Driveway Installation

See it happen...

My first driveway installation was in Chester using standard 50mm blockpave, a real learning experience as is every job. Driveways in Helsby and Frodsham are always enjoyable…the same can be said for Heswall and the Wirral; it’s all in the levels!

As for choice, it’s all yours, anything from standard concrete block paviours to natural stone random setts or cobbles, real yorkstone through to imprinted concrete driveways using Lafarge coloured concrete…I have laid it all!

A few points on the importance of correct falls, dig-out and levels for a good solid driveway installation.

Once again careful consideration should be given to falls and levels, get this wrong and a complete uplift and re-lay could be the only solution. Special attention should be paid to any laying water and the direction of drainage, if it falls back towards the house there is a possibility of damage to footings by washing away any solid ground ultimately causing subsidence. A simple but expensive mistake which could take years to show.

The dig-out is determined on ground stability, once again my years of experience have taught me that if the ground is solid there really is no good need to disturb it all to new backfill. There is nothing wrong with leaving it in. If the ground is clay based then a deep dig-out is a must, possibly 10-12″ (or 250-300mm). I have also found that before any backfill starts on clay a pre-sub base of flat broken slabs provides a good solid foundation for any sub base to sit as this stop the MOT/crusher run sinking into the clay underbase.

Once the sub base has been prepared and compacted (and this may take place in stages of 75-100mm layers to ensure correct and proper compaction) it is now that the levels will then be set. This is by far the most important part of any driveway.

The area to be worked will then be sanded (with washed sand only) and again levels are constantly checked, the sand will then be compacted and laying will begin.

The edges are particularly important and need to be set and concreted in correctly as soil alone will not prevent any spread or opening up of blocks or flags. If blocks have been laid then to finish off will be the brushing in of fine silica kiln dried sand but only when all joints and blocks are dry. The whole area will be sanded, this acts as a protective barrier whilst vibrating the sand between joints.

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