Monday, June 24, 2013

Ryan Homes Driveway Expansion and "$300 Concrete Guy"

[Rewriting for clarity]... Our old house had a strangely shaped driveway and this time we wanted an idiot proof driveway. All homes here have side entry garages. Last phase (Covington) 12 feet wide driveways were the standard, and 16 wide in our phase (Palmer). Parking pad is 27x18 for 2 car, and 27x27 for 3 car side entry garages. Hopefully wider driveways may cut down on street parking.

Going over blogs, many people wrote, "pay the concrete guys 300 bucks on the side to make the driveway wider." Well, folks, I am not sure whether this works for many people besides the guy who came up with it. Here there are inspections for just about everything, including concrete, which from what I understand has to match the topographic design created by the engineer, which includes the driveway.. So the driveway has to be written into the contract and paid for up front..

We wanted both sides of the driveway to be even and symmetrical from start to finish (standard is 16 feet at sidewalk gradually widening to 20 feet at pad).. So we asked to widen the driveway and agreed to pay for it. An initial design increase to 18 was pretty good, but then I ran into the driveway guy website and became convinced I needed a 20 foot wide driveway. So we we asked our SR to change to that and he kindly changed it.

Curse you Google maps for giving us costly ideas.. Thus born the hammer head extension, which allows for reversing into, then correcting and driving straight into the street, instead of reversing all the way down (grass knows our driving skills, and trembles in fear every time we get in a car). The typical hammer head is 10x12. To allow us to park our van and keep it out of the way we made the hammer head 10x18.

Looking some more at Google maps for similar hammer head driveways convinced us to to go back to our extremely helpful and patient SR and requested changing the 10x18 hammerhead to 20x20, and promised this would be the last change.. Maybe we can park two big cars without losing an inch of parking pad space, and to maybe it will also double as a basketball court... It is a big family.

Final dimensions are: 24 ft wide at apron, 20 ft wide driveway. 27x18 parking pad extending into a 20x20 hammer head. Distance from apron to end of hammer head is exactly 98 ft.. Or 88 ft from side walk.. At over 2,000 sqft, this monster covers about 12% of the lot, certainly larger than the house.

So when the final topo came back from the engineer, our SR sent the topo below with one sentence "you could land a plane on this!" Also in preconstruction meeting our PM commended widening the driveway and the hammer head and said that we would totally find it worth the investment and would pay off in added convenience.

This is what we traded the fancy fireplace for. I just wish we had made the hammerhead extend all the way to the house...


6 comments:

  1. That's a lot of driveway! It's probably best you paid for it in your contract in case there is anything that goes wrong and they need to redo it.

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    1. Very true. We wanted to make sure it was poured at once for strength and durability, as well as cohesive look.. And warranty, of course. I have seen driveway horror stories (one is in the references page) and this is exactly why we got this through RH and in the contract. My wife is excited for the house, I am more excited for the driveway than the house!

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  2. That's great! You won't regret that for a minute--less grass to mow, more space to bike or play basketball, and the lawn is safe from tire tracks! Brilliant choice!

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    1. Thank you for the vote of confidence. At about $4000 for those changes, it is much needed. My only regret is that I wish I made the hammer head 27 feet wide to end at the house side wall, but I did not even think of that until I saw the drawing and it was too late to resubmit..

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  3. That is a big driveway! We are looking into extending our driveway too. I want to add more parking area toward the back like you have. I wish we had taken care of this pre-build, but I didn't even think of it.

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    1. Don't worry about not doing this ahead of time, because the truth is you will always forget something! We forgot to ask for the concrete to go the sides of the garage (garage door is 16 ft, they pour 18, full sides are 20), and we forgot to ask to fill the area between the hammerhead and side of house (about 7 feet). Tried to go back and request it, but it was too late.. When we do the porch in the back we'll get those taken care of, maybe..

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