Making Outside Improvements

Now that we have the inside of the house under control, it is time to work on the outside. Installing drainage and improving the driveway are first on the list. The rain can cause major erosion if it is not properly controlled especially since our property is so steeply sloped. Since the rains have started, we have experienced flooding in the carport and a mud pit in the driveway. Talk about a mess!

The two photos below were taken just after the driveway was graded and our move into the house.  It looks good there, but the rains quickly changed the conditions for the worse.

On May 25, the crew arrived to begin the work.  We wanted to concrete the lower part of our driveway and make it larger for more parking and ease of turning around. The backhoe dug into the hillside to create the additional space.


The backhoe operator was impressive and fun to watch!.  It was amazing how he managed get the backhoe to climb up the embankment.  At one point, I thought he was going to tip over. That guy was fearless!

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After the backhoe had finished with the hillside

While the backhoe guy was digging into the hillside, other workers were moving a good amount of the dirt to the side of the house to build up the grade and create a proper slope away from the foundation.  It took several days for them to do this.  Then, they started making the concrete  gutters to help with the drainage.


The guys are installing the main gutter along the driveway


The completed gutter along the back of the house


Stone being delivered for making concrete on site (Concrete mixer trucks can’t make it up our mountain road).

Once they finished with the gutters, some of the guys started concreting the lower part of the driveway and some other guys started working on the pathway that will go around the sides of the house.



Working on the front entrance and pathway

The rest of the driveway will be lastre (a mixture of gravel, sand and dirt). For the pathway, we will spread small river rocks around concrete stepping stones. It should all be finished sometime this week weather permitting.  Lately, the skies have opened up and we have had some heavy rains. The May rain total at our house was 28 inches!


Eddie is planting Vetiver grass on the terrace of the hillside to stabilize the soil


Eddie is installing gutter guards to keep the leaves from clogging the gutters


Of course Rusty needs to be recognized for his many talents.  He is always there to help out!


4 thoughts on “Making Outside Improvements

  1. This has really been a life changing project for you! I’m impressed with your dedication–hope you’re enjoying everything!

  2. It’s been a tremendous amount of work so far, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The years of pleasure this project will give back will pay you back many times over. The whole property is quite beautiful. Congratulations!

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