Deciding where to place the culvert and driveway on our property took some planning, there were many options to choose.
Having a blank piece of property is daunting but exciting. There are a lot of basics to plan; where the house will sit, where to locate the gardens (of course), and even how to drive on and around the property.
For the first two months, if we wanted to drive around our land, we had to traverse the 6-foot drainage ditch at the front of the property. Not so bad when the weather is nice, but certainly not a long-term solution if you are expecting any rain.
We set to work with paper, pencil, and our design plan, working through all the options until we decided where to place the driveway on the 280-foot frontage. It required quite a bit of thought and discussion. Looking at other properties in the area gave us great ideas for other driveway options and inspired us in the end.
Driveway Placement Options include:
- Down the middle – Our new neighbors have their drive right down the middle of their property and approach their house head-on.
- Offset – The people across the street have their driveway offset, and they pull up and park on the side of their house.
- Circular – Others in the neighborhood went for a circular drive with two openings.
Points to Ponder
Get to know the property by walking over it several times, notes of any features that are different or were not as indicated on your original plot map. Working in a downhill direction may provide you with a better view of the terrain. Here are a few tips:
- Be sure to identify the property boundaries and avoid locating the road within 20 feet of any boundary. Construction crews may venture across property lines without knowing it.
- It’s helpful if you can choose a starting point elevation on the existing road that is as close as possible to your destinations elevation. This will minimize the proposed road’s length and grade.
- Choose an entrance that provides good visibility from all directions.
- Avoid streams and springs whenever possible. If streams must be crossed, make them at right angles to the flow of the stream. Otherwise, maintain an undisturbed strip of a minimum of 100 feet from all streams.
- Keep well away from springs and wet areas and route the road above these areas.
Meet Your Needs
We finally arrived at a plan that we think meets our overall needs. Because the property is 280 feet wide and 1750 feet long, we felt that it made sense to have the drive down the left side of the property. This lets us conserve materials and prevents a meandering drive. We’ll be able to install it in sections, building the front part first and then adding access to the pastures in the back as we need them.
We reached out and had a culvert installed by our local county department of transportation. It was an all-around pleasant experience; the people were great to work with, and the price was reasonable. It cost much less than if we had decided to do it ourselves. Now we can drive on the property with minimal effort, and the next step is to begin installing the road.
Enjoy these pictures of the culvert installation process:
We used orange markers to call attention to the placement area for the pipe delivery guy.
The workers dug down about a foot along the road and again where the pipe would lay.
This is the first of five dump truck loads of gravel. It sets the foundation for the pipe and driveway entry.
By the third dump truck delivery, they were able to drive across the drainage ditch and approach spreading gravel from the other side.
Each truckload was thoroughly packed down by the equipment to prevent erosion during runoff and rains. The new driveway lets us access the land without the need to four-wheel and brings us one step closer to living our homestead dream.