Driveway

Having built the retaining wall it was now time to dig out the driveway down to the level where the hardcore and crushed stone could go in to form a sub base. Once this has been levelled and compacted it will be left as a working surface until the end of the job and then it will be given a finish layer, probably block paving, but if funds are short more than likely some gravel.

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Digging the footings for the retaining wall had generated a large pile of clay and soil, so the first job was to get a grab lorry in to remove that and give us some room to move around the site and start on creating another large pile of spoil.

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Once all the measuring and calculating was done the digging started at the road end of the driveway.

This picture gives an idea of the depth of the driveway structure.

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Digging continued back towards the house and then a geo-textile material was laid to stop the clay moving up through the stone.

This picture also shows the height of the retaining wall on our side of the driveway.

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Then the hardcore from the demolition was placed on top of the fabric to start building our base.

As this will be used as an access to the rear of the property for great big concrete mixers and as an unloading area for vehicles delivering materials a depth of 300mm of hardcore will be laid to provide a strong foundation in order to resist the wear it will take.

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With the excavation for the driveway done we now had another big pile of spoil, so another lorry arrived to load it up and cart it away.

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The next stage was to break up the floor slab of the outhouse. A lot easier with a big machine than doing it with a pick-axe and sledge hammer.

This could be on the demolition page, but as the result is going into the driveway it seemed appropriate to put this section here.

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Here some progress has been made breaking up the slab. All the rubble will go back into the hole to form the base of the drive.

In the background you can see the crushed stone which was delivered this morning and which will be used to top the driveway and give us a working surface.

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Moving down the side and round the back of the house the remaining areas of concrete were broken up with the digger and its breaker attachment.

Drains have been uncovered to check and clear them, more on drains later.

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Whilst that was going on a second trip by the grab lorry took the remainder of the spoil away.

This cleared the area we needed to widen the driveway base and allow the large lorries we were expecting to get in off the road and back to where we needed them.

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Moving the digger back to the front and using the wide bucket the second half of the driveway was cleared down to the level required.

This then gave a total width for the driveway of 7 metres.

Of course it also gave another pile of spoil that will need to be carted away.

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As before this was then covered with the geo-textile material.

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The hardcore that resulted from the breaking up of the concrete along the side and rear of the house was then placed on top of this.

The crushed stone was then spread to cover the hardcore.

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The vibrating roller was then used to pack the stone down and consolidate everything.

At the moment it looks a bit lumpy with bits of broken brick sticking through, but then it isn't the finished article. There will be some more crushed stone to go down and then this will give us a clean and solid area to unload lorries and get access to the rear of the house.

We've stopped the crushed stone short of the end for now as we'll need to dig that area to put the footings in for the front wall of the garage.

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Having got that far on the driveway it then had to be extended back to meet the house to form the path to the front door.

There will also be a temporary roadway created over the garage area to get the concrete trucks back to the footings in the back garden. This will be removed once those are complete and the footings for the garage area can then be exposed again and the garage floor slab can be prepared and laid also.

Here the excavated area has been increased to allow for this and the geo-textile material placed and hardcore is being spread on top.

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Although the driveway had been dug out and the hardcore spread to the full 7 metre width there was not enough crushed stone to finish the whole area.

Once we had taken delivery of another 10 tons of stone this was spread to the edge of the drive and back to the front of the garage area.

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Here the excavation of the garage floor area has been done down to the level required. The spoil from this area was dragged back to the rear of the house and will be spread over the back garden.

That is all the digging completed for the driveway and retaining wall, a total of 9 grab lorries were required to remove all the spoil. We probably could have used another one but we decided to keep that last one on site and spread it over the front garden. The top soil had already been scraped back to allow for this when we started.

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The area was again covered with the geo-textile material and hardcore spread on that.

A further 10 tons of stone arrived and that was laid on top.

A final go over with a vibrating plate consolidated everything ready for use. The main driveway area was also given a go with the vibrating plate to help further consolidate that.

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This view shows the completed pathway area of the driveway (with the van sitting on it) and the temporary road back to the rear of the house.

On the right you can see the now almost completed retaining wall.

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This is the view back from the other angle showing our temporary roadway.

Those tree stumps on the left are going to have to come out to allow for the retaining wall. That is probably going to make quite a hole and means we'll have to lose the fence for a while.

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Once the garage floor slab had been poured and the wall was started next to what will be the new front door the entrance path area could be attended to.

Some crushed stone was added in the area which will form the new entrance path to bring the level up.

This will be block paved at a later stage so has been left below the final level to allow for that.