First impressions are important, and your driveway is usually the first part of your house someone will see, so it’s important that it’s both convenient and visually pleasing. Your driveway gets plenty of use and will inevitably acquire some wear and tear over the years, so occasionally it needs a slight improvement.
Things to consider before renovating your driveway
Renovating a driveway is a big task that requires a lot of planning. Embarking on this journey with a well-thought-out budget and a clear vision (and a bit of knowledge) will make things easier.
The first step is to hire qualified professionals and communicate your plan and ideas with them. They will be able to talk it over with you and determine the best plan of action for your driveway depending on your location, budget, and the problems with your current driveway. If you’re planning a few renovation projects, it’s important to make sure your driveway renovation won’t interfere with any of them. It’s also essential to consider the weather. You don’t want your freshly poured concrete ruined by bad weather!
In addition to the technical aspects, make sure you’re happy with the appearance of your driveway. The colour and style of your driveway can massively increase the appearance of your house.
Repairing your concrete driveway
Most driveways are made out of concrete, asphalt, interlocking pavers, or gravel. A professionally installed concrete driveway has a lifespan of about 30 years, but this can vary depending on weather conditions, how much use it gets, and the quality of maintenance. If your driveway is getting a little worn out, it’s important to fix it before the problem can worsen.
If you have a concrete driveway, look for a good sealer. This will prevent water from seeping into the cracks. Ideally, this will prevent the formation of cracks, corrosion and mould. Sealing is the next best thing if your budget won’t allow for completely new concrete.
If a sealer isn’t enough and your concrete needs to be redone completely, make sure you hire a pro. This ensures that your concrete is free of problems and will hopefully last another 30 years.
Before jumping into a new driveway, assess the severity of the current damage. If your driveway has broken concrete and deep cracks or other irreparable issues, a new driveway might be necessary. However, very fine cracks might be able to be filled, and a sealer might be able to help with other minor issues.
Another method to consider is concrete engraving. Engraving patterns on the surface of the concrete is not only a way to decrease the appearance of small cracks, but it also looks unique and eye-catching. Staining can help fix discolouration. Concrete resurfacing is another idea, but these methods are best if your driveway has only aesthetic faults. Before making your concrete look pretty, you may need to remove concrete that is causing real issues. An expert can help determine whether your driveway is actually unsafe or if it just needs some visual enhancement.
Understanding Australian driveway standards
Whether you’re putting in a completely new driveway or jazzing up the old one, it’s crucial to have an understanding of the driveway standards in Australia. These standards are in place to ensure quality, safety and correct dimensions.
First, determine whether your driveway is public or private. The laws vary slightly between public and private driveways but either way, they need to be large enough for safe entry and exit. If your driveway will be taking heavy loads it’s also important to consider increasing the thickness of your driveway. Adding and kerb or gutter is another simple step that will add to the safety and longevity of your driveway.
For most people, the barrier between you and your dream home is simple: cost. It’s entirely possible to achieve a beautiful home within your budget. Driveways can be expensive, so if new concrete is out of the question, a sealer is a much cheaper way to improve the appearance and quality of your driveway.
It’s also important to think of your new driveway as an investment. If you’re planning on selling, a new driveway will add value to the house. Measure up the cost of the driveway against the increased value of your property to determine if a driveway renovation is worth the cost. If new concrete is out of the question and a sealer isn’t enough to fix your driveway, consider cheaper alternatives to concrete driveways.