Monday, April 1, 2013

Entrance Progress...

This is the second of three posts chronicling our entrance's progress. This post covers from the laying of the foundations to the completion of the block work. The next post will show the finished wall and post box prior to the wrought iron gates being fitted.

Above: The masonry blocks arrived
Below: The trenches were dug out for our foundations

They were then filled with concrete...
Once the foundations had hardened the block work started...

The block work is reinforced with iron rods from the foundations to the caps, and then filled internally with concrete, making them incredibly solid and strong enough to withstand a car crash or similar. We were not going to have the average walls, into which vandals could kick holes etc.
Above: You can see the smaller retaining wall in front of the main wall for the soil for the box hedge garden.

Now they are busy placing all the capitals and coping. We designed the capitals and coping ourselves, and then our builders made wooden prototypes before creating latex molds to cast as many caps as we need. The next step will be for the whole wall to be rendered in plaster and then coloured to resemble sandstone.

Above: Before
Below: After (so far)

Meanwhile, on the other side of the road, the power company was installing  new power pole and transformer, and then thrust-boring the cables under the road, eventually into a circuit box hidden behind our front wall.

Inside the digger has removed several tonnes of top soil and replaced it with bedrock for the driveway. The driveway is Ca. 250 yards long and 6 yards wide...

Above and Below: The straight part of the driveway, looking back from the first curve towards the entrance. The straight part will be lined on either side with an avenue of plane trees. We planted the trees 3 years ago, but will need to get in a hydraulic tree-spade to shift them this winter, to realign them perfectly symmetrically on either side of the drive, as its course is not where we had originally planned.

Above: Middle straight heading towards second curve
Below: Looking back at  second curve
Below: The last corner /third curve before it straightens northward into the front courtyard...

A video of the first dive down our driveway...


  1. It must be a wonderful feeling to be making progress. The plane trees will be magnificent as they mature.

  2. Would it not have been more prudent to cast the stone with colouring already mixed in? It will weather better that way. But, what's done is done.

  3. We did consider colouring the concrete, but the problem with that is that there can be variation between mixes of the oxide; if it rains or gets wet during the process you will end up with a patchy appearance; and if it gets defaced One can't just paint over the top of it again without completely painting the wall to match. Thus we arrived at the decision to render and paint/wash, as it was more practical.


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