Building A New Steep Driveway With A Concrete Contractor

Sometimes a new driveway is needed up or down a very steep slope, to give access from the road to the house. In these cases the very best  material to choose is tar seal, simply because it provides excellent grip in wet and dry weather and especially during a heavy frost. While most homeowners tend towards choosing a concrete solution,  they should really avoid concrete for a very steep driveway because it is easy to lose traction in wet or frosty weather. In any case a sealed driveway is around the same cost as a concrete driveway, although it does require specialist preparation beforehand. It is important to hire a good quality concrete contractor for the task.

If the driveway is to be built on an unformed slope, then it will be necessary to get a bulldozer to make sure that the driveway is smooth and level across it at all points up the slope. If the driveway cuts into an existing Bank then the bank should be retained before the driveway is built, and this can be done using crib walling made out of concrete or ground treated timber. It could also be achieved using vertical half round logs that are square edged, and this can be preferable for the homeowner as it is relatively easy to do and the final finish can be very attractive and very long lasting.

Once the necessary retaining is in place and the driveway has been properly graded then concrete edging should be set. This will generally be 4 inches thick, and set to the final level of the driveway. Once the edging has been set and cured then the base course should be laid out and compacted. The ideal finish of the base course in preparation for the tarseal should be a very hard surface with protruding stones and chips, to provide good attachment for the tar seal on the very steep sloping driveway.

The ideal material for the base course is called lime stabilised base course, and for a steep driveway  that ascends from the road this is laid out most easily by using a hired small dump truck. These can carry a half a ton up a steep hill relatively easy, and it is the ideal way to deliver the base course to all points in the steep driveway. The base course should be spread out before compacting should be roughly level with the top of the concrete edging. After the base course has been spread out then it should be firmly compact using a hired half ton vibrating roller. These rollers are self propelled and are fairly easy for one person to operate, and they are also fairly easy to steer so they can be guided right up to the edge of the concrete edging to provide a very good finish to the base course.

Once  the base course has been compacted then it will set rather like concrete if the weather is dry enough. It can be an advantage to spray the sloping driveway with water so that the fine sand on the surface is washed down the driveway, leaving the stones locked into the base course but exposed on the surface. This will provide the absolutely ideal attachment for the  new seal to be laid.

The final work will be completed by a specialist tar sealing Crew, and while they can looked like pretty hard individuals they will generally be very professional and very proud of their work. In this way the best concrete contractor Tauranga has ever seen will admire your handywork. The base course should have been compacted to around 1 inch below the level of the edging, and the layer of tar seal will be around 1 inch thick bringing it flush with the level of the edging.

The tar seal will dry and harden and cool very quickly, and can be used within a few hours of the driveway being laid. The homeowner will always be delighted with the finish, because their car tyres will never skid on this driveway, and the driveway will stay looking very tidy and undamaged for decades.

Building a fence in New Zealand


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Virtually every dwelling in New Zealand is surrounded on at least three sides buy a fence, in most cases to give the homeowner a sense of security and to delineate the property boundary and to give the homeowner a private space in which they can build their “quarter acre Paradise”.

Simply because of costs the vast majority of fences in New Zealand I built out of timber using posts, railings and palings, and these are either painted or left as natural timber. While we are a very many variations of timber fences in appearance, the actual process for designing and building the fence is pretty standard. Here is how to build a fence.

The first step is to absolutely settle on the property boundary location, and then build a string line along the boundary that will be used to locate the posts. The posts will be 4 x 4 H4 ground treated, and need to be set in the ground at set locations depending on the height of the fence and posts and the type of ground, and the most traditional methods for this is to simply dig a hole that is at least three times larger in diameter than the post and then set the post in the hole so that it is absolutely finally located and then fill the hole with concrete. The initial setup before pouring a concrete is absolutely vital to the final look of the fence, as any slight change in a straight line will be visible to the homeowner forever. Hence the posts must be very securely braced with timber bracing set firmly in the ground, and a high degree of care must be taken to ensure the post is vertical, straight and accurately located. Only then should the concrete pour be carried out.

After two or three days once the concrete has set then the bracing can be removed in the railings can be attached. These should generally be long straight lengths of H3 4 x 2 timber, and they can either be attached to the outside of the posts or set inside the posts in some manner. In every case the railings must be very firmly attached, either was galvanized nails or galvanized bolts..

Once the railings have been erected then the palings can be attached. In almost every case palings a hung vertically off the railings, and are generally 25 x 150mm H3 timber. They are installed starting at one end of the fence and it is vital that a tight string line is used to ensure the palings are dead straight. When the palings are purchased then care should be taken to ensure that each pay loan is true and doesn’t have too many blemishes to affect the appearance of the fence. Palings can be installed hard up against each other or was a consistent gap, and care needs to be taken with each paling to make certain that it is attached fully vertical. Palings are generally nailed to the railings with galvanized nails, and a homeowner who was killed with a hammer can do this by hand although a nail gun makes the job much quicker. It should be noted that overtime palings that a butted hard up against each other will dry out and shrink slightly and leave a small gap.

The final optional step for the fence is to install capping, and this can make the final finish not very smart plus it ensures that the palings cannot bend and warp as they dry. The capping make certain get the fence keeps it’s absolutely straight line for it’s lifetime.

Why wooden fences can be painted or stained, they also survived very well over time is natural timber, and one advantage of this approach is that mature of painting or staining the fence every few years is non existent.