If your driveway or curb is cracked beyond repair, pouring a new concrete or cement driveway may be your only option. Typically used interchangeably, concrete and cement are actually not the same thing. Cement, along with aggregate rock and water, is one of the basic ingredients of concrete.
Check the Rules
Before you even begin planning your new driveway or curb, check your local laws, regulations or covenants to make sure you won't run into legal problems. Many cities and subdivisions own or control the right-of-way from the road to the sidewalk or a similar distance of land close to the road. More often than not, there are specific rules on what and how you can pour concrete in this area.
Before you take on a large concrete project like a full driveway, start small. Concrete can set quickly and must be mixed correctly in order to maintain the right strength and eventual hardness. This can be a difficult and time-consuming process to learn. A small patio project gone bad is much easier and less expensive to tear out and replace than a larger project like a driveway.
Concrete can set quickly. So, before you decide on the type of concrete and any additional mixtures you need for your concrete, plan ahead. Figure out the distance you will have to haul premixed concrete before pouring to see whether you should add a retarding mixture to slow the hardening process And decide whether you're going to mix the concrete yourself or have it delivered to the site.
Before you begin pouring, the land where you intend to pour should be prepared. Level the ground and create a form using two-by-fours in the shape you intend for your driveway or curb. If you're pouring a driveway, you'll also need to pour aggregate rock and level it off before you pour the concrete.
Get Some Manpower
Even small concrete jobs typically require more than one person. The concrete will have to be hauled to the area, poured and evened out quickly before it sets, to create the strength and quality you want. Unless you're only pouring a couple of feet of concrete, such as a very small section of curb, chances are you will not be able to do this quickly by yourself.
- Photo Credit pavers image by Pix by Marti from Fotolia.com
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