As we talked about in our publish about making a much bigger yard pool space, we’ve additionally made some massive adjustments out entrance. Specifically, we now have a legit entrance walkway and driveway! Escape the champagne! Launch the doves! Rewatch the #Scandoval episode of Vanderpump Guidelines (or no matter else folks like Sherry do to rejoice). I do know this may occasionally appear unworthy of celebration – a driveway? cool story, bro – however while you reside with out one for THREE YEARS, it appears like a significant win.
Why We Wanted Parking & Pathways
I do know most homes include a spot to park your automobile and a few form of path to the entrance door. Each different home we’ve lived in definitely did. Some even had garages! However this specific home had no such factor. Your entire property, other than the home, was simply pine straw, grime, and leaves.
This can be a screenshot from a video we made the day we first noticed this home. In it, you possibly can see our rental automobile simply kinda pulled randomly onto the pine straw. That is on the opposite facet of our home, taken from what’s now our kitchen porch.
The scenario didn’t get a lot better after we lastly moved in. Our storage POD had been delivered into that clearing proven above (you possibly can see it under on the precise) so I keep in mind calling our contractor on our approach right down to Florida and asking “um, the place will we put our automobile?” Keep in mind, attributable to Covid, we didn’t lay eyes on this home any time between placing within the supply in on February third of 2020 and really shifting down in Might. He mainly mentioned “simply discover a spot within the pine straw,” so we did (you possibly can see our automobile, under left).
The image under (from 2021) provides you a more in-depth image of what grew to become our major “driveway” for a very long time. Simply an open space of pine straw. You may as well see that we created some pathways round the home utilizing these cheap concrete pavers. We didn’t dig them in or something – simply plopped them down as a makeshift solution to get round a bit extra simply. Typically a paver would slide misplaced or turn into rickety over time, so we knew ultimately we’d do one thing extra everlasting.
None of those options had been inherently unhealthy, we simply knew ultimately we’d like one thing that functioned (and seemed) a bit higher for the lengthy haul.
Ultimately (as in, later in 2021) we created a gravel parking spot on the OTHER facet of our home – nearly precisely the place that POD (and our rental automobile) had as soon as been. We had simply renovated our coated facet porch by including a new door to our kitchen. This door has turn into our household’s primary entry, largely due to its comfort to this parking spot proper off the kitchen (it makes carrying groceries in lots simpler – and we even have shoe storage in a cupboard on that porch now). You’ll be able to learn extra about why we love the kitchen porch right here. We’d left an indentation in our fence for exactly this function (and to keep away from the bushes) so we simply purchased and unfold about 15 baggage of gravel to make our driveway “official.”
That spot, nevertheless, is barely sufficiently big for one automobile. We’re nonetheless a one-car family so that absolutely works…. for us. However anytime a good friend comes over, they nonetheless need to park in that amorphous pine straw spot out entrance. Sure, for practically 3 years we’d typically discover ourselves sending images just like the one under to direct friends the place to park upon arrival. That is an precise image I despatched to my mother as soon as.
Including A Gravel Driveway
After we undertook our larger yard mission, a part of the purpose was to lastly create one other correct parking spot for 2 further automobiles. We took this into consideration after we moved the fence AND when the concrete guys had been right here. As a part of that job, we had them pour a low retaining wall to formally designate a driveway space. We thought it will properly outline the parking house whereas corraling the gravel we deliberate to place there. Sidenote: can you see the sunbathing lizard?
There are many the reason why we opted to do a gravel driveway versus different supplies like concrete, asphalt, or stone pavers (all of which we additionally thought of – however rock received). A number of of the elements had been price, slope, runoff, the final “vibe,” and so forth. A variety of our neighbors have gravel driveways too, so it matches properly in our beachy relaxed neighborhood (whats up, now we have grime roads!). We even have guidelines about how porous (aka: drainage-friendly) sure areas of our heaps need to be, and gravel matches the invoice for this spot of our yard. We selected a stone referred to as Bahama Rock as a result of it’s a heat sandy white colour. We went to an area landscaping firm to choose it out and received a supply the very subsequent day (it was round $500 for this hulking pile of stone).
Spreading the gravel was no joke, however we enlisted the assistance of a neighbor and the three of us had been capable of knock it out inside a few hours. We simply used shovels to toss piles into numerous sections, then metallic rakes to unfold and degree it. It shifted beneath our ft and tires a bit the primary few days, however after a few weeks and a few good rains, it now feels good and agency.
