One of the requirements to obtain a building permit in our county (among too many other requirements) is that we must have a gravel road for the contractors to drive on. Four inches of gravel deep, 12 feet wide, with a 15 foot vertical clearance. I suppose this is so that no one will get stuck on our property, or perhaps so that the building inspector won’t get his truck muddy, but graveling our road will be a major undertaking for us this summer if we want to get our building permit next spring. Besides, it will also make it easier for us to drive on the muddy road after a snowstorm!
Oh, sure – we could just throw the gravel on the dirt road and be done with it. The problem is that we don’t want gravel everywhere! We have been to other houses in the area where the gravel seems to melt into the soil, migrate down slope with the rain, or bunch up in waves, leaving pot holes behind. That’s not what we want. We want our gravel to stay where we put it!
So, when we saw that our local home improvement store was selling their 8′ landscaping timbers for $1.49 each (that’s less than half the normal price) we went down and bought a pallet (72 timbers on a pallet)! The plan is to line our driveway with a small retaining wall on either side made from the landscaping timbers – 2 high – to contain the gravel.
It also looks pretty!
We started installing the timbers on the lower half of our road this past weekend. We already had about 25 of the timbers up on our future homestead from previous projects (you can see another taller retaining wall HERE) and with the pallet we had just bought, that brought our total of timbers up to almost 100. Using 2 timbers high on each side of the road, that gets us 8 feet for every 4 timbers. Therefore, we will need about 160 timbers total to go 300 feet.
Along with the timbers, we also purchased two, 2 foot long 1/2″ rebar for each section. Ray used a paddle drill to drill through the timbers two feet in from each end, then pounded the rebar through the timber and into the ground. This makes each section pretty sturdy as there is more rebar below in the ground than above ground. Once we get the gravel in, you won’t see much of the bottom level of timber, but it will be solid enough that my nieces Amanda and Allison can practice their balance beam skills on them!
After the retaining wall is done and the gravel is in place, Hubby will be able to use his trusty blower to blow all the debris (leaves, pine needles, etc.) off the road, to keep it looking neat and tidy!
Our plans for this spring, summer and fall include clearing a bunch of blackberry bramble for the raised bed vegetable garden, finishing the back road, completing the outhouse with a sink with running water, and getting the gravel road done. Whew – I think our work is cut out for us this year!
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