4:06 p.m. — Wednesday, October 31, 2007
For the first time since moving in on Halloween '03, our house did not undergo a drastic change in appearance this past year. (Previous years can be seen here.)
We've added the lovely front porch swing, and Lori made us a wonderful fall wreath for our front door (which still isn't painted).
But something else is also new: As of just yesterday, we have a new driveway!
* It's 4:15 p.m. in the afternoon, it's still light outside, and our doorbell has not been rung once yet by anticipatory trick-or-treaters. Perhaps it's the garbage cans holding up yellow construction tape across the end of our driveway that's keeping the grubby little kiddies away...? Oops. *
Here's how it all went down yesterday...
First, they'd push up a little of the old driveway with the front-end loader, chop some up by hand...lather, rinse, repeat.
Here, a big chunk of asphalt is being ripped out. Ahhh, machinery.
* It's 4:42 — first ring of the bell! It has begun. Lily's napping and missing it all! *
They piled big stacks of asphalt then emptied the pile into the dump truck with the front-end loader. When all the piles were removed, they put down a layer of large stones. On top of that, they put down a layer of smaller stones mixed with sand before rolling it all with the steam roller.
* So, apparently, a note over the doorbell asking candy-seekers to knock instead of ringing the bell really means, "Knock continually and don't stop until the door is answered." I did not realize that. *
We were especially happy to see the concrete block foundation and landing pad from the original side stoop finally removed. That spot's been useless for years.
I was impressed with this heavy-duty saw that sliced a neat line in our old front walk like butter. The smoke signal was huge.
* Two middle-school-aged boys just came to the door. One made a lame attempt at a costume, and the other...? Nothing. Hoodie, jeans, and backpack. I suppose he could have been costumed as HIMSELF. I told him he doesn't get any candy. Creativity, people! This is America — you don't get something for nothing. He looked at me with those big brown eyes and said, "I couldn't get one." Do you think that got him candy? Do you? I'm such a sucker. *
They spent 10:00 a.m. through about 4:30 p.m. tearing out the old driveway. I was half-wondering if they were going to get to the repaving before calling it quits for the day. But sure enough, just before 5:00 p.m., out came the asphalt...and that lovely smell.
We're very happy with the end result, and were happy with the company we chose. I especially liked how it was a family business — Rich runs the company and lays the asphalt, his wife Vicky books his appointments and keeps the customers happy (I called her his "P.R. Person"), and his two sons do most of the manual labor. They had one other guy working with them who wasn't related.
Here's Rich and his younger son after a hard-day's work:
We'd definately recommend their services...and actually, we already have! They're slated to redo our friends' driveway later this week, and seal our neighbor's two driveways this Saturday. It's amazing what a little word-of-mouth can do for a good company.
You can take a look at this Kodak gallery to view the complete transformation.