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Old 11-10-2010, 10:13 AM   #1
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Landscaping Idea's needed

Howdy All,

Well this year my family and I helped stimulate the economy and purchased a new how home. What I need is help with ideas on how to make my new front yard Airstream friendly. You see I have this really soft fill dirt that slopes up about 2 1/2 to 3 feet about a 45 degree angle. Not thinking I tried to push the Stream up the slope into it's new home and now I have ruts in the lawn . In order for me to get her up there I have to use plywood sheets to help prevent making more or bigger ruts. Using plywood is just a pain I would not like to do each time I decide to go and come back. I have seen where people have just put strips of cement where the tires go, but I was looking for ideas of a little more fancy. I have attached some pics, not the best but should give an idea of what I'm dealing with.

Thanks for any input you may have,
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Old 11-10-2010, 10:43 AM   #2
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Instead of plain concrete maybe you could use a dye in the mix and use a stamping process, like the look of stone. Lots of patios are done that way and it could look very nice. Or pavers but with the soft soil pavers might sink over time. Set the concrete low so it would be easier to mow over. Just a thought.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:13 AM   #3
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A lot of work, but one could remove the topsoil and add a layer of red dirt and compact it, then replace a moderate layer of topsoil and regrow the grass. This makes a "hidden" driveway.

This method is used around commercial buildings that are not surrounded by parking lots to allow fire apparatus access.
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Old 11-10-2010, 11:32 AM   #4
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Some cemeteries use a type of plastic paver with holes in it that goes under the grass/sod so that you can't see it, but it supports the weight across a much bigger area so you can drive over it with no ruts.
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:00 PM   #5
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You could purchase one of those plastic castings (not very expensive). You fille the casting with concrete and move it to the next spot and pour more concrete in the casting until job is complete. They come in all types of patterns. Here is just one. One web site attached.
Concrete or Cement Molds For Garden, Pond, Walkways, Ornamental and Exterior Wall Hanging
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:05 PM   #6
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Here is another type - might be better
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:32 PM   #7
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Turfstone

Here is a product, Turfstone, which we've used for "invisible" driveways such as fire lanes, maintenance drives, etc. in lawn areas. You lay the stones and plant grass in the open spaces. It soon blends in and you can hardly tell it is there,yet you have a solid drive. Turfstone Pavers - turf stone paver shapes These will hold up a fire truck, so I know they'll support an Airstream.
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Old 11-10-2010, 01:33 PM   #8
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Decorative Block Pattern

We are considering a storage building in our back yard and it will require 60+ feet of "driveway."

I plan to have the contractor dig below the surface of the grass and pour a rough outline of the ribbon-style driveway that the trailer will follow when I back it into the garage. The ribbon will be a foundation of sorts in order to support the weight of the trailer and TV. All that will be below ground level.

After that we'll use concrete blocks on edge (some concrete bocks have decorative web patterns) and that will bring the driveway ribbons back up to ground level.

Then I fill the voids with soil and plant grass. The concrete block will tend to disappear within the grass. You cannot hide the concrete entirely but it will tend to disappear. With colored concrete (as suggested above) it would go even further to diguise the driveway.

Search the internet. I know there are other options. Many municipalities are insisting on less hard surfaced driveways in order to reduce water runoff so I know there is a market.

Here's one to look at:

Permeable and Porous Concrete Pavers - The Concrete Network

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Old 11-10-2010, 01:59 PM   #9
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These are fairly common in parts of Europe where they're used as driveways and parking spaces. The ones we've seen blend in well.

Good luck,

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Old 11-10-2010, 02:27 PM   #10
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Just a couple additional thoughts on the Turfstone pavers. You will need to construct a pad of compacted crushed gravel or stone beneath them or they won't be stable. Much like you would install a gravel base under patio pavers. Without the base you will see settlement and movement of the blocks under loaded conditions.

The concrete blocks on edge idea is interesting, but to get any strength at all, they need to be supported on compacted crushed stone as well. On edge they only have a wall thickness of about an inch or so, which creates a very small surface area to support the load of the trailer. Sitting on soil, they would most likely sink to some extent, leaving you with an uneven surface.
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:09 PM   #11
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This sounds like this easiest way to fix my problem and still make it look nice. Turfstone Pavers - Has any one ever installed them and if so was it any harder then rebuilding a Airstream?
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Old 11-10-2010, 05:25 PM   #12
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I've specified them on several projects, and watched them being installed. Watching them being installed was a lot easier than even keeping an Airstream maintained!!

The last one we put in about five years ago was strong enough for a 60,000 pound fire truck. And, I couldn't find the name of the product, but it was made of pvc, was similar to Turfstone and much lighter. I think it went on 8" of compacted crushed stone over a fabric stabilization mat which combined gave it the strength.

Usually the manufacturer's web site gives directions for installation.
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Old 11-11-2010, 05:31 PM   #13
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I watched a TURFSTONE install being done a dozen years ago. As with most things, prep is all. To do it properly (or any other approach) may require re-grading much of the yard to work well with the driveway, and for all other landscaping. Avoiding the look of a service entrance will not be easy.

An overall site plan may be the best approach. Landscape architecture books and software would be where I started (after securing a top notch survey and utility easement schemata) so as to have plenty to doodle with.

Year One might be the above tools/records. Year Two might be fence staining and espaliered trees or vines on fence and house wall, plus something for other utilities service.

Etc

Good luck
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