When we had our driveway paved, I was thrilled to see the grey gravel banished forever. Our driveway had been lumpy and uneven, with a rocky hill leading up to the stairs of our porch — which sat perched on a heap of gravel that kept slipping out from underneath it.
We tore off our old stairs, which needed to be replaced anyway, the day before the paving crew was set to arrive. It made total sense when the pavers explained they would need to even out the grade, giving us a flatter driveway and a nice surface on which to rebuild our stairs.
I didn’t care that it meant cutting into the front lawn a bit. I was getting a flat, paved driveway! They finished the work in just two days, and left us with a gloriously black, smooth surface. It was so beautiful, I didn’t want to drive on it and risk marking or denting the fresh asphalt.
Once the crew left, however, it was clear we were going to have to do something about the exposed chunk of earth that ran along one side of the driveway like a miniature cliff. As the yard got higher and higher, the drop down to the driveway got steeper — and crumbles of mud started rolling onto my pristine new pavement.
We built the new, taller staircase and that hid some of the ‘dirt wall,’ but it wasn’t enough. Despite having zero masonry experience, my handy husband decided he could manage a simple brick retaining wall. (Famous last words.)