Tagged: renovating

Types of driveway materials

8 Dec 2017 

First and foremost, the driveway needs to withstand the load of vehicles and provide easy access between the road and where the vehicle is stored. A driveway that will give way to the pressure of traffic can damage the property and car, and lead to increased maintenance costs; a driveway that makes it difficult to enter and exit the property can prove a daily hassle.

In addition to providing practical benefits, a driveway must be attractive to preserve the look and value of the property. After all, it does occupy a large portion of the property’s frontage and plays a large role in forming people’s impression of the house.

When considering the costs of installing a new driveway always factor in the ongoing maintenance costs. Some driveway materials are expensive to install, but require little by way of maintenance; others need ongoing maintenance to keep them looking their best.

Below you’ll find articles on the materials most commonly used for driveways

 

Concrete driveways

 

A concrete driveway

What is a concrete driveway?

A concrete driveway is made of aggregate (stones and gravel) bonded together by cement. The aggregate used can vary in size and appearance.

Concrete does have a bit of reputation of being drab, but its appearance can be livened up with the addition of coloured stones, concrete paint, or the application of stencils to create the appearance of pavers.

What’s the best use?

Concrete driveways are suitable for a wide range of applications, as the surface can be adapted for practical (i.e. different finishes for grip) and aesthetic needs (concrete can be finished in a number of colours or engraved).

What maintenance is required?

With a high quality installation, concrete needs very little maintenance. Ensure spills of oil, grease or petrol are removed as soon as possible to prevent stains forming and reseal the concrete every two years and your drive should look good for at least a decade, if not longer.

 

What are the minimum and maximum grades?

To ensure water drains, concrete driveways should have a fall of at least one percent away from the house and towards the street.

The grade should not exceed 1:4 within the property boundary. Note that in some areas, there are restrictions on how steep a driveway can be; be sure to check with your local council about these limitations.

Do concrete driveways need steel reinforcing?

Concrete driveways can be constructed without steel reinforcing, as it does not increase or decrease the load capacity – it merely prevents cracks widening should they occur.

How is it installed?

For non-reinforced concrete and standard passenger cars, concrete needs to be 100mm thick. For heavier vehicles, the required thickness increases to 130mm.

Installation of a concrete driveway will usually proceed as follows:

  • Choose a cool, overcast day to pour your driveway – don’t proceed if there’s a chance of rain or frost. Very hot days should also be avoided.
  • Excavate 200-300mm
  • Create a base with hardcore of at least 150mm
  • Cover with fine gravel and level it off
  • Ensure good compaction with a vibrating plate or roller
  • Install timber forms along the sides of the drive, with stakes at regular intervals and and at every join between timber forms
  • Check the elevation to ensure uniform slab height
  • Lay the concrete
  • Insert shrinkage joints at least every 5-6m to avoiding cracks forming. You can also cut control joints. These will need to be done with 24 hours of pouring – sooner if the weather is hot.
  • Keep vehicles off your drive for at least seven days. If the weather is quite cool, extend this by another 5 days.

What will a concrete driveway cost?

Factors that will alter the cost of your concrete driveway include:

  • Size – the length and width
  • The slope – the price increases as the slope does
  • The appearance – plain concrete is cheapest. Add in colour, exposed aggregate or stencilling and the price will increase.

To ensure you get an accurate quote from your concreter or can put together an accurate budget, make sure you know all of the above items.

Many concreting companies have quote calculators on their website, making it quick and easy to get a quote.

Advantages and disadvantages of concrete driveways

Advantages
  • Durable
  • Cost-effective
  • Low maintenance
Disadvantages
  • Can be unattractive
  • Requires a large amount of prep work

 

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Renovate for the Elder

The majority of older adults wish to remain in their own homes as they age. Making modifications to your home can promote independence and prevent accidents. Home modifications are changes made to adapt living spaces to meet the needs of people with physical limitations. Modifications can be rather minor like adding grab bars and lever door handles, or major improvements like adding a ramps.

Bathroom Renovation Tips for a More Convenient and Safe Bathroom Usage for Elders

You may want to consider renovating certain facilities and structure in your bathroom to make it more convenient for the elderly living in your home. Not only is this comfortable for the elders, but also to anyone who is responsible in taking care of the elderly. Check out these bathroom renovation tips below to get you started.

  1. Turn your showers curblessBathroom Renovation Tips for a More Convenient and Safe Bathroom Usage for Elders

Shower areas usually have a curb to avoid water from seeping to the whole bathroom. However, transitioning elders (who are in a wheelchair) to a curbed shower is difficult. Not to mention the possible accidents that you can encounter while transporting the elderly to the shower area. Furthermore, a curbless shower is easier to clean than a shower enclosure.

Curbless showers are imperfect and it has one main disadvantage you should know: it causes water to spread out the bathroom. Fortunately there are solutions for this problem. First, you have the option of installing a pivoting shower screen to act as a barrier between the shower area and the other parts of the bathroom. Second, you can install a rain head. The function of the rain head is to force water into a single concentrated spot (specifically the drain area).

  1. Improve lighting

Bathroom Renovation Tips for a More Convenient and Safe Bathroom Usage for Elders

Elders are most likely to have impaired vision so you need to ensure the bathroom is properly lit. Use LED lights with high watts to illuminate the bathroom well. We also suggest installing a high quality nightlight in case the elderly have to use the bathroom during night-time. Installing nightlights along the hallway leading to the bathroom is also a good idea.

3. Bathroom should be on the same floor as to where the elder sleeps

Going to the bathroom shouldn’t be a struggle for seniors; which is why the bathroom should be on the same floor as where the elders sleep or stay for a long time. If creating a new bathroom is too difficult or expensive; then you should set up a chair lift to make it easier for seniors to travel between floors.

  1. space for more maneuverability
    Bathroom Renovation Tips for a More Convenient and Safe Bathroom Usage for Elders

Bathrooms that are too packed can become a trouble for seniors who have to use a wheelchair. In fact, they might not even get their wheelchair through the bathroom due to the limited space. For those of you who plan on renovating their bathroom; you should consider creating additional space for easier wheelchair movement.