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.