Fit-for-Purpose and Future Proofed: Driveway Restoration and Upgrade in Rodney

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A property subdivision in Rodney District meant an upgrade was needed for this shared driveway, which included a passing bay, retaining wall, and additional drainage.

Before After
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A structured process

A driveway restoration may sound relatively straightforward, but this project had the potential to be anything but. When a property subdivision was going ahead in Rodney District, David’s driveway needed an upgrade, one that required geotechnical and engineering reports, building, concreting, and council inspection.

Knowing what needed to be done and the complexity surrounding the project, David reached out to local Zones Landscaping Consultant, Sandy Lochhead, who was able to take the stress out of David’s project with Zones’ structured and efficient process.

Sandy kicked off the project with a site visit to get a thorough brief from David and ensure she knew exactly what he had in mind. Having gathered all the information she needed, Sandy began the feasibility phase, determined to see how she could best make David’s ideas and requirements work.

The devil’s in the details

Sandy’s concept design for the shared driveway upgrade produced a project estimate of $35,000, which David agreed too. The client had arranged for detailed designs and an engineering report. This raised variations in the original concept, flagging the need for a retaining wall at the passing bay. The driveway and passing bay would also require council consent.

While geotech and engineering reports can introduce frustrating additions that raise costs, it’s imperative to complete works to council and engineering standards to ensure the finished project is safe and fit-for-purpose for the long-term. This was certainly the case for David’s project.

Because of the likelihood of changes, Sandy communicated to David the possibility of increased costs and presented a revised quote of $60,000 and an 11-week timeframe. David was happy with Sandy’s planning and costing so the project moved into the construction phase.

High-quality work only

Sandy's Project Manager Kyle and the team got to work removing the old driveway, building the retaining wall, installing a new culvert drain, and preparing the driveway base to geotech and engineering requirements. Because this was a shared driveway, works had to be scheduled and carried out with regard to the neighbours’ movements as well.

Initially, the project progressed well but it wouldn’t be the Upper North if a bit of wild weather didn’t show up! Heavy rains added challenges to the base prep and with ground quality reduced, it was difficult to get compaction to Geotech and engineering requirements. This meant delays; however, there’s no point in doing a job if you’re not doing it right. As the weather improved, compaction requirements were met and signed off, and the concrete could finally be poured.

Kyle’s detail-focused management of the project meant there were no curve-balls and challenges were met and overcome calmly. His diligent communication with David throughout the project gave him peace of mind and confidence that the project would be completed to an excellent standard.

Three-and-a-half months after commencement, the project passed council inspection and Sandy handed the completed driveway over to David.

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Fresh and fit-for-purpose

The shared driveway is revamped and looks “awesome”, according to the Senior Civil Engineer on the job. The gravel sections where concrete had worn away have been freshly and expertly poured, with a smart and highly-functional passing bay added to the side. The culvert drain has been landscaped with rocks for a natural rural aesthetic, peaking out slightly so as to function as necessary. It’s a job well done and David is very pleased with the result. Existing vehicles can now travel safely and smoothly and the driveway will provide unhindered access for the growing number of vehicles for years to come.

Final thoughts

All parties – David, Sandy, Cato Bolam engineers, and the council inspector – agreed the driveway was a success. Even with the weather causing havoc, the geotech and engineering requirements were met, and Sandy delivered a solid, fit-for-purpose project completed to a high standard. 

Sandy’s communication and calm leadership put her client and neighbours at ease when challenges arose, and the Zones Landscaping process provided a structure for the project that was easy to understand and move through. A job well done all round!

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This project was completed in
February 2024
Project description
Driveway Restoration
New Zealand
Project duration
Three and a half months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Weather! Reduced ground quality added challenges to meeting the compaction requirement.
Interesting aspects
Rocks used to create a natural rural aesthetic
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Sandy Lochhead is Landscaping Consultant of Landscapes and Outdoor Living Limited, a franchisee of Zones Landscaping New Zealand, doing business in Rodney.

Kyle Lochhead is a Zones Landscaping Owner of Landscapes and Outdoor Living Limited, a franchisee of Zones Landscaping New Zealand, doing business in Rodney.

Actual costs vary by project. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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