To do concrete flatwork well requires experience and expertise. Especially in challenging situations, both can come in quite handy.

Consider this residential driveway we installed not too long ago in Sudden Valley near Lake Whatcom. Because it was on a hill with a 14-percent grade, it presented a bit more challenge than your standard driveway. Our concrete flatwork pros pulled it off, though.

The finished driveway would end up being a mixture of sections with different grades, including 2-percent and 5-percent sections with a steeper area designed to slope down to the street — which of course had that 14-percent glide downhill.

The finished product would be nicely landscaped — thanks to Bellingham’s Windwood Landscape, which handled the plant portion of the work — and, overall, a huge improvement for the property owners.

Here’s what our concrete professionals did on this driveway installation:

We installed a few 6-inch concrete stairs to match the existing steps going on up the hill next to the house. At the base of those steps, abutting the new concrete driveway, we installed a small concrete seat wall for sitting and resting or looking out over the view. Another concrete step was installed from the driveway to the covered porch, spanning a strip of dirt reserved for landscaping. Around the corner, as the driveway wraps around the house, we installed a concrete pad for the garbage can.

Dig deeper: Five reasons to install
retaining walls on hilly property

The driveway itself — built into the side of the hill on which the entire property sits — slopes up from the street at various grades before levelling out into a large, flat parking area that takes advantage of a new concrete block retaining wall. A concrete barrier curb prevents drivers from accidentally leaving the pad and nosing into the landscaped area between the pad and the wall. The curb takes several angles as it courses almost all the way down to the street. On the other side of the driveway, a straight barrier curb performs a similar guarding function.

We installed multiple expansion joints throughout the driveway, both to allow for transitions to different grades and to help isolate each section of concrete from the others. We also installed a trench drain at the bottom of the driveway, just before it connects to the street, to aid runoff. The drain, which connects to the existing drainage swale, is covered with a metal strip.

In the end, it was another successful driveway job, well-installed by our team of top-notch concrete construction professionals.