Sunday, 4 August 2013

Finishing the yard

It was our hope last fall to get our yard put back together before the snow came. We tried in August to start the project, which dragged into September, which became October, then November. We went to Maui with no action on the yard and a giant pile of dirt spent the winter in front of my kitchen window.

This year, we started in March trying to get it fixed, with the goal being to have it re-built before the June-soon season. As I posted here, the re-grading, and only the re-grading, got done. And it got finished 3 days before the rains and flooding started.

Was the fact that the yard was in the shape it was a contributing factor to our flooding? We doubt it. It could have been at first, but then the groundwater came up so high that my basement was leaking from all points, and in fact the re-grading was steering a lot of water around my house.

Still, we needed the retaining wall re-done and the pavers re-installed to complete our yard, and our landscaper dudes finished that project this week. They started it while I was hiding in the basement painting (or mudding or drywalling -- it's all just a blur).

Step 1 was for yet another backhoe to show up and dig even more things in my yard.
The retaining wall starts 
Shaped in
Step 2 was to shape the siding and remove the deck steps to enable re-installation of the pavers.
Siding cut to height 
Steps being removed
Step 3 was to complete the retaining wall.
Steps being built 
Dormers in... 
...and buried 
More or less finished
Then work began in earnest relaying the pavers.
Hammering down the gravel base 
The first pavers go down 
The new patio
All the specially shaped bricks for the edges had to be cut by hand. This is noisy and dusty.
Hand cutting 
More edged 
And more
And so it went, until they finished brushing the sand over the final product.
The finished side 
Looking good 
A tidy corner 
Bye bye worker bees
I re-seeded the back yard yesterday. Last time, it took most of the day. This time, it took less than 90 min, as the landscaper dudes had broken up 90% of the compacted earth and cleared out all the bad stuff.

And now we are virtually done. We need to re-build the step we tore off, and there's still the small matter of my water remaining contaminated. The latter should be taken care of this week. We still need to plant some trees and restore the fence, but that's our problem, not some hired contractor who won't show up.

So after almost 2 years of worker dudes continually visiting my house, I can safely say: we're done.

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