Ask The Expert


Hi Robert,

My home is located at the intersection of a T. The approaching street leads straight into my driveway. What I would like to do is to make a turn-around in my front yard so I can pull in and then continue back onto the street. The city says I can’t demo part of the existing curb to pour the new driveway or use part of the existing sidewalk. Who should I contact to get approval for this? I’m a concrete worker and am willing to do all of the work myself. It’s my property and as long as I conform to the city requirements, why can’t I build an approach on the other side? If I do anyway, what could they do?

Chris L.

Hi Chris,

Have you already spoken with the City? I wouldn’t be surprised if they put the kybosh on this idea.

I would start with contacting Street Services. If this work was going to get done, the City would use its own contractors anyway. You, as a homeowner, would probably not be given permission to proceed. You can’t just arbitrarily change a city curb and sidewalk and put in an approach because you want to. Those types of decisions are not one of the benefits of home ownership. Seeing as how this would have a very limited benefit, to basically only you, I don’t see the money or resources being provided for this project.

If you were to do this work anyway, the city would probably put everything back the way it was and then assess all costs back to you on your taxes.

Before doing anything else, I would recommend to first go to the City. Explain to them what you want to do and find out if they will allow you to proceed. If so, learn what would be the recommended protocol and then follow that plan.


I read your comments on putting on roofing shingles on a patio cover and that it required a certain slope in order to do it correctly and prevent future problems. Please refresh my failing memory…how much slope is required? I’m retired, on a fixed income and have a friend who is repairing my roof and insists there is enough but I want to be sure.

Thank you Robert and I enjoy your articles,

Mary S.

Hi Mary,

I have seen comp shingle roofs as flat as 2:12. That’s two inches of vertical fall for every 12 inches horizontal run, which is a 17% slope. For example, if you were to place one end of a ruler touching the roof and hold it level, there would be a two inch clearance at the one foot mark.

According to the California Building Code, the minimum roof pitch for asphalt shingles is 4:12; however, they may be installed at a pitch between 2:12 – 4:12 if two layers of Type 15 felt, applied single fashion are used, and if the shingles are self sealing.

One thing to keep in mind is, all things being equal, the less the pitch of a roof, the greater the chance of leaks.

Submit your questions to: Robert Lamoureux of IMS Construction, Valencia, CA, has 25 years experience as a commercial General, Electrical and Plumbing contractor. The opinions expressed in “Ask the Expert” are not to replace the recommendations made by a qualified contractor after a thorough visual inspection has been made.

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