Our Backyard Progress

We met with a concrete guy about our backyard in April to get a quote. We liked the quote, but they were so backlogged that they didn't start until the very end of June. So, the timing of this project wasn't exactly the best, happening in the height of summer. But now that our backyard is usable again, it was totally worth it. We are redoing our backyard "ourselves"...basically had someone rip it out and put in the concrete we wanted, but still have a bunch more we are doing on our own. 

Here is what we started with:

The placement of the pool isn't the best, being right by the house, but we are working with what we have ;) The week before the concrete people came to start, I decided I wanted to add concrete squares in the back to go around our seating/dining area that will eventually be covered. We designed our backyard ourselves and tore out most the plants because we wanted something we will realistically maintain. You can't tell from this picture, but the entire back of the backyard had a grey concrete slab that housed a pool house, which was torn down before we bought the house. Also, there was a electrical box for the pool light sticking up about 6 inches out of the ground between the two chairs on the far end of the pool. I only mention this because getting rid of it became a pain in the butt...but a pain I am oh-so-glad we dealt with. 


^^ We went out and spray painted our plan the night before work began. You should know I am horrible at painting straight lines, so it was a good thing these guys were professionals and made it look great in the end. 

^^ I was literally peeing my pants when they were jackhammering right next to the pool. I kept thinking of all that could go wrong and what a disaster it would be. Alas, all was good. 

^^ Our backyard got stuck in this state for a couple weeks. That annoying pool light box (which you can see sticking out of the dirt straight behind the pool light) I mentioned earlier caused quite the snafu. Our pool still had the original light and electrical wire, so the electrician recommended replacing that and also updating the way it was hooked up to the house (new code rules these days). But we discovered that standard pool lights come with a 30 foot wire and we needed 60 feet. So, we had to wait to order it. Then we had to partially drain the pool to install it. Blah, blah, blah. But, we not no longer have a tripping hazard (and eye sore) sticking out of the ground, so that's good. 

Finished concrete:

^^ Since I failed to mention this earlier, over on the right of this picture is our back house. Before having the concrete poured, we installed a french door, allowing much more natural light in the back house and also making a larger step into the back house when the concrete was poured. 

^^ The rectangle slab in the back of the yard will eventually have some sort of structure over it, but that is a year or two down the road. It will also have a table for us to eat at. The dirt spot on the left will eventually have (fake) grass on it to play on. 

Here are some things we still have left to do:

* Clean out and level the planters
* Paint the fence. We are thinking some sort of grey...our favorite color, haha!
* Run a drip system for plants and electrical system for uplighting in the planters. 
* Plant drought tolerant and low maintenance plants in the planters every couple feet. 
* Fill in the planters and in between the square concrete with rock. 
* Build a fence (think a half fence) around the grass area. 
* Put in fake grass in the grass area.

Father down the road, we would like to build a structure over the eating area that would also have electricity in it...we loved our outdoor fans at our last house! We would also like to string outdoor lights across the backyard. Also, we would like to add several inches of horizontal wood to the top of our fence, giving us more privacy and making it feel a little more modern. But this is where we are for today. 

The progress of the backyard already makes me smile so much. It isn't overgrown anymore. All the concrete matches. Oh, and we widended the steps going into our house and it makes me smile every time I open the door that there is no longer a drop off right there on the side. It's the little things, right?!

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