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New Driveway Design Feedback


mossman's Avatar
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09-25-17, 12:29 PM   #1 (permalink)  
New Driveway Design Feedback

Having a new concrete driveway poured and wanted to get some feedback on the design. Specifically the angled portion just passed the apron. Will this be a weak point? Should it be okay if I reinforce this area with some rebar? The apron and driveway will be poured at the same time, so I could have them run continuous pieces of rebar from driveway through to the apron.

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09-25-17, 04:35 PM   #2 (permalink)  
just be sure to get a lot of cuts on the driveway, remember it's not if but where it will crack so give it lots of areas to control

 
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09-25-17, 04:59 PM   #3 (permalink)  
No. The triangles on your apron are of greater concern.

 
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10-01-17, 09:44 AM   #4 (permalink)  
Any sharp corner presents a place for cracks to start. Since the width of your driveway at the door is only a foot wider than me wider lower portion my don't you just make the entire driveway 16 'wide with a gentle transition to the 17' at the door? It certainly wouldn't take that much more concrete and will probably help prevent a lot of problems in the future.

 
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11-21-17, 10:16 AM   #5 (permalink)  
New Driveway Advice

Driveway is being poured next week. Need to decide on the following two options. Difference is where to begin transition to widened area--at the mouth of the apron or where the apron ends at the property line. Benefit of option 1 is I stay on my property and out of the utility easement. Downside is I barely have enough room to position a vehicle on the right side. I would have to zig zag back and forth to shimmy my way over. Benefit of option 2 is more room to position vehicle over to right side (no zig zagging necessary), but then I have a piece of driveway over the property line and in the utility easement. I have a feeling the advice will be option 1.

I should be clear that I will not normally be parking a vehicle on the right side, but want the space available if I ever need to park two vehicles side by side and/or squeeze by on the left and park in the garage.

A third option would be to start the widened area at the end of the apron like option 1, but instead of a 45 degree angle, square it off. This wouldn't help with maneuvering though. It would be more a question of aesthetics and strength.

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Last edited by mossman; 11-21-17 at 11:23 AM.
 
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11-21-17, 12:58 PM   #6 (permalink)  
Seems to me 2 would require permission.

 
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11-21-17, 01:26 PM   #7 (permalink)  
That is just easement, to be honest there isn't enough difference between the two to spend much thought on!

 
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11-21-17, 08:16 PM   #8 (permalink)  
It makes quite a difference actually. I have a very limited area to work with. Option 1 doesn't allow me to park both of my vehicles side by side because the extension isn't deep enough.

 
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11-21-17, 09:07 PM   #9 (permalink)  
Why exactly aren't you making the apron full width? Unless there's something really screwy in your area, you can use all the easement you want. Who cares if it's 13 ft usage or 16 ft? It would sure make things much easier to park. Not to mention easier to install and less angles to cause problems.


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11-21-17, 10:05 PM   #10 (permalink)  
I believe VDOT requires the apron to he centered with the door. Plus I think it would look better that way. And I typically park my truck along the curb on the right side, which is right at the property line. The tail end of my truck already sticks back too much into my neighbor's area, so I wamt to minimize this. In other words, the narrower the apron, the further left I can park along the curb and away from the front of my neighbor's house.

 
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11-21-17, 10:08 PM   #11 (permalink)  
Should I strengthen that corner with a couple pieces of rebar? Or perhaps square it off instead of the 45 degree angle? The angle makes it flow better but I don't want to risk structural problems. Maybe I should thicken that area to 6". Or go with a curved transition instead of an angle.

 
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11-22-17, 01:08 AM   #12 (permalink)  
Well, unless you live on a State highway, VDOT doesn't have any say, and that sounds hinky to me anyway, since you park on the street. As for your truck, you can't park in front of the apron if it were wider (the exact spot you park now)? Who says? As to looks..well that's a personal opinion only.

More rebar is better than less, but that will only hold the big chunks together after they crack. Square is better than a tapered angle.

Seems your drawings changed dimensions but I can't be sure, they get blurry when I blow them up. Is there a sidewalk you need to worry about? Why is there that approx 4' of straight section before the driveway starts? Why not just bring the drive down all the way to the angled part of the apron, even if you don't widen the apron to span the whole width? You keep the curb width same as in your drawings and have no narrow angled sections to cause problems. Needless to say this is not to any sort of scale or detail. Or maybe something like your option 2, only bring it to where the angled part of the apron stops.

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11-22-17, 04:00 AM   #13 (permalink)  
Normally the placement/size of the apron requires city/county approval, have you talked to the permit office about it?


