Thursday, June 21, 2012

# 289 - Country Road Consideration

First off the bat, an update on the sale of our home...we are having showings just about daily right now. We had some good buyers come through the house yesterday they seemed liked potential new residents. I could picture them here in this house. AND, they weren't afraid of the chickens or the dogs. How about that?

I love it when I meet fellow country-loving people here in the suburbs. We have another showing appointment set for this's staying busy and the National Associaion of Realtor statistics have shown a marked increase in real estate sales for our area, the best stats since 2008. That's reason to celebrate! I guess the market is indeed picking up, but I'm not clear if it's for houses at our price-point. Regardless, I can see it happening and am doing EVERYTHING I can to not have to turn away a potential buyer. In the end, I leave it in God's hands. I guess we're doing our part and He'll do the rest...He'll be behind-the-scenes orchestrating all that I ask him to guide us in. I must keep faith that everything will be in His perfect timing and remind myself to remain patient. For me, that's a TALL order.

Who knows? Maybe one of these potential buyers will be moving us outta here very soon!


A major concern and a hefty expense for acreage owners is their need to put in roads and driveways. Trying to decide upon the kind of materials you need for your acreage, your climate, conditions and for your land purpose is a challenge. Personally, I'd like to lessen the side-effects that a world of concrete brings to those having to live around it. It is not permeable, so runoff from concrete must go somewhere and having too much hard surface means a lot of water is having to flow off the hardened surface to find a ground surface to absorb it. Sometimes that puts a lot of absorption stress on natural areas surrounding concrete zones.

Going into our property, toward the location where
we set up camp. During the Spring and Summer, it
is luxurious and full of greenery.

Often, you see people in the country using crushed rock as a driveway product or they might be using remnants of recycled tires, which offers a low-impact driveway that looks good and supposedly is affordable in bulk, others might have a driveway with crushed limestone; then crushed seashell is another option we see frequently in our area. On our land, there will definitely be areas where we will need to have a concrete surface for our vehicles since a solid surface is needed for vehicle maintenance and for ease of cleaning vehicles so we can make sure it rains the next day.

Here is our country road when it needs a good mowing and
we can see that someone has trespassed during wet
weather to leave us deep rivets that we'll
need to shovel flat. The same road is below,
after it is mowed.

I think I've ruled out having a road surface that would simply transfer more dirt and dust back onto the vehicle. That probably leaves me with crushed shell and recycled tire material. We have many friends who have crushed limestone and crushed rock for their private road, we've often seen them wet down the road so the dust won't kick up so bad as they're driving down it. Nope, I don't want to be forced to wet down my road to avoid dust for incoming company --- I can think of other things I'd rather be doing. However, I don't want to get recycled tire material only to discover that it absorbs heat more readily than all other surfaces.

Then again, our acreage has this awesome benefit called "shade" from a multitude of beautiful trees. In our current area, we don't really have any area near us with such heavily wooded zones because we are a coastal town. Many seafaring communities aren't exactly forested due to coastal storms, regular strong coastal winds, and hurricanes that blow down more trees than can be replaced.

Deputy Dave walking toward the front
of our property, on our country road, toward
the front entrance with the trellis.

I don't want to create the problem of having increased runoff on our land trying to find its way to our ditches and creek. I'd rather have large permeable road surfaces play a part in absorption than playing a part in creating issues with runoff.

This is an entrance lacking a culvert, but the dip to
get onto the property is minimal. However, you
can see the country road ahead on our property.
It's grass and dirt with some limestone material
mixed in from a few years back. However, it's
still unstable during the winter months.

Our property has two sections with two entrances. That means we will have to maintain two entrances. At our 2nd entrance, there is already a new culvert, built about two years ago, and it is very nice. I'm thinking we'll build another just like it at the other entrance.

Having a solid culvert that is wide enough to take on the Dodge
is nice. It is appealing as well, looks solid and long-lasting.
I'd like to put one of these in on the other side of the
property, at the other entrance to our land.

Our frontage is narrow and the land opens up HUGELY, which I love. From
the position I am standing to take this photo, we will need to put in front
fencing and run it all the way to our culvert, which is nearly 400 feet away.
Frontage fencing with gates will need to be addressed rather quickly.

The picture below shows how beautiful the land is during the growing season. You can barely see the truck for all of the branches heavy with leaves.

