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Friday, October 11, 2013

Landscaping the Side Yard is Complete!

If you've been following our progress on landscaping the side yard, well, you'll be happy to know that I am calling this project complete! If not, you can visit the posts herehere, here, here, and here to see where we first started to where we are now.


Of course, we plan to do even more here in the future, like create a walking path to the driveway, and plant some more bushes and flowers in the plant bed. But the main part of the job is officially finished!

For a quick recap, here was what we started with back in the beginning of August:


The grass was a lot greener then, but it was not much to look at. We hadn't given this area of the yard much attention since we've been here, but since we park on this side of the house now (you can see my temporary garage-tent in the photo below - the big ol' gray thing behind the house), we walked past this space everyday and started envisioning some nice landscaping here.


I'm so glad we're finally done with the brunt of the work. The next big project (the walkway) might have to wait until next year, considering it took a couple of months for us to finish the plant bed.

Here are the final steps we made to complete the project:

First - We finished filling the end of the bed and leveling it out with dirt. I really helped with this step! Trent tilled up some dirt in the backyard and we both shoveled it into the lawn trailer.


Then emptied it into the plant bed to level it out. Trent also made a slight slope right in front of the house for rain to run off.

Next we just covered the remaining section with landscaping fabric like we did on the other side to prevent weeds from seeping through. This is a two-person job in my opinion, especially if you have a large area to cover and a few plants to go around. It helps if one person unrolls the fabric while the other person is on the opposite end to cut it. I have to say, it was much easier to do it in the daylight! The first section we covered at night, which was a bit difficult even with a spotlight. ;)


Then all we had left was to cover the remaining area with mulch and rock. We used maybe 10 bags of mulch on this side and five bags of rock.


Our final step was pressure-washing the house. I couldn't wait for this step! The grime on the siding was really bugging me. Just look at this photo from earlier - see that green mildewy type of stuff on the house?

I couldn't wait for it to be gone. I watched Trent wash the siding off, and as always, this part is always the coolest part to watch. I seriously love pressure-washers. They work miracles.


Here's the side of the house all clean and shiny!


And that was just the house. Next was cleaning the basement door. This old thing will have to be replaced next year. The temporary bricks stacked on the foundation just ain't workin'! But we're making due with what we have this year.


It's amazing what this thing can do. The dirt washed right off and it was looking brand spankin' new again.....almost. Ignore the shabby bricks on the side. :)



Look at our shiny like-new door now! Washing all the dirt away was really what made the project look "finished."

Here's the finished project. Lots of work and bricks..and more materials. But worth it. It will only get better as we add our walkway and additional plants and flowers. And as the grass greens up a bit. :)



Here's the Total Project Cost Breakdown:

Materials and Costs for landscaping the west side of the house - Summer/Fall 2013:
  • Mulch - (had 4-5 bags already on hand) Purchased 10 more bags at approx. $3.67 each ($36.76) then four more bags at $2.99 each (11.96) = $48.72
  • Nylon rope 215' = $3.04
  • Potting mix/fertilizer (1 bag) = $7.99
  • Top soil - 2 bags at $1.19 each = $2.38
  • Leveling sand - 5 bags at $2.97 each = $14.85
  • 116 Total Landscaping bricks (Most were approx. $1.69 each - we got some on sale for .99 cents) = $162.96
  • Weed fabric (1 4x80' roll) = $9.99
  • River pebble - 10 bags at approx. $2.73 each = $27.30
  • Hydrangea plant = $27.98
  • Hostas - 4 at $5.98 each = $23.92
Taxes: $23.96
Total before Rebates: $353.09
11% Mail-in Rebates = - $20.21
Project Total:  $332.88

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All materials were purchased at Menards but the plants, which were from Lowe's. The bulk of the money spent went toward the landscaping bricks. We made several trips back over the course of the two months for more materials. There was an 11% Rebate sale going on for some of the time, so we saved a little there. We also caught a sale on the landscaping bricks where we got them for only 99 cents. Wish we would have been able to purchase all of them at that time! We got to send in 3 Rebate receipts, so we received store credit for those amounts (totaling $20.21), which we were able to use to buy the remaining materials we needed.

Starting out we never really had a budget. We just always try to get the materials little by little as we go. It's always interesting to see the breakdown of costs, though! Doing it ourselves probably saved a little chunk of change, too. We just ended up with a couple of unused bricks and a bag of sand that we didn't use, but it will come in handy when we start on the walkway.

I can't wait to plant more plants and really fill the bed out next year. It will be a challenge, since this is a mostly shaded area. For now though, I'd say a successful outdoor project is complete! I can sleep better at night. :)

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