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We are considering buying this property which will be a "fixer-upper" but is in a valuable seaside location that we could never afford otherwise. Biggest drawback is this driveway, which after reviewing 50 years of areal photography shows that the current owners (lived their for 60 years) have never actually parked their car on it!

It is steep (I reckon about 25% on the corner), and narrow with a 50-75cm drop off into the garden. This could be a deal breaker for us if we cant upgrade it, and we are seeking advice before we offer. My thought is to expand the driveway out (to the left in the photo), put a small retaining wall with some kind of fence or barrier to make it safer. Any other ideas?! Ive only dealt with flat drives to date![enter image description here]1

But then the next problem is that this is in Trondheim, Norway were we get months of snow, easily up to a meter standing, but with this being on the coast melt events will be frequent. What other things would we need to consider regarding its "upgrade" to account for this? Its currently about 1" gravel, not sure of the foundations under the top layers. I wonder if parallel stone inlays going up the drive would be a good idea for both traction and gravel stability?

Then, if anyone has experience, how much time (build hours) would an upgrade like this take?

Thanks for your help in advance!

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    How did the car get in the garage if the drive has not been used? – Solar Mike May 5 at 7:27
  • Whether you can even build a retaining wall will depend on local rules, which are often rather restrictive in built-up coastal communities - check first. – Ecnerwal May 5 at 12:36
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    That garage is not with this property, but is the neighbours. The driveway is photographed from the the property we are interested in, so you drive down to the house. – Jesamine Bartlett May 5 at 13:25
  • And, we have checked the rules, and retaining walls of the height needed to support this drive are do not require any permissions. But thanks for raising. – Jesamine Bartlett May 5 at 13:26
  • If you have snow issues that looks a bit steep plus the curve, I have 2 driveways to my house one I would not even dream of using if there was anything on the road , my son tried once we had to use the back door for a week+ because I could not get his truck off the front steps until the snow melted. We did have a retaining wall made out of cinder block and rebar backfilled with concrete. The footing for the wall was 18” thick and 2’ wide with the wall on 1 edge of the footing not centered with rebar coming up every block (every other hole) our wall was only 4’ tall but that’s what was required – Ed Beal May 5 at 14:11

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