Archive for Driveways

Planning the Perfect Driveway

Like most things in life, a great concrete driveway starts with good planning.

And wintertime in Wisconsin is a perfect time to start planning your strategy for your springtime driveway project.

Here are some tips for designing a driveway that meets all your needs!

Step 1: Determine a budget.

Before starting, you’ll want some idea how much you intend to spend. You budget will determine how large and elaborate your new driveway will be, as well as the materials quality and extra finishing touches like texture, color, and edging.

Step 2: How large & heavy are the vehicles you intend to park here?

Size matters. If you’ll only park compact sedans on your new driveway, you may get by with eight feet in width. Large pickups, boats, or recreational vehicles may require as much as 12 feet. Take a look at your neighbors’ driveways and parking situations, and ask if you can measure their driveway for reference.

Step 3: Show your style!

A driveway needs to serve its primary function of parking vehicles. But as the single largest feature of many front lawns and entries, this is also an opportunity to improve your property’s aesthetics, curb appeal, and value.

Consider a curved design, colors and textures, radiused corners and aprons, edging or curbing, inlays, and more.

Step 4: Maintenance and upkeep considerations.

While concrete requires far less care and maintenance than asphalt, driveways are often overlooked until they crack or stain. So a little thought now can save you trouble later.

How will rainwater be drained from nearby downspouts and other adjacent drainage areas? Do you intend to use snowblowers or plows to clear winter snow and ice? Will any of your vehicles or yard activities cause stains from motor oil, etc.?

Here are some other considerations regarding driveway maintenance.

Step 5: Consider the climate.

From scorching summer heat to frigid deep-freezes, Wisconsin has it all.

Concrete is an excellent choice to withstand this range of seasonal climate change, but your new driveway should be sloped for drainage and designed to avoid standing water/ice, which can cause a slip hazard in winter. Use shovels or snowblower with plastic blades to prevent scratching or scraping your new concrete, and if using a truck-mounted plow, take extra care to avoid chipping.

Step 6: Consider any extra features for your new driveway.

  • How will your driveway align with garages or carports, or connect with walkways or patios?
  • Will you have any adjacent landscaping features like hedges, flower beds, seating areas, or retaining walls?
  • Does your design benefit from additional exterior lighting for better safety for parking and foot traffic?
  • An entry gate of some kind will add increased safety and security for your property.
  • If your driveway is sloped or especially steep, you might consider a heavily brushed finish or grooves for better traction in wet conditions.

Step 7: Contact Oneil Concrete Construction for advice and a free estimate.

Once you have some basic ideas for your new driveway project, our experts can visit your site with solutions and design suggestions, to make sure you get the driveway you want, within your budget and time frame.

A new quality concrete driveway from Oneil Concrete Construction will serve you well for many years to come, so let us help you plan it right.

Call today for a free consultation and estimate!

Common Sense Tips for Maintaining Your New Concrete Driveway

Once Oneil Concrete Construction has replaced your old cracked and crumbling driveway, you’ll want to protect your investment with proper care and maintenance.

While concrete requires far less care and maintenance than asphalt, driveways are often overlooked until they crack or stain. But you can save money over the long term and extend your driveway’s life and attractive look well into the future.

Here are some tips to protect and enjoy your new driveway!

Keep it Clean

Periodically sweep and clear your driveway with a leaf blower and rinse with an ordinary garden hose to prevent buildup of dirt and leaves, which can stain your concrete.

Motor oil and coolant from vehicles should be cleaned as soon as possible to avoid stains. First, apply cat litter or a commercial oil absorbent, then wash using a grease-cutting dishwashing detergent and warm water. Stubborn oil stains may require a special oil-cutting cleaner, followed by a good rinse.

Keep It Dry

Standing water can deteriorate concrete, especially if it’s allowed to freeze. A driveway installed by Oneil Concrete Construction will be built with the correct slope to ensure good drainage, but homeowners can help by ensuring that downspouts empty into the lawn rather than onto the driveway.

Winter Care

As with standing water, keep your driveway clear of snow and ice soon after a snowfall. Use shovels or snowblower with plastic blades to prevent scratching or scraping your new concrete, and if using a truck-mounted plow, take extra care to avoid chipping.

Prevent Cracks

As mentioned above, don’t allow water to stand for long periods on your concrete driveway, or freezing ice to crack it. Roots of adjacent trees can also cause cracks by exerting pressure from below, so be sure to remove trees near driveways or trim their roots.

Cracks can commonly occur in concrete, but applying a crack filler and patching compound soon after can prevent further damage and keep your driveway looking great.

While a new quality concrete driveway from Oneil Concrete Construction will last for decades, a little care and maintenance can keep it looking its best.

Call today for a free consultation and estimate!

Concrete vs. Asphalt Driveway?

When it’s time for a new driveway, one of your biggest decisions is whether to use concrete or asphalt.

Each material has its advantages and disadvantages; let’s look at a few:


Depending on the installation and weather, a concrete driveway may require a few days to cure before bearing the weight of a car. In most cases, a new asphalt driveway can be driven on the next day.


A well-constructed concrete driveway will last up to 40-50 years, even with very little upkeep. A similar asphalt driveway will likely last only about 20 years of Wisconsin winters, assuming the owner properly maintains it by filling the inevitable cracks and re-sealing every 2-3 years.

Color and Texture Options

Oneil Concrete Construction offers a wide variety of colored stains to complement your property and home. In addition, we provide an array of stamped textures, patterns, and designs to lend a classy and truly custom finish to your new concrete driveway or walk.

See more photos here >>

Asphalt, unfortunately, is typically available only in basic black …

Initial & Long-Term Costs

Concrete and asphalt have different site-prep requirements and material costs for installation. Generally speaking, a basic concrete driveway of average size can cost approximately 30-50% more than a similarly sized asphalt driveway.

But, with its lower maintenance effort and costs, and better longevity, concrete really pulls ahead in the long run. The apparent initial ‘savings’ of asphalt can easily be outpaced by the required maintenance and earlier replacement costs, while the initial investment of concrete pays for itself in virtually no ongoing maintenance and a greater lifespan.

Oneil Concrete Construction can help you plan and budget the perfect driveway or walkway for your home. Call today!

Choosing the Right Decorative Concrete Finish

Why settle for plain and ugly concrete when there are so many ways to spruce it up?

With the development of special decorative techniques, concrete is revolutionizing home decor. Strikingly handsome concrete patios, pool surrounds, garden paths, flooring, walls, and more show off just how versatile concrete can be.

Here is a glossary explaining the most popular finishes used to create decorative concrete.

Oneil Concrete Construction can help you choose the perfect stamped and/or colored concrete project for your home!

Six Clues You Should Replace Your Driveway

“Even if you have an absolutely beautiful home, a crumbling driveway can kill its curb appeal,” writes BuildDirect. “Though driveways can last for decades, replacements will be needed eventually. Check out these signs so you’ll be able to recognize when it’s time for a new driveway for your home.”

  1. Cracks
  2. Potholes
  3. Drainage Issues
  4. Rough Appearance
  5. Lack of Resealing
  6. Past its Prime

A new driveway can give your home a fresh, updated look while also providing a more practical solution for your family.

Check out some of our recent driveways and other concrete projects:

You can rely on the experienced and professional driveway experts of Oneil Concrete Construction to deliver quality solutions, on time and on budget.

Call today for a free consultation and estimate!