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How to Build an Archway Over the Driveway From PVC

Building an archway out of PVC for your driveway is easy and adds a beautiful decoration to your home.

How to Build an Archway Over the Driveway From PVC

If you want to hoist a temporary arch over your driveway, making one out of PVC works, doesn't need a lot of technical or building know-how (though it is easier with a friend to help you) and is affordable.  If you want something that will last for a long time, look at other materials. PVC is the common term for polyvinyl chloride, a soft or rigid plastic polymer that comes in pipe form and is found in any home improvement store.  Remember that for wider driveways you will need considerably more materials. When planning, consider how high you want the arch to be because that will factor in to how much PVC you get. 

    Getting Ready

  1. Mark your driveway where you wish the arch to be and measure that width along the ground. Use chalk or string to ensure the markings are evenly placed.
  2. Tip

    Most any home improvement store will be able to cut PVC pipe to your specifications if you don’t have the tools to do it at home. Cut 1/4 inch PVC to the width of your driveway you measured and multiply it by 1.57 for the half-circle arch. If you want a taller arch, add 5 or more feet to the length you need cut. It’s smart to get some extra PVC cut to make sure it is the height and width you need.

    Making the Arch

  3. To make the arch, you will need a bucket of hot water and rope that is twice the length of the pipe. Take the length of PVC you are using for the arch and run rope through it, end to end. The 1/4 inch PVC is malleable enough to arch itself when you run the rope through. Tie the ends of the rope together. Then, using a funnel or freehand, pour hot water into one end of the now arched PVC pipe and let it sit for five minutes. Then dump the water out carefully, untie the rope and pull it out. Now you have an arched length of PVC for your driveway archway.
  4. Pounding Rebar

  5. Hammer each piece of rebar into the earth where you marked your driveway arch until it is about 18 to 22 inches into the ground. Make sure the two lengths of rebar are pounded to equal lengths into the ground. Measure to verify they match, or your archway may be unsteady.
  6. Decorating the Archway

  7. Now is the time to consider if you want to decorate the PVC.
  8. Some ideas include:
  9. * You can wrap it in colorful duct tape. 
    * Paint it, taking care to purchase paints that are meant to be used with plastics. Non-specialty paints will not bond with the PVC and will crack much faster. Follow the instructions that come with that paint.
    * You can wrap some Christmas lights or party lights around the archway for a nighttime decoration, such as for weddings and other special events.
  10. Finishing up

  11. Almost there! Now slide one end of the PVC pipe over the rebar on one side. Join that piece with the arched PVC pipe. Now join those two pieces with the final length of PVC and drop it down on over the rebar on the other side of the driveway. You can put up more than one archway by just duplicating the above steps to have a longer archway down your driveway. It’s a fun weekend project that doesn’t take much skill yet yields an impressive result.
  12. Tip

    To make the structure last longer, and if you live in a windy climate, add concrete to the pipe after you put it over the rebar. Cure it according to the instructions on the concrete mix. If this is just for a temporary archway for a holiday, you don’t really need to do this part.

    Warning

    Be careful when handling rebar and PVC piping. Wear work gloves to protect your hands.

About the Author

Nicole is a writer with nearly two decades of homesteading hands-on and publishing experience. She learned professional cleaning while tending to people's homes. She's written for eHow on home decor, DIY, painting, and cleaning.