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Old 18-06-2018, 07:17 AM   #1
beambeam
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Garden to driveway conversion!

Been encouraged to make a wee progress thread regarding an impending driveway I'm having done round my gaff. We have large front and back gardens but have to park on the street (quite a busy main road actually). We have been desperate for a drive since we moved in 2.5 years ago but the whole house has been turned over so it featured quite low on the to-do list! But! We're nearly done!

Here's how it was not long after we bought the house:





So, here's the present state of the garden:





In the second image (GoPro) you will see the neighbour on the right has a nice simple gravel drive. That's been there since 2012 I believe and has held up well. I had considered block paving or tarmac but these options quickly become expensive. I would also like to get in the habit of regularly washing and maintaining my car and motorcycle and fear a) ruining the joints between blocks or b) staining them during oil changes, etc. But mostly for cost purposes, as I say we've turned the whole gaff over and this is one of the last jobs to do so funds are low and to be honest we've found as we went along that some times you pay too much for a nice finish when a reliable option would have been perfectly fine - function over fashion!

Drainage has also been an issue in the past as you can see so gravel will help with that too.



I wish I could say I was rolling up my sleeves and doing this myself but I'm not. I've had a lad round to do various bits and pieces to the house including landscaping my back garden and replacing the roughcast at the front of the house. He's reliable, capable, good value and I wouldn't be comfortable using anyone else at this stage, he's worth his weight in gold to us. (Jamie's Handy Work on Facebook if anyone in the Edinburgh area is interested).

Anyway, I ramble... the plan is for a gravel drive way but due to the drop from pavement to front door the drive will be stepped up from the front of the house. A retaining wall using sleepers and featuring steps up to the drive will be created. The area between this retaining wall and front of house will be gravelled as well with perhaps a large bench and a tether for the dog. It's a proper sun trap out the front sometimes and I'd like a pit stop for when I need a brew during detailing!

Here's an earlier sketch up, excuse my limited artistic talents! I nearly applied for art school when I was younger too! Ha!



The main driveway will be surrounded by a border made from sleepers and I will infill the gap between those and the hedges with bark I think. The pedestrian gate and half of the hedge will be removed up front in order to create an opening. I don't quite have a budget for larger gates for the opening yet and this is why:



Behind the wheelie bins is access to a vennel/close/alleyway? The houses either side of ours are end terrace but long ago when the houses were thrown up I can imagine the gardens were a shared space and this was shared access to the front/back? The hedges are well established and my deeds confirm that this is for my sole use - other houses in the area don't have this luxury and I don't think I could have bought one of them knowing neighbours could freely stroll through my property area.

It's quite a nice space and I use it for storage since I have no shed or garage. My brother is currently building me a really secure gate for this side of the house in time for the drive completion. I'm hoping later down the line I can make the space into a handier one once I know it's safe to leave things there - thankfully in 2.5 years nothing has gone missing but with half the hedge missing I'd be more comfortable knowing it's secure and that my dog can't get out from the back unsupervised.

The gate:



This was the inspiration for the gate, I googled for something different and something solid. My brother was keen to freehand something since he has a lot of time on his hands at the moment and wouldn't mind developing his skills a bit more. He's nearly finished and today or tomorrow it's off for galvanising before fitting.

The gate and the frame which will be fixed to the wall inside the vennel:









I am unsure how to paint it thus far but I am going to infill it with timber or possibly artificial hedging so that the contents of the vennel are fully screened off - if you can't see it, you can't nick it!

So! Work starts tuesday and it is my week off work so I will be on hand for tea making, photo taking during ground breaking. I will try and do daily updates if everyone would prefer that?

If anyone has any advice or questions then I welcome any form of input!
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Old 18-06-2018, 08:15 AM   #2
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Great write up and looking forward to seeing the progress and the end result. The sketch looks good and will transform the front - as you say, make sure you get the drainage sorted, perhaps some land drain pipes and a soak away or 2 ?

That gate looks really nice, I think timber in fills would look really nice and finish it off - I’d go for varnished / oiled timber over painting, with a black gate, would really set it off
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Old 19-06-2018, 07:29 AM   #3
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Not a bad idea for the timber, some nicely stained cedar or something would make it look quite refined.

I think the gravel in itself will take care of the issue. The water only seems to pool up in two sections during significant rainfall but this will be dug down then topped with gravel as a sort of soakaway option. I've no idea if he has factored something into the plans for this already though but shall see when he arrives today!

I am thinking of some large planters between the drive and step down to the house to sort of fence off the area which would mean the dog is safely confined. Does anyone have recommendations as to where I can source some reasonably priced ones?
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Old 20-06-2018, 10:08 AM   #4
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Day 1 came and went with no issues, lads were in early to clear some of the hedge for drive opening and access for a mini-digger:







The opening is over roughly 3.5m wide and the drive seems like it will be 7m long spanning the width of the garden. More than adequate!







Now we just wait for a grab lorry to remove this pile and I think today will be a case of creating the frame of the drive with railway sleepers which will then be levelled out with type 1 and the gravel.



Here's how it is looking after heavy rain this morning:



The gate is ready for collection now so I will be dropping that off at the galvanisers today and hoping for a quick turnaround. If it's not too muddy out there then I will possibly try and reduce the width of the hedge on the left hand side looking out to the road - it's massive!
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Old 20-06-2018, 10:12 AM   #5
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Whilst they worked away out front yesterday I set about tidying the back garden as the grass was overdue a cut. This is an example of the work the lads have dished out to me before - complete transformation to how it looked when we moved in!

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Old 20-06-2018, 12:07 PM   #6
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Looking good and will give you much better space to use.
Reducing the width of the hedge will transform it too. I've just done ours at front as it was about 8 foot wide!! Think it's a beech hedge so cut it back to the trunks, about 6 weeks ago now and it's starting with new shoots (thankfully, as wife wasn't convinced it would!)
Had loads of neighbours asking about it too as street is all hedges, looks like I've started a trend😂
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Old 20-06-2018, 12:49 PM   #7
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Great project, keep the updates coming
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Old 20-06-2018, 01:01 PM   #8
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Garden to driveway conversion!

@darlofan, it will definitely grow back! I can see why it would be daunting but a neighbour hacked his back right back six weeks ago and it's looking lush again already! Not much happening today due to the weather overnight so might crack on with the hedge today.


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Old 20-06-2018, 02:23 PM   #9
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Looking good. Is the pavement dropped to the road? My sis in law had a new drive and went through some hassle (and expense) with the council to get the kerb changed.
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Old 20-06-2018, 06:52 PM   #10
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No. It's not a significant height anyway but I would like it done at some stage. Trouble is between the council and "permitted companies" it seems to be a bit of a racket with quotes being magic numbers pulled from thin air.

I have been told I'll need traffic lights and a permit but still have seen other outfits throwing down a drive without one. Nonsense.

My mate two doors down rang one place and was quoted £1400. When he asked if they'd do a deal if two kerbs dropped at same time and they said yeah for sure, £3000.

The idea I think at moment is bolted in rubber ramps or tarmac a wee bump. Long-term I'm hoping the next bout of road works and I can catch the workers with a £100 bung and some beer.


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