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Would you (or should we?) consider doing this ourselves?

(13 Posts)
thenewaveragebear1983 Mon 09-Oct-17 20:52:41

Just been quoted over £13k to do our front drive. It's currently a gravel monstrosity, probably lovely when first done, but now just weedy and tatty looking. It's also HUGE. Quote was for block paving to create a driveway and parking area, and then taking a sort of semi circular/ corner off and turfing, with a metre wide bed with shrubs.

So..... Obviously I am not suggesting Dh and I block pave or Tarmac the drive, but if we were to, for example, remove the gravel in that one area, and redistribute it on the areas that need replenished, dig down a bit, add some top soil and turf......is that a do-able option? How difficult would it be to lay a curved edge of stones, and a straight edge along to create a border? Would we need great skill, or special tools? Heavy manual labour we can do. Just not sure if we can do cement.....

My rationale being that even if we made an absolute dog's dinner if it, it probably wouldn't increase the quote too much to put it right. But we could make it look quite lovely for a fraction of the quote.

Would you attempt it? Are we stark raving bonkers? Excuse the weird pic but I had to edit my actual house out of the picture- they are from our particulars when we bought. It currently looks far less loved and cared for. The clump of tree in the middle would go. As would the high fence. Shrubs against the far wall. 2nd picture is view from the house looking outwards

Lucisky Mon 09-Oct-17 21:08:53

Do you need all that as drive? If some of it could be turned into attractive borders, specifically along the front fence, it would reduce the area needing resurfacing, and some plants would soften the area. You have my sympathy, our drive is large too, and I nearly had a heart attack when I measured it out and worked out the cost, it was SO expensive, and we were only replacing like with like (tarmac with a paver border).

thenewaveragebear1983 Mon 09-Oct-17 21:20:05

Thanks Lucisky
No we don't need it all, but we do need some, and realistically will need more in future (potentially parking for 5 cars!)

The shrub in the centre currently blocks a lot of the manoeuvre-ability on the drive, so hopefully if that could go, we could then have a garden at the wall side. It just seems like it could be such a simple job.....am I totally naive? grin

thenewaveragebear1983 Mon 09-Oct-17 21:23:15

Terrible editing but.....

JoJoSM2 Mon 09-Oct-17 21:54:03

I think you’d probably need to rent some machinery out. I think that in order to withstand the weight of cars, there’s a thick layer of compacted stuff underneath so wouldn’t need something to remove it. You’d probably need to get a skip or pay for some other form of rubbish removal.

If you don’t mind me asking, are you anywhere near London or Surrey? The quote sounded a lot less than the ones we got so I’d be tempted to sort our drive properly.

JoJoSM2 Mon 09-Oct-17 21:54:57

*would need something to remove it. And tons of topsoil to re-fill for planting.

thenewaveragebear1983 Mon 09-Oct-17 22:00:27

Jojo no, we are in Worcestershire. The bulk of the quote was for the Tarmac/block paving (£50 per square metre)

I understand your point about the compacting- although in this case it does appear that the previous owners did a bit of a botch job because the layers of stone (it's like 1inch pieces of Cotswolds stone) are literally lay on the top of soil. It's possible to scrape with a boot and reveal mud underneath, so we figured that it might be relatively easy to scrape it up with a shovel and replace it somewhere else in the drive.

JoJoSM2 Mon 09-Oct-17 22:04:07

Oh... Than you’d be able to do it yourself easily enough.
The quotes around here were over £100/m2 for paving confused

BackforGood Mon 09-Oct-17 22:05:32

Have you thought about getting some different quotes ? Even for block paving that sounds a heck of a lot.
I would also ask for a quote for getting it tarmac'd too - that will be less than block paving.

thenewaveragebear1983 Mon 09-Oct-17 22:22:55

Back this company said they are the same price, including all the relevant prep. This was just a basic measure up and price so perhaps would change if we added extras in.

Jojo wow! £100 per square metre? That's crazy money. There is no cheaper way to do it though is there? We just simply cannot afford to do it at that price but it looks like a prison yard and I hate it how it is!

Lucisky Mon 09-Oct-17 22:40:06

Me again. Yes, our drive worked out at £100 per square metre (plus vat). It took a large group of men a week. It was dug out about a foot with machinery, then an under layer was compacted in, then two top layers of tarmac. We also had those special covered gutter like drains as it slopes slightly towards the house. At the end of a large house extension and refurbishment it was needed to finish things off, but it cost nearly 7k. For individual items in all the works done, only the kitchen was more expensive.

Bluntness100 Mon 09-Oct-17 22:48:09

So from what I understand all you wish to do is remove the shrub, then turf a corner and lay some stones round it?

Yes you could do it easily, how good it would look is a different story, we had some lawn laid and it wasa lengthy process, from diggers in taking the top level off, then flattening what was left before laying turf, if you don’t do it you get a bumpy old lawn. It’s not a big area you wish to turf, so I think it would be fine, just flatten it as much as possible before you lay the turf.

thenewaveragebear1983 Tue 10-Oct-17 06:41:34

Thanks bluntness
Yes, although given the choice we would have it done properly, but we just can't afford it. So thinking as a temporary improvement we could do the lawn part ourselves. Or even just create an area of plants/evergreen. I think because it's already flat it seems like a few stages of the prep have been done, this could be totally misguided!

I suppose the first stage is to remove a larger area of the gravel and see what's underneath, and then decide what we want to do. I suppose we could get quotes for just the garden area as well actually, and see if there is much saving to be made.

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