Did you update your bathroom? Revamp your kitchen? Install new flooring? We would love to share your project, big or small! Send us what you did and our editorial team will consider it for our “My Fresh Home” series, which will be published every Thursday. Check out our submission instructions at the bottom of the page.
Today we want to share a story from Freshome reader Nathan, who extended his driveway to better fit two cars:
Single driveways can be a real pain when there are multiple drivers in a household. We had this kind of driveway for over three years, and in order to park side-by-side, we had to squeeze our cars in together at the end, on top of grass and tree roots. I tried laying down some gravel, but it wasn’t the solution we needed. All we wanted was to be able to park two cars side by side and keep the street clear of our vehicles – we decided to pull the trigger and extend our driveway.
Step 1: Find Company
The first thing I had to do was figure out what types of companies would do this work. I called a contractor buddy of mine, and he told me that anyone who does cement would likely be able to help with my driveway (and for once, he was right). Then, I did what most people do these days – I went online. I filled out a few leads on sites like HomeAdvisor, but I was never contacted. I was only ever contacted by local businesses, which I found on Google.
Step 2: Get Quotes
The next step was to have the companies come to my house and give me an estimate. Because I work full time, the guys called me during the process, instead of having me physically be there. I explained what I wanted, and they were able to provide quotes.
I received two quotes – one for $4,500, and one for $5,375. Both were higher than I was looking to pay. Then, while driving home from work soon after, I ended up being behind a truck with a big sign that said “Torres Cement – Driveways, etc., etc.” with a phone number. I thought, “what the heck”, and gave the guy a call. Long story short, they gave me an estimate for $2,500, and we had a deal.
Step 3: Finalize Plans
These companies are typically booked out pretty far in advance, however, it was the holidays and we weren’t in a rush, so we decided to start the first week of January. But before anything could begin, I had to talk to my neighbor, because he had a tree with roots growing into my yard and under my driveway. In order to extend the driveway, those roots were going to have to go. Thankfully, he wasn’t worried about it, so we had the green light to get started. The grading and other prep work for the driveway extension only took one day.
When I got home from work that first day, my neighbor, who used to work in grading, was worried that because of how his yard is sloped, we were going to have to put in a retaining wall. The contractor and I tried to convince him that the issue could be resolved with another foot or so of slope, but he was convinced otherwise.
I made the call (after consulting the boss – my wife) to put in the wall, which cost another $1,000. You can see in the next image what I’m talking about. While I wish I would have known about this before we started, neither of the other quotes had mentioned a wall either, and Cruz, the cement guy, was helpful in figuring out a solution.
We chose grey bricks for the wall. The cement was poured, the wall was constructed, and the project was completed by the end of day two. The only downside was that we couldn’t drive on the new pavement for three days.
All things considered, we’re really happy with how the project turned out. My wife and I can park side by side, and no one has to park in the grass (which often turned to mud) and roots.
Cars parked easily!
How to Submit User Stories
1: Include “My Fresh Home Project” in the subject line. Then, in the body of the email, please provide an explanation of why you chose to do the project, an outline of steps you took to get it done, and any advice for readers considering similar projects. Make sure to include your name and any before/after images you have!
2: Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And that’s it! Easy, right? If selected, your story will be shared as an article on Freshome!