Its Alive

5 Mar


My father came out on Sunday and hooked up the gas line, and just like that we’re in business. I’ve had the fireplace on for a little while the past two nights after work it it heats up the space magnificently.Within about 15 minutes it raises the temperature of the entire house about five degrees and leaves no trace of a chill in any corners. After about an hour or so I had to turn it down and by bedtime it was so warm in the house I needed to shut it off. Even after turning it off I kept the blower running which continued to push hot air off the warm logs.

Feels great to have this project complete!

Now I’m going to focus on saving up some money for my driveway which is in very poor shape. However, the estimate for repair is going to be by far the most amount of money I’ve ever spent at one time on my house ($2,300). My school district gives teachers a payment for time spent in extra Professional Development Classes after school at the end of the year which should be about $1,600 which I would like to use to help fund this project leaving me with a total of 700 bucks to sock away. I know that doesn’t seem like much, but if 700 bucks was not a lot of money to me this wouldn’t be a Do-It-Yourself Blog – Trust me.

The thing about the driveway is that the town calls for a “dust free” surface. Currently I have rather ratty looking asphalt and I would like to replace it with gravel edged in stone pavers, like the picture below. The reasons being: I prefer the look, it will me much cheaper, and it will be a permeable surface which will discourage storm water runoff. However, the town says gravel is a no go. I would also like concrete but that’s way to expensive and of course all pavers would be the best but obviously even more pricey.





They also sell these plastic thingies that can be used to keep the gravel from moving around. Which are not cheap BTW.



As for the winter…I’ve read that you can still snowblow a gravel drive as long as your snow blower is set to an appropriate height, or if you prefer you can add a small guard to the front to keep the blower up and away from the stones. I’m wondering if anybody out there has had experience with replacing a driveway on a budget, with a gravel drive, getting a gravel drive installed in an urban setting, or with snow removal from one in the winter. Any thoughts would be very helpful.

8 Responses to “Its Alive”

  1. Steve@UrbanCottage March 5, 2013 at 8:25 PM #

    The fireplace came out really well. You did a great a great job on the mantel. I’m totally envious.

    No advice for the driveway. It’s something I’ll have to have at some point but I’d rather have a new bathroom and kitchen before a sexy driveway. I’ve never seen the plastic thingies; those are pretty cool. The dust free requirement is strange. Does Rochester have a pre-existing problem with dust?

    • ittybittybungalow March 7, 2013 at 3:01 PM #

      Thanks Steve! That means a lot comming from you.

      I hear you about the kitchen and bath. As far as dust, there are no problems here I feel like the rule is just outdated practice.

  2. Jayne March 6, 2013 at 12:43 AM #

    My parents’ house has a concrete driveway but a gravel parking area/turnaround in the back yard. As best I remember, my dad used a snowblower on it, but it seems to me that he used something on the snowblower that left an inch or so of snow on the gravel. We didn’t have much of a problem with dust, and I live in Missouri where the summers are very hot and dry. There’s dust when it’s first applied, but once it rains a few times (or you wet it down with a garden hose) then it’s not so much of a problem on a driveway–those country roads do get really dusty, but that’s bigger gravel than you’d use on a driveway. You could make the argument that gravel driveways are “greener” than concrete because rain filters through and is absorbed into the ground rather than running off into a storm drain like a concrete driveway. I think the gravel driveway with the edgers is pretty, too. Concrete’s expensive. I had free labor for my patio (9ft wide and 32ft long) and sidewalk (3ft wide and 15 ft long) and the concrete cost me $550.

    • ittybittybungalow March 7, 2013 at 3:03 PM #

      The greener argument is my plan of attack- I’ll let you know how that goes. I wish I had good people like WTB and Charlie to help me with free labor!

  3. Lisa March 6, 2013 at 5:52 AM #

    Fireplace looks AMAZING!!!! Well done!

  4. Karen Anne March 6, 2013 at 4:09 PM #

    I had a gravel parking area ripped out a year ago. After a while, it was a weed nightmare unless you spray it with something evil. There wasn’t much dust from it, though.

    There are solutions where grass plays a part:

    My old neighbors had something like this. The grass grew over it so that it looked like just grass:

    Or basically grass with two strips of large pavers for the wheels to use.

    • ittybittybungalow March 7, 2013 at 3:07 PM #

      I was thinking about the two strips idea, I think they are called ribbon driveways. Mayeb I could put landscaping fabric under the gravel. If I used something like crushed stone though, I’ve seen that gets very hard after awhile amost like cement I bet that it would make it hard for the weeds to grow.

  5. The House on Ely March 26, 2013 at 11:22 AM #

    I have a gravel driveway and I really wish i didnt. We get a lot of snow in the winter and if we shovel or snowblow it ends up in the yard and come spring time we are pulling rock out of the grass. It also has to be sprayed a lot to keep the weeds down. I pull and spray the weeds in the driveway all summer. The other thing with gravel- and maybe its just the kind of gravel we have- but a lot of it gets stuck in the bottom of our shoes and ends up in the house and in our cars. I actually wish we could afford to get rid of the gravel.

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