Laying a concrete path or driveway sounds like a straightforward job, but there is plenty that can go wrong. If you fail to plan out the job properly, you could end up wasting a lot of time and money.
Here is a quick guide to how you can make a good job of it.
Planning for a Concrete Driveway or Path
According to the scientists at Science News for Students, concrete is the most used artificial material on the planet. It is a very common material for pathways and driveways because it is cheap, durable and flexible.
However, you have to prepare carefully so that the concrete is strong enough for the job that you are planning. You need to think about the weight that the concrete will be supporting so that you can calculate how thick you need the concrete to be.
A pad for a lightweight path may only need to be 100mm deep, but for a driveway that will support a car you may need at least 150mm of compacted hardcore to act as a sub-base and then at least a 125mm thickness of concrete above it. If you are building walls at the edges of the path or driveway, you will need at least 200mm of concrete to support them.
When you are preparing the substrate, remember that the surface of the concrete will have to form a slight slope when it is finished so that water will drain off it. The slope should be away from buildings. Where the path or driveway meets the house, the top surface of the concrete must be at least 150mm below the level of the damp-proof course. This is to prevent ingress of moisture.
A driveway has to cope with repeated heavy loads, so the concrete will need to be reinforced with a steel grid.
Laying a Concrete Path
When you are planning on using concrete pumping services from a supplier such as http://www.monstermixconcrete.co.uk/concrete-services.php, you need to make sure that everything is ready before the lorry arrives.
You will be able to lay a lot of concrete in a short period of time. It can either be poured on to the prepared substrate directly or transported in wheelbarrows to the pathway from the lorry.