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#1 Aug 07 2011 at 11:58 AM Rating: Good
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Last year I started to plan some yard/house changes. This year I finally started those changes. It's hard finding time to work on it while having a very demanding job, but it's slowly getting done. I'm hoping next weekend if the weather is nice I will get the door in my basement. Then everything will go easier from there.

Side of my house before:

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Side of my house now:

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Edited, Aug 7th 2011 2:05pm by TirithRR
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#2 Aug 07 2011 at 11:59 AM Rating: Good
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I underestimated how much sand there was between my driveway and house. I knew there was a lot... but not quite this much. I borrowed a tractor from my Uncle to move most of it out of the way, but there is still (quite a few) tons left to move.

The sand has been moved to the front to level out my front yard, which drops about 6-7 feet towards the utility trail.

Without Sand:

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With some sand:

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I wish I had more time to work on it other than just the weekends. Once all the sand is moved, it'll be time to buy/borrow some stone and top soil. I'll finally have real grass growing rather than weeds and blackberry bushes.

Main thing I'm disappointed about now is that when we built the house we didn't own the land that our driveway is currently on. So we didn't build windows into the wall incase someone purchased the land and built a house right next to ours. But now I own the acre of land there, I get to stare at a big grey side of a house with nothing there.

Edited, Aug 7th 2011 2:03pm by TirithRR
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#3 Aug 07 2011 at 12:06 PM Rating: Good
You did all that with a shovel and wheelbarrow? That is a LOT of work. Holy ****.
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#4 Aug 07 2011 at 12:25 PM Rating: Good
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No, used a tractor. But it was a smaller one, and it took almost all of the daylight time for the day we had it to move that sand. I did have to widen the hole by about 1 foot, which was done with a shovel and wheelbarrow. I'll have a few inches of sand to take out of the bottom of the hole to redistribute so it slopes away from the house correctly. Right now it's pretty much level.

Edited, Aug 7th 2011 2:25pm by TirithRR
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#5 Aug 07 2011 at 1:30 PM Rating: Good
Landscaping is a lot of work. I built a pond area for my parents in their backyard a few years ago, and that was a huge hassle; yours looks like even more work. What's your goal for a finished product (i.e. what other stuff are you planning on doing)?
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#6 Aug 07 2011 at 2:10 PM Rating: Good
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Right now the plan is to get the door into my basement and level out my front and side yards, plant grass, possibly installing a sprinkler system (depends on cost/time).

Nothing fancy, just getting a yard. The tiny little porch is slated to be torn down and a large one built in it's place. I already have an 18' ledger board attached to the house. Put that up when we finished the siding. But I don't want to build the deck until the yard is leveled out and ready to be finished. I'm thinking of putting a weed block and stone under the deck and I can't do that until the yard is ready.

So far my whole yard is nothing but sand/weeds. Except the back, which had a large garden for many years, so it's got a nice build up of soil and the drainage field for the septic system. The grass likes growing back there.

The main goal is to get the door to my basement installed and then clean out the basement and finish it. Going to put a den down there, a small room, a closet to hold various cable/internet devices for spreading out to the house, etc. Finally make use of the 1300 sq. ft basement that is nothing but storing junk that is leftover from moving.
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#7 Aug 07 2011 at 8:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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Looks good so far! Sprinkler systems are definitly worth it if you care what your lawn looks like, or for resale value. They are also a pain in the *** to put in, though seeing as you have acess to a tractor, maybe not as much as running a hand trencher sucked.

My advice on sprinkler systems is "have someone else do it". The mechanicals of it all were kind of neat, and this way I know exactly where everything is, but the trenching and refilling was a pain in the ***. I did finally end up having someone else professionally install the mains tie in and the backflow preventer. That ran me about $350, $150 of which was the backflow preventer itself. Best $350 I ever spent. If I had to do it again, I'd also have redone the lawn at the same time rather than going the salvage route that I went. It looks decent now, but its been a struggle.
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