Since I managed to sell my other house (finally!) we decided to put some of that money to good use. How?
Jay has a better picture of what the driveway used to look like, but this will have to do for now. This was before we cut down the trees, moved the fence, and widened the driveway. At this point in time we could only park one of our cars in there.
It was great to have the open space and the second spot in which to park. As you can see, though, our driveway really wasn’t in great condition. Jay parked close to the fence… right where the old flower bed resided. It would get very muddy when it rained and it was very bumpy in there. Not only that, but at the end where the driveway met up with the road the bricks that were there were all mushed down and had divots that allowed our cars to scrape the sidewalk. Not to mention that you can somewhat see how the sidewalk had been lifted by the tree that used to be parked next to it. That raised square made it difficult to shovel in the winter; not to mention the fact that I used to worry about somebody tripping on it.
So we called up somebody whom we knew did concrete work. He is a really great guy and gave us a very reasonable quote. We thought about it and then decided to go ahead and do it.
Day 1: Dig up the current driveway materials and part of sidewalk that will be replaced. Don’t forget to take fence down first. Oh, and pound on the door until Jay wakes up to move his car OUT of the driveway. If you’re wondering, no… once Jay went to sleep he managed to sleep through all of the noise and commotion going on outside. Yes, the bedroom is on that side of the house.
Look at that mess! When I got home that day and saw this I wondered how in the world they were going to get that cleaned up to have the concrete poured in a few days. Look at that mess! We were told that it would take two, maybe three, days at most. After the first day they still had half of the driveway to dig up!
It was a good thing, though, that Jay was no longer on shut down. Otherwise I have a feeling that I would have arrived home from work one evening to find Jay and my dad (because my dad would definitely want to play with the excavator, too) standing in a giant pit where my backyard used to be… grinning ear to ear and completely filthy. I would then have to figure out how to pay to repair all of the damage that was done when they decided to see what else they could dig up and managed to create a mess all through the streets of our neighborhood.
Day 2: More digging done. Some of the forms put in place and ready for the concrete. All of the driveway has been dug up at this point. Still no concrete, though…
There was a bit of a hindrance that had to be corrected early on the morning of the second day. Apparently the tree that had been in the corner of the fence had long-reaching feelers and the excavator was unable to deal with them. We called in our own personal Stump Grinder guy and he took care of it for us.
It was still slightly disappointing that this is how my driveway looked after two days of work. To be fair, the guy who was doing it had a one woman crew… and then a friend who showed up to help.
Good thing that it didn’t rain. Can you imagine the giant mud puddle that would have resulted??
Isn’t it beautiful??!! When I saw this I thought, “Yes, it was definitely worth it!” We have to wait 10 days before we’re allowed to park on it, but it’s done!
Look how smooth! Look how big! Look at the flat sidewalk!
It really did turn out better than we had hoped. The guy widened the end of it slightly for us so that Jay doesn’t have to maneuver quite so much when he backs in… and there aren’t any cock-eyed bricks!
It looks so immense! How can we possibly use up that much space? lol… it will quickly shrink once we get the cars parked on it. Until then we go outside and gaze upon it… marveling at the swirls… moseying over the expanse… shedding a tear at the sight…
The only thing is that this project has led into another one…
The sidewalk leading up to the back porch now needs to be redone. It’s okay, though, because it wasn’t in the best shape anyway. The pavers had sunk in the middle so that when it rained the patches of dirt that had collected would get slick and I would ALWAYS slip on it. So even though we hadn’t planned on redoing the sidewalk at this time, we will be working on it shortly.
One other home improvement project that we’ve done:
Now you see it….
Now you don’t:
Do you need a moment? Go ahead… I’ll wait…
That’s right! We took down the play set!
Let me answer the question that we’ve heard every time we mentioned doing this… IF we have kids this play set would have been in bad shape by the time that they would have been old enough to use it. Besides, my sisters and I grew up using one of those old metal A-framed swing sets. We loved ours and played on it a lot. Also, it’s easier to patch a cut from a protruding bolt as compared to trying to remove slivers from little hands.
I really like it being gone. We plan on taking the landscape timbers that are still outlining the area out and tilling up the soil. Then we’ll just seed it back to grass.
I am trying to keep in mind that it’s our first summer here and that we’re still trying to make it our own. It’s just hard when I look around and see other really nice lawns that look way better than ours. But ours will get there. Eventually. I just have to have patience.
Beautiful! Really nice changes – and great progress for it being your first summer! I know it’s easy to get distracted all the things you want to do, but make sure you take time to properly congratulate yourself for everything already accomplished.
Congrats on selling your other house, by the way! And good logic on the play set. Those fabric tarp covered sets look nice, but they’re hard to keep clean and not particularly pleasant to play on when dirty – whether you have kids or not, more open yard space is the way to go!