Tuesday, January 28, 2014

let's overhaul the backyard

If you want an awesome friendly family yard, don't move to Arizona.

Seriously. Rock, dirt, weeds and cacti don't qualify as anything awesome to play in/around.

When we were house hunting, we cared more about the size of our backyard than we did if it was already finished our not. A lot of newer neighborhoods in AZ have really small lots, so the larger size of ours was a huge selling point for us. Plus we knew finishing it would add equity to our home so we were OK with the idea of doing some grunt work ourselves. 

This is how our yard looks currently. Don't judge. Just pity. Good thing the HOA can't see our backyard. 

Although I don't feel even the tiniest bit excited about all the sweat we're going to be watering the dirt with, I am SO excited about our vision for the final product. 

Check it. Our fancy-shmancy plan. 

Jake went out a practiced his surveyor skills, so this it pretty much to scale. 

Here's a break down of the overhaul.

1. The trampoline (which we scored a awesome deal on Craigslist for) will be in-ground. That means renting a bobcat and digging a 15 ft in circumference, 4 1/2 ft deep hole, building a retaining wall inside the hole and putting the trampoline in. I LOVE trampolines and both of our boys have a propensity to jump all. the. time. so a trampoline seemed like a great idea. We want to put it in-ground for safety reasons and so that it's not such an eye sore. 

2. Level the ground, instal a sprinkler system and lay some beautiful green sod. We really love our 9X9 sq feet of grass that we got for free from some friends, and not to sound greedy, but we'd like just a little bit more green goodness. 

4. We have a covered patio right now and we'd like to extend it with some pavers. Ideally we'd love flag stone, but the moolah for that isn't really in our budget so we'll probably go the paver route. I'd love to lay to pavers in a herringbone pattern so we might try that. 

5. We plan on adding a raised stone wall bed along the right wall. We really want to bring some color to the backyard so we'll add a lot of flowers in the bed. 

6. Despite the fact that we live in the blazing hot desert, a raised fire pit really would be awesome in the winter months when it does get cold at night. I mean who doesn't want access to s'more making 24/7?

7. We'll invest in some seating for around the fire pit for good memory making moments. 

8. We'd like to install some flood lights so that we can use the backyard when the sun goes down.

9. Along the same lines as number 8, we'd like to update the brassy gold porch lights we have.

10. Lastly we'll add some trees and a few bushes under our kitchen windows for a little extra greenery. The trees might not happen this year. We would like to invest in slightly more mature trees, but those don't come cheap so we have to price them out. 

We know that we have a limited number of months left before the temperature spikes to high for us to really want to do major heaving and hauling of dirt and rock, so we're planning on starting all of this as soon as I get done with my life sucking antibiotics. 3 weeks left. Ugh. 

Here's a checklist version of what we need to get done. I'll keep it updated as we check things off. (One of my favorite things to do. :))

Backyard Over Haul Checklist 

1. Dig trampoline hole.
2. Build trampoline retaining wall. 
3. Level ground.
4. Install sprinkler system.
5. Dig fire pit.
5. Build fire pit. 
6. Lay pavers. (Possibly in herringbone pattern??)
7. Build raised bed.
8. Plant trees.
9. Plant bushes.
10. Install floodlights. 
11. Fill raised bed.
12. Buying outdoor seating.
13. Update porch lighting. 

This list doesn't look too overwhelming, but I have a feeling we're going to discover a lot of muscles we didn't know we had. 

Jake thinks I'm crazy for even talking about this right now, but honestly I'm going a little stir crazy not having the energy to do anything, so I plan. You should wait for my post on thoughts about the Bachelor and the future house I want to build. You can bet your lettuce that they're something special. Those who can't do, plan right?

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