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Old 03-08-2019, 11:24 AM   #16
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Re: Reconstructing Driveway to Create Flat Area


Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_inFL View Post
a 6" - 6,000Lb flat slab driveway at least 20 feet out from the
garage door is so valuable beyond words. especially if you
want to do any kind of maintenance on your vehicles that
require a flat and level place to work on. (my van is 19 feet long).
and a flat safe play area for the kids is high on the list, too.
I layed 120' of asphalt all the way to my carport and kicked
my hind end every time I WISHED that I had the forethought
of a nice flat concrete pad instead of soft asphalt.
if you can't figure it out yourself, I would invest in a building engineer
consultant to figure it out for you.

I would try to figure this option into your plan ~ with a French Drain
at the garage door to assist in the rain water removal issue.
Thanks for the reply. So the area you have outlined in red would be the flat area, I believe? Curious as to if the rest is sloped how that would look if a retaining wall is supporting a higher elevation that would be sloped up toward the garage but is traversed laterally (driving on a side slope?)... thoughts on this?
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Old 03-08-2019, 11:53 AM   #17
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Re: Reconstructing Driveway to Create Flat Area


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Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
Something like this
Thanks - that certainly is part of that option (not having the secondary curb cut). The main concerns w/ this option is the angle in/out of the garage (is it feasible to navigate w/ vehicles [comfortably] AND the degree of sloped driveway required to enter and exit that higher plateau.
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Old 03-08-2019, 12:09 PM   #18
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Re: Reconstructing Driveway to Create Flat Area


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Originally Posted by fusebox7 View Post
Thanks - that certainly is part of that option (not having the secondary curb cut). The main concerns w/ this option is the angle in/out of the garage (is it feasible to navigate w/ vehicles [comfortably] AND the degree of sloped driveway required to enter and exit that higher plateau.
Just guessing measurement, from the curb up the slope looks like it would be 25-30 feet and it started 2 feet higher than the present driveway.
roughly 10 % grade compared to 15% that you have now


roughly working grades in my head, don't quote it.
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Old 03-08-2019, 12:24 PM   #19
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Re: Reconstructing Driveway to Create Flat Area


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Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
Just guessing measurement, from the curb up the slope looks like it would be 25-30 feet and it started 2 feet higher than the present driveway.
roughly 10 % grade compared to 15% that you have now


roughly working grades in my head, don't quote it.
Unfortunately, this side is the west side which is probably 2 feet LOWER than the current driveway entrance so it'd likely be more steep than the current drive. The east side (left side) is the ~2 foot higher side. The issue with coming in from that side is that it's unnatural since we always come from the west (right).
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Old 03-08-2019, 12:33 PM   #20
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Re: Reconstructing Driveway to Create Flat Area


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Originally Posted by fusebox7 View Post
Unfortunately, this side is the west side which is probably 2 feet LOWER than the current driveway entrance so it'd likely be more steep than the current drive. The east side (left side) is the ~2 foot higher side. The issue with coming in from that side is that it's unnatural since we always come from the west (right).
Sorry I got the east west mixed up. But the distance would be shorter too.

I would not give the direction of your driving any weight, you will adapt to that.



the rectangle that @Johnny_inFL laid out looks better.
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Old 03-08-2019, 01:00 PM   #21
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Re: Reconstructing Driveway to Create Flat Area


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Originally Posted by Nealtw View Post
the rectangle that @Johnny_inFL laid out looks better.
Unfortunately that would only be 12'-14' of flat drive out from the door.

Fuse, I underestimated even the simple drive being at $25K. New curb cut/replace old could be $4K just itself. Depending how much retaining wall to hold back higher neighbor and the extent of all the walls holding up a higher drive could be quite expensive. Is there a ROI breaking point for you and amount of concrete drive (atypical for neighborhood) that will start to detract from future buyers?

How much is the 3rd stall used? What if you had just a higher "plateau" for that portion? Not easy to drive in/out, but option for play area.

I understand your plight - my SIL's van slid down their steep drive into the ditch. The time they spend scraping ice and throwing salt for walkers' safety is ludicrous.
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Old 03-08-2019, 01:11 PM   #22
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Re: Reconstructing Driveway to Create Flat Area


Fuse - if you want to go through the "prototype" exercise,
you could get some cardboard and wood lattice strips and
make a couple of profiles of your largest car. connect a small
rope to it and drag it around the areas that you have concerns with.
make some sticks to attach the orange builders string to and sort of
make mockups of every scenario you can think of. (the kids can help
with pulling the strings tight and attaching it to the sticks, or blocks).
that way you won't be driving on your grass creating a mess in the
design process.
and who knows ~ you just might find the most viable option with
very little expense - except for your time and a few $$ for materials.
and as stated above; you have a BEAUTIFUL home !!!
I hope you explore every option available to you and everyone agrees on it.

