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Baby Get Shaky!
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Topic # 195228 11-Apr-2016 16:42
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On a whim I bought 2 hours worth of a digger and driver on GrabOne. Not sure why I did it but now it's about to expire so I've booked them in for this Wednesday. We've wanted to extend our driveway for a while to create a parking bay at the end (there's already room to park a car but our trailer has to sit on the grass which isn't ideal).  It won't be a heavily used parking bay, mainly to store the trailer.

 

To save on money we're looking at doing a gravel parking bay of 18sqm (eventually I want to build a carport over the top but I'll save that for my next whim purchase). I'm trying to decide how I want to construct this. Various guides have suggested anything from 80mm to 300mm depth and than various layers (2-3).

 

I'm thinking at this time of excavating 160mm deep, compacting the soil and putting down a weed mat. Than a layer of large aggregate (around 100mm deep) to be compacted before a final layer of the selected gravel. I've ruled out using that honey comb mesh due to the cost (upwards of $40 per sqm).

 

Has anyone done anything similar that can provide some tips? I'll pop into my local landscape supplies centre tomorrow and get their thoughts but I want to go in with some idea of the process. I want to DIY this (apart from the initial excavation) and am in no rush to complete it although I doubt my wife will appreciate a mud pit for too long.

 

I've since stopped the GrabOne daily emails to avoid a repeat of this situation.


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  Reply # 1530145 11-Apr-2016 18:06
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Gravel tracks everywhere and makes lawnmowing a hazard. I wouldn't do it within 3m of grass.

 

I inherited a gravel parking bay which was at least 150mm deep with no weedmat. For years we had no problems with weeds until we reduced the gravel depth to 50mm or less. We swapped more gravel tracking with no weeds for much less gravel tracking and weeds which we spray twice a year.

 

 


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  Reply # 1530148 11-Apr-2016 18:11
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I'd do gravel but hire a compactor afterwards and compact it down

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  Reply # 1530151 11-Apr-2016 18:17
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Try google 'Gobi blocks' and price your 18m2 as they last forever, and if dug in the way you're planning will just grow normal grass through, or add gravel to fill the holes and have a weed free, contained gravel surface too?



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  Reply # 1530186 11-Apr-2016 19:22
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Thanks for the suggestions. I seem remember Gobi Blocks (or similar) from my school days. I'm trying to decrease the area I mow (nearly 800sqm section with a 135 sqm house, driveway and double garage - so a lot of lawn) so I will price up Gobi with gravel fill. A compactor is a must, I have approval from the finance committee to hire a compactor for a few days so will make sure each layer is compacted.

 

We already have small stones throughout our gardens so I've become a pro at mowing around gravel. Tracking is an issue which I can hopefully avoid with the right mixture and depth of gravel.

 

I've marked out the area this evening, just shy of 18sqm and back of envelope calculations about $300 worth of aggregate and gravel.


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  Reply # 1530207 11-Apr-2016 20:19
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Which was does your driveway run? Uphill or downhill to the new parking bay? What sort of soil are you working with?

 

A downhill driveway can be like a drain, funneling the water right towards your new parking bay. If the soil you've got doesn't drain well (e.g. clay) you will end up with a bit of a bog.

 

If you can, go for the more expensive water permeable weed matting, and put a bit of a fall on the parking bay. Ideal is a peak down the middle with falls both ways, but a fall from one side to the other will also work (albeit with a slopey trailer).

 

You might also want to consider a channel at the front if the driveway is a downhill slope to the new parking bay. Channel it away before it gets there.

 

You will definitely need a compactor. The vibrating up and down type works best on gravel (rather than the roller type).

 

The gravel will churn up if you "rub" it rather than roll over it - for example, turning a car's steering wheels while the car isn't moving. Any depressions will again fill with water.

 

Finally, there is a "right" way of laying down pea gravel. Too big stones and the smaller layers on top wash through; too small and it won't drain properly. But I do not know the right way so this comment is of very limited help, I know. But if you do find out, I'd be keen to know too!


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  Reply # 1530238 11-Apr-2016 21:12
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I just got 2 sacks of gap 40 and spread it out over the old lawn bit, driving over it seems to compact the parts that matter enough, and the "once a year" weedkiller every 6 months deals to weeds. Layer probably varies from 80 to 150mm as the ground was not even and was clay so a prick to level out.





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  Reply # 1530275 11-Apr-2016 21:41
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Long term if your planning a carport, you will need to think about drainage i.e. the water run off from the roof and where that will go. 

 

Perhaps theres some itty bitty local council rules etc etc regarding this too. 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1530281 11-Apr-2016 21:44
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Goosey:

 

Long term if your planning a carport, you will need to think about drainage i.e. the water run off from the roof and where that will go. 

 

Perhaps theres some itty bitty local council rules etc etc regarding this too.

 

So it's a pergola untill the busybodies have gone away then whack the roofing materials on it.





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  Reply # 1530434 12-Apr-2016 08:31
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mdf:

 

Which was does your driveway run? Uphill or downhill to the new parking bay? What sort of soil are you working with?

 

A downhill driveway can be like a drain, funneling the water right towards your new parking bay. If the soil you've got doesn't drain well (e.g. clay) you will end up with a bit of a bog.

 

If you can, go for the more expensive water permeable weed matting, and put a bit of a fall on the parking bay. Ideal is a peak down the middle with falls both ways, but a fall from one side to the other will also work (albeit with a slopey trailer).

 

You might also want to consider a channel at the front if the driveway is a downhill slope to the new parking bay. Channel it away before it gets there.

 

You will definitely need a compactor. The vibrating up and down type works best on gravel (rather than the roller type).

 

The gravel will churn up if you "rub" it rather than roll over it - for example, turning a car's steering wheels while the car isn't moving. Any depressions will again fill with water.

