When thinking about a driveway, most people think asphalt and tar. There are many forms of driveways from concrete to asphalt or brick to patterned pavers. A driveway contractor is a specialist who helps plan, price and install a driveway for both homeowners and businesses.
Why Do I Need a Driveway Contractor?
It is virtually impossible for a homeowner to install a driveway by him or herself. Driveway surfaces must be even and properly sloped before any finished surface can be installed. This requires large trucks, bulldozers and truckloads of under-surfacing material like crushed stone or sand.
When Do I Hire a Driveway Contractor?
Driveway contractors are hired after a home has been built. Rarely is a driveway installed first. Because heavy trucks will be delivering roofing materials, lumber, windows and other necessities, it is illogical to pave a driveway first. Most driveways cannot handle the weight of large trucks and a concrete driveway requires up to three months to properly cure.
What Can I Expect from the Construction Process?
Driveway contractors are usually hired after a house or building has been completed. The area where the driveway will be located is bulldozed and sloped so that water runs off it correctly. Standing water can damage a driveway surface over time, so a driveway contractor must calculate slope and drainage. After the ground is prepared, a load of crushed stone or sand is brought in and then packed down using a roller. After this step, the final driveway coat can be installed. An asphalt driveway requires material to be dumped, spread out and then pressed evenly using a roller.
Concrete driveways require framing to be installed, the concrete to be poured and then spread evenly. While the concrete cures, a waterproof covering like tarp or plastic is placed over the area to protect it from rain. Brick or paver driveways are laid out piece-by-piece and then sand is used to fill the spaces between the bricks.
Once the driveway is complete and allowed enough time to set. A finishing coat is applied to asphalt or concrete driveways to seal and protect from water.
How Do I Choose a Driveway Contractor?
Most driveway contractors have a high school diploma and learn on the job. Apprenticeships are the most common way to become a driveway contractor, so look for a contractor that has completed his or her apprenticeship and ask about the training that he or she as completed. Some driveway contractors even complete special coursework so they can learn how to create patterns or dye the concrete for a more unique look.