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Driveway to Darkness - Part 2



I've been looking forward to getting to a point where I can park my car in my driveway again, and finishing my July Post with a part 2 here to mark a finish to my Driveway project finally! Took a bit longer than the two weeks I was hoping!! I just finished adding up the damage and it was @ €7.2k all in all. I think the length of time increased the costs as there were days where I couldn't get to use the compactor and I had to get it back a few times to progress the project on. Some notes observations below:

  • The big Diesel Compactors are heavy duty brutes but also take a specialist skill to start. They are all draw cord and they pulled the arms off me for 25 minutes before I gave up. I was shown how to start it but had to return it to my embarrassment and downgrade! 
  • Drainage took a lot longer than I imagined, plumbing in the drain channels was very difficult - I replaced both gully traps and one was encased in concrete by the original builder! Just getting the right couplings and things to fit took me a while to figure out. 
  • SDS comes in different sizes, SDS Max chisel bit wouldn't fix my SDS drill so ended up buying an SDS Max drill off Screwfix! 
  • I now own 3 angle grinders, started with none! A Screwfix one that won't let me change the grinder to anything else, then a 5" DeWalt, then a 9" Makita. I prefer the cut using this to the block cutter but the dust is gruesome! 
  • Grab Hire worked out well, took away 2 x 20 ton loads to clear the site and was able to drop two loads of MoT 804 exactly where I needed them. All moved by hand / wheelbarrow at that stage, was very difficult to find anyone hiring a skid steer for one day. 
  • Lots more sand and cement than I thought, all mixed with a wheelbarrow!
  • Using a digger is scary when it starts tipping to the side due to doing something stupid! 
  • Two injuries: #1 drilling concrete screw into wall for new side gate, it got stuck and the SDS drill spun violently out of my hand, 6 weeks sprained finger didn't help! #2 seagull poo'd above and dropped inside my goggles, put them on and got acid splash into my eye. Now store goggles between jobs closed to the sky! 
  • Broadband issue is fixed - tree roots crushed the pipe on my neighbours property, stump was still there for years. I tried to find the pipe to create a new junction to my new house hear the boundary but only ended up finding the gas pipe by accident with the digger, just the tape over the pipe, where it shouldn't be - should be out on the road according to the gas map. Went to the other end near my old house and finger traced the pipe to a point near the new boundary and created a shore there. Thankfully after two years complaining a crew came recently out to remove said stump, run new draw cord and I'll have no issue getting broadband into my new house now, 1 less worry

So I've to finish the very front and put up two more concrete posts and panels. I've to grout using Rompox jointing compound and see how long that takes. Hopefully it will keep the weeds away! But at least I can relax a little bit and use the driveway again. 

Would I go it again?! Well, I learned valuable lessons, to pace myself, what I can do when I put my mind to it, very useful for my self build next year. My body is certainly feeling the pressure and I'm glad I'm in my 50's and not my 60's!! I overestimated how much work was involved but learnt a lot in the process, not just specifics but about groundworks and hiring plant and grab hire which was new to me. I did get a digger & driver for a day and could see how they made short work of things compared to my efforts so picking and choosing where to spend money best is a wise course of action!

Full costings below if interested! I Kept all my receipts for idle curiosity! All inclusive of VAT. Best of luck to anyone out there thinking of doing same! My Driveway area is 75m2. 


7265.52    Total
1984.38    Tobermore Paving
210    Paving Block Cutter (€400-sale afterwards)
200    Recessed Manhole Covers
32.69    Spade
690.78    Sand, Easypost, Cement,Gravel
100    Diesel Compactor - unable to start, returned!
32.66    32mm plastic waste pipe as screen level
300    Compactor Rental
39.92    Donegal Quartz stone
89.95    Dewalt Angle Grinder
102.57    Sand/Cement/Gully
44.95    More Gullys
35.47    Lubricant / Sealant
147.08    Donegal Quartz stone & gravel
24.48    Plastering Sand
76.65    Sewer Gullys
11.32    Sewer Pipes
19.56    Sewer Pipes
19.19    Concrete Screws
200    Hire Compactor
500    Hire Digger
19.58    Plastering Sand
86.35    Manhole Cover
292.15    Plant Rental
69.65    Cement mix & misc
45    post and line levels
93    replacement wheel for wheelbarrow & cement
17.7    side gate lock and hook
5.99    petrol can
284.55    rompox jointing compound
12.45    tape
257.31    sds max drill
82.04    kpost
7.15    coupler
38.8    drain caps
15.95    sds max drill
37.25    bits and sockets
38.95    draper cold chisel
700    Grab Hire - removal of concrete/topsoil
300    Delivery of MoT 804






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