We recently worked with a client who purchased this stately late-1800's home on a main street in Salem, MA who loved the home, but desperately needed a driveway.
This property is full of history and character but completely void of parking! Based on the layout of the lot the front yard became the most convenient place to park. Though this parking situation worked reasonably well in the dry summer months, it was no secret that a proper driveway was in order...sooner than later.
Easier said than done.
The entire front property was pitched down to the house causing rain water to run into the foundation and seep into the basement. Fixing the pitch and drainage problem wasn't as simple as regrading and throwing in a new driveway; there were limitations.
Water couldn't be dumped out to either side because bounding both the east and west sides of the front yard were neighbor's shared driveways. In order to install the new driveway without adding water run-off to the neighbors' properties, and keep the water out of the client's basement, we had to resolve all the drainage within the confines of the 50-foot by 50-foot front yard area.
Our solution was to make the new brick driveway into a very subtle pyramid shape in order to divide the water flow into four quadrants and sheet flow each section down to each respective corner of the new driveway (divide and conquer!) This system consists of perforated drainage pipe and a series of dry-wells to deposit the water back into the ground in areas away from the driveway and the house foundation.
The main goal with this project was to create a functional and aesthetic parking court in the front of an historic house. The client wanted to make certain that the driveway and landscape were scaled properly to the house and complemented the neighborhood vernacular.
We needed to install a new driveway and new plantings that looked like they had always been there, while functioning perfectly in regards to drainage of water and accomodating the need to park several cars.