveway with a porous mix, no permission is needed unless you’re altering access to your property by dropping a kerb for example.

What are the benefits of a concrete driveway?

Concrete driveways have plenty of benefits including:

  • Excellent durability
  • Low maintenance
  • Cost-effective
  • Long-lasting
  • Neutral appearance

How can I find professionals to lay a concrete driveway?

My Local Toolbox was created to help homeowners like you find local tradespeople. Whether you need a new driveway laying or you just need someone to help with concrete resurfacing all you have to do is post your job requirements and local contractors will be in touch.

Concrete driveway FAQ

What is concrete resurfacing?

Concrete resurfacing is when a thin cement-based overlay with additional bonding agents is poured over an existing concrete base.

Concrete resurfacing is a great alternative if your current concrete drive doesn’t need to be completely replaced but is looking a little tired.

When can you drive on a fresh concrete driveway?

Although it takes a full month for concrete to fully cure, you can drive and park your car after about 7 – 10 days. But you should avoid leaving heavy equipment or machinery on your new drive for at least 28 days.

How thick should a concrete driveway be?

As a rule of thumb, concrete driveways need to be at least 100mm thick. Patios and shed bases only need to be around 75-100mm.

Can you paint a concrete driveway?

Yes – not only does painting improve the exterior of your property (and increase its market value!), but it also helps extend the lifespan of your driveway.

How long does a concrete driveway last?

If well maintained, a concrete driveway can last anywhere from 25 to 30 years.

To get quotes from concrete driveway experts near you post a job now.

Ready to get driveway or patio quotes (it's free)?