There was a much anticipated event that occurred during my hiatus from the blog, the installation of our driveway. We are closing in on a year in residence here, and only now can we drive into our garage without bringing in a barrage of sand. Of course for the winter months, the lack of driveway mattered barely at all, but its absence grew to a level of irritation as spring turned to summer. The kids too seemed to track in buckets of sand on their feet. Does it multiply somehow? Thankfully the problem is solved for the most part, though the yard is still entirely unlandscaped. Initial progress on those plans is slated to begin in the next couple of weeks.
There was considerable debate as to the style of driveway we should select. We discussed brushed concrete, exposed aggregate, stamped concrete and pavers. Originally, we had settled on the stamped option which would be coloured to work with the exterior. As I have come to realize, very little works out according to plan, and we were unable to get the company we had planned to work with to commit to a timeframe (i.e. this summer, that was imperative). On to the alternate plan, pavers. Initially I shied away from pavers due to the settling issue and the propensity for weed growth in between. After some research I was assured that correct installation can prevent many of these issues. We were slated into the queue for the last week of August.
In the midst of all the insanity that was the second week of August we were notified that the driveway installation would be bumped up. We selected some mid-grey modern style pavers and the driveway was prepped for a few days. All I know this involved several pieces of equipment, bobcats, lots of sand, leveling etc. In addition to being banished from several areas of the house (remember the photoshoot), the children were not allowed in the yard either. The stone layer then asked if I would consider a more traditional style of stone, closer to a cobblestone in a lighter grey. He promised me that I would be much more satisfied with the end result. We trusted his expertise and are thrilled with the final result. The driveway, and walkway up the side of the house are gorgeous. The stones are laid in a random pattern and the slight variation of colour creatives visual interest, yet it does not compete with the overall look of the exterior. This photo gives you a glimpse of the finished driveway.
As you can see there are eavestroughs running along the driveway which will be shuttled underground when the landscaping is underway. The edge of the driveway is currently protected with rafts of cardboard that we hastily installed during the second hailstorm in a week. We learned our lesson during the first storm several days early. An intense storm blew in and washed away some of the edging securing the new driveway. From the image below you can also see the black coating from our shingles covering the driveway. The flashing also endured significant dents due to the hail which was nearing golf ball size in a couple cases. Last but not least, both our cars, took a serious beating from the hail. As you guessed it, they were parked on the street, as we were unable to use the driveway to access the garage as it set (mind you it was also being blocked by large palettes of stone). We have a few insurance claims to deal with on the horizon. But at least we finally have a driveway.