As we talked about in our put up about making a much bigger yard pool space, we’ve additionally made some large modifications out entrance. Particularly, 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 will likely appear unworthy of celebration – a driveway? cool story, bro – however while you dwell with out one for THREE YEARS, it appears like a serious win.
Why We Wanted Parking & Pathways
I do know most homes include a spot to park your automotive and a few type of path to the entrance door. Each different home we’ve lived in actually did. Some even had garages! However this specific home had no such factor. The whole 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 automotive 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 significantly better once we lastly moved in. Our storage POD had been delivered into that clearing proven above (you possibly can see it under on the appropriate) so I keep in mind calling our contractor on our means right down to Florida and asking “um, the place will we put our automotive?” Bear in mind, as a result of Covid, we didn’t lay eyes on this home any time between placing within the supply in on February third of 2020 and really transferring down in Could. He principally stated “simply discover a spot within the pine straw,” so we did (you possibly can see our automotive, 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 can too 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 method to get round just a little 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 dangerous, we simply knew ultimately we’d like one thing that functioned (and appeared) just a little higher for the lengthy haul.
Finally (as in, later in 2021) we created a gravel parking spot on the OTHER facet of our home – virtually precisely the place that POD (and our rental automotive) 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 important entry, principally due to its comfort to this parking spot proper off the kitchen (it makes carrying groceries in rather a lot simpler – and we even have shoe storage in a cupboard on that porch now). You possibly can learn extra about why we love the kitchen porch right here. We’d left an indentation in our fence for exactly this objective (and to keep away from the timber) so we simply purchased and unfold about 15 luggage of gravel to make our driveway “official.”
That spot, nonetheless, is simply large enough for one automotive. We’re nonetheless a one-car family so that completely works…. for us. However anytime a good friend comes over, they nonetheless must 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 visitors 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 challenge, a part of the objective was to lastly create one other correct parking spot for 2 further automobiles. We took this under consideration once 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 could properly outline the parking area whereas corraling the gravel we deliberate to place there. Sidenote: can you see the sunbathing lizard?
There are many explanation 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). Just a few of the elements had been value, slope, runoff, the final “vibe,” and so on. Lots of our neighbors have gravel driveways too, so it suits nicely in our beachy relaxed neighborhood (hi there, we now have grime roads!). We even have guidelines about how porous (aka: drainage-friendly) sure areas of our tons must be, and gravel suits 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 shade. We went to an area landscaping firm to choose it out and bought 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 in a position to knock it out inside a few hours. We simply used shovels to toss piles into numerous sections, then steel rakes to unfold and degree it. It shifted underneath 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 just a little small from the angle above, however the view from the road exhibits its dimension higher. It’s 18′ extensive, which is the usual width for 2 automobiles. It’s additionally – fortunate for us – precisely what we might match between the neighbor’s fence and that small tree.
For reference, right here’s the same angle from 2021 (notice the tire marks within the pine straw from the place my automotive normally 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 visitors. Plus, it appeared FAR much less charming with a automobile parked there. Word: we moved the fence in entrance of that stunning giant tree so we might take pleasure in it from the pool and double the dimensions 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 put up in regards to 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 method to stroll to and from them. We opted for giant poured-in-place stepping stones (virtually like the larger extra everlasting model of the momentary paver walkways we’d used for thus lengthy). You possibly can learn extra about them on this put up (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 put up, which exhibits what the yard appeared like with our momentary pavers. Nicely, 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 concept.
Now right here’s an after that exhibits the brand new pathway, parking spot, and our good friend’s Jeep profiting from the way more formally trying parking space.
Typically we really feel just a little foolish for a way completely happy this new driveway & walkway scenario makes us. It’s exhausting to articulate how “in limbo” the surface of our home has felt for the final three years right here, and the way basic items like having a correct parking place and a pleasant extensive and secure strolling path make it really feel like a respectable residence.
Take this earlier than & after, for instance. Once more, the placeholder-but-we-had-them-for-3-years pavers did the job, however they appeared and felt fairly momentary over time. And now these large poured concrete slabs look official and everlasting.
If we return to that earlier than picture I shared earlier: right here’s the entrance once 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 a couple of months after we moved in, as seen in this put up from October 2020 (the debut of the small paver pathways). Word: our home quantity has been altered for privateness under, and faraway from the picture after it 😉
And right here we are actually!
I do know some might ask in regards to the resolution to not put pavers all the best way throughout the entrance steps (doing 3 sections as a substitute of two). We did this for a few causes. Functionally, 1 row is greater than extensive sufficient to stroll on (every slab is 48″ extensive). But in addition 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 possibly can 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 appropriate of the door and the L-shaped walkway to the left of the entrance porch feels balanced and intentional.
Additionally if we had achieved concrete all the best way throughout the entrance, we thought it could make that space look extra like a patio than a pathway (it could be about 13′ extensive by 10′ deep!).
A New Path Off The Kitchen Porch
We additionally had a few of these large poured concrete pavers added to our facet yard too, which lead from our parking area 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 appropriate 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 ends up in that single-car parking spot we use each day). The 4th slab is one step decrease to connect with our bed room stairs. Mainly, 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 trying. Now if solely a few of our crops would develop again sooner after December’s large freeze!
Okay, that wraps up a view of all the brand new pathways and concrete curbs and issues that we added. In the event you haven’t seen our final put up 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.
*This put up incorporates affiliate hyperlinks, so we might earn a small fee while you make a purchase order by way of hyperlinks on our web site at no further value to you.