On its face, pouring concrete might not seem so complicated. And yet, it’s not uncommon for the casual DIYer to tackle a concrete project only to find out that the reality of pouring a larger surface area (such as a driveway) is a whole other ballgame. Pretty soon, cracks emerge and people scratch their heads and wonder what went wrong. Here, at RM Demolition, we specialize in demolitions and what we like to call “orchestrated destruction” but that’s not all we do. After we do a lot of demolition jobs, we go back and help prepare the site for its complete makeover. Site preparation involves preparing the soil, setting the base, pouring concrete, including concrete residential and commercial driveways.
And don’t you just hate when that paved driveway begins to crack? Well, we do!
So here’s what you need to know about getting things done right and finding the right contractor.
The Secrets to an Effective Concrete Driveway
A glitch in the planning and preparation will set you back. Not only that, but improper planning and execution will make the driveway look uneven and make it vulnerable to cracking, flooding, and damage.
While we love to blow stuff up, we also love the look of smooth freshly poured concrete!
It’s All About that Base
So much of setting up your concrete structures begins with the base. This will determine the longevity of the project. How we approach the base depends on the requirements of the job and whether you are installing a residential or a commercial driveway, the nature of the soil, the slope, length, etc.
Preparing the Soil and Land Before You Pour the Concrete
First things first, part of the base includes the preparation of the soil and the land. This is a key step and should not be neglected. As concrete contractors, we know all about site preparation for construction. No shortcuts. Any skipped steps can result in subpar quality.
Keep these things in mind:
- The soil you build on needs to be compacted and well-drained
- Because concrete is a porous material, serious attention to detail needs to be considered
- Consider the kinds of traffic and vehicles that will be parked there. An RV, for example, might require a deeper base
- The type of soil in your area and climate matter. Sandy soil requires a slightly different process than does heavy clay soil.
- The ground needs to be leveled before any pouring takes place.
- Depending on the site that you’re building, you might need to dig to achieve the depth that you want
For most residential driveways, a base of about 4-6 inches might be enough, but it might also depend on several other factors.
Don’t Forget About the Necessary Permits
Pouring concrete may require that you take out a permit for the property. This might be especially true in some municipalities and with commercial sites, although many residential areas require this as well. Part of finding the right contractor includes ensuring that they have the proper permits or can advise you on what you might need.
3 Tips on Finding the Right Concrete Contractor for the Job
When you need concrete installation, it’s not always easy to decide who to hire. Plenty of people can claim to pour concrete. Whether it’s the neighbor’s college kid or that friend of a friend of an uncle that once did a job for this person somewhere. Your best bet is to go with someone that inspires confidence so that they can come in, pour concrete, and never be part of your life again! (Unless, of course, you need more concrete work done)
Here’s what to look for and how to proceed:
#1 Talk to the contractor about their process
One way to get a sense of whether you have found a good contractor is to have them discuss their process with you. Ask about whether they will be setting a base and some of the specifications for that base. It’s possible that based on your area and the type of soil around, they may have to excavate a base to stabilize the soil. So doing a little bit of research about the specifications of your project might help you ask guided and focused questions.
#2 Get written quotes
Getting quotes not only gives you a clear idea of the prices, but it can provide some insight into the level of work that your contractor is thinking of doing. What exactly are they charging you for? The more information you have, the more confident you will feel about the decision to have them working on your driveway.
#3 Look for experience and insurance
Whenever you are adding anything to your home or business, even if it is just a concrete driveway, you want to verify that you’re working for someone that is licensed and knowledgeable on the kinds of permits and proper materials you need. Insurance is also important, as it helps protect them and yourself.
Asking the contractor questions about their experience can also give you a sense if they are suited for the job. It might be that some folks know how to pour concrete but maybe they are not used to residential jobs or commercial jobs. Have a conversation with them about their experience.
The Functionality and Utility of the Modern Driveway
We all know what a driveway is, but it wasn’t always the case that people parked their cars on carefully paved spaces. In the early 20th century, as vehicles were just getting underway, the driveway was not yet a household staple.
Today, most homes have some kind of a driveway or paved space to park cars. Many of us probably take them for granted! And yet they serve a very utilitarian purpose and help our homes last longer and look more organized.
Find Experience, Expertise, & Professionalism in One Place at RM Demolition
As demolition experts for many years, we have worked on a variety of construction sites. And just like we take pride in our controlled demolitions and attention to detail when bringing a structure down, we bring our expertise when we are helping build from the ground up.
If you’re looking for concrete driveway installation, contact us here at RM Demolition. Learn more about our experience, what we do, how we do it, and why we’re you’re #1 choice!