Reader Remodel Contest | Yard and Garden | Kathleen B.
We had a 10x13 patio on our newly built house. It was so small it didn't fit any of our furniture, or grill at the same time. The grading of the yard was so bad that we ended up with standing water in the low spots, which was across the entire back yard. Two dogs make quick work of the sod in that situation. For three years we have battled the mud. This Spring we finally decided to get started on the patio project that I drew out the first year. We got quotes of $5400 and $4300 for just the patio alone. That's digging, forming and pouring concrete. Yikes! We also wanted to do a block seat wall with an opening for stairs to get to the higher parts of the yard. We wanted to back fill so the top part of the yard became level and the sides would be a more gradual slope. We also wanted to build a pergola for shade. We knew with those quotes, we'd never get any of those other things done. Since my husband and I are big DIY'ers, we decided to do it ourselves. We can only work on projects on weekends as we both work full time jobs. Between that and the rainy Spring, it took us awhile. But, we did it and we love it. My husband got eleven loads of dirt in his pick up to build up the yard and then we got three loads of sod. Our water bill was $120 last month! I recovered the cushions on my 17 year old patio set and built a new table top for the table that had the glass broken out of it. We planted fire power nandinas that we had purchased after the season two years ago on clearance. They've been on the side of the house waiting for their new home. Spray painted the patio set a nice hammered black and viola, it's done!
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