×

How to Make a Concrete Apron

Sal Marco

A concrete apron is the portion of a driveway that extends from the street and 8 to 10 feet into the driveway space or in front of a garage to transition from the driveway to the garage surface. Installing a concrete apron around a building directs the flow of water away from the foundation.

Pouring an apron between streets or garage doors provides extra support to an asphalt driveway and minimizes damage to the asphalt.

Tip

Slope aprons away from foundations and garages at a rate of 1 to 2 inches per 3 feet. Add color to the concrete to maintain uniformity between asphalt and aprons.

  1. Check all local building codes to determine the correct apron size.

  2. Drive wooden stakes into the ground marking off the apron.

  3. Dig the ground down 6 inches inside the confines of the stakes.

  4. Tamp the base of the excavation with a hand tamper or rent a gas-powered tamper to compact the dirt tightly.

  5. Lay 2-by-8-inch boards, standing up on the 2 inch side of board, around the perimeter of the dig, to form a mold which will hold wet concrete in place.

  6. Add 2 inches of crushed stone to the base of dig.

  7. Sweep a long board over the stone to level out the surface.

  8. Lay a 1-by-2-inch board perpendicular to the 2-by-8-inch form lying across the stone to create an expansion joint if the apron is longer or wider than 8 feet. An expansion joint allows subtle concrete shifting due to ground movement and freeze-thaw patterns, which keeps the concrete from cracking.

  9. Lay wire-reinforcing mesh over the crushed stone. Trim the wire-reinforcing mesh with shears to fit between the forms and the expansion joints.

  10. Call a concrete company and schedule a pour of a minimum of 4,000 PSI concrete. PSI, pounds per inch, dictates the amount of weight concrete is able to withstand.

  11. Pour a 4 inch thick layer of concrete over the wire-reinforcing mesh.

  12. Move concrete up to the edges of the forms and expansion joints with a shovel.

  13. Sweep a long board over the top of the wet concrete to level high spots and fill in low spots.

  14. Use a bull-float, which is a trowel-like tool at the end of a long pole, to smooth the concrete surface.

  15. Allow the concrete to set and break away forms with a pry bar, leaving the expansion joints in place.