 

Finally, there is a "right" way of laying down pea gravel. Too big stones and the smaller layers on top wash through; too small and it won't drain properly. But I do not know the right way so this comment is of very limited help, I know. But if you do find out, I'd be keen to know too!

 

 

Drainage is certainly an issue. The driveway slopes away from the new parking bay (which runs from the driveway to the fence line). There is a storm water pipe I can tap into about 2 metres away across grass. Longer term for carport there's a downpipe about half a metre away over a small fence that the guttering could link into. I plan to slope the parking bay ever so slightly towards the fence line. Initially I'm hoping that by making the base deep/thick enough it will provide adequate drainage. If it shows to be an issue I will get a drain plumbed in.

 

The parking bay will be at the end of the driveway, there should be no need to turn car wheels on it as there is already sufficient space on the current driveway to turn a vehicle and the bay would be accessed in a straight line from the road access. Having had issues with the previous owners cheap weedmat I'll defiantly be springing for something decent and water permeable. I do have an engineers report somewhere with the soil makeup. From memory there is a layer of clay not far below the top soil.

 

Thanks for your thoughts! Has certainly made me consider the impact of drainage more.


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  Reply # 1530616 12-Apr-2016 12:05
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Where abouts are you located?

 

When hiring equipment see if you can find somewhere closed on weekends. They will usually let you hire for the full weekend at a single day rate (pick up late Friday and return early Monday).

 

 


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  Reply # 1530737 12-Apr-2016 13:16
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What size digger have you hired?

 

If the operator has any clue at all you should be able to just peg it out & tell him what you want.

 

He'll crown it a bit & set up a drainage fall for you. You might have to trim it up with a spade.

 

Chuck on some base (like 20mm crush), rake it out, dampen it down & run a plate compactor over it.

 

A couple of thin layers & You should have it rock hard. Then gravel it with something nice looking.




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  Reply # 1530788 12-Apr-2016 13:57
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Sidestep:

 

What size digger have you hired?

 

If the operator has any clue at all you should be able to just peg it out & tell him what you want.

 

He'll crown it a bit & set up a drainage fall for you. You might have to trim it up with a spade.

 

Chuck on some base (like 20mm crush), rake it out, dampen it down & run a plate compactor over it.

 

A couple of thin layers & You should have it rock hard. Then gravel it with something nice looking.

 

 

Thanks for that! I'm not sure on the size, the fellas are aware of my plans and said they'll bring something appropriate. These guys are drainage contractors so I'd say they know a thing or two (hopefully) on getting a drainage fall. I've marked the area out using survey spray and by my calculations will be almost bang on 18sqm.

 

I'm glad you mentioned the step by step you have, this is my intention now after more reading. I'm on my way now to the landscape supplies place to price up everything. I'm hoping they can suggest a good depth and combo to put in it.

 

Cheers


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  Reply # 1530873 12-Apr-2016 15:23
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May I suggest you document all the works and create scale plans, makes it eaiser later on if you need to grab a consent of sorts (assuming you havent got one) and potentially may need it (consent) to help sell the property. I see Auckland council requires one for a carport if its not attached to an existing building. Again, not sure which part of the country you are in / rules that may apply. 

 

 




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  Reply # 1530881 12-Apr-2016 15:40
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Goosey:

 

May I suggest you document all the works and create scale plans, makes it eaiser later on if you need to grab a consent of sorts (assuming you havent got one) and potentially may need it (consent) to help sell the property. I see Auckland council requires one for a carport if its not attached to an existing building. Again, not sure which part of the country you are in / rules that may apply. 

 

 

 

 

I'm in Christchurch and I believe that Car Ports do not require consent in Chch as long as they are under 20sqm and are attached to an existing dwelling. As ours would not be attached to an existing dwelling it looks like we may be able to apply for an exemption. If we go down that road I will check with the council first before I invest too much time into it. A parking bay appears to be fine and will suffice for us for now.

 

I've spoken with the landscaping people, they took a look at the proposed area and use and we agreed on a 200mm depth. The base layer would be A20 top course and the top would be our choice of chip. If we went for the cheapest chip, all up it would be about $340 (delivery included) for 18sqm at 200mm (about 5 cubic metre's I'm told). Local hire shop will do me a 50-60kg plate compactor for $50 per day. I'll be boxing it in wood which a back of the envelope calculation puts at about $80. So all up including the digger/driver I'm looking around $600 (dumping the soil will just cost me petrol and time, dumping's free).




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  Reply # 1544334 30-Apr-2016 01:18
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In case anyone is interested, It's finished after a 2 days of manual labour last week (something I'm not used to and hope to never have to get used to). My back is not happy with me. Total cost came in a little higher than anticipated at $779 (give or take a few dollars). The extra's included another hour of digger hire (they ended up helping me dump the soil) and extra A20 and Chip as the hole was deeper than initially planned. The hole ended up being 220mm at one end (the driveway end) and 280mm at the other end (fence end). Boxing took a few hours, mainly because the ground was clay (with the consistency of concrete) under 150mm and it took me 10 minutes for each darned peg with my little mallet.

 

I sprayed and put down weed mat before putting in the base layer. I ended up getting a 60kg plate compactor which was a lot of fun, did a great job as well. I used about 3 cubic metres of A20 base course and about 2.5 cubic metres of 10mm chip. There's a little movement on the top chip layer when walking across it but it is minimal. No tracking issues as of yet. No issues noted so far with rain, winter will be a good test. If water proves to be an issue I've left room to put in a drain at the fence end. No decision yet on whether to put in a carport, I'll leave that for summer.

 

Cheers for everyone's help. Next project may be extending the deck... stay tuned.


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