The New Driveway Project, 2012

When we moved to our home in 1998, we inherited the concrete drive that had been laid when the house was built. Originally, it had a grass dividing strip in the centre of the upper portion, but that had been filled in with more concrete at some stage. The result was a practical surface, but not - by any means - an attractive one. Over the years, the surface showed cracks and a number of severe winters began to take their toll on the overall appearance, in spite of bi-annual jet-washes. The solution was a total replacement, but who was to get the work? Luckily, a friend had a smaller drive replaced and the work was to a very high standard, so I met with Gary, the contractor, to agree a starting date, materials and finish.

The driveway as it was prior to commencement of the work. The individual slabs at the top right were laid to prevent passengers alighting from visiting cars from exiting onto wet grass. The filled-in centre divide is also visible in this picture - not an attractive feature.
The first part of the work involved breaking up the existing concrete. An hydraulic hammer attachment was fitted to the digger and the "pecking" began. Here's the result:
The digger was then fitted with a conventional bucket and the broken concrete made ready for collection by a vehicle fitted with a loading grab.
Here, the concrete has been removed, leaving a mainly clay surface. Notice that the driveway has now been reshaped in order that the new design encompasses the house entrance and leaves room for alighting passengers to step out onto a solid surface.
The materials now began to arrive and the granite setts were laid, outlining the shape of the new driveway. A membrane then arrived (to prevent weed growth in the future), to be laid underneath crushed concrete.
Once the crushed concrete had been levelled, type one roadstone was then spread, levelled and rolled.
The next stage was to lay binding surface of black tarmacadam. I suspect that my neighbours thought that this was to be the final step.
Once the black binding layer had cured, the final coat of red tarmacadam was laid and rolled showing the finished look at last.
Here's the side-entry treatment, showing the very clean-cut granite setts.
This is the view from the front door of the house. A marvellous improvement after a great job, carried out by a real craftsman. We're delighted!