driveway destruction chronicles – and almost a year later…

Coming out of semi-but-not-really-but-it-sure-feels-like-it blog retirement to post a little update on the mess that is my driveway. For those of you playing at home, you might recall how my driveway was surprisingly dug up in November of last year. The sewage pipes backed up and flooded my poor neighbour’s basement. What we thought (and agreed to) was going to be just a little hole at the top of our driveway, turned into half of our drive being dug up, for a long, long time. Because of the time of year, we agreed with the neighbour that there was no point in repaving the driveway at the end of November as winter was coming (ha! Even before Game of Thrones, there was Cat’s Driveway Destruction Chronicles!) and that paving could happen in the spring.

We parked right at the bottom edge of the drive all winter. Suffered through mud, rocks, crappy winter of snow removal people not showing up and then the thaw.

Thing is, spring came and went and there wasn’t a peep from anyone about anything to do with paving.


April 2012

By July we were tired of waiting for the neighbour to come to us, so we went to her. Turns out there was a little misunderstanding about things, which we worked out. Because the stupid tree on our property was to blame for the pipes breaking, she was waiting for us to take the tree down before repaving. To be honest, we wanted that tree gone years ago since it kept dying every summer. So I called the city right away and was all “Now will you permit us to cut down your tree?” Turns out, the city is all about saying it’s their tree when the leaves fall off in 24 hours during the summer, but as soon as that tree causes damage to someone’s property the city is all “That’s your tree. You pay for it.”

Politics. Bleh.

Stupid Annually Dying Tree – July 2012

So we got our estimate, we got our permit and we just waited for them to come cut down the tree. As soon as I had the permit and a date for the tree removal, I let the neighbour know and she said she’d have them come and give her an estimate for the driveway paving. Things were underway. Finally.

Then it took forever for the tree people to come by and cut the tree down. They did, though. Eventually. In mid-August.

Take that, tree!

And then we waited for the driveway to be done. This has been another long wait. I don’t know if the tree people and pavement people are in cahoots or what, but the driveway process is even slower than the tree process. The driveway process had best be done before the ground starts freezing again, because there is no way I’m going through another winter with a sinkhole in my front yard.

Two weeks ago we came home to some progress…


The dirt that had been in piles on the neighbour’s lawn for nearly a year, was finally put back into the sinkhole! Woohoo! Progress! Any day now.

Remember how I said that was two weeks ago? Yeah.

About a week and a half later, we got this:

Gravel! And cutted up parts!

Then, we went back to having nothing done. Again. Woo.

Last Wednesday we came home to some work men on the roof of the neighbour’s house. They came over and spoke to us about the driveway. They wanted to know if we wanted them to even out the parts that weren’t cut up yet (see the stuff on the right hand side?) and if so, we’d have to pay for that because they weren’t including it in the neighbour’s price and if they did, the neighbour wasn’t going to pay it. Regardless of our thinking that it would just be normal for them to fix the driveway proper-like, we just want this done! We said if they gave us an estimate we’d let them know because it does make sense to have the space paved properly. Also, I’m thinking about wanting to sell this house in a year or so and I want a non-crappy driveway. We were told we’d have an estimate in our mailbox by Friday – Sunday the latest.

We never got that estimate, though this morning, as I was sleeping off a migraine and bad cold I was woken up by pounding. Turns out the guys were back and breaking up that part of the driveway we hadn’t agreed to have done and not gotten an estimate for.

We worked 45 minutes today. We need a break, we’ll be back in a couple of weeks, I guess.

I texted Shawn and told him what was going on. I honestly didn’t feel comfortable dealing with these guys by myself and I didn’t want them to know I was home alone, so I didn’t go out there. Way we saw it, they did this without out assent, so if they quoted an outrageous price at us we just wouldn’t pay.

I ran into the neighbour tonight as Shawn got home. She’s also a little unimpressed that these people do next to nothing and then leave for a week or more each time. However, I’m guessing these are friends of friends and like all of us, trying to save money on things if we can. My problem is that there’s a tiny corner of her driveway that’s effected by this and a dead truck sits on that part. We have to park our car right at the edge of our drive. It’s frustrating.

Not to mention the people today LEFT ALL THE ASPHALT ON OUR LAWN! We still had rocks and dirt from NOVEMBER there. They didn’t clean up after themselves either time. Ugh.

So the neighbour came over again earlier and had the driveway guy on the phone. He quoted Shawn a price and it was not at all what we were willing to pay. Shawn countered with what we were willing to pay and it was agreed upon at once. Obviously this is just a cash grab. We’re supposed to pay on Wednesday. Apparently this is supposed to be done on Wednesday. I don’t want to have over one cent unti this is finished. So we’ll see how Wednesday goes.

And yes, do we think we should pay for this? No. But are we? Yes. Why? Because I am sick and tired of this entire ordeal and I want the bloody thing paved and I want it paved before the winter starts. Besides I know the damaged cost a ton to fix and it’s not all done yet. The tree, though on our property, wasn’t planted by us, and the city is the one who ran those pipes through our driveway and under that tree (who the hell knows where OUR sewage pipes are?) so this little bit of cash isn’t going to kill us.

This has been one of those situations that’s totally awkward because our tree caused the damage, but it wasn’t OUR tree but we could still be held responsible because it’s on our property. That being said the neighbour’s pipes went through our property. Anyhow, we just want this done and no one suing anyone.

I’m hoping that by the end of September this will all be a bad memory. Although I’m not holding my breath. If luck’s on our side it’ll be done before November.

And then, hopefully next summer, we can sell this place and move away from this stupid province.

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