Friday, August 5, 2011

The Yard

We're entering Week 3 in our new house and believe it or not, most of our project "to do" list is complete. I can take no credit for finishing even one of these projects. Many thanks to my amazing task-master husband who's coordinated and completed them all ....
  • Painted the bedrooms, garage
  • Replaced the mailbox, painted the post
  • Stained the back deck
  • Organized the garage
  • Re-keyed the doors
  • Replaced the crappy access door from the house to the garage
The only thing left to do is landscaping. We've come to learn in this new house of ours, there's things the old home owners did really well and things they scrimped on big time. Unfortunately, the landscaping is one for the scrip column.

Front Door

Back Yard
The landscaping's not horrible, but it's not great either. The yard's full of Creeping Charlie, cheap mulch, a couple dead tress and lots of misplaced plants and shrubs. Not to mention our backyard is seriously a breading ground for mosquitoes. Holy cow, you can't stand out there for five minutes without looking like you broke out in chick pox! So ...

Andi hired a landscaper who came out to our house and made a plan for the yard. Then last week, he sent a text and backed out of the job! Andi was ticked because we wasted three weeks of the summer waiting for him to start the project. And now we have to start all over finding someone else for the job. Within the process, we also learned the old homeowners cut big corners in laying mulch in the yard. Basically, they laid black plastic over the old landscaping and covered it up with mulch (the cheapest, crappiest kind that's practically free at home improvement stores). To rip all of that up and landscape correctly isn't going to be cheap. There's also ugly evergreen bushes all over the yard (which I hate) and gutters on only half of the house so we'll have to add those too (or all of our landscaping work will be ruined when the first big rain comes and washes it all into the yard). 

Part of me says we just wait until spring to complete this project. Yes, we'll have to look at crappy landscaping for the rest of the summer/fall but it doesn't make much sense to lay mulch now only to re-lay it next spring. However, remember my task-master husband? He's determined to find someone to fix this last big project and he's been interviewing landscapers all week. Some of their bids have been coming in at $10,000!!! Um, are you freaking kidding me? $10K is A LOT of money to spend on anything, especially the yard. One landscaper even suggested we do some of the work ourselves to keep the cost down. For real, landscaper? I'm nine months pregnant and my husband's far better at directing manual labor projects than doing them. We won't be doing that either.

I have no doubt Andi will find someone who'll do an awesome job on our yard for a great price. In the meantime, we'll just stay indoors and enjoy our beautiful house from the inside out. And coincidentally, I'll be home-bound with a new baby in a few days anyway so that'll work out just fine.


  1. Um, why would you have to replace your mulch in the spring if you did the project now? To replace it annually? I just take a garden rake and turn it over in the spring and I add more where needed.

    Depending on what you'd like done, $10K might not be that bad, especially if it includes shurbs and perennials. Ours was $34K and that was just the regrade of the lot, paver patio and boulder walls (plus labor for both). It also included 50 yds of river rock and mulch that we installed ourselves. But all of the plant materials we bought from different vendors. The original bid with plant materials was $60K+ - not trying to be a one-upper, it's just that I almost vomited when we received our original bid. It blew my mind that our landscaper wanted $20K for plant materials.

  2. Oh my gosh! I am definitely not prepared to pay $34K for our landscaping!! I bet your yard is to die for :)

  3. It's okay. :) We started with absolutely nothing, seriously nothing - thus the cost - it was nothing but a sea of sand and weeds. No sprinklers, no retaining walls, nada.

    You're smart to hire it out - there is no way I'd be planting stuff at 9 mos pregnant! - the cost really sucks though. But I think it generally ups the resale value of your home by 100% of the cost - so at least you'll recoup that money some day!