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11-22-17, 04:41 AM   #14 (permalink)  
Where I live, if the City does road work that damages the apron, they'll fix it if it's asphalt. If it's concrete, they won't fix it. That's pretty common in MN. Just an FYI, although I wouldn't put in a concrete drive with an asphalt apron.

 
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11-22-17, 05:15 AM   #15 (permalink)  
What is preventing the apron from being 18' wide? Why jog around at all?

 
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11-22-17, 05:16 AM   #16 (permalink)  
It's a public street and VDOT has jurisdiction. I had to get a permit through them to move the apron and they are required to inspect it to ensure it was done to their specifications. The property line sets back 8' from the curb, which is why the apron extends back 8' if for some reason a portion of it needs to be removed (utility work), the county will repair the apron but would not repair any section of driveway that extends over the property line/easment. This is why I do not want to extend the driveway into the easement. I'm leaning towards squaring off the widened area if going with a taper is really as risky as it sounds. Although not ideal, It wouldn't be so bad if I just omitted the taper altogether and had a straight 13' wide driveway.

 
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11-22-17, 05:22 AM   #17 (permalink)  
8 could make it 18' wide, but I thought perhaps that would look funny with the apron not centered with the driveway. It is a very short and straight driveway, so it would be very noticeable. Maybe keep it centered but widen the entire thing 6" to a foot on either side? Or would it look odd with the driveway extending past both left/right corners of the garage? This would also make my sidewalk a tad shorter, but that would probably be okay.

 
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11-22-17, 05:39 AM   #18 (permalink)  
Or would it look odd with the driveway extending past both left/right corners of the garage?
No funnier than having 2 vehicles parked in front of a one car garage. IMO it's stupid to have a cramped approach if you can make it wider.

 
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11-22-17, 06:27 AM   #19 (permalink)  
I agree two cars crammed next to each other would look funny, and I really don't want to go over any further. There are trees another 8 ft to the right as well as the property line. I told them to center the apron and jog over 4ft with a taper. Not going to park two vehicles. Just extra space for working on the car, washing the motorcycle, etc. I appreciate the feedback!

 
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11-22-17, 08:58 AM   #20 (permalink)  
Last question, 4" of gravel under the slab is typical correct? They were planning on putting little to no gravel and pouring on top of clay soil. I told them they needed to dig down, haul the dirt away, and put a 4" gravel base.

 
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11-22-17, 09:11 AM   #21 (permalink)  
It is typical for certain soil types- like clay, yes. And your compacted "gravel" should be limestone or crushed concrete. All things that your engineer should be calling out.

 
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11-22-17, 09:12 AM   #22 (permalink)  
The engineer was only involved for the foundation and structural slab. The driveway is being done as they typically do driveways (half ass ).

 
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11-22-17, 09:15 AM   #23 (permalink)  
Then it boils down to what your contract states. If gravel wasn't spec'd - expect an extra charge.


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11-22-17, 09:19 AM   #24 (permalink)  
I should have mentioned proper drainage too. If you dig out 4" of soil and create a 4" deep lake filled with rock, that's not going to perform as well as one where there is drainage. If the lot is flat and there is no place for water to go when you dig your drain tile down 8"... well you are kind of at the mercy of the land.

 
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11-22-17, 09:22 AM   #25 (permalink)  
I'm fine with the extra charge. I want it done correctly. There is not much slope. Maybe 1/4" per ft.

Still a bit confused...doesn't gravel allow the water to drain downward away from the slab and to the soil below as opposed to having saturated clay soil directly under the slab? What about frost heave? Are you suggesting it may have been better to pour the slab directly on clay? This project has been so frustrating. I shouldn't have to worry about any of this.

 
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11-22-17, 09:52 AM   #26 (permalink)  
You wouldn't have to worry about it if you weren't acting as the GC. That's why people hire them. DIY forums are not meant to take the place of GC's, engineers, and tradesmen that are on site.

 
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11-22-17, 10:07 AM   #27 (permalink)  
I completely understand what you are saying, but experience has shown me that unfortunately many tradesman are not doing their trades properly. They have been looking to me for guidance. Doesn't exactly give you a warm fuzzy feeling when a contractor asks "what do you think we should we do here"? Enough said...

 
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11-22-17, 11:53 AM   #28 (permalink)  
doesn't gravel allow the water to drain downward away from the slab and to the soil below as opposed to having saturated clay soil directly under the slab? What about frost heave? Are you suggesting it may have been better to pour the slab directly on clay?
While having a gravel base is best, most around here just place the concrete directly above the prepared soil [removed vegetation and level out] It's only occasionally that I've seen builders dig down and then build it up with gravel before they pour the concrete driveway.


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