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I am wanting to gravel from the sidewalk to my backyard so I can park back there. I haven't measure length but I'm guessing it is a 16x60 space. From sidewalk to gate is old uneven gravel. Gate to back line of house is grass and where I want to park is dirt with some gravel that was part of a shed foundation.

Has anyone done this recently as a DIY or just paid someone? I will most likely need to pay someone.

Would you be willing to share what it cost you?

I was thinking/wondering about running a drain (French?) from my downspouts to the gravel area. Is that something that can be done with driving over the gravel?

The driveway has a slight downslope but rest is level. Does that part or the whole thing need those grid/forms?

I will eventually add a nice automatics gate, but for now just a chain link gate.

Anything I should specifically be asking as I start to get bids?

Thanks for any thoughts or help.
 
There's a LOT too this that's difficult to answer. I've built over 400' of driveway on my MT property and 3 years later, am still getting it properly compacted and before adding any gravel, that's with a 12-ton excavator and tractor.

If it's currently grass, you're going to have to remove at least the top 6-8" of soil and compact the base. Depending on your location and soil, you might grade it at this point for drainage, which is where you'll add a french drain, if necessary. A weed barrier might be laid down, then add your road base, compact, then your 3/4 minus gravel to bring to grade.

Again, tough to give real advice without seeing what you have going on already.
 
A French drain is basically just a trench filled with gravel so yes you can drive over it.

Depending on how fast your soil drains you may want to put a few 'wells' in to hold the water so it doesn't just run everywhere.

That is a sizable area - I would guess it will be either the cost of decent machinery or the cost of physical labor. Either way it will not be cheap.
 
There's a LOT too this that's difficult to answer. I've built over 400' of driveway on my MT property and 3 years later, am still getting it properly compacted and before adding any gravel, that's with a 12-ton excavator and tractor.

If it's currently grass, you're going to have to remove at least the top 6-8" of soil and compact the base. Depending on your location and soil, you might grade it at this point for drainage, which is where you'll add a french drain, if necessary. A weed barrier might be laid down, then add your road base, compact, then your 3/4 minus gravel to bring to grade.

Again, tough to give real advice without seeing what you have going on already.
I will post some pictures tomorrow night. Thanks.
 
OP, check your local building codes. A lot of cities do not allow back yard parking and use aerial photography for enforcement. Plus, compacted gravel is considered an impervious surface in most codes as well, adding that much surface area to your lot may put you well over your maximum allowed percentage if you include your roof surface area.
 
OP, check your local building codes. A lot of cities do not allow back yard parking and use aerial photography for enforcement. Plus, compacted gravel is considered an impervious surface in most codes as well, adding that much surface area to your lot may put you well over your maximum allowed percentage if you include your roof surface area.
@sobo is smarter than me, I'm just the jockey who sends people to enforce certain violations such as this might become. Always do your homework first!!! A side note, are you inside city limits? That can change a few things.
 
What Nosferatu said, plus use road fabric as your first layer, to keep the gravel and rock from sinking into the soil. Gravel driveways should have a slight crown in the center for drainage to the sides. If water sits on the driveway, you'll get potholes.
 
Yes, inside city limits. It's been a while since I read so I will have to check again but I thought I remembered gravel wasn't an issue but concrete was.
@sobo is smarter than me, I'm just the jockey who sends people to enforce certain violations such as this might become. Always do your homework first!!! A side note, are you inside city limits? That can change a few things.
 
That's why I nudged you in the correct direction, gravel will and does perk water but is considered impervious. But, you may dig deeper and look into legalities of back yard parking, most municipalities do not allow it. Hope you can find a solution to your parking, do you have several drivers in the house or several extra vehicles in the driveway and garage?
 
I live on a busy street. With no close off property parking. The house has gravel on both sides of the driveway from when we bought it a few years ago so we can park there when needed. It is difficult to get in and out of the driveway if you don't back in. We do that no problem, but if we are home and parked there it's much harder for guests and even then only gives us 2 extra spots.
So either we or guests can park In The back and would be easier to turn around.

From the city brochure it just says says needs to be on improved all weather surface. Nothing about back yard in the brochure.

Looks like getting a permit to do concrete or asphalt would be the only way to go.
 
A few years ago I did a 20'x60' gravel driveway/parking pad from the sidewalk driveway ramp on back, but I did it with a view to eventually pour a concrete pad over it.

I rented a mini stand-behind excavator like this one:
IMG_2450.jpeg

I scarfed it 10" below grade to allow for a 6" thick base layer of gravel (maybe overkill but that's what I wanted) on top of an geo-textile fabric (to keep the gravel from perpetually settling into the softer dirt) under a 4" thick concrete pad.

I first compacted the bare dirt before I laid down the geo-textile fabric, with a "jumping-jack tamper.
IMG_2451.jpeg

Then I had a 10-yd dump truck load of crushed gravel delivered…. Spreaded that by hand…. TEDIOIS! Then used a
Vibratory plate compactor to settle and compact the gravel.
IMG_2452.jpeg

Then I built the forms for the pad, but I've been too cheap to spring for the concrete work because I focused on paying off the house and all my credit lines, then having motorized double wrought-iron gates installed across the driveway entrance.

It's awesome having off street parking!
 
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Yes, inside city limits. It's been a while since I read so I will have to check again but I thought I remembered gravel wasn't an issue but concrete was.
You're in WA, and inside city limits. You have an exemption under SEPA for increased impervious surface of not more than 5,000 SF. Since the pad you want to build is just under 1,000 SF, you have another 4,000 SF to play with in the driveway. Who is saying that gravel is not an option? That's BS, unless it's specific to a Vancouver ordnance...
 
That's what I was thinking I have an equipment rental place less than a mile away.

Concrete will be more than I want to spend right now and I have a septic tank and I would be worried about the truck breaking it up.
 
I live on a busy street. With no close off property parking. The house has gravel on both sides of the driveway from when we bought it a few years ago so we can park there when needed. It is difficult to get in and out of the driveway if you don't back in. We do that no problem, but if we are home and parked there it's much harder for guests and even then only gives us 2 extra spots.
So either we or guests can park In The back and would be easier to turn around.

From the city brochure it just says says needs to be on improved all weather surface. Nothing about back yard in the brochure.

Looks like getting a permit to do concrete or asphalt would be the only way to go.
Again, why not gravel? Gravel is considered an all-weather improved surface. The counties make roads out of it all over the damned place...
 
That's why I nudged you in the correct direction, gravel will and does perk water but is considered impervious. But, you may dig deeper and look into legalities of back yard parking, most municipalities do not allow it. Hope you can find a solution to your parking, do you have several drivers in the house or several extra vehicles in the driveway and garage?
In WA, we have an exemption of up to 5,000 SF of increased impervious surface. The dimensions that Fred is quoting ain't even get him close to that limit...
 

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