Considerations When Planning a Concrete Driveway

An advantage of using concrete for a driveway is that it's versatile. Cement can be poured to create any shape, and it can be texturized and coloured to mimic natural stone and other elements. When designing your driveway, keep the following considerations in mind.

Decorative Concrete Options

If you don't want plain grey cement, you can choose from various decorative options for the driveway. You can subtly dress it up with charcoal-pigmented concrete that is saw-cut into squares to mimic pavers. Or you could opt for broomed concrete that has subtle brush lines. Stamped concrete is more decorative; it is created with moulds that mimic paver shapes. Another finish is rock salt, created when course salt is scattered over the unset concrete. Eventually, the salt is washed away, leaving organic-looking pores and holes. You will need to decide if you want a subtle broomed or rock salt finish or a bolder stone paver effect. A complicated treatment will have higher labour costs than a simple one.


The slope of the driveway is another aspect you need to consider. A perfectly flat slab can develop puddles, making the surface slippery. Thus, the contractors will lay the concrete so that the water drains. Sometimes the middle of a driveway is slightly raised or the entire driveway might incline.

Of course, the driveway slope depends on whether your property is on a hill. If the driveway steeply ascends or descends, a curve built into it can help by angling across the steepness and lessening it.


You will also need to think about the shape of the driveway, which will depend to some degree on your yard's size. If the property is compact and the garage and street access are aligned, a straight driveway may be the most feasible choice. You can choose plain concrete or decorate the paving to accentuate your house's architecture.

If your home is set back from the road, a curved driveway will add visual interest. A curved layout may be necessary if the street access doesn't line up with the garage or the driveway needs to wind around a tree. The paving shouldn't have a bend too close to the street or garage, as this may make it tricky to manoeuvre vehicles in and out.

A classic horseshoe driveway can be an option in a medium to large front yard. These driveways have separate entry and exit points, so you won't have to back out into traffic, which can be dangerous. The concrete driveway should be wide enough for two cars, so one can park at the side while allowing another to pass.

For more information on concrete driveways, contact a professional near you.