Many people pave their own driveway, but you have to set aside a good amount of time to get the job done correctly. It can take up to three days for professional contractors to pave your driveway, including the curing process, so doing it yourself might extend the time by a couple of days. If you don’t have heavy-duty equipment, add on a few more days. Time can be your enemy when it comes to jobs like this, especially if you happen to be paying people to help you. You know the old saying, “time is money”.
There are steps you can take to save time while you’re working. Don’t think of them as shortcuts on quality. They are shortcuts on time, which, in the end, will most likely produce a higher quality driveway since you won’t be as burnt out towards the end. We’ve listed four of the simplest time-saving steps below. These steps are very easy to incorporate into your driveway paving plans. Keep reading to find out more about these interesting, time-saving actions.
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Two heads are always better than one. Three or four would be even better! While it’s possible to pave your driveway by yourself, doing it alone could easily stretch days into a week or more. It’s not impossible to do it alone, but it’s impractical and inefficient. If you want to speed up the job, make it a team effort. This team can be made up of you and your family or friends, or you can consider hiring a skilled worker and offering your labor to drop the cost of the job.
Paving a driveway isn’t hard, but it is a lot of work. If you can split up the work into teams or tasks, this will make paving the driveway go quickly, smoothly, and maybe even make it fun if you have the right people. It will also give you the opportunity to take breaks in shifts or groups. This way the work can continue instead of stopping every few hours. Even if your helpers have no experience with paving, the job can go more quickly when you don’t have to worry about mundane tasks like cleaning, moving dirt, mixing, fetching tools, or other simple tasks. Paving a driveway could even become a family activity that brings everyone together. At the end, you’ll all feel very proud of the job you’ve done.
Choose the Right Season
The time of year and the weather makes a huge difference in how long it takes for cement to set. You want to choose a time where everything is at a medium, average temperature. Good weather and low humidity make an optimal day. Don’t even think about rainy days. In fact, if it rains, you’ll want to wait a few days after for the ground to completely dry. Fall is the optimal season to pave a driveway with concrete. This is due to the water content in the cement. If it’s too cold, the water could freeze before the cement cures and this may cause it to crack into pieces. You’d have to redo it which definitely would not save you time.
This means that you should avoid paving your driveway in winter at all costs. If you can’t do it in the fall, spring would be the next best season. In the summer, extreme heat adds too much humidity to the air so it will take much longer for the concrete to dry. This definitely won’t save you time. You should try to avoid working in the summer if possible. However, if you are given a choice between summer and winter, go with summer.
Types of Concrete
There are 23 types of concrete, which can seem overwhelming when trying to select the best kind for your driveway. If you want to speed up the job, choose concrete that’s easy to work with and dries quickly. One suggestion is fast-setting concrete. This type of concrete sets in 20 to 40 minutes and can handle foot traffic in as little as four hours. It will be able to handle car traffic in 24 hours. Keep in mind that because it sets so fast, you’ll need to move at the speed of light to pave your driveway. It’s not suggested to use this type of concrete if you’re working alone.
Ready-mix concrete is another option. This will take a little longer to set, but it saves you time because it’s already prepared. You don’t need as many tools for ready-mix concrete as other kinds. It’s already mixed so several steps are cut out of the preparation process. Ultimately, you want to pick the type of concrete that will last the longest for your home and be able to handle the traffic typically happening on your property.
Paving your driveway yourself can be a very fulfilling experience, especially if you’re an avid DIYer. However, if you’re not a professional, this can extend the amount of time it takes for you to pave the driveway. Chances are you won’t move as fast as a professional who’s paved driveways hundreds of times. You also may not know certain techniques or may not be as experienced in these techniques. No one is saying that you shouldn’t pave it yourself – just that a professional could do it faster. In fact, hiring a professional will ensure that the job is done right the first time around so you don’t have to waste time redoing tasks. If you really want to be hands-on, you could work along with the professional. This would still help to get the job done faster.
The driveway is an important part of your home. It experiences a lot of people and vehicles so it’s important that it’s paved properly. Once you have the right combination of all four of these paving suggestions, you’ll be that much closer to a long-lasting, finished product.
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