Steps to Building a House – Build A Custom Home

Installing A Driveway

Installing A New Driveway

Installing a driveway is one of the stages covered in order to finalize the construction process of a custom house. The location of the project and the contractor’s preferences influence the way in which it is built. In rural areas, the driveway might take the shape of a simple gravel road. However, there are cases when this stage precedes the beginning of the build so that the workers can access the building site. The choices that one has for this part are more varied in urban areas, ranging from asphalt (combining tar and gravel) to luxurious stamped concrete, a material which can be colored and imprinted with a pattern while it is still wet.

Another factor that may compel you to choose a certain material for your driveway is represented by your neighbors. Building in a rural area where there are few houses represents a happy instance, when you don’t have to be subject of any homeowner association restrictions. Thus, you are free to opt for less expensive materials when installing a driveway, such as loose gravel. If you build in a development, on the other hand, your decision in this respect might be “directed” by your community’s codes towards the more finished look of asphalt, concrete or even some type of decorative paver. Climate and costs are other parameters on which the installment of your driveway depends.

If your architect designed you a fancy, elegant driveway, you might want to install it at the very end of the custom house’s build. This way you minimize the degree of wear that the construction traffic would create. Think of all the bulldozers, cranes and heavy trucks coming back and forth on a fine driveway. They are definitely going to have a deteriorating effect upon it and you want to keep its beauty as long as possible.

Materials to Use when Installing a Driveway

In terms of material choice, concrete has become one of the most popular ones due to its durability and beauty. When such an option is adopted in your custom house project, the process of installing a driveway/walkway implies that the subs build wooden forms in the shape of the driveway. Once these wood boards, which keep concrete within a certain area, are placed in position, the workers reinforce them with metal rebar (steel bars) on small blocks. The result will look like a net that has the function of reinforcing the concrete after it is poured.

The next step is to install expansion joints, which represent gaps between the slabs. By doing so, the sub allows concrete slabs to move without suffering any cracks that can occur because of hear, cold or earthquakes. A base of crushed limestone or recycled concrete is placed and compacted before the concrete pour in order to confer a longer life to the “finite product”.

Installing the DrivewayProfessionals that engage in such construction tasks take into account the current temperature and humidity. These are vital elements when the sub has to decide exactly what concrete mixture to use. If this aspect is ignored, you might witness the pouring of an unclear slab. This construction stage has to include the establishment of a slight slope away from the house so that proper drainage will be ensured.

An optional element is cosmetic stamping. If you want your walkway to be enlivened with colors and patterns, mention this to your architect or sub and he/she will take it into account when designing and installing a driveway. The stamping occurs soon after the concrete is poured.

In comparison to the more traditional forms of driveway paving (with block, slabs, tarmacadam or shingle), cosmetic stamping or pattern imprinted paving is very creative and aesthetic. It however implies higher costs too.

Just think of the building location, the surrounding environment, your budget and tastes and choose what suits best the rest of your custom house project when installing the driveway.

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