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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Backyard Improvements

I have one little thing I want to share today before I go into some backyard improvements we've made to the house. It is TV related of course...haha! So this past weekend, I happened to catch a few episodes of a show I didn't know existed. Ya know how on TLC they have that show called Four Weddings, where there are 4 brides and they attend each other's weddings and rate them on whose they liked best, and the winner gets their dream honeymoon in the end? Well the other day, I watched the show Four Houses on TLC, where 4 homeowners tour each other's houses and rate them! And each one has its very unique attributes with very different styles. It was really entertaining! K, thought I'd just share that little tidbit. Haha.

But, back to our house! I really like outdoor projects. Mostly because I like being outside when it's nice out and enjoying the sunshine. Which is why I get depressed being inside all winter when it's cold and nasty outside! I can't wait until it's spring/summer, to work on outdoor projects again. Since we've lived in the house together, we've done a lot with the exterior, some of which I shared in This Post, about the improvements we've made in the front. Now I want to share a few things we've done in the back.

Our backyard......Needs work. I don't have a proper "before" picture for the backyard - Well, actually, I do have this - here's a picture I found from back in 2009 when Trent lived here with his dad:

I guess this could technically qualify as a "before" picture. This is our backyard before I lived here - we were having a little cookout, just the two of us. :) Look behind Trent to the left and right. Notice all of the "junk" in the yard...yea, me = not a fan. For me, all that junk just kinda takes away the relaxing, quiet space that is supposed to be your backyard. You can see the HUGE garden that was back there too. I'm all for vegetable gardens, but we both agreed it was just too big! Since I moved in, we've scaled the garden back quite a bit so that it no longer takes up almost all of our yard. A lot of the "junk" is also gone now. Buh-bye, Railroad crossing sign! See ya later! haha.

So..this is what our yard looks like now: 

These were taken last summer, and it's obvious by the photos our backyard space is not much to look at. But a lot of the junk is cleared out..it just needs A LOT of love. More than we could do in a couple of summers. It's been an improvement... but there's still a lot we want to do back here.

Here's a few things we've done so far:
1. Cleared out the junk
2. Scaled back the garden
3. Got a new firepit (the rusty old one in the photos is gone now)
4. Stained the "deck"
5. Pressure-washed the back of the house
6. Painted the back door
7. Removed the old brown clothes line

Here are some pictures from when we (and by "we," I mean Trent) pressure-washed the dingy siding in the back of the house:

This was clearly something that needed to be done! Just look at all that dinginess....

And it was pretty fun to watch Trent getting soaked in his poncho!

Even the foundation needed a wash:

And as always, our helper, Saleen, was right there getting in on all the action....


The back of the house was looking much better, and after all the washing, was clean and sparkly again!



We also stained the little "deck" off the back porch. Here's Trent cleaning it up:

(Saleen is clearly not enthused..)
 

Here's the deck "Before":

And here it is after staining:
It's an improvement, but we definitely want a much better deck we can actually hang out on some day!

And for the final backyard improvement I actually have pictures of...Removing the Clothes line! We could've just painted it white and called it a day, but in the end...we thought, 'when are we really ever going to use this thing??' and decided to dig it up. Well, turns out that sucker was in there pretty deep....


Yep...and that concrete wasn't light, either. And the best part...there were two of those things! That was a fun day....I just watched the boys hard at work. I mean, I don't really have the strength to pull out one of those things, let's face the facts here. ;)

Those improvements we made above were just baby steps compared to the things we still want to do...like:
1. Build a new deck
2. Fence in the yard
3. Put in a new patio
4. Upgrade the patio furniture
5. Move the shed to the back of the yard
6. Build a new garage (and tear down the old one)
7. Put down rock and landscape around the entire back of the house.

That's a pretty big to-do list for the backyard I think! And it might take a few years to complete...but I can't wait until it's all done and we can sit back there and just love our yard.

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