For my birthday this year I wanted to finally get our yard FINISHED so every weekend for the past month I dug and prepped and dug and raked and carried and dug and dug.  I cannot even begin to guess how many pounds of dirt I moved, decomposed granite I hauled, or stepping stones I placed.

Side Before 1

As you can see our side yard was a bit of a dirt pile waiting for refurbishment.  It was a storing ground for garden tools and a dirt hill for our daughter’s tricycle.  But we wanted an area to enjoy the view of downtown, possibly while sipping of the evening’s beverage of choice.  One of the first things I found in my excavation were steps.  That was easy!

Step 2

Steps that had been long buried in the dirt, though I imagine they could have been there for grading purposes as well.  But now I’ve declared them to be steps.  Once I dug those out I then went about flattening the whole area to make it level, or at least as level as I could.  Then constructed a simple L box out of 2 x12’s to really level it out and make sure nothing overflowed onto the neighbors.

Side Before 2

Side Before 3

Step Done 1

Originally we had thought of putting a deck in the space but as way to save a little money and time we decided to go with paver stones (made from dark matter, or so they felt) and decomposed granite.  This was nice because it would match the rest of our yard.  We also had our house painted a nice natural green.

Side Squares Arranged

And to continue in the vein of saving money, as well as recycling, I was able to make a bar out of left over wood, which was promptly hijacked by our daughter.

Bar

Bar Lights Clem

Add a string of $11 lights leftover from our wedding and BOOM, we’ve got ourselves a nice little nook.  And the view is not too shabby too.

Bar Lights

Side Done Lights Clem

View

 

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