A Driveway Project

OK – so I’m still trying to figure out how to tell the story of this renovation in some type of coherent form. You see, I’m not a one room renovator kinda guy. No, as I write this every room is under some kind of renovation. There is no kitchen, the master bath is ready for drywall. The air conditioning for the 1st floor is ripped out. The living room fireplace is prepped for tile and wood mantle and so on & on…

So the projects run together and it’s confusing enough for me to tell this story – I can’t imagine conveying this to you in a orderly fashion. The fact is I’m just beginning this blog in earnest, yet I have been at the renovation for three years. So with the recent discovery of  ‘categories’ on this blog – if I get confusing, just punch the respective topic and it might make a little more sense.

Now, with that disclaimer out of the way – let’s move a driveway!So here’s what we’re left with after the broken driveway is removed. You can see I’m working on windows for the upstairs master-bath at the same time this is going on. The three lower windows in the kitchen area are already in.

So we start here.

I kept part of the existing driveway. I plan to use the two left hand bays of the garage to park our cars eventually. The patch of dirt close to the garage door was originally a grove of bamboo! Yikes! This stuff was growing out of control and was taking over the yard. I have no pictures of this, but it was a 3 year battle to get rid of it. Be very careful when planting bamboo in the ground! Safer with some type of container. This was an epic battle that took a lot of effort to prevail over the bamboo gods. I still look around the yard, fearing another shoot will pop up.

OK, so I didn’t do the concrete work – I really wanted to do this, but my wife wouldn’t let me spring for that nifty little tractor. The contractor will be busy, I’ll find other projects for this dude. He will be happy.

Keeping an eye on the crew to make sure it ends up in the right place. Looks like I placed the drive smack-dab in the middle of that little tree – oh, Lord – I’ll never get to tree heaven this way.

Nothing better than playing in the dirt on a summer day – so idyllic.

I designed this for a turnaround. This way I don’t have to back out on to the street.

So the little tree is no more – It looks like the concrete guy is having a moment of silence for another tree that bites the dust. Actually I had an arborist out to look at that little tree to see if it could be moved. It also had some kind of blight – I’m not having much tree – luck.

So in goes a 12′ wide driveway.

We’ll throw down a little seed and wait for the next project to come along.

And I think I just found my next victim!

Can you say mudroom? But first we have some more concrete work to do – downstairs.

Party’s in the basement and you’re invited!

Let’s Go Outside, Shall We?

OK, we’ve muddled around in the house for long enough – time for some fresh Southern Indiana air. So let’s refresh our memory for the reason I stopped to look at this house in the first place back in 2009.

So it had a certain charm. It was shady and embraced by a big old tree and great landscaping in the other lot of this twin lot space.

So looking back toward the street – I just loved the shade.

The front had some nice plants as well as a nice tree. So I bought this house – yea!

Well, there you go – I thought what a smart little house shopper I was. But there was a problem lurking overhead and below. The beautiful old tree that was beside the drive was 50% over the house – the arborist said it was infected and the roots were compromising the foundation and causing a problem with the basement wall. It was cracking and buckling the driveway and had pretty much made a mess of it.

Gee – I’m so glad I bought this house.

I loved it just the way it was, but it clearly wasn’t safe and only a matter of time before things would be crashing down – or roots would be meeting me in the basement.

I hate this part – hate it.

Down they come. I guess it’s a good thing – lot’s of problems in the tree – with a lot of weakened wood.  And behind that big old oak tree and the crane is another skinny little tree – 60 feet tall and dead. A type of cherry tree. That came out too. The tree guys took that one out nearly whole to take to a sawmill. Oh, and the tree I liked in the front? It was planted way too close to the house as well. So it had to come out too.

Man was I sad.

So here is the front after the trim job. Looks bald and sad.

And the side.

So now I have been thinking – when given lemons – why not make lemonade? So this presents some new opportunities.

Let’s do this!

If I move the driveway – which was messed up by tree roots – over there by that red truck – that would give me some space to add a couple of rooms.

Great! Think of the challenges – the design problems – the hardships – the money.

I’m in.

Come join me on this fiasco –