Working on the driveway

Getting the blocks via my own means.

Getting the blocks via my own means. Driveway 2 low spot only needs to rise 8″. Extra blocks stored on top of the row for now.

Better get in that gravel driveway before the next rainy winter season, otherwise I be sliding all over again after the 1st day of rain, just like I did all of last winter.

Low spot on driveway 1

Low spot on driveway 1, lower end on left will be raised 2 blocks and only 1 block on right.

Here’s the plan, roughly, fill the low spot on driveway 1 to about 2 blocks high, that’s 16″. And driveway 2 only needs 1 block high, so that’s only 8″ and a smaller area.

Gravel delivered by the pros.

Gravel delivered by the so called pros.

Well, I could’ve $2000 on having it done by the contractor for just 1 driveway, instead I set a budget of $1000 for 2 driveways and a parking lot. Sure it meant a lot of menial do it yourself… and of course it meant lots of trips to get the materials that I can haul on the trailer… and sure it will exceed my budget, but it wont be more than $2000 and I would have gotten a lot more done with that money.

Cute little kitty keeping me company while I work

Cute little kitty keeping me company while I work

Ok, so what I did buy is 2 pallets of cinder blocks. That is 150 blocks at $1.30 each. When you buy by the pallet, you get a bulk discount at Home Depot :).

3" minus basalt

3″ minus basalt at car park. Notice how its a mix of big rocks to fine gravelly sand.

I could only tow half the pallet or 40 blocks at a time, so I had to make 4 trips to get them all. Still the savings was well worth the gas, maybe not the time. Getting the blocks from the place across the street will cost $2.20 each. Plus I get other stuff too. Like 6 bags of concrete mix, and planks for the camper that I am still building, and I get to stop at Walmart next door to get cheap food and stuff. … well, I make a trip every week anyway just for fun and Home Depot doesn’t limit how soon I must get them all 🙂 I like the Poulsbro HD best. Most friendly and accommodating people 🙂 , and they help me load block by block :).

Driveway 1 open to vehicles, and we used it immediately.

Driveway 1 open to vehicles, and we used it immediately.

Then its up to me to unload and arrange them. I am making a gravel retaining wall for over the low spot at the entrance…. I thought that it would be really expensive to use gravel to fill up a whole 20′ by 40′ by 16″, hence using the blocks to define 12.5′ by 40′. The driveway itself would be 120′, but its only the low spot that would gobble up the bulk of the gravel if I don’t try to contain it.

Driveway 1 leading towards RV tenant area.

Driveway 1 leading towards RV tenant area just after 2nd dump. Will look even better after I spread it out.

Anyway, I took my own sweet time… like 2 months to set the cinder blocks… it was a lot of work building up a leveled base of sand, and btw I was building a camper shell and digging up 2 stumps at the same time. I started months ahead of the rainy season, so I had plenty of time to do other things as well 🙂

Looking in at driveway 1. Its done!

Looking in at driveway 1. Its done!

When it was time, I ordered 20 yards of 3″ minus basalt, 10 yards 2″ – 4″ basalt clean and 10 yards 3/4″ minus. Nope, I couldn’t haul rocks, Fordie could probably pull 1.5 yards at most. So I got a dump truck company to do it, but they send out a lousy driver for my job…. His dump was so horrible that it completely closed driveway. Even the driver knew how bad he did, offered to charge 12.5% less… which was $68 savings, but was 8hrs of extra back breaking work for me. Doug help for the critical 1st 4hrs to get the driveway open, after that it was me on my own again.

Driveway 2 is done too!

Driveway 2 is done too!

After 1 week of straightening out the 1st 40 yards, I order the next 20 yards of 1 1/4″ granite from a different company with their own dump truck driver. So I used the larger and cheaper basalt (costlier transport) as the base, and granite for the topping layer.

And I must say I am so happy with the dump by the 2nd company. It was almost perfect. Just 3 hrs of light shoveling and raking, driveway 1 topping layer was spread nicely. Another 3hrs on driveway 2, and my own sweet time on the car park at the cabin.

So a total of 60 yards is what I got, and it leveled both driveways beautifully, made a small berm on each one, levelled a car park/turnaround at the cabin, for a total cost of $1400 (60 yards gravel + transport) and $300 (2 pallets cinder blocks + 6 bags 60lbs concrete mix). Seems like I am still ahead monetary wise, but what a lot of work that was! Apparently, if it was all done by my usual contractor, it would have been $4000 altogether, but it would have been done in 2 days max.



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Sailing 2015: Port Townsend(WA, US) -> Costes Island (BC, Canada)

Sailing 2013: Singapore -> Okinawa -> Kobe

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