The driveway is done! This project would typically take about two weekends to build, but we had a snow storm roll through town and my grandfather passed away. Now that we have had a couple weeks to recover from those things, it took very little time to finish up the job.

My goal was to build a permeable driveway surface that would absorb rainwater, rather than have it wash down the street, into the drains, then flood our sewer system. The cost for the concrete pavers we used was very minimal – about $1 per 12″x12″ block, which are 2″ thick. Other materials, the sand and gravel, came in around $125. So for about $200 bucks, we have a lovely driveway that is a little more interesting than blacktop.

Digging out the driveway was the hardest part. Winter doesn’t allow much daylight and the temperature was quite cold when we were working. That took about one weekend to dig down roughly 9″ deep. The next phase was ordering a delivery of gravel and sand. After raking out a thick layer of gravel, we rented a compactor to compact everything down nice and tight. With the weight of a car eventually on top of all this, we wanted to make sure it wouldn’t sink over time.

Jay handled the compactor while I supervised. After that was complete, we made sure there was an even layer of about 6″ of gravel. We moved onto the sand, spreading about 2″ over the gravel surface. We then watered the sand, to let is seep into any remaining crevaces.

As Jay went off to return the rented compactor, I began laying out the pavers and leveling them. He was way more detail-oriented than I was, so he ended up having to re-level most of the ones I set out. All in all, if we didn’t have the weather interruption, the gravel/sand phase and laying out the pavers would have taken a weekend as well.

We have been parking our car on the new driveway for about a week, and everything still looks firm and level. If one cracks over time, it should be pretty easy to replace. My personal opinion is that it adds some interesting asethic to the front yard and we’re also being more eco-friendly by chosing a permable surface area. Thanks for all your positive feedback to reassue me the project would work out – it has and I love it!

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Written by Renee Wilkinson