A driveway is necessary to link your home or business to the road. However, it doesn’t only serve a practical purpose, but also an aesthetic one. It’s the first thing people see when they drive up to your property, particularly when you live in an outer suburban or semi-rural area and have a long driveway connecting you to the road. So, it’s important that you consider both the design and construction solutions for your new driveway project.
Before you start construction on your new driveway, you will need to decide on the type of material you would like it to be built with. There are also a number of design elements you will need to take into consideration, such as whether the driveway will go in a straight line or curve around, and whether you require kerbing, soak wells, drainage, parking areas, or turn-around areas. You may even require a particular colour.
Challenges of Semi-Rural Driveway Construction
When it comes to constructing or replacing the driveway on your semi-rural property, there are a few things you should consider before you begin the design and construction process. These include:
- The accessibility of your driveway
- If your driveway slopes and the steepness of the incline
- Types of weather and how frequently the temperature changes or if rain is likely
- The downtime between construction and being able to use the driveway
- The durability and ease of repairs
If your driveway is difficult to access, this can slow down the demolition of any existing driveway structures, as well as increase the construction time. It may then impact the cost of labour and materials.
An incline between the road and your property can cause issues if the gradient is too steep. Problems include damage to vehicles, water erosion and damage, a loss of grip in wet weather and possible flooding to the lower parts of the driveway.
There are a few solutions to this, such as using transition gradients to increase ground clearance for vehicles, curving the driveway at the top and bottom to allow vehicles to enter and exit at an angle, or zigzagging the driveway to add length and decrease the gradient.
Steep driveways can also impact the material you decide to construct your driveway with. For example, concrete needs to have a coarse surface/broom finish to allow traction for vehicles.
A brick-paved drive can be expensive for a large driveway and is prone to movement and the spreading of the bricks over time. While gravel, limestone, road base and recycled materials are cost-effective options, they can become loose under traffic. This causes loss of traction, causing the surface to become uneven, as they do not have a permanent wearing surface and require ongoing maintenance over time. They can also be dusty in summer and be waterlogged in winter.
For over 30 years since 1989, we have been constructing asphalt driveways for Perth residents and businesses in semi-rural and outer suburban areas. We specialise in building large driveways that are designed to suit your specific needs, as well as the harsher conditions in the outer metro area.
Asphalt is a cost-effective option that has the resilience to withstand water damage and traffic from heavy vehicles, however, it is best used on driveways that have a gradient of less than 10 degrees (approximately 1 in 6 incline). This durable material is known for its ability to adapt to changing temperatures, so it is suitable for Perth’s climate.
Not only is asphalt durable, but it is easy to repair due to its granular nature. This means that instead of having to remove an entire section of driveway, like you would have to with concrete, you can generally repair asphalt damage by sweeping out the damaged area and resurfacing it. This reduces the cost and the time it takes to repair any damage.
Asphalt is also ready to use only hours after being installed, due to its ability to ‘cure’ at a faster rate. Other materials, like concrete, may need to be left for weeks, reducing the access and increasing downtime to your home or business, compared to asphalt.
It’s important to ensure the base of your new driveway is prepared properly, to help extend its life and preserve its integrity. Heavy machinery is used to level out and compact the base, so it is ready for the next phase of construction. An asphalt driveway that is constructed with care can have a lifespan of up to 30 years, depending on use.
Since asphalt is water-resistant, and by law in Perth and Western Australia, property owners have an obligation to confine stormwater run-off to their property, you will need to consider drainage options for your driveway. This is particularly important if the driveway is draining towards the road or into your garage.
Driveway soakwells are underground tanks made from concrete that catch and disperse stormwater into the surrounding soil. Having driveway drains or soakwells professionally installed alongside your driveway will help prevent erosion and degradation of your driveway, to preserve its structural integrity and prevent sagging, cracks, and potholes.
Kerbing may also be required, either to separate the driveway from a garden bed or to seal off the edges to prevent water and debris penetrating the structure. As well as having practical uses, kerbing can also add to the aesthetic appeal of your driveway by creating clean lines and keeping your garden looking neat.
While kerbing can be made out of many materials including vinyl and timber in garden beds, we only use 32mpa ready-mixed concrete when constructing driveways in Perth. This is because it is able to withstand the weather and vehicle traffic more so than the other materials. It will maintain its shape and require less maintenance and will have a similar lifespan to our asphalt surface.
Finally, consider whether your property requires any extra features, such as turnaround bays or parking, as these elements will need to be factored into the design as well.
Before you start planning the construction of your driveway, speak to the experts for a free measure and quote. We have over 30 years of industry experience and can deliver far more than just an asphalt surface. We can also install soakwells and kerbing to ensure your project lasts a long time.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to speak to our team.
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