The driveway appears to be like a bit small from the angle above, however the view from the road exhibits its measurement higher. It’s 18′ large, which is the usual width for 2 automobiles. It’s additionally – fortunate for us – precisely what we may match between the neighbor’s fence and that small tree.
For reference, right here’s an identical angle from 2021 (word the tire marks within the pine straw from the place my automobile often was, since we had but so as to add the kitchen porch). Whereas there’s part of me that misses the “naturalness” of this view earlier than, it was a lot much less practical for us and our friends. Plus, it seemed FAR much less charming with a automobile parked there. Notice: we moved the fence in entrance of that stunning massive tree so we may get pleasure from it from the pool and double the scale of the pool space – that’s why you see it behind the fence above and in entrance of the fence within the picture under.
Our Poured Concrete Entrance Path
And as we confirmed in our publish concerning the larger yard, we additionally had a correct walkway poured to attach the brand new driveway to our entrance porch. Visitors gotta have a spot to park their automobiles AND a solution to stroll to and from them. We opted for big poured-in-place stepping stones (nearly like the larger extra everlasting model of the non permanent paver walkways we’d used for thus lengthy). You’ll be able to learn extra about them on this publish (which exhibits how concrete paths and retaining partitions accomplished our larger pool space.
Right here’s a earlier than picture we shared in the final publish, which exhibits what the yard seemed like with our non permanent pavers. Properly, sorta. I took this image as our new fence was being rebuilt, so a bunch of stuff is moved misplaced already, however you get the thought.
Now right here’s an after that exhibits the brand new pathway, parking spot, and our good friend’s Jeep making the most of the rather more formally wanting parking space.
Typically we really feel a bit foolish for the way pleased this new driveway & walkway scenario makes us. It’s laborious to articulate how “in limbo” the skin of our home has felt for the final three years right here, and the way staple items like having a correct parking place and a pleasant large and steady strolling path make it really feel like a reputable home.
Take this earlier than & after, for instance. Once more, the placeholder-but-we-had-them-for-3-years pavers did the job, however they seemed and felt fairly non permanent over time. And now these massive poured concrete slabs look official and everlasting.
If we return to that earlier than picture I shared earlier: right here’s the entrance after we first laid eyes on this home in February 2020 (you possibly can see the entire exterior earlier than images right here).
And this was just a few months after we moved in, as seen in this publish from October 2020 (the debut of the small paver pathways). Notice: our home quantity has been altered for privateness under, and faraway from the picture after it 😉
And right here we at the moment are!
I do know some could ask concerning the choice to not put pavers all the best way throughout the entrance steps (doing 3 sections as an alternative of two). We did this for a few causes. Functionally, 1 row is greater than large sufficient to stroll on (every slab is 48″ large). But additionally visually, we thought doing 2 leaned into among the inherent asymmetries of our home. Creating this visible weight on the BOTTOM LEFT of the porch steps helped stability out the visible weight of the deck on the UPPER RIGHT.
You’ll be able to actually see what we imply on this picture under, which is how most individuals method our home from the road. The L-shaped higher deck to the precise of the door and the L-shaped walkway to the left of the entrance porch feels balanced and intentional.
Additionally if we had accomplished concrete all the best way throughout the entrance, we thought it will make that space look extra like a patio than a pathway (it will be about 13′ large by 10′ deep!).
A New Path Off The Kitchen Porch
We additionally had a few of these massive poured concrete pavers added to our facet yard too, which lead from our parking house to the kitchen porch (we had additionally been utilizing these small sq. paver stones as a short lived walkway earlier than).
It’s very nice to have these a lot bigger and sturdier everlasting slabs which were poured in place.
That is a type of locations the place the bizarre angles and asymmetries of our home had been difficult to work round – the 2 units of steps aren’t parallel to one another, and just one is perpendicular to the fence gate. However we embraced it and created an asymmetrical path that connects all the precise locations.
It’s solely a complete of 4 slabs, all of which you’ll be able to see under. Three are on the identical degree and join the kitchen porch to the gate (which results in that single-car parking spot we use each day). The 4th slab is one step decrease to hook up with our bed room stairs. Principally, we’ve positioned these extra everlasting pathways wherever we want them however didn’t add something additional, which permits this space to stay largely pure wanting. Now if solely a few of our vegetation would develop again sooner after December’s massive freeze!
Okay, that wraps up a view of all the brand new pathways and concrete curbs and issues that we added. When you haven’t seen our final publish all about our new bigger pool space (which has a few of our favourite makes use of of concrete) click on right here for all of these images and particulars.
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