Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Driveway re-do

Ever since we moved into our house (about six and a half years ago), we've wanted to re-do our driveway. The parking area used to sit above the level of the house, and there were always those lousy stairs to climb (pictured in the first shot below). These weren't too big of a deal before we had kids, but bringing bags and bags of groceries in while also toting a newborn/toddler/newborn AND toddler... got kind of old. Also, the steps themselves and all of the beams around them are actually old railroad ties, which rot. And when they start to rot, they send out cordial invitations to every bee colony in the county... which means bees everywhere. Tons of nests. Lastly, both boys have fallen down the stairs: Matt fell down them once and fell down on his way UP once, and Ben fell down them when he got his sneaker stuck in one of the rotten places. Seriously, they needed to go! 

We finally decided to bite the bullet and lay out the money to get it done. We are eventually planning to put up a garage in the area closest to the house, which you'll see in later pictures. Here we go.....

The first night our personal heavy equipment operator (who is a man from our church) dropped off the heavy equipment on a big trailer behind a dump truck. He figured since he had to use the dump truck to get the excavator here, he'd dig out the railroad ties so he could haul them away in the same return trip when he took the trailer back. Here's a before shot:
 And here is a before shot of the side yard, which is now GONE. The neighbors joked that this was a pretty expensive way to get out of mowing so much! Ha.
 You can see that he scooped out all the RR ties except the actual stairs, at this point, and he started digging a little down next to the sidewalk. The area by the sidewalk is where we have run into some drainage issues... we apparently have a little spring there, and the topsoil was very loose and soggy, so we ended up having him haul away a LOT more than we had planned and haul IN a lot more of the better stuff than we had planned.
 This part made me catch my breath. I was like, Are we making a mistake?! The grass was so green and lovely... and it just rolled up the blade of the bulldozer like ice cream on an ice cream scoop. So sad to see it go.
 This was taken from the sliding glass doors in our kitchen. You can see the corner of our picnic table. The cars are now parked just in front of the picnic table in the area that will someday be the garage. We also want to put down a concrete slab where the picnic table currently is, to kind of make a breezeway between the house and the garage.
 This picture is as if Ben has just come down the stairs and is headed toward the house.
 At the end of each work day, the boys had a BLAST climbing the piles of dirt and rock. I had to get a picture of Ben in the bucket of the excavator - it was so cool to see him in there! So small, in comparison.
 Here is the first roughing out of the driveway. There is no stone down yet, no crusher run on top or anything. But you can see how the driveway comes in at an angle from the road, toward the house. The roller (if that's what that thing is called) is sitting in the area that is now a turn-around. I want to put up a basketball hoop over there if we ever get a chance to pave this thing. :)
That's all for now! I have lots more pictures, but it's hard to keep track of so many when I'm uploading. To be continued.....


The Carlson Chronicles said...

Oh, wow, Beth! This will be so nice once it is all complete and looking the way that you want it to! Cute pic of Ben in the digger. :)

Julie said...

WOW!!! How exciting! And no wonder the boys were glued to the windows watching- instant entertainment. I can't wait to see how it all comes out.

Kathleen Klynstra said...

1I have been waiting all summer to see how this turned out. Any more pictures?