Wednesday, September 4, 2013

8 o'clock at the oasis

[if you don't get that reference then we cannot be friends anymore, at least until your tv palette has expanded to '90's/00's popular mother/daughter dramedys]

it is FINALLY DONE! i feel like a hallelujah and rain dance is needed to really capture my happiness because as far as i'm concerned, life does not get any better then this! i guess i've always taken my mother's sprawling backyard for granted but not anymore. with a little boy who loves to be outside doing manly things, this was needed. granted, i'm feeling extremely poor because it took up all of the budget but it is worth every penny.

i wish i would have gotten a good picture of the backyard in it's glory so try to imagine it from these first demo pictures. when we first moved in [almost 1 1/2 years ago- landon was about 2 months old], the backyard had a tree, cactus [that turned out to be poisonous to children. what cactus isn't? i think it had something to do with the bugs attracted to it], a non-functioning pond, a red deck and three different slabs and levels of concrete. it was quite the challenge but we saw the potential. having a decent sized backyard was priority #1 for us in house hunting and in vegas, ours is quite vast.

justin started off by tearing down the wooden deck, jack hammering the concrete, ripping up the pond [and the weird/illegal electrical line attached], sawing the tree then digging up the roots. this was no easy task! he was outside a whole lot working so hard. honestly, i don't know how he had the strength to do it all! it was exhausting enough watching him, which landon did religiously. looking back at the pictures is frightening.

the next phase of operation backyard was getting a giant dumpster and mini-tractor to haul all this crap away. now it sounds easy but holy goodness, but it wasn't. a lot of back breaking work hauling all of these heavy pieces and PAYING for the dumpster was not an easy thing. luckily justin's bf keith worked for a construction company so we got the tractor for free [insert angel's singing here]. landon particularly loved this phase because he got to sit in the tractor. in order to do this we had to demo oru side wall to fit the tractor back there. i think justin really enjoyed this.

since there was a huge gaping hole in our wall, justin & his dad built a gate to go in it. we got a couple quotes that were completely out of our price range so he bought one on craiglists for a few hundred then fit it to our hole. we raised our wall two blocks as well because our east wall is pretty low and our neighbors have a scary dog [in the future, we'll raise the whole wall up but for now, just our gate is higher]. i think they did a great job and was loads cheaper then anything we got quoted. my husband is a superhero.

a before picture of our side wall/gate
at this point our backyard was completely empty [well, pretty much empty. somethings were still piled up along our wall, mostly wood for fires]. we finished this at the end of the year then packed up and left for carson.

once we got home justin started digging up the water line to prepare for the sprinklers. again, not an easy task for the nevada soil. it's basically rock, not dirt. he started digging and getting the rocks out. at this point it was summer - vegas summer - so we got some outside help. we had two fellas come to start the line one day then never returned. we think they went back home to mexico? sadly they didn't get paid because they just up and left- even left their tools! at this point we had our patio poured [another big expense] and some patio poured on the side next to the door from our garage/ac unit. justin then painted our walls/gates to match our house [which i didn't really like the idea of but now i love. it really makes our backyard nicer].

during this time he also constructed a giant raised garden box for the larger side of our house. i know absolutely nothing about gardening and am really scared of gardening in las vegas but i'm going to attempt! the box is huge and so heavy but justin did a great job. i've already attended a few gardening classes and hope to have the money to start one come spring [which means feburary for las vegas].

after the concrete set, the concrete guys said they could finish our sprinkler lines for us and then poured us curbing for the grass. normal curbing is raised but our concrete guys couldn't do that [and to do that fancy curbing is SO expensive] so they did a flat 4" one that i really like. they also expanded our side concrete slab a few feet so we could add a storage shed on the side of our yard. after that justin finished out the sprinklers, added a drink line and bought some plants. we also bought tons of pebble rocks for the sides of our house and to surround the rocks, some sod and then had some more workers come to lay the rock/sod.

voila! it's done! we have to wait a few weeks to walk on the grass so it can take root but by the time landon's birthday comes along. we're planning on having his birthday bbq back there so i am more then excited to show it off. we still have a few wants: patio furniture and bench, a toy hutch, a shed, bbq, small gate separating the larger side yard [with my garden] from the kid area and of course, filling and starting my garden box. but those things can [and really have to] wait. we've already spent several hours outside playing in the dirt and with our chalk. so thankful for handy fella who can do so much for us. he really worked so hard to make my backyard dreams come true.

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Amanda said...

Seriously LOVE this!! It looks so nice!

Caitlin said...

Wow! That is so much work, but it looks way nice!! I bet it's nice to have a fenced in backyard for Landon to play in. Maybe someday I will be able to see it in person!

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