If you’re a homeowner in Alameda, Albany, Moraga, El Cerrito, Kensington, Oakland, Orinda, Piedmont, and San Leandro, CA.
Older Driveways Lack Reinforcement
Most older driveways lack any rebar, and as a consequence shift and move
over time due to soil movement below and drainage issues. For new
driveways we remove some to the existing soil and install base material
which we compact that will settle less and also drain better. Then we install
½” rebar at 12” spacing to provide a substantial reinforcing grid to prevent
cracking and minimize settlement and movement.
Skilled Finishers Make a Big Difference
Experienced finishers are crucial, as the timing of the finishing has to factor in the
temperature, concrete mixture etc. And the number of finishers is also key. We would
rather pay for a few extra men than have them get to rushed trying to do too much.
Stamped Concrete and Colored Concrete Can Provide Multiple Looks
A variety of finishes can be created using textures mats. Color or multiple colors can be
added as well to create a special look. Sometime we will start with a base color, and we
add a second powdered color during the stamping to create a multicolored appearance,
often highlighting the surface particularly with stone textures.
A Unique Appearance
You can create your own signature driveway. Here we used cobblestone texture mats,
and covered the small side wall with a slate stone to compliment it.
Once common look is plain concrete with a brick border, which can highlight other brick
details on the property, especially brick stairs and landings.
Driveway Drainage is an Important Consideration
Downspouts adjacent to the house next to the driveway are often routed under the
driveway to their exit point. When driveways slope towards the garage a channel drain is
usually installed to keep water out of the building.
What Is a Driveway Bridge?
On downslope properties in the hills the driveway will often function as bridge as well,
since it spans between the street and the house over a sloping hill. Older driveway
bridges often do not meet modern engineering standards and require significant
rebuilding. In the Oakland hills, as a consequence of the Oakland hills fire, codes now
require driveways to be able to handle the weight of a firetruck, requiring much heavier
Drilled Piers Are Often Required
Because they are installed on a slope, new foundations for driveway bridges often require
reinforced concrete piers as part of the construction. Heavy equipment is used to drill
deep holes for the concrete.
Heavy Engineered Timbers Are Often Used for Framing
In order to support the heavy load requirements, engineered heavy timbers are often used
to support the new concrete driveway.
There Was Only One Way In and Out
On this driveway bridge project the clients daughter was in a wheelchair and her only
way in was through the garage. We created a temporary ramp for her and then framed
the new driveway under it.
As Usual, Waterproofing is Crucial
Once the plywood is installed on top of the framing, a bituthene waterproofing membrane
is installed, along with waterproofing and flashing at the sidewalls and a channel drain at
the garage to provide integrated drainage for the work.
The Finished Product
This driveway bridge was completed with stamped concrete and wood railings as the
Driveways with Retaining Walls
For this sloped driveway we installed new reinforced concrete retaining walls on either
side, with stucco on the walls and a brick accent. The stamped finish on tie driveway
combined red and black and semi-gloss sealer for a more dramatic look.