Driveway, walk, front steps, drainage, and grading project.
Completed June 18-22, 2012
Our original asphalt driveway is 20 years old, in poor condition, not properly graded, sunken and cracked in numerous areas. Also, we have a gutter that has been dumping water onto the driveway that has caused not only driveway degradation, but problems with the house foundation. We soon realized that if we are going to install a new driveway, grade and drainage issues also must be corrected. Gutters are 20 years old and in need of replacement. Gutters replaced Oct. 2011.
We met with several structural/civil engineers and basement specialists to discuss foundation/drainage issues. If needed, we could excavate/waterproof foundation. After considering many professional opinions, we are relieved to discover that this was not needed.
We met with many asphalt and paver contractors (including Brad Wiegand from Bahler Brothers) to discuss/bid the scope of our project. We wanted a contractor that could tackle all of our issues. If we were going to spend the money, let’s fix everything! Our original steps were poured concrete hollow forms with wrought iron railings. We NEVER liked the appearance of these steps. We have had undermining on both sides of the steps because there was no base prep done. The builder just plopped them down in front of the front door. The form had also sunken quite a bit in the front to make then uneven with the previously installed Bahler Brothers paver walk. We hired Bahler Brothers to install this paver walk in 1999.
Steve and I spent the next six months discussing/designing/researching our project. Since we believe we will be living at this address for at least the next 10 years, we were leaning towards the paver option. A properly installed paver driveway can last many more decades than an asphalt one. I (Carol) always liked/admired the paver driveways in our vicinity. I know the location of most every paver driveway in Ellington and which ones were Bahler Bahlers installed. So, I could see the quality of Bahler Brothers work and how well their older projects have stood up to the test of time.
March 27 and April 19, 2012.
We met with Jen Kloter at Bahler Brothers. She is degreed in landscape design/architecture. Jen was extremely helpful: From showing us our design on the computer to paver and step selection. Although we had paver books to examine, the Bahler Brothers office/showroom and grounds have installed samples of pavers, so we could see the paver colors and sizes. We also took samples home to see how they would look with our house. All of this helped us visualize our options. Together, we changed our driveway’s shape: We decreased the turnaround size as it was double wide and too deep for our needs. We also widened the driveway (in front of the garage) by making it double wide to half its’ length, then narrowed it to the street. This allows Steve to easily pull his car into the garage without severely turning the wheel, which he had to do with our original shaped driveway.
I knew from the start that I wanted the look of solid slab steps. I thought I wanted bluestone, but the solid brownstone slabs were the perfect color choice and they are my favorite part of the project. We originally selected a paver line for the entire project, but we did have budget constraints. So Jen suggested picking a less expensive paver for the driveway, but keep the more expensive choice for our walk. Great idea! The different pavers identify the two areas, which are also outlined (at Jen suggestion) a complimentary chocolate brown border paver. Once the details were spelled out by contract, we signed and left a deposit for our project.
June 18 through 22
Fortunately, Steve and I are home on vacation this entire week and we are so happy to see and hear the big Bahler Brothers trucks roll down our street at 7am to start the demolition of our driveway and steps! Lloyd and Jordan demolished, excavated, installed drainage, corrected grade, and prepped the base in two days. One of Steve’s hobbies is photography and he thoroughly enjoyed watching and photographing the entire process.
Day 2 & 3:
Juan and his crew spent another two days laying the pavers and installing the brownstone steps. Every Bahler Brother employee was disciplined, hardworking and polite despite the high heat and humidity. We tried to make the job a little easier by providing coffee and breakfast foods every morning.
The last day was spent adding topsoil, grading and seeding. Unfortunately, we experienced a hard rainfall that washed away Juan’s hard work, but Bahler Brothers returned the next week to repeat this process. Now, we are diligently watering our new grass seedlings. The grass will fill in over time, especially this fall.
A small asphalt apron, from the pavers to the street, was installed the week after the project was finished.
Since the completion of our project, many of our neighbors, friends and family have stopped by to see it. We have received much positive feedback. The driveway/steps really complement our house and adds curb appeal.
We are extremely pleased with the results and we highly recommend Bahler Brothers to anyone that is considering a paver project, big or small.
Carol and Steve Fong, 2012
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