Sunday, August 25, 2013

3 Great Ideas

With the good summer outdoor weather winding down here over the next few weeks, we very impromptly decided to take this past weekend and mostly finish the eye sore on one side of our house.  You may rememember, there used to be a shed here that was covered in vines and was completely falling apart.  Some time ago, we took it down, and jackhammmered the 5" thick slab it was on.  Some people suggested we keep the slab and just put a new shed on it.  Honestly, that would have been fantastic, but it was creating some serious blockage for water drainage and we always had huge puddles on both sides of the slab.

Okay so after we took away the majority of the big blocks of concrete, we were left with this.

Yes, that was last year before a bunch of grass grew into it on one side.  This was on the side of the house that we don't use, so natuarally we ignored this for a long time becuase we didn't want to deal with it.  All those rocks had to be sifted out of the dirt, it had to be leveled, etc. So before doing this project we remodeled our bathroom and started on the kitchen, got new furniture, went on vacation.  Basically anything to avoid doing this.  But like I said, the good weather is winding down so I thought " okay seriously this is the last outdoor project we have to tackle, and we have to do it now.  The kitchen can wait a bit longer becuase it's all inside and we can do that when it's 30 degrees out."

A few weeks ago, I started sifting the rocks by myself and got about half done.  It was HARD work.  Then we got a lot of rain and it's really really hard to sift rocks with even semi wet dirt so the project was put on hold.  Now the weatherman have predicted no rain for about 2 weeks.  AWESOME TIMING!!!!

Great idea #1 goes to Stephen for suggesting we put up the canopy while we work so we were always in the shade.

Once our trashcan was too heavy to put any more rocks and dirt into it, Good idea #2 I think goes to myself.  I don't have a picture of this, but we used our tarp to pile the rocks onto and then just dragged it to our back porch.  We will then put the rocks into the trashcan every week until they are gone.

We also had to take out the rest of the fence that you see there and another small post that you can't see. Stephen started digging and discovered the concrete was of massive size.

Great idea #3 goes to the long steel rod that helped to pry these out of the ground.  We will probably use it once more for the fence on the other side of the yard and then it will proably collect dust in the garage for a long time.  Still worth it though.
So after two full days of sifting rocks, moving dirt around and leveling the area we are left with this. Even with no grass it looks AWESOME!!!  I'm loving the openess of no fence, so putting one back in is not on the priority list.  We'll be buying sod this week and laying it this coming weekend.  Then watering the heck out of it so it will establish itself and hopefully NOT die over the winter because that would be a major buzz kill.

 Along with the above project, we also decided to take out the 12x12 concrete stones we had all around the garden as a walking path.  The original plan had been to put them in, then have ground cover planted and it would fill in around the path and it would just be lovely and pretty.  Well I tried twice to plant something and they just died.  Then over time, I gave up on weeding the grass out and just let it grown between the stones. Well on the side by the fence, nothing grew and so the dirt just kept washing away.

The first thought was to take out the stones, then put a decorative border around the garden and fill it in with pebble rocks.  I did the math and it was just going to be too expensive.  So then the next plan was to just take them out, put some sod down where needed and let the grass grow.  I promised Stephen that I would maintain it, edge it and it wouldn't get out of control.

Now I have 58 of these on my back porch.  I plan to list them on craigsist as free and put them on the driveway and pray they are all taken within a week.

Now we really do have a pile of debris to deal with on the back porch between the kitchen demo (drywall, wood), fencing, bricks, 2 huge pieces of concrete, and a pile of rocks and grass.  We had first thought we would get a Bagster.  It's a 3 cubic foot rectanglar bag that would can put all this stuff in and leave it on your driveway and Waste Management will come pick it up for you.  Easy peasy.  Well the bag alone costs $30 and then the pick up fee for our area is $115.  As nice as it would be have it all done and gone I just couldn't jusify paying $145 to throw away trash.  Option 2 is the get a trailer and take it to the dump, or just put this all in our trashcan little by little over the next couple of weeks.  Ugh.


Liz said...

That does look very nice. Good job.

Deb said...

Megan we put a lot out once and they were gone the same day.