The step-by-step guide to repaving your driveway

If your driveway is showing signs of decay, it might be time for a renovation project. Repaving your driveway is not an especially hard task. With the right tools and knowledge, it’s a manageable and rewarding DIY project. Furthermore, embarking on this project can provide valuable knowledge and experience to carry out more difficult projects in the future. In this guide, we’ll take you through the step-by-step process, providing helpful tips along the way. Remember that Beaver Tool Hire provide leading tool hire services throughout Hampshire and West Sussex, so feel free to explore our range or get in touch on 01243 782510 for more information.

Step 1: Planning

Before diving into the project, take a moment to plan. Assess the size of your driveway, estimate the required materials and familiarise yourself with local regulations. The square feet or square metres should be carefully measured, as should the desired depth of the driveway. These measurements will provide the necessary information for the purchase of concrete, asphalt or paving stones.

Don’t forget about drainage – a gradient of 1:60 to 1:80 is typically ideal. This means that for every 60 – 80 units of length, the drainage end should be one unit lower. The central area should be slightly elevated compared to the edges to allow for rainwater runoff. Tools such as a measuring wheel will prove valuable in this task.

Step 2: Removing the Old Driveway

Once the plan is in place, it’s time to bid farewell to the old driveway. For this process a hydraulic or electric breaker can be used. This can be a backbreaking task if old fashioned tools are relied upon, but there are electric breakers that absorb vibrations to make this job a lot easier. Makita specialises in such tools and at Beaver Tool Hire we provide Hilti breakers which likewise absorb vibrations.

If you are hiring a digger you can use a breaker attachment which will accelerate the process dramatically. After the driveway is broken up a digger or skid steer can be used to gather the rubble, place it into a skip loader and finally take it to the skip.

Step 3: Excavating and Preparing the Area

With the old driveway out of the way, the next step is excavation. Mark the area to be dug out, keeping in mind the drainage gradient and desired depth, and be cautious of underground utilities –  especially if the driveway is to be expanded. An excavator or skid steer are perfect for this part of the job, carefully digging up the ground to create a level surface.

Step 4: Soil Compaction

After excavation, it’s crucial to compact the base layer of soil for stability. For this task a simple compactor plate will be necessary. You can either use a petrol compactor plate or opt for an electric one, which is quieter. Run it over the base layer in overlapping passes to ensure even compaction, preventing future issues like cracking or sinking.

Step 5: Paving

During the planning stages of your project you will have chosen a paving material that suits your preferences. Whether it’s concrete, asphalt or paving stones, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for a smooth installation. Lay the paving evenly and consider leaving room for expansion joints to prevent cracking. The most common material for driveways is concrete, so this is what we will be focusing on. You will need the following tools and equipment:

  • Rebar tier: If you are laying a concrete driveway it is likely that you will use rebar at the base as reinforcement. Tying rebar can be a long and tedious task but is made easy with a cordless rebar tier.
  • Forms: Some kind of structure to retain the concrete as it is being poured. Wooden planks can be used for this purpose as can road forms.
  • Concrete mixer and wheelbarrow: You will need a concrete mixer to mix cement with the aggregates and a wheelbarrow or some kind of container to place it in, ready for use.
  • Tamps and screeds: Essential for tamping and levelling the concrete once poured.
  • Floats: Using floats will ensure a smooth finish and a power float will provide some degree of compaction.

At this stage you will already have the area set up and the moulds will need to be set in place for the concrete pouring process. Rebar will also need to be laid in the form of a grid. It should be tied at the junctions so that it stays in place. Cement needs to be mixed with aggregates such as sand and crushed stone or gravel in accordance to product specifications. Pouring it into a wheelbarrow will make it easy to move around as you pour it in the desired location. As the concrete is being poured, tamps and screeds will be needed to level the concrete so that it is smooth. After this process is finished floats will be used to further smooth the surface, and once the concrete is dry enough a power float can be used to further level and compact the new driveway.

Step 6: The Finishing Flourish

The final touch involves sealing the surface for protection against weathering and staining. The methods you choose to use for this will depend on the materials used to pave the driveway. You can add decorative elements like borders or patterns if desired, and consider installing drainage systems to prevent standing water. Once the concrete is cured, the moulds should be removed and a pressure washer can be used to clean the driveway of any residues that could make it unsightly.

Repaving your driveway is a substantial project, but armed with the right tools and knowledge, it’s an attainable one. By following these steps and considering hiring equipment from Beaver Tool Hire, you’ll transform your driveway into a functional and aesthetically pleasing and durable surface.

Repaving your driveway? Speak to Beaver Tool Hire

For all the tools and equipment you need for your next DIY, speak to our friendly team today. With branches in Chichester, Petersfield, Waterlooville, Portsmouth, Fareham, Winchester and our newest depot in Worthing we are conveniently located to provide leading tool hire services throughout Hampshire and West Sussex. Get in touch today on 01243 782510 to find out about the best tools for your project.