Monday, May 2, 2011

Backyard progress & epiphany

After Eric worked tirelessly on Saturday to take out the top foot of our filled-in pool (only one more foot to go!  Hurrah!), we have a pile of rubble in our backyard that looks like this:

Only about 10 times bigger.  So.... what are we gonna do with it?  My first thought, was GET RID OF IT.  DUH.  Buuuut, it costs about $300-$400 to dump it at a landfill.  WHAA?!  That's over 1/2 of our budget for the entire backyard.  No dice.   Second thought: what if we load it into a truck and distribute it slyly to a bunch of different dumpsters?  No one will notice, right?  Wrong.  We could get arrested.  As posting bail is not included in our budget, this plan is also no dice.  So, what to do?  

Enter an awesome co-worker who suggests using/reusing the concrete and re-bar to make a little half wall  around our soon-to-be sandstone patio, like this:

Awesome, right?!  I have the wire (used re-bar from the pool), and I'd only need to invest in the mesh!  I also think I could use some salvaged wood to make a little seat for the top of the "cage," so we could have it as extra patio seating.  BOOYAH!  Wow, this project went from a downer to a winner in no time.  Here's some close up pics of similar rock walls for your viewing pleasure:

We are eventually going to have a large sandstone patio, as the person who filled in the pool and planted two palm trees in the deep end (LOSER!), also left us 5 ginormous stacks of sandstone pavers (WINNER!).  I'm very conflicted about the previous owner, as you can see.  He is also responsible for the EIGHT different types of flooring throughout our 1300 square foot home (ranging from asbestos-laden tile to pergo to linoleum and two types of carpet... but that's a story for another time).  Hopefully our patio will eventually look like this:

The U-shaped half wall will be of caged rock instead of sandstone, and you should eliminate anything green from your minds eye, as we live on the surface of the sun.  It'll be mostly desert landscape (little/no water use = cheap and green!), but we'll have a little plot of grass just to try and convince ourselves that the place where we live is suitable for humans.  

Are you ready for the best part of the story??  I think I can do all of this (realistically) for around $400!!!!!  WINNING!  All I need is: rent a machine to pound the ground flat (already have the sand to level it out) - $40, mortar for the sandstone (already have tools and experience laying a patio) - $150, welding equipment (borrowed from a relative) - free!, wire mesh - $175, and wood for the seat (hopefully salvaged and free, but if not...) - $50.  Yeah baby!  Plus, Eric and I feel like this will turn what could be a very basic backyard ito something that's unique, and very "us."  Our quest continues this week and into next weekend (never mind that I'm hosting mothers day for 15 people on Sunday - holy crap!  But more on that later), so wish us luck!

P.S.  If you know how to weld.... is it hard?  It's one of the only "DIY" things I've not done before.  I have assurances from a friend that it's "easy,"  but I want the truth, people!  

I hope your day is going well; maybe when I finish getting all the pics uploaded and edited I'll tell you the story of how a Wallaby ended up on our porch last Thursday evening (yes, you read that right, and YES we live in the MIDDLE of an urban city.)  And now that I'm sure I have you on pins and needles, I'm going to make you wait for it.   Happy Monday, friends!

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