Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Backyard Renovations

Hi all!  I hope you all had an enjoyable Memorial Day weekend!  I would love to say that I relaxed, and enjoyed the beautiful sunny, warm weather we had here in Maine with my family, but it was quite the contrary.  We all spent time together, as a family that is, just no relaxation for us.  Last week, we had an above-ground pool installed for years, and years of summer entertainment for our children.  Now, if you must know, whenever my husband and I decide to do a relatively large, somewhat expensive project, things never go according to plan!  No, that would be much to easy:-)  This was our backyard prior to the pool installation and excavation.  Look at that beautiful lush, green grass!

Our backyard actually slopes down towards our house.  There is nothing level about our back yard.  So, to install a pool near our deck it required a whole lot of excavation/digging.  We also had to make sure that the back yard remained graded in a way that would allow for all water run-off to go where it should.....away from the house, pool and swingset. 

I cringed as I watched the digger dig up the beautiful sod in our back yard.  My hubby and I don't exactly have a green thumb, but we are anal about our lawn looking nice.  Of course, there was a lot of digging done to create a level spot in our yard.  Where did all the extra gravel go, you ask?  Well, at first he piled the gravel in another spot in our backyard, but then we asked that he move it, and dump it in the woods just off our lawn.  Well, you can imagine the mess that left behind, not to mention the fact that they were doing this all on a rainy day, so the digger and then tractor that they used, dug up even more of our back yard.  Needless to say, it was a huge mess.  We had a friend of ours, who is a landscaper, come over last Thursday to access the damage and give us an idea of how much it was going to cost to fix our yard.  He suggested that we try to clean some of it up ourselves....goodbye holiday weekend! 

So, guess what my hubby and I did, along with our two oldest kids over the long weekend - yup you guessed it....WORK! 

The pool thankfully went up with only a few minor issues, but of course when we went to plug the pump into the outlet, the prong was actually a twist and lock prong, not a regular prong.  So, we had to hold off on getting the pump going until we could address that issue (more on that later).

Back to the yard work.  We raked, raked and rcked some more.  Raking gravel is not easy work, especially when it's wet.  We picked rocks out of the soil, and shoveled lots of gravel (which thankfully we had plenty of thanks to the big hole they dug).  Our friend and neighbor, Ben, suggested that we get a rototiller and till the area that was all rutted up thanks to the tractor.  What a great idea!!! So, I called my father and he let us borrow his rototiller.  Before we could till the ruts, though we had to put some gravel in the low spots, of which there were many.  So, we shoveled some more, and then tilled the area.  It actually looked pretty good, and should now only need a top layer of loam, and some grass seed!

We picked up all the debris and rocks, etc. to make it easier and cleaner for our landscaper to come in and do his thing.  Since we had such a big hole, the area directly behind the pool is now a steep embankment.  We will have the landscaper come in with rocks, and line that slopping embankment so the hill won't erode.  Keep in mind we didn't budget in anything for landscaping, go figure!

Notice that our deck floor is missing.  Well, this is yet another project we have going right now.  Starting either tomorrow or Friday, we hope to have a great contractor, who has done a lot of work for us, come and begin putting in a new deck that will of course abut to the pool.  We hope to make a screened-in porch on the back, with a roof, so we can sit outside during the hot afternoon sun, and at night without being bothered by the bugs.  I'll keep you posted on the progress of the deck, as well as the yard!


  1. I'm ready to jump in! Looks awesome! The kids will love it! Nothing ever goes smoothly!

  2. You aren't kidding! Now we just need to get the deck built, so we don't have to be creative in getting in and out of the pool!

  3. This looks great, Tan! I know where you guys will be all summer!

  4. Thanks Mis! I am hoping the sun will return and stay awhile so we can actually try the pool out!