Thursday, January 6, 2011

A New Entryway

This is what our house looked like when the old owners first listed it - about a year before we saw it for the first time...

Our front entry into our house was pretty pathetic. It was narrow, partially blocked by the flower bed, ugly and worst of all, slanted towards the house so that when it rained (which happens here a lot), water would eventually run towards the house. If the water sat there long enough, it would soak into the basement walls. Not good.

This slant appeared to be getting worse each year so this year, we decided that it needed fixing. First of all, we had the huge old stump that sat in the flower bed dug out. Before we bought the house, there was a huge pine tree there (see above) but the previous owners removed it. We know it was pretty recent since the original listing showed the tree but it wasn't there when we viewed the house. We thought that the stump/roots were still expanding and therefore lifting the sidewalk. Once the stump grinder people dug it out, we found out that it wasn't the case. Most of it was already rotting. Ok, so the sidewalk might not have been getting just appeared that way. I didn't need that huge stump in the way of what will eventually be an herb garden anyway.
The next step was getting the walkway repaired and resloped. We briefly thought about doing it ourselves but quickly changed our minds when considering how this basically attaches to our foundation. So we got a few estimates and selected a local crew to do the work for us. They were going to pull out all the old cement, relevel it, widen the opening so that it curved towards the driveway more and create a new low wall to better contain the flower bed. They were starting work when I left for work one day and by the time I got home, it was done! Awesome!!
Here are the photos. I don't have great before photos, so these will have to do.

This is the front entryway before we had our siding replaced. Where the chairs are is where the water would collect against the house. You an also see how the dirt from the flower bed would just fall into the walkway.

This was taken as the siding work was underway. Here you can see the whole walkway and how narrow it is at the end by the garage (front door is to the left). The stump is where those flowers are in front of the ladder.

Here is what it looks like today! No stump. Nice wall. Open walkway. And no water collects against the house. Yay!

The next step is to extend the wall around the entire bed and get some herbs planted this spring/summer. Our plan is to finish the wall this winter so that we can plant as soon as it warms up.


Ellen said...

That looks really nice! Love the retaining wall. :)

Anonymous said...

Looks great! I hope it was organic, sustainable concrete.

Cat said...

Well, concrete is pretty much organic anyway since it's predominantly rocks, sand and water. But no, it's not sustainable. Once it's in, it kind of is since it lasts so long with little to no care. But concrete is highly CO2 intensive to produce, so it's not the greenest option out there. :-(

sophiewearing said...

AHhhh that looks lovely! Is it Canada you live? I would like to emigrate to Canada.Ive just started following you :-) xxxx