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House progress....

We're almost ready to put in the new driveway. My plan to re-use concrete and smaller stones from the demolished wall in order to reduce the amount of actual new concrete needed seems to be working well. I figure I'm going to save myself between 1-2 cubic yards worth of cement (and at $55.00 per yd^3 that's not all that bad). Another plus is that I also end up not having to dispose of the cement and stuff that was left over from the wall. We've seperated out most of the use-able stone for the new barbecue pit and about 2/3 of the forms for the cement are up. Tomorrow will be the tricky part where I need to figure out how to do the transition from the main part of the driveway to the alley with the gate in between. I'll probably ask my dad for some input on that. The nice thing about the way I have things setup so far is that I should be able to re-claim most of the water from the driveway for my backyard lawn. Since washing cars and the very occasional rainfall isn't covered by the current water restrictions, I can take advantage of my 2 hours of weekly watering for tress and such and the lawn will probably be taken care of from the run off when I wash the cars. I suspect that I will have damn clean vehicles this summer ;)

The bathroom is about ready to be spackled and painted. I'll need to talk to Mike about how he would suggest doing some of the work, but the foam stuff worked very well for hiding the gaps between the medicine cabinet and the plaster. It covered holes between 1/2" all the way up to about 3 inches (that hole was thanks to plaster disintegrating due to a poor previous patch job).

So yeah. Months of not making much progress and then bam. All sorts of stuff starts happening all at once. Fortunately I've learned some key stuff (especially about wiring) so I should soon be able to tackle random projects with less trepidation. The driveway is really the biggest thing that needs to be done and I should have that poured on Monday (assuming nothing comes up).


While you're on the subject of concrete driveways...

We're thinking of widening our concrete driveway to accomodate another car. How thick does the concrete need to be? Does the $55/yd^3 you quoted include labor?
In order to accomodate a car, it just needs to be about 3-4 inches deep (i.e. a 2x4s worth of depth) and it doesn't need any additional reinforcement if you compact the ground properly. If you're not in a historic neighborhood I think you can pour the new cement on your property w/o getting a permit (so long as it won't be supporting a structure or cutting into the curb or sidewalk).

The $55.00/yd^3 is the price for just the cement (I need to check if that's actually the price we're still getting it for, but I'm pretty sure it is). We usually hire a friend of my dad's to do the finished cement work (i.e. smoothing it out, edging it etc...) and we provide most of the muscle behind pouring it.

If you're going to widen the driveway, I would recommend leaving the approach as is and just pouring the cement for the extra space. Messing with the approach would require a permit and the approach is the only part that gets reinforced so you'd have to deal with that
Good information. Thanks!