.

.
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Old 03-08-2019, 01:37 PM   #23
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Re: Reconstructing Driveway to Create Flat Area


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Unfortunately that would only be 12'-14' of flat drive out from the door.

Fuse, I underestimated even the simple drive being at $25K. New curb cut/replace old could be $4K just itself. Depending how much retaining wall to hold back higher neighbor and the extent of all the walls holding up a higher drive could be quite expensive. Is there a ROI breaking point for you and amount of concrete drive (atypical for neighborhood) that will start to detract from future buyers?

How much is the 3rd stall used? What if you had just a higher "plateau" for that portion? Not easy to drive in/out, but option for play area.

I understand your plight - my SIL's van slid down their steep drive into the ditch. The time they spend scraping ice and throwing salt for walkers' safety is ludicrous.
So far the quotes I've gotten have been in the $35-60k range (depending on optoin) all of which would include up to two 24x16' areas of heated drive (because the drive faces north and sunlight doesn't touch it all winter). We are willing to spend this because it's the ONE gripe we have at the property. However, no one is getting younger and we're starting to worry about our relatives visiting or even the UPS guy/gal and well, as we get older, something as simple as walking to get the mail or take the garbage cans to the road... you all get it. Given that we're willing to put this investment into it, that's why we've started considering all options in that price range.

re: driveway concrete/curb appeal etc. - it's certainly part of the deal. I think if done right (since we have a big retaining wall in the front yard currently) it could add tremendous curb appeal (we have landscape lighting as well). This neighborhood used to be mostly older couples/empty-nesters but younger affluent families are moving in and investing quite a bit in their properties. Houses sell in less than a week here, even with a completely dead/brown front yard in October ( that shouldn't be :P )

3rd stall is utility right now (snowblower, current play area since it's flat). In the future a vehicle will likely be used and parked in there.

We're not opposed to having a sloped drive for entrance/exit of the property, but we're begging for a flat area for parking that's adjacent to the garage door(s) and the front walkway (it's definitely not ideal to have a parking area that's flat and a sloped walkway that people have to traverse to make it to the front door, for instance). That's what would be the case in "option 1" (current drive + new east entrance/parking area).
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Old 03-08-2019, 01:38 PM   #24
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Re: Reconstructing Driveway to Create Flat Area


Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_inFL View Post
Fuse - if you want to go through the "prototype" exercise,
you could get some cardboard and wood lattice strips and
make a couple of profiles of your largest car. connect a small
rope to it and drag it around the areas that you have concerns with.
make some sticks to attach the orange builders string to and sort of
make mockups of every scenario you can think of. (the kids can help
with pulling the strings tight and attaching it to the sticks, or blocks).
that way you won't be driving on your grass creating a mess in the
design process.
and who knows ~ you just might find the most viable option with
very little expense - except for your time and a few $$ for materials.
and as stated above; you have a BEAUTIFUL home !!!
I hope you explore every option available to you and everyone agrees on it.

.

.
Thanks for the exercise. Once a contractor comes next week to shoot elevations and come up with better grade numbers etc. we're hoping to try to use a church parking lot to attempt turning radius exercises and such.
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Old 03-08-2019, 01:45 PM   #25
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Re: Reconstructing Driveway to Create Flat Area


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Originally Posted by fusebox7 View Post
Thanks for the exercise. Once a contractor comes next week to shoot elevations and come up with better grade numbers etc. we're hoping to try to use a church parking lot to attempt turning radius exercises and such.
I put a retaining wall between the driveways and left the third one much as is.
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Old 03-09-2019, 07:49 AM   #26
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This is what I envision option 2 (preferred) to look like.
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Old 03-09-2019, 11:56 AM   #27
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Re: Reconstructing Driveway to Create Flat Area


Quote:
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we're hoping to try to use a church parking lot to attempt turning radius exercises and such.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fusebox7 View Post
This is what I envision option 2 (preferred) to look like.
You can try this backup turn from the garage in your driveway now.

