which comes first? driveway, fence, landscaping??

kriscoop1April 29, 2013

hi all

I'm new here, but have recently bough a cute bungalow in NJ, so will probably be posting a bunch as we update our new home!

I'm currently trying to figure out where to start with our rear yard and driveway. We have to do the driveway ASAP because there is a curb there that I have hit a few times coming in to the driveway :(

I'm having trouble determining where to start and who to call...I'm a little nervous starting with the driveway, it seems so permanent! And I'm not sure what we're doing witht the rest of the yard...

Can anyone help me out? Do you need more info? Help! :)

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You would start by developing a master plan that shows everything to scale. It enables you to know that all the components of the finished product fit and work together. If you have design ability (thinking through all of the property uses, spatial relationships, appearance, materials, components, accessories & etc.) then you could develop the master plan yourself. If you don't have design ability, you could hire a landscape designer. If you're not sure if you have the ability, you could try it and get feedback on your progress here. The main trouble most greenhorns usually have is working about a functional geometry/layout that is also pleasing to look at. But what have you got to lose in trying? In terms of implementing construction of the master plan, you'd start with the biggest, messiest construction projects first ... which is probably the driveway, and any grading, if necessary.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 12:58PM
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molie(z6 CT)

Congratulations on your new home! A new house always brings with it particular concerns and needs and sometimes all those things can seem overwhelming. Don't feel compelled to do everything at once. You know, kind of take it slowly. But it sure sounds as if the driveway should be tackled first, especially with the possibility of car damage --- that could be very expensive!

Is that a shared driveway entrance? It doesn't appear as if you're on a corner. A few photos taken from different angles would more clearly show the driveway and its relationship to the street.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 1:07PM
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To answer your question, you should do the driveway first!

That is because you said - We have to do the driveway ASAP because there is a curb there that I have hit a few times coming in to the driveway :(

What a cool place, congrats :)

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 10:35PM
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thanks for all the feedback, folks!! good advice, I think we will start with the driveway, just keep it pretty simple (though may do brick...) and just widen a bit... less stressful that way :)

and that is actually a shared alleyway that runs behind the houses, the front of the house is actually on a corner

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 2:55PM
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I am an old home owner, and here is what you need to know. It is hard to talk to driveway contractors. You may not speak their language, neither literally nor figuratively. If you do not tell them exactly how to change something, they will repave it Exactly the way it is, with it's flaws. You need to articulate to them how you want it to be different. You need to be there the morning they show up and remind them how it should be different when it is done from what it looks like in the morning. This is true about a lot of things you have people come and do on your house. If you are not monitoring them, you might miss something and they go away, and it is hard to get them to return your call if they think they are finished. Ask a friend or relative who has done construction projects before for advice.

People looking at the photo don't know if your driveway is off someone else's property and driveway (shared) or if this is a back street or if it all belongs to you. The part that goes to the garage looks unconventional, and hard to manage except with the teeniest of cars.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 11:33AM
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molie(z6 CT)

Thanks for clearing up your situation, Kriscoop.

Since what we see on the left is a "shared alleyway that runs behind the houses", I think that your new driveway needs a more defined turn-around area on the right side. This will allow you to back out of the garage and turn the car around before driving onto the main road. (I'm assuming that the car shown in the corner of the photo is on the main road.)

You said you wanted a brick drive --- are you doing it yourself or hiring a contractor? I ask because there is a sharp drop a few feet out from the garage. It looks as if this whole area will need to be regraded to a more gentle slope and that a new surface will have to go under the bricks.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2013 at 9:09PM
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