About a month ago, Tim Carnahan finished our new driveway. So far, things look pretty good. The first crack has appeared, which is to be expected. (Even so, I wince when I see it.) And there’s one low spot near a downspout; water flows toward the house for a little bit before draining off the slab. But it’s still way better than the old driveway. Last week, we got a little snow, and shoveling it took about half the time it used to–with no jarring THUNK! moments as my scoop ricocheted off busted up driveway. Once Spring comes, I’ll ask Tim to do something about that low spot, and I’ll seal up all the control joints with polyurethane caulk.
As part of the “make the front of the house look better” project, Erin and I removed the gnarly juniper, bayberry, and boxwoods below the front porch, and knocked down the weeds and euonymus growing near the house. Right now, everything looks a little shabby, though the light coat of snow we got the other day helps. In the spring, we’ll get things fixed up, starting with some grading work to ensure the best drainage off the driveway. We’ll re-establish the landscaping, at least in part, by transplanting native plants and grasses we’ve got all over the yard already. More flowers! And maybe even a strawberry patch. (It’s time we moved ours.)
More urgently, I need to replace our front steps. We had a little masonry work done after Thanksgiving–some tuckpointing and crack repair, addressing some water damage on the southwest corner of the house. (The new driveway should fix the long term problem.) Sure, that required some drying time, but I’m at least a week past getting that work done. I’ll admit to being a little cautious. Steps aren’t the easiest thing in the world to build. The space I’m building into is out of square in two directions, and the masonry wall onto which I’ll be hanging the stringers creates an offset. Anyway, I think I’ve got it figured out. This stair calculator was a tremendous help. Hopefully, I’ll have some pictures to share next weekend.