Comments (22)

  • Resh

    The front driveway is almost 15o square metres, and has a number of problems: apart from the way it looks, it needs a new soil pipe to serve two bathrooms, and need to get the drainage right to get water away from the house. This is fairly major groundwork.

  • Resh

    As we bought it, Overgrown, with crazy paving over some, rubble in the rest, and growth everywhere.

    Not much done last year - vegetation cleared, fence put in for security, laurel hedge planted. It is now overgrown again.

    So it is being dug up completely. Big drainage and foundation work for driveway. Permeable cobblestone block paving for driveway to the right (I like to work on old cars sometimes, and need a hard standing for this) and a matching path to the left for garden access. Rest a mixture of traditional 20mm gravel, and flowerbeds. Plan is for a big lavender border outside the bay window, and small wildflower/meadow patches in flowerbeds in front of the privet hedge on the left of the house and behind the laurel hedge at the front. We want a wild-ish look to offset the gravel and cobbles. Driveway will be in-out, so my old convertible can go in front of the garage and the family car in front of the front door. We have permission to drop the kerb in front of the left gates.

    Manhole access to soil drain found under tonnes of rubble. This is about 3m deep - not the iron rungs for access. We have to dig a new soil to meet this construction.

  • Karen

    Major works indeed! I'll be following progress with interest :-)

  • Resh

    new soil pipe. boring, but very excited about the problems this will solve. think constantly blocked, needing smelly unblocking all the time!

  • AMB

    Wooo! More posts from Resh! I'm looking forward to the updates. Glad you are moving the cars to left and planting under the bay. It will look great I'm sure! Have you done any more to the back garden apart from the turf and patio?

  • Patrina

    My goodness Resh all that work! but glad to know it's being sorted though.

  • Carolina

    Ah, the saga continues :-)

  • Resh

    And in parallel to the drive, just because I love mess and giving myself cashflow issues, air conditioning is going in for kitchen, living room, nursery and master bed. When we redo the roof in a few years, I will look at solar to help drive this in the summer when in use. Very expensive option with limited payback though, now that the government has stopped the ability to sell energy back to the grid.

    Went with black wall units in kitchen and living room - they are glossy black with a lit digital display, so match the black ovens, induction hob etc. I thought about building into a cabinet that could be opened when the units are occasionally in use, but decided against for a few reasons.

    Bedroom units are white.

  • Resh

    AMB, lots of other stuff going on outside!

    Beginnings of a lavender border at edge of patio, and pots of Star Jasmine to be planted against the back of the house.

    Profusion crabapple tree planted, with lots of other border plants in the right hand bed:

    And lots more planting in the left hand bed, with a secluded corner screened by Vervain and grasses, with a potted magnolia tree next to the bench. The garden is now also uplit, so at night various trees and shrubs are lit for effect.

  • Resh

    Hardcore base going in, old crazy paving and earth going out...

  • E D

    Will the exterior air conditioning apparatus remain visible like that?

  • Resh

    They will. They are in the "service alley" side if the house behind the garage. the units need good air circulation to work properly. There will be a wooden gate and partition so that you don't see them from the garden, but no other boxing in etc.

    not very Houzz - hopefully driveway and garden design will get us back to something nice to look at! Base is mostly down across the whole driveway...

  • Resh

    They have done an excellent job. The drive is quite utilitarian as I wanted parking for three vehicles off the road, as we have on street parking restrictions and I would like guests to not have to pay for parking. This meant no nice, big, central lawn or flowerbed. And my trusty old Land Rover needs to stay off the street so people don't steal bits off it!

    I also used straight lines, as I wanted a bit more formality out here than the curvy, organic way we have done the back lawn and borders.

    so we we will be using planters and containers to augment the two flowerbeds and create some soft landscaping. I think more Mediterranean, with plenty of rosemary and lavender, and an olive tree or two.

    Better pics to follow. but the tumbled cobble block paving is lovely.

  • Resh

    Fences and garages will be stained black, to lift the facade of the house to a more modern look: the house is not that pretty, being a slightly clumsy late Victorian design with few embellishments and little ornamentation. I like people to be surprised when they come in and the interior is softer and less sleek, with lots of period features etc.

  • Resh

    Pics of them laying the block. Fencing is ultra durable concrete posts and gravel boards, that will need painting to lose that industrial look, but will last forever with very easy DIY panel replacement when necessary

  • Resh

    I also sadly lost my bay window flowerbeds as we needed to fit land drains there, to pull water away from the house. Recent heavy rain has showed that it works: the bricks below the DPC are noticeably more dry now, and whilst the basement still floods from groundwater, the walls are no longer damp.

    But it means large trough planters and a container garden rather then the flowerbeds I wanted!

  • Patrina

    Fantastic job Resh. I know sometimes we spend money on things we can't see but they actually function to give us peace of mind like managing the water flow away from your house. Love the drive looks fantastic :-)

  • Gabby

    Looks fantastic Resh! And definitely worth sacrificing "design over function" and losing some flowerbeds to help stop the house flooding!

  • Angie

    Great to catch up on your latest works Resh. I’ve been away from Houzz for a while and just seen this. Thanks for taking time to update us amidst your busy work and family life.

    Resh thanked Angie
  • Gabby

    Looks great!

    Is it loose gravel? Do you have the mesh mats underneath? Looks very smooth! Is it just really new? Or actually resin bound?

    Resh thanked Gabby
  • Resh

    Gabby - standard gravel - so packed hardcore membranes, drainage etc. I actually may change it for limestone once it starts looking grubby. I need to take more pics, but the front has been partially planted now with small cypress trees, lavender etc and I need to go with that slightly Mediterranean theme with the gravel....

  • Resh

    My hero builders have finally turned up on Houzz! I have left a review, and frankly have only the best things to say about these guys. I am their first review, and I absolutely loved working with them. I really hope that they find some more clients on here.
    More updates coming as the front gets sorted out: baby and new job mean my houzz time is limited these days...

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