Desperate driveway Dilemma 3

by Lisa L
(East Tn)

Here I am again...needing your advise ...I just want to clarify. You advise putting a parking area to the right of the drive to tie into the new proposed sidewalk which is a great idea and had never ocurred to us! However, there is a big Tulip poplar a little ways off the front corner of the house with big overhanging branches. We have many thunderstorms and an occasional tornado in this area. We have learned the hard way to not keep vehicles under trees (my hubbys truck was totaled when a big branch from that very tree crashed on it during one of our storms). When you say the right side, you do mean the right side looking in from the driveway correct? That would be off the front of the house, is that correct? We really don't want to lose any more trees...we lost 4 logging trucks full from the so-called "subcontractor" (we had a lot of trees and a resident hawk). Is it alright to lead people to the green door and tie that patio with the front walk? Are you thinking we should leave the drive in basically the same design but tweaked? I am clueless!

Thanks again,

L Langford

Hi! You are right, I am proposing to put the parking on the right side as you are looking in from the road. From the pictures, it looked like you had enough room to build a parking area between the house and tree with even enough room for planting along the house. With this design, you are bringing guests to the front door. The sidewalk would then curve to the center of the parking area. People wanting to go to the green door would walk across the parking area and driveway to get there. No additional walk is needed from the green door to the front door because it would be confusing and not necessary. The patio in front of the green door would still tie to the patio in front of the screen porch with a walk.

This design may pose a problem, if you don't want to park under the tree. Does the tree have dead wood that needs to be removed? Dead wooding trees is regular maintenance and this may help the situation. Is the tree in good health? I know you hate to lose another tree, but you could have it checked by a reputable arborist. I suggest someone that is not in the business of taking down trees like the city or state arborist. Call your Cooperative Extension agent for suggestions on local arborists that can give you a clear picture on the health of the tree.

I mourned the day my street trees were taken down because they were in bad health. They had been dropping branches on my car for years, breaking my windshield once. I have been amazed how much I have enjoyed watching the new trees grow and I know there will be healthy trees in front of my house now for decades to come.

In summary, I am suggesting you leave the driveway in the basic design and add the parking spaces to the right of the drive as you look at the house from the street. Tie the green door patio to the screen porch. Install a walk from the front porch steps to the center of the parking area and have folks walk across the parking area and driveway to get to the patio on the side.

Hopefully, I am giving you a good picture of my suggestions.

Thanks for the submission!


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