Driveway Update


I actually didn’t go anywhere. We stalled on all of our projects and are just now getting the wind beneath our wings to move forward. By that I mean we have gotten professional help, and realized that we can’t do it all by ourselves. That is a good place to be. It means we get people to help with the less-fun stuff, and we get to do the more-fun stuff! Also, we have happily found a few good folks through word of mouth, and now have some good contractors who we can rely on to help out.

One such project is our poor, poor driveway. You may remember it from a few years back when I re-sealed it myself to try and buy another winter or two out of it. The “or two” had passed, and it was now the time of reckoning. The driveway was a crumbling embarrassment of an eyesore.

Now obviously even though we are heavy DIYers, we cannot pave our own driveway. Sorry, I do not have a steamroller in the garage. So we had to call in the big guns on this. And here lieth my one big lesson from this project:

GET. MANY. QUOTES. (and ask friends for recommendations).

The quotes to pave our driveway ranged from $2,600 (“springtime special” from the guy who said it was perfectly fine to use the existing driveway as a base for a new one) to $13,500 (guy who wanted to rip out all the things and start from scratch, and who was $5,000 more than another person who also wanted to rip it all out) FOR THE SAME JOB. You can guess which way we went on this.

Since I actually didn’t do anything other than hire the nice man and tell him what to do, on to the fun part – the pictures!

Before (view from the back):


I think this was post-sealing the first time, so it looks “nice” here. Note the gutter that has been routed in a very ugly fashion into the backyard.

After (view from the back):


Smooth! Shiny! Pretty!

Before (garage):


Patchy, cracky, crumbly. And the genius who put it in did not make the driveway wide enough on the left-hand side to back out your car without driving over the grass. This meant in the spring, fall, and winter we had a perma-puddle of tire tracks in the lawn.

After (garage):


New and improved! Now wide enough to actually back out your car! What will they think of next. The pavement now also runs up to the fence line, so there is no longer an awkward weed-growing space there.

Before (back porch):


This was before we needed to re-route the gutter, so it looks a little better here. But until last month, that gutter was out of the ground and just ran water into the backyard. Not ideal. Also gotta love that patchy grass and assorted whatever that was growing there. 

After (back porch):


The gutter is now running into the ground, and no more weird strip of grass! Ahhh. (We had a contractor come in and run the drain line correctly this time).

End product:


The new view from the front, no longer an embarrassment to the neighborhood. Don’t worry, we have since moved the blue bucket.


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