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The Driveway Extension Project


In 1997 and 1998, we built the original patio and driveway extension using concrete pavers. This was before we got bus fever. At that time, we were planning on getting a travel trailer of some sort. I wanted a place to park it. In trying to be conservative (or in other words, having no idea what I was doing) I made the driveway extension only 8 feet wide. In retrospect, this would not have worked well even for a travel trailer.

Then along came the first bus. It actually fit onto the driveway extension. I even have pictures to prove it. However, to get it on there, I had to drive it way out onto the grass, which left some rather deep ruts, and the outside rear dual was hanging over the edge by about 2 inches. The second time I parked it in there, I took out the gutter along the side of the garage. Cheap plastic crap. Can't even withstand a 12 ton bus in the middle of winter.

So, it became painfully obvious that I needed to widen the driveway extension, to make it easier to park, and also to have a place to work on the exterior of the bus, since I have no shop.

In determining the design, I decided I wanted to keep the angle towards the curb, rather than extend it straight back. It would make it more challenging to park, but that's not something I will be doing every day. I also wanted to have enough room on each side to walk past the bus and not have to get off in the grass or flowers. So I decided to add about 4 1/2 feet along the garage, and move the curb section over about 6 feet, which would allow me to retain the same angle as before, and reuse the cut edge from the previous installation. I decided I would add a contrasting border this time, as I never really felt it was complete before.

The pictures below are a chronological portrait of the expansion project. It took a lot longer to complete than I had planned, but the result was worth it.


Click on an image to see a larger view.

Moving the flower bed. I just put this in last year!

000425.03.moving_west_driveway_bed.jpg

I have to move these big rocks again! Sure wish I had a tractor.

000425.04.moving_west_driveway_bed.jpg

Putting in the crushed concrete base. 12 inches deep, compacted every 4 inches.

000507.00.starting_the_base.jpg

More of the base. That's Punkin by the bus.

000507.01.building_the_base.jpg

Slacking off! By the way, the hole was dug by hand, and most of the crushed concrete was also moved by hand.

000507.02.a_tired_worker.jpg

It's getting there.

000507.03.base_almost_complete.jpg

Can I salvage this cut edge? I think I can, I think I can.

000507.04.edge_detail.jpg

Laying the bricks. Notice the inspector. He's about to be demoted to official brick mover!

000512.00.installing_bricks.jpg

Looks like a construction site around here.

000512.01.installing_bricks.jpg

Halfway done with the first section.

000512.02.halfway_there.jpg

Starting the hole for the second section. There's an electric line and phone cable under here. They're both only 18 inches under the grade (don't ask me how I know), and the hole is 18 inches deep, so it all gets dug by hand.

000526.00.starting_the_second_half.jpg

Yep, there's a hole forming there.

000526.01.starting_the_second_half.jpg

The base is done. Now it's time for the easy part.

000708.00.the_base.jpg

Looks like my slaves have been busy. Better put this camera down and start laying bricks.

000708.01.laying_the_second_half.jpg

That's going to be a lot of concrete surface. Sure glad I decided to stop there, instead of going back another 55 feet like the original plan called for.

000708.02.laying_the_second_half.jpg

And there you have it. One driveway extension. Ready for the big SUV.

000714.00.finished_product.jpg

Could use a little dirt along the side, and maybe a grass seed or two.

000714.01.finished_product.jpg

This will be a flower bed next year. Kinda cute.

000714.02.finished_product.jpg

Looks like it's been in there for awhile. The flower bed has been replanted, and is starting to bloom.

000714.03.finished_product.jpg

You could almost park a bus on it!

14.04.finished_product.jpg

From this angle, it doesn't look half bad.

000714.05.west_flower_bed.jpg

A splash of color to brighten things up.

714.06.finished_product.jpg

Look familiar?

000714.07.finished_product.jpg

OK, since you've probably been wondering, it's Liatris Spicata. The variety is Kansas Gayfeather. It's one of my favorites.

000714.08.liatris_spicata.jpg

Hope you've enjoyed it. It's sure made parking the bus a lot easier. When spring gets here, I'll add some photos of the connected patio with the inlaid chess board behind the garage and house. Not sure why I never took any.


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