Keen on an exposed aggregate finish but unsure how to make it happen?
We can help.
We’ve helped hundreds of clients throughout Melbourne enjoy vibrant, versatile and durable exposed aggregate surfaces. Now, we’re breaking down the step-by-step process for you.
An exposed aggregate driveway can blend seamlessly with Melbourne’s diverse architectural styles. It can also serve as an impromptu cricket pitch when the car isn’t in the driveway (just be wary of potential spin from the exposed surface).
So whether your home boasts classic charm or contemporary chic, here’s how you create a stunning driveway for your Melbourne home.
Step 1: Planning and Design
Before you start any construction project, it’s essential to plan and design your driveway.
Consider factors such as the size of your driveway, the desired shape, and any specific patterns or colours you want to incorporate. You should also obtain any necessary permits or approvals from your local authorities.
Take inspiration from the surrounding landscape and the architectural style of your home. Melbourne offers a diverse range of design possibilities, from classic to modern. A well-thought-out design will ensure that your driveway complements the overall look of your property.
Step 2: Choose the Aggregates
Exposed aggregate driveways get their name from the decorative aggregates or stones that are “exposed” on the surface. Melbourne offers a variety of options when it comes to aggregates. Common choices include:
- Crushed granite
- Recycled glass
Consider the colour and size of the aggregates to create the desired aesthetic effect.
Exposed Aggregate Concrete Colours Compared
Step 3: Excavation and Base Preparation
Prepare the area for your driveway by excavating the existing surface to the required depth. The depth will depend on the type of soil and the expected load on the driveway.
Generally, a depth of 100-150mm is suitable. Ensure proper drainage by sloping the driveway away from your home to prevent water buildup.
After excavation, it’s essential to create a stable base for your driveway. This usually involves adding a layer of crushed rock or gravel, followed by compaction to ensure a firm and level surface.
Step 4: Formwork and Reinforcement
Next, create formwork along the edges of your driveway to define its shape. Reinforce the concrete with steel mesh or rebar to enhance its strength and durability. Proper reinforcement is crucial to prevent cracking and ensure the longevity of your driveway.
Step 5: Pouring the Concrete
Now, it’s time to pour the concrete. Mix the concrete according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and make sure it’s of the right consistency. Pour it evenly over the prepared base and spread it using a screed board. Work quickly to avoid any inconsistencies in the surface.
Step 6: Adding the Aggregates
While the concrete is still wet, sprinkle the chosen aggregates evenly across the surface. Use a float or a trowel to press the aggregates into the concrete gently. Be careful not to push them too deep, as they should be partially exposed.
Step 7: Finishing and Curing
Once the aggregates are in place, use a broom or a brush to lightly sweep the surface to remove any excess materials and create a textured finish. Allow the concrete to cure for at least 48 hours before walking or driving on it. During this time, keep the surface moist to prevent cracking.
Step 8: Sealing and Maintenance
To protect your driveway from stains and deterioration, consider applying a sealer. Sealers not only enhance the appearance but also extend the lifespan of your driveway. Reapply the sealer every few years to maintain its effectiveness.
Regular maintenance involves cleaning the surface with a mild detergent and a soft brush to remove dirt and debris. Avoid using harsh chemicals or high-pressure washing, as these can damage the exposed aggregate.
How Much Does an Exposed Aggregate Driveway Cost?
The Benefits of an Exposed Aggregate Driveway
Now that you know the steps involved in creating a driveway, let’s delve into the benefits of choosing this type of driveway for your Melbourne home.
- Aesthetic Appeal: Concrete driveways are known for their stunning and unique appearance. The variety of aggregates available allows you to create a custom look that complements your home’s style and surroundings. Whether you prefer a rustic, natural look or a sleek, modern design, exposed aggregate can deliver.
Can You Add Exposed Aggregate Concrete Around Your Pool?
- Durability: Melbourne’s weather can be harsh at times, with hot summers and occasional heavy rainfall. Exposed aggregate driveways are incredibly durable and can withstand these weather conditions without cracking or deteriorating. The aggregates also provide excellent traction, making your driveway safe even in wet conditions.
- Low Maintenance: One of the key advantages is their low maintenance requirements. With periodic sealing and routine cleaning, your driveway can maintain its beauty and functionality for many years. Unlike traditional concrete driveways, which may require frequent resurfacing or repairs, they are a cost-effective choice in the long run.
- Increased Property Value: A well-designed and well-maintained driveway can significantly enhance the curb appeal of your home. This can lead to an increase in your property’s value, making it a wise investment for homeowners looking to improve their real estate assets.
- Eco-Friendly Options: Melbourne has a strong commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility. If you share these values, you’ll be pleased to know that there are eco-friendly options. Recycled glass or crushed recycled concrete can be used as aggregates, reducing the environmental impact of your project.
Let’s Wrap Up What We’ve Learned About Exposed Aggregate Concrete
Creating an exposed aggregate driveway can add both beauty and functionality to your home.
With careful planning, the right choice of aggregates, and proper construction techniques, you can achieve a stunning and long-lasting driveway that will enhance your property’s curb appeal for years to come.
Whether you opt for a classic or contemporary design, an exposed aggregate driveway is sure to make a lasting impression in Melbourne’s vibrant and diverse architectural landscape.
Call on Concept Concrete for Your Concrete Solution
Concept Concrete is a family-run business that places the emphasis on high quality, professional projects that stick to timelines and budgets throughout the process. We are also proud members of the Master Builder Association and are a registered building practitioner.
We offer free, no obligation quotes and can come check out your outdoor space, the grading, and the waterflow to ensure that you choose the best option for you.
Just call us on 1300 366 343 or get an obligation-free quote online today.