If you are wondering how to save money on a concrete driveway, assess your skills. One of the best ways to reduce the cost of installing a concrete driveway is to do it yourself. The downside to this money-saving solution is that you need to know how to lay concrete properly or you face paying much more to fix any mistakes you make.
How to Save Money on a Concrete Driveway
If you decide to take on the construction project yourself, prepare to complete a lot of homework. The following are some factors to consider before you tackle building a concrete driveway:
Do the Math
Make sure you double check your numbers before you order materials. Miscalculating the driveway's dimensions can be a costly mistake. Also, as a general rule, a standard driveway needs a six-inch depth to avoid cracking under the weight of multiple vehicles. When prepping for the cement pour, be sure the entire area is six inches deep and is covered with a bed of dirt or gravel.
Get a Permit
Permits are required for most home construction projects. In the case of a driveway you will need to fill out the appropriate paperwork and submit it to your local planning department. You will also need to obtain a concrete pouring permit, which can be acquired from the same office. The permits need to be approved before you can start work on your driveway. In addition, the permits come with a fee, so be sure to calculate the price into the overall cost of your DIY project.
Unless you own your own a construction business or you are a serious home improvement expert, then you likely don't have the equipment needed to build a driveway. Don't blow your budget buying expensive tools, such as a cement blender. Instead, rent the necessary equipment.
Knowing how to save money on a concrete driveway will preserve your sanity as well as your bank account. One of the easiest ways to save on your driveway project is to look for affordable materials. For example, get in touch with local salvage yards and ask if you can purchase sub-grade concrete material. Most sub-grade concrete material is clean, so you won't have to worry that you are compromising the integrity of your build. In addition, most salvage yards sell discarded rocks from demolition sites that can be used as the base for your concrete driveway.
More Ways to Save on a Concrete Driveway
While self-installation is by far the cheapest way to score a concrete driveway, it is not the only option. For example, if you have limited construction skills or you simply don't have time to build an entire driveway on you own, then consider doing as much as you can before hiring outside help. You could tackle the excavation yourself and bring in a freelancer to do the rest. Or you could do the opposite and have a professional contractor excavate and complete the proper measurements for the new driveway, and then you could pour the cement and add the final touches yourself.
Another way to save money on a concrete driveway is to keep it as simple as possible. Don't go overboard trying to get fancy by adding unique colors or special textures to the driveway. While stamped designs can add extra curb appeal, if you are short on funds, it is best to stick to your original plan and create a functional driveway rather than one that is filled with costly embellishments.