Too Close for Comfort

Existing Narrow Driveway and Wall

What do you do when the retaining wall along the driveway entrance to your coastal home’s garage is too narrow for your cars? After experiencing constant, annoying collision sensor beeping on your newer vehicle or a scrape on your classic car, you begin to think that something has to be done.

In Southern California’s scenic beach areas, the land is very expensive and this often leads to compromises in home design that sometimes later prove to be impractical. A popular solution is to go skinny and vertical—building two- or three-story homes on narrow lots with the garage at street level. The stunning upper story or roof-top ocean views are a welcome incentive to climb the stairs.

Inside Garage View of Driveway

We were asked by one frustrated homeowner in this situation on the Newport Coast to prepare a new wall design and shoring plans for a retaining wall re-alignment. The project consists of temporarily supporting the property line wall while an approximately 20 foot-long section of the existing retaining wall is removed and a new wall is constructed (the wall height is about 10 feet).

The temporary shoring system will allow the wall’s removal, excavation and wall re-construction to be performed safely without affecting the neighboring property. The new wall will add about 3 feet to the width of the driveway so that the client can calmly drive the cars into or out of the garage with confidence.

Contact us first if your beach home in Southern California is feeling a little too cramped.  We can help you solve your skinny house problems or fix your narrow lot issues with creative engineering and construction solutions.   If your piece of paradise with that million dollar view is slip sliding away, we are also slope stabilization specialists.

The project began with a client meeting and site inspection, then engineering analysis and plans were done to assure the section of wall could be removed and reconstructed without causing any damage to the adjacent neighboring property. The client then approved the plans.

Neighbor’s View of Retaining Wall

At this time, the plans have been submitted to the city for review and permitting. Once the permit is received, the construction will begin and the entire project is expected to take 2 or 3 months.

The homeowner will then be able to enter and exit the property safely without any blaring collision alert warnings and flashing red dash graphic alerts. There will be no more stress leaving or returning home, which makes for a care-free day at the beach.

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