The Grass is Always Greener

This has been a BIG week for us in our backyard reno!  The weather has been gorgeous, incredibly dry for this time of year for the past couple of weeks which means our landscaper was able to get back to working on our yard.  They spent about a week and a half leveling out the dirt and tilling in soil conditioner and making sure all of the sprinklers were ready to go in the back yard.  I was trying to be patient but in my head was honestly wondering how flat dirt has to be before grass can grow on it LOL.

 

On Monday this week we were told that sod would be going in on Tuesday.  I have to tell you Tuesday felt like Christmas morning! We were SO excited when the lawn arrived, I was seriously giddy to see the semi truck full of sod pull up in front of my house and watch them start to unload the beautiful lush green turf that would soon become my lawn!

 

Watching the steps a yard has to go through to be ready for lawn is similar to watching the progress of interior renovation.  There’s a lot of “below the surface” work that has to be done before it’s lawn ready; old lawn has to be taken up, ditches dug, sprinklers laid, ground leveled, soil prepped, etc.  It’s also similar to an interior renovation in that the end steps seem to go quickly and show immediate results!  It’s like when you redo a bathroom, everything has to be taken apart, plumbing fixed, floors have to be leveled, and then when things start to be installed it seems to pull together fast.  That how it felt with the yard.  All of the unseen work, the work that will keep out lawn looking green and healthy over the years, seemed to go slowly and it appeared not much progress was taking place, even though you knew it was.  And then the sod shows up and it goes from being a big brown yard of dirt to a beautiful lush green lawn!

 

To give a little perspective on what it was and what it is now, here are before, during, and after pics for you.

Here’s another view from start to finish.  You’ll see we’ve not only added lawn but also added planters throughout the yard that our landscaper created reusing the cement from throughout our yard!  The planters still need to be filled but lawn was step one.

And the last view from start to current view.

 

They say the grass is always greener on the other side, but I’m pretty sure whoever said that hasn’t been in my yard this week because my side of the fence is pretty darn green. From dead crunchy grass to soft lush lawn, it’s been a journey, one I’ve not been so patient through, but the result is amazing and worth the work it needed to get to this point so far!

 

CalBRE #01984572

I’m a full time wife, mom and Real Estate Agent and I blog about the real dirty honest stuff about renovation; like what living through a house being torn apart is actually like, the real costs of upgrading, DIY vs hiring it out, etc.  If you like what you’ve read, follow this blog to receive an email with each new post!

Rainy Renovation

Some of you may be wondering why I haven’t posted in a few weeks. Well, not much new has happened. This is the downside of deciding to do outdoor renovations in the Fall and Winter.  Work getting done is subject to the weather and the past several weeks the weather here has been VERY wet!  The rain has turned my yard into a swamp, seriously.  I can’t even get to my wonderfully trimmed citrus orchard now without putting on galoshes and wading through the puddles LOL!  But, that’s the way it goes when you decide to do landscaping in the rainy season I suppose.

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One the plus side, my landscaper has been able to get the new planters in place around the backyard which will add some character and dimension to the yard so it’s not just a big rectangle lawn. The best part of the planters is that our landscaper was incredibly resourceful and was able to re-use the cement mow-strips from the front yard to create the planter areas in the backyard. We love re-purposing, re-using and re-ducing waste so this made us very happy!  He also used a piece of the former walkway that was on the other side of the patio to create a large pass through step in the middle of this planter.  I can’t wait to see what they’ll look like with plants in them, but I guess I’ll just have to wait until it’s a little less wet outside lol.

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The downside of re-using the mow strips from the front yard is that my front yard which had lawn, dead lawn, but none the less, lawn that was covering up the dirt, now looks like this LOL!

My “favorite” part of this muddy renovation is when my big happy dog comes in from outside with his sloppy muddy paws.  It’s just awesome.  Eventually this will all be beautiful yard space (that’s what I keep telling myself at least!)

Landscaping a yard in winter a slow very muddy process, but that’s what you get when you decide to do outdoor projects when it’s wet outside.  Progress is progress, even if it looks like a swamp.

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CalBRE #01984572

I’m a full time wife, mom and Real Estate Agent and I blog about the real dirty honest stuff about renovation; like what living through a house being torn apart is actually like, the real costs of upgrading, DIY vs hiring it out, etc.  If you like what you’ve read, follow this blog to receive an email with each new post!

The Dirt on Landscaping

So I’m sure some of you are wondering, “where are these renovations she was talking about”?  Well, they’re coming, just slllloooooooooowwwlly.  After getting our Preliminary drawings for the addition we will be doing to the house (eventually) and finding out that it is going to cost us over twice the amount we originally were bid (because well, we added a ton of stuff LOL!), we decided to shift our attention from the house and start outside first, with our backyard.  We decided to focus out attention (and money) in the backyard to start so that we can be enjoying an outdoor oasis (AND POOL!!!!) while our home is being torn apart and renovated next Summer.

A few weeks ago our landscaper who is also a friend of ours helped us draw out a vision for our backyard.  It was so exciting to see our ideas and his put into drawings on paper!  As I’ve mentioned before I’m a very visual person, so it helps me tremendously to see something with my own eyes instead of just trying to picture it in my mind.  Once he had the main idea on paper, we were able to talk through it with him and make changes based on the initial drawing.

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Isn’t it PRETTY!!!  And look, he even pictured our 1,000,000 Key limes LOL!  And look at that beautiful blue thing, A POOL!

 

Drawing out EVERYTHING we’ll be planning for the backyard even though some of the items will be completed down the line is very important.  That way we can make decisions and do work now that will make steps 2, 3, 4. . . .15, easier when we get to them!  For instance, we are putting in a pool during phase one to be finished by this coming Spring/Summer, but the Pergola/poolside bathroom area most likely will not be completed this year.  However, we have to plan for the location of the Pergola so we can run tubes underground to that location for future electrical before the pool guys cement over that area.  We also have to plan the location of the future poolside bathroom so that we can run the lines to the Septic.  Planning it all out ahead of time makes for less work, or not having to redo work in the future!

Our landscaper started prepping our backyard a few weeks ago for the new sprinkler system, which I posted about here:  https://realestaterenovation.net/2017/09/27/time-to-get-dirty/.

A few weeks in and our yard is still dirt, even more dirty than before LOL, but actually quite a lot has been done.  The sprinker lines have been run for a good portion of the backyard and the front side yard is being done at the same time since it runs off of the same water lines. Up until a few days ago our backyard had a huge trench through it where they were laying the lines.  I teased my husband that was his “Lazy River” that he so desperately wants.  He never said it needed to be a clean water Lazy River!

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Wouldn’t it make a lovely lazy river? Or maybe not 🙂

Each day there’s a bit more work done on the yard, but to me it just looks like a lot of dirt still LOL!  It’s truly amazing the work that goes on under the surface that you won’t know has been done when the yard is finished; sprinkler lines run, pipes laid for future electrical to be run, soil prepped for lawn, etc.  But it’s the unseen work that’s being done now that will allow my yard to stay beautiful once it’s done!

 

CalBRE # 01984572

I’m a full time wife, mom and Real Estate Agent and I blog about the real dirty honest stuff about renovation; like what living through a house being torn apart is actually like, the real costs of upgrading, DIY vs hiring it out, etc.  If you like what you’ve read, follow this blog to receive an email with each new post!