Need an extra place to park at home?

Create your own driveway or parking spot with one of these 3 affordable methods.  A DIY driveway can be an easy way to add parking or improve the look of your home. Here are three relatively simple options:

1. Carve Out a Parking Pad

The easiest, most affordable way to get an extra parking space is to clear out some grass and throw down mulch. It works fine, looks good, and can be done in a day. But beware: mulch isn’t a permanent solution. Mulch breaks down over time, floats away in a heavy rain and fades in the sun. Over time, you may end up spending more money sprucing up the mulch than you would have pouring concrete in the first place. Be sure to use a store-bought landscape barrier, or even lay down newspaper to prevent weeds before pouring the mulch on top. If mulch seems too temporary, consider other loose materials like gravel, stones, or crushed oyster shells.

2.  Build a DIY Driveway with Pavers

A more solid parking option is a concrete or brick paver driveway.  It can be installed either professionally or DIY.  Thousands of videos online show the steps and the tricks of the trade.  It is really quite simple:

  1. Excavate the area to be paved.
  2. Put down a base material, such as crushed concrete, at a depth of a few inches.
  3. Pack down the base material with a compactor, making sure to slope it as desired,
  4. Install a thin layer of sand on top of the base material.
  5. Install paver blocks on the sand layer, laying them in place in the pattern of your choice.
  6. Install a border row of bricks along the edges and back that row with poured concrete edge restraint, which will keep things from moving outward.
  7. Put another layer of sand on top of the finished surface and using a broom, sweep it into the joints between the bricks.
  8. When installed properly, a paver driveway can last for decades.

3.  Go with Classic Concrete

Finally, there is the tried-and-true concrete driveway.  There’s a reason that concrete is still the most common driveway project in the world; it looks good, doesn’t cost a fortune, and lasts a very long time.  Fewer steps are involved in pouring a concrete parking spot when compared to installing pavers, but it is not quite as beginner friendly.  If you’ve never poured concrete before, it is a good idea to start with a smaller area, such as a sidewalk before tackling a large area.