Thursday, September 18, 2008

What I did on my summer vacation

If anyone has noticed a big pile of rubble in my driveway over the summer, or that I've been really obsessed over issues like gutter drainage, or that I've been a little domestically obsessed in general... well, I've been doing some housework. I had our gravel-and-asphalt driveway torn up and replaced with pretty pretty paving stones.

This was my driveway earlier this summer. Old cracked asphalt with huge frost heaves down the middle. If your car rides low, you'd probably scrape the bottom against it. It was very hard to shovel, and impossible to plow.

This was the parking area at the end of the driveway. When the developers who sold me the house were renovating, they tore up the asphalt here, because it was so bad. But instead of pouring fresh asphalt, they just filled the area with gravel. Messy gravel, impossible to shovel in the winter, painful to walk on barefoot in the summer, murder on my heels all the time. And the kids in the neighborhood were always playing with the stones, scooping them up, piling them on the deck or the stairs, making for slippery dangerous walking conditions (remember that scene in Home Alone with the marbles?).

Since I live in a two-family condo, and the expense of any master improvements gets split between us, when the time came to fix the driveway, we decided to do a really nice, top-of-the-line job with pavers. They're easy to plow, smooth on bare feet, last forever and really up the resale value. They cost more than asphalt, but they'll never heave from frost, and we'll never have to redo the work. Check out the driveway now!

And the parking area in back!

I really love it. You have to come over and see it! We had some bumps along the way, including a drainage issue that added about 20% to the final cost. But now all the gutter water is diverted to a system that waters our front garden, instead of running into the street and making puddles, or ice. And because I got so involved and informed about the project (they joked that I'm more familiar with the product catalog than they are!), and I was so nice to the workers (I brought the guys drinks and/or donuts in the mornings), they said I'm their favorite customer!

Yes, yes, I know that, at least in part, they were sucking up so that I give a good recommendation (as I'm the kind of person folks go to for recommendations). But whatever the reason, they threw in a bunch of work on the back steps and walkway... for FREE!

God I am so tired.....

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