In a parking lot with 90d spaces, a comfortable amount to be able to access them is 25'. And the last space should be inset a little from the end to enable the swing of the front. That describes your stall closest to the front door.

So extend the drive past the garage opening to at least the corner of garage. 25' out of the 33' drive leaves you with about 7' to sidewalk (12" CMU). You'll have about a 4.5' high wall. This 7' could become shallower making the wall more prominent if:
a. You want/req'd a grassy/landscape area between the drive and wall. Allows water to drain and snow to be pushed onto. May be req'd with this much surface (or catch basin).
b. A tire stop along here. Can be poured curb or wall cap, but CMUs don't hold up to grandma backing into them.
c. A railing might be required (and I assume would put a kabosh on this whole idea).

You can minimize the wall height to the HOA by raising the sloped grade and putting plantings there, or having a tiered wall on the west side.

Just note that a proper retaining wall to hold back this raised grade should be designed by an engineer. And a concrete subcontractor may be a whiz at laying concrete but know nothing about sitework. I would have more confidence in an excavator to remove the topcoat, compact the fill in layers. and a commercial landscaper to know how to properly drain and tieback a wall.

Also you should be the one walking through with the township on the impervious surface calc, curb cuts, and req'mts a/b/c, not the subcontractor.
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Old 03-09-2019, 02:09 PM   #28
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Re: Reconstructing Driveway to Create Flat Area


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So extend the drive past the garage opening to at least the corner of garage.
We discussed having the concrete go to the corner of the garage on the west side and *possibly* have a small turning pad extend west closer to the sidewalk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3onthetree View Post
25' out of the 33' drive leaves you with about 7' to sidewalk (12" CMU). You'll have about a 4.5' high wall. This 7' could become shallower making the wall more prominent if:
a. You want/req'd a grassy/landscape area between the drive and wall. Allows water to drain and snow to be pushed onto. May be req'd with this much surface (or catch basin).
b. A tire stop along here. Can be poured curb or wall cap, but CMUs don't hold up to grandma backing into them.
c. A railing might be required (and I assume would put a kabosh on this whole idea).
The idea that's been discussed, albeit very briefly, was to continue the small landscape bed that's in front of the current wall onto the front of the future wall (so in between the wall and the sidewalk) for aesthetic purposes.
I also think that your proposed "a" makes sense. It won't stop people from driving off but if I plant some ornamental shrubs/trees here (considering height/width) that should be fine. I thought about "b" but depending on space (once plans are actually drawn up) we may or may not want to take up more room if we are going to do "a" (which i think might help with dimension).

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3onthetree View Post
You can minimize the wall height to the HOA by raising the sloped grade and putting plantings there, or having a tiered wall on the west side.
Curious to learn more about what you're talking about here with "raising the sloped grade" and "tiered wall" - I'm assuming you're referring to the grassy area on the west side of the driveway. I hope they consider the fact that my lot is extremely unique due to the undulations and I'm doing this for practical reasons while being very keen to the look. IMO it could look "too" nice for the neighborhood when all said and done (nice plantings + landscape lighting, etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3onthetree View Post
Just note that a proper retaining wall to hold back this raised grade should be designed by an engineer. And a concrete subcontractor may be a whiz at laying concrete but know nothing about sitework. I would have more confidence in an excavator to remove the topcoat, compact the fill in layers. and a commercial landscaper to know how to properly drain and tieback a wall.

Also you should be the one walking through with the township on the impervious surface calc, curb cuts, and req'mts a/b/c, not the subcontractor.
Great points. The company I'm working with currently is a commercial landscaper that specializes in concrete driveways and retaining walls (lucky me). I will absolutely be involved in every step along the way since this is a major project. Appreciate your thorough input!
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Old 03-15-2019, 11:40 AM   #29
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Re: Reconstructing Driveway to Create Flat Area


Option 4: put flat area for kids to play in wherever you want, fit driveway around it. Sawcut grooves perpendicularly to vehicular travel direction like they do on bridges, for traction.
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Old 03-18-2019, 09:54 AM   #30
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Re: Reconstructing Driveway to Create Flat Area


We are going to pursue "option 2" and have the drive come in from the far east side of the property. We shot some elevations and did some measurements. The slope up to the top/flat area will be less than originally anticipated since we want a grade from the garage down to the wall for drainage.

Does 4% sound like too much grade for a "flat" area? I've read that 2% is the minimum recommendation but is doubling that overdoing it? I believe that results in roughly a 1-foot fall from the garage to the wall.
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