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4 Big Mistakes People Make When Installing Concrete

A smooth, well-maintained concrete pavement is a sight to behold. It can boost your curb appeal and property value while providing a safe, stable surface to walk on. However, the best results aren’t achieved by carelessly pouring concrete and walking away. If you’re not careful, your concrete can develop cracks, settle unevenly, or suffer from other problems.

Concrete installation mistakes are common amongst hasty driveway pavers. To avoid costly repairs, it’s essential to know the most frequent errors before beginning your project.

Inadequate Amount of Concrete:

The adage “less is more” does not apply when pouring concrete. Using the right amount of concrete is crucial, or you’ll be left with a weak and cracked driveway.

Concrete has three dimensions: length, width, and depth. The width and length are easy to measure, but the depth is often an afterthought. It’s vital to use the correct depth of concrete, or else your driveway will be too shallow.

The standard depth for a driveway is four inches. However, if you live in an area with a lot of snow and ice, you may want to pour your driveway six inches deep.

Mistaking All Concrete as the Same:

Sure, all concrete looks the same. But there are different types of concrete, and each type is best suited for various purposes.

The ingredients that make concrete are:

  • Water
  • Aggregate
  • Portland Cement

The ratio of these ingredients and the type of Portland cement used determines the strength and durability of the concrete.

For example, if you need a concrete slab for your driveway, you’ll need to use a different mix than if you were pouring a patio.

Additionally, admixtures can be added to the concrete mix to change the color, texture, or density. There are seven major categories of admixtures. Each type of admixture serves a specific purpose.

Accelerating admixture speeds up the curing process. In contrast, retarding admixture slows it down.

Skimping on Concrete Forms:

Concrete forms must hold the wet concrete in place until it dries and cures. They come in various materials, including wood, metal, and plastic.

The most important thing to remember when choosing concrete forms is that they need to be able to support the weight of the wet concrete without bowing or breaking.

However, some pavement installers try to save money by using lighter-weight materials not meant for concrete forms, such as particle boards.

The particle board will absorb moisture from the wet concrete, which can cause it to warp and break. It will result in a poor-quality finished pavement surface.

Escaping from Site Preparation

If there were an award for the number one mistake made during concrete installation, it would have to go to inadequate site preparation.

The ground on which concrete will be poured must be level and well-drained.

It is also vital to ensure that the subgrade—the layer of soil beneath the pavement—is compacted. If the subgrade is not compacted correctly, it will settle over time and create a low spot in the pavement. It can lead to cracking and potholes.

To save time and money, some contractors try to get away with not doing any site preparation at all. This is a big mistake that will eventually come back to bite them.


There are other essential steps to installing concrete surfaces, from adequate curing to preventing damage. Only a competitive and experienced contractor will know how to properly install concrete and avoid these mistakes.

Action Construction Asphalt & Concrete, serving Arlington, has years of experience constructing and repairing concrete driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, and more. We are your concrete installation experts! Get a quote from us today!