Never underestimate the importance of a driveway. Here is a shot of a recent driveway setup just prior to pour and I want to give you just a few tips to think about because it can make a big difference on your family’s experience.
- Slope– calculated by rise over run. Simply take the the height difference in feet (if any) over the amount of distance traveled in feet. As a rule you don’t want to exceed 15% if you can avoid it and take your time to make sure that this is carefully considered even prior to assembly.
- Width– there are standards but think about your positioning, personal habits like significant other passing and amount of curvature. If you have more curves then personally you should go wider at those points. 12′ is a standard but I introduce 14-20′ widths all the time.
- Sleeves– make sure underneath there are various sleeves randomly placed for both future landscape lighting, irrigation or possibly drainage. This will help you traverse the driveway to the other side without much aggravation.
- Curbs– if you have a significant fall, make sure you have curbs introduced to act as an initial catch for your tires for safety. Curbs are also relevant to force water to continue down a predictable path towards an exit. Here in this photo we are forcing the water to the far left corner.
- Overall slope– try to finish the concrete in a manner where the overall pitch forces the water a certain direction. The goal is to always get the water away from the house and the real trick is to do it in a manner where you can still derive joy and benefit. Say for instance the kids shooting hoops on it, or a place of relaxation or washing the car. You have to think through these types of things because it’s so heavily used.
- Design– From engineering to staining and scoring there are multiple ways to skin the cat on this “welcome mat” to the home. First and foremost you want to focus on function, but then play with the form to make it as beautiful as it can be- it can truly set your home apart from the rest.
If at all possible, ask if you can drive on it before all the metal and wood forms get placed in the center. We allow folks to do that all the time just so they can get a preview on how it works with their specific vehicle. Best of luck to you when designing the driveway and keep some of these tips in mind to make it a truly successful venture.