Saturday, April 5, 2014

Definitely Not A DIY Project

The drive up to your house is not something you really want to spend money on,

especially a lot of money,

the kind of $$$ that could be used for remodeling a small kitchen, or a really nice bathroom.

Money that could be spent on pretty linens, a dining room table and comfy sofa and some nice chairs to sit on. 
You get the idea.
But, we had to do something, because it was difficult to get up to the top without risking your life (I know I'm being a little dramatic)

But, I would always pray right before Mr. DIY gunned it at the bottom of the hill, so he would make it all the way to the top.
Here's the driveway before the new gravel, but after some grading:

We either needed to get a 4 wheel drive or fix the driveway, or both.
Every time it would rain it would wash more of the driveway away...
and the ruts in the driveway would get bigger..
and the ditches on the sides of the driveway would get wider...
and the driveway would get narrower...
and I would pray harder.

One rainy day we couldn't get up the driveway.
Oh, that was fun...We carried all of our supplies up the hill....300 ft long and 60 feet up.
Ya know we're not getting any younger, but we did it.
We decided that we're


We went back and forth about what to do. We called several companies out to give us estimates.
We were undecided about doing asphalt or concrete or just gravel.
Asphalt was going to be $12,000 to $15,000. 
Umm, that was a no go.

We considered doing this ourselves, with a friend who did concrete, but it would be at least a week long of hard work or more. With a long list of reno work inside the house, we couldn't afford the time to do it ourselves. Another thing that concerned me was that the driveway was in serious need of grading so that when it rained, the water would be diverted away from it and
 we don't have experience in grading a driveway using big earth moving equipment
on a steep hill
in the mountains.

We decided it wasn't a diy project.
So, with concrete and asphalt out for now, we called a few more companies to give us quotes for grading and gravel.
We didn't go with the lowest bid, we went with the guy who we thought would do a good job, 
and who would show up.

Several trees were removed  and two drainage tubes were taken out and the ditches filled in. The galvanized tubes were filled with dirt. 
Could be the reason why they weren't working. (note sarcasm)

I was soooo happy to see Matthew from Trax Grading show up. 
On time. When he said he would. : )

The driveway was smoothed out before putting the new drainage ditch in.

It looked better already.

I think it took 3 days of grading , then once it was done a gravel truck came by the next day and dumped 3 truckloads of gravel.
After that, the big bulldozer was used to compress  the gravel.  

So we're loving our newly graded driveway...
View from the top of the driveway looking down toward the street...
Yes, that is a tree down near the was across the driveway when we arrived yesterday and had to cut off the top so we could get by.

Here's the side turn around. We have plenty of parking for guests!

Here's how the driveway looks from just above the gate looking up... I never knew gravel could look so purdy. 
driveway grading, gravel driveway, steep gravel driveway

Our new drainage ditch will drain the water underneath the driveway, instead of on top of it. 

In another week or so, Matthew is going to come back and spray on a grass seed mixture on the dirt and ditch. It's going to be even prettier once it all grows in. 

So glad the driveway is driveable and graded properly. And, we're so glad that we hired Matthew from Trax Grading and did not take it on as another DIY project. Sometimes, you just have to leave it to the professionals.

Hope you're having a great weekend!


ps. I was not compensated in any way from Matthew or from Trax Grading.


  1. The driveway looks fabulous and it sounds like you definitely hired the right company. Hugs, Marty

  2. Your place just looks amazing! Would love a getaway like that!

  3. You must be so relieved to have that project off the list. It looks you can focus on the fun decorating.

  4. Wow Pam- what a big job! It looks great and I hope the grading fixes the water flow. I'm surprised it didn't take more gravel! That's a long driveway. I think a truck was a wise investment. I wish i lived close enough to visit!

  5. Oh my goodness!!!! What an undertaking and done so well. Looks wonderful. I can't imagine trying to make it up that muddy, rutted drive with packages and whatever. Hmmm: I might have just turned around and gone home! It's really coming together Pam and it's going to be SO fabulous!

  6. Totally agree about the professionals! It really does look pretty! I'm glad it's a lot safer now too!

  7. The gravel does look pretty! It seems more "mountain homey" than concrete!

  8. I so enjoy your blog. What a huge undertaking your project was, but it looks beautiful!

  9. I love following your blog. Your driveway project turned out beautifully!


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