However, in the winter months, the land can almost seem eerie with barren trees. A few conifers give some evergreen beauty, but winter months definitely make it seem like the wilderness has been stripped of life. The good side of this equation is that winter months on acreage will mean that we get a huge break in maintaining the property because there will be much less to cut and nothing will be growing out of control. It is cool, peaceful and will be time for us to handle other things that can't be done in the hottest summer months, such as building structures and fences.

You can see the growth or the lack of growth by gauging the electrical pole as your landmark.

We will only be able to do one thing at a time on our land, but I have a feeling we'll do what we always do...try to fit in taking care of 15 things at one time.

But, I also remember the words of one of my best-friends, "If you do too much at one time, you end up doing everything half-ass."

Yep, that's what I'd like to avoid, but I doubt it will be avoidable, at least in the beginning years of us living in the country. Once we're living on site, it will be so wonderful to finally start doing all the things we've wanted to do out there. But, today I'm doing more research on road materials. Non-dusty road materials, permeable road materials, long-lasting road materials.

If I had to decide upon a hard surfaced road for our property, I do think I'd go with asphalt. It's not as harsh looking as concrete and it is rather inexpensive to have put in, to patch and to repair. I'm still weighing the options for this big undertaking. Gotta have the ability to drive to the barn and to the cabin, even in the soggy winter months.

For anyone with details or opinions on this matter --- also, if you have experience with any of these road surfaces, please pass on what you think with the pros and cons. Don't be short and sweet, be clear and take as much room as you need to let me know what you think about road surfacing materials for this acreage.

Maybe, sometime this year, Deputy Dave and I will have roads on our property that will be more than dirt, a bit of limestone and grass. It sure would be nice to not have to mow the long driveway and to not worry about getting bogged down in the muck!


Tombstone Livestock said...

I moved here 13 years ago and by the looks of it they must have redone the gravel driveway shortly before putting the house up for sale. It was small pea gravel and held up well for several years.

Year and a half ago I put in a carport and needed to put down gravel base first. I order truck and trailer of 3/4 crushed rock, and added excess to the driveway. In the future I would go with the 3/4 crushed rock again ... it is larger, and doesn't move around as easy as the pea gravel. said...

Tombstone Livestock -- See? You just gave excellent advice. I had not really thought about mobility of the material. It makes sense that the heavier the material, the less it will be around. I also grew up (at one of the houses we lived in) with a driveway that had crushed white rock and it was wonderful. For the most part, it stayed in place and any rock that fell offside was bright enough to spot and throw back into the driveway, but most of it stayed packed down fairly well. I think in our area that pea gravel would become slush with rainy weather. The gravel base you put down is important. This option might work very well for us too.


Texan said...

Don't forget property taxes, concrete, paved driveway or asphalt driveway will increase those. Gravel, rock, etc. will not! Your going to have dust to deal with having gravel, crushed rock etc. Its not that bad, we have rock and I surely never wet down my driveway LOL, a little dust on our vehicles won't hurt them :O). Once you build your house they are going to hit you with new property taxes no point putting in a driveway that will drive them up to boot :O). Just my two cents worth :O). said...

Texan --- very good point to think about when building for the LIFETIME of taxes! Your two cents worth is actually worth a lot more. I really don't know how that works...if it boils down to concrete coverage or because it's attached to a structure considered a house??? I will check into it. Building in a rural area brings so many tax code differences and other things that can make a huge difference in the long run. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. It looks like we'll be likely going with crushed gravel. I don't think the crushed gravel drives give much dust, but the limestone mix does kick up a lot of powder residue. Of course, ANYTHING will be better than what we are currently using for our private drive in the country. I can testify that DIRT is indeed DIRTY! Crushed gravel would be so wonderful!


LindaG said...

I love your property, Lana. :o)
And I'm glad to hear that you are closer to selling your house. That is great!

Hubby remembers red brick being the driveway of the farm house. There is one spot and maybe 2 that the brick still shows.
The rest of it has sunk because of the high water level and of course the occasional flooding.
We're thinking of doing gravel, too. said...

Linda, I have been encouraged to do my homework in this area and I'll be making posts over the next few days with everything I've learned. It's so wonderful when people comment and provide such incredible inspiration with their words.

As for those old bricks, I'd probably be obsessive about trying to dig some up for some kind of decorative memorial to those who came before...

It's amazing what people can find buried at their properties!