What to Remember When You're Considering Installing Your Own Driveway

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Installing your own driveway is not impossible but it's often a chore best left to a professional. This is because the ground needs preparation before concrete or any other material can be poured, and you need to determine the best material, its overall thickness, and other such factors for a driveway. If you are still determined to install your own driveway, note a few things to remember so you ensure you get the job done right and have a driveway that lasts as long as possible.

Cutting the site

You'll need to cut the site for a new driveway, meaning prepare the actual path it will take. Unless your home is in the suburbs with a small strip between your garage and the street, this can take more planning than you realize. It's good to cut the path around trees and other natural objects as much as possible, so you don't need to remove them and so the driveway looks more natural and visually appealing. Have the driveway follow the natural slope of the land so you don't need to cut into hills or increase the risk of a small landslide.


Many driveways are actually reinforced with steel rebar or a wire mesh under the concrete or asphalt that is poured. This helps to keep the material in place and avoid cracking and breakage; when the material does crack, the reinforcement will keep the cracks from actually separating. Wire mesh may be the easiest to work with as you can string it along the newly cut site quickly and easily without having to cut thick rebar with your home power tools, which may not be strong enough for the job.

Thickness of material

When pouring concrete or asphalt, you want it to be thick enough to withstand the type of vehicle traffic it will see; if you have a heavy caravan or trailer or heavy-duty truck, you'll need thicker concrete or asphalt to withstand this weight. At the same time, if you have material that is too thick, it might then begin to sink in certain areas of the driveway because of its own weight. You also may simply be wasting money on extra material for a thickness you don't need for your vehicles at home. You might also consider adding a few extra inches or centimeters along the edge of the driveway, to keep water from running onto the driveway and causing moisture damage.