The Driveway for
Your Home

Building a driveway was one aspect of home building that I did not pay much attention to when we first started the process of building our own home. How hard could it be? You just haul in some gravel and dump it and spread it for the construction crews to get in and out with their vehicles. Not thinking this through properly cost us several weeks due to rain and mud.


   
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A Little Driveway Advice

When you buy a home in a subdivision all the drainage and roads are complete prior to construction. This makes it easy for the various deliveries and equipment to gain access to the building site. When you build your own home it is often on raw land, or in a rural setting that does not have roads directly to your site or often does not have culverts and proper drainage. This makes planning your road construction and drainage a key issue prior to building your home.

We bought our land to build our home on in July which is a dry hot month here. You had to have a hammer to drive a nail in the ground. Not being that familiar with this area I did not think building a road to the building site would be that much of a problem. We planned on a January date to break ground. This gave us plenty of time to get our plans, research contractors and line up materials.

We closed on our construction loan in January and 2 days later the heavens opened up and it rained and rained. It rained so much and was so wet that we could not get a crew in to build our road for 6 weeks. We needed the Driveway to bring in fill dirt trucks for the pad to build the foundation. The whole time the interest clock was running. Not a pretty picture. The moral to this story is build your driveway while the sun is shining even if it is early in the process. Weather can really shut you down.

The Driveway Goes In

Driveway Construction First we put in a culvert and filed in with road base material. I will give you more information on the driveway materials page about good products for road base.

We used a permeable underpayment to help stabilize the soil under the driveway. This was simply rolled out and the road base was spread over it.

Proper Drainage & the Right Materials

Driveway Construction

I want to leave you with a couple of thoughts. First plan your drainage properly. It is far easier to build when you are not dealing with mud and poor drainage. Before you build your driveway make sure you set up good drainage for your building site. If your driveway crosses a low spot build it up and set up the grade so water does not stand around your driveway. Standing water will wick up into your base material and make a soft mud hole.

Use the right materials when you build your driveway and find a good contractor. We built the base for our road using sand, stone and washout concrete. This material was packed by hundreds of trucks and equipment. After the house was built we came back in did a final grade and poured the concrete driveway over the packed settled base material. We used 1/2 rebar on six inch centers and put in treated lumber expansion joints where the driveway met the house and every 15 feet to allow for expansion.

For more information go to Driveway Materials.





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