Backyard Overhaul!


When I first purchased my home I was so excited to have found a place with a fenced in yard for my dogs.  It was all mine, but it was an absolute eyesore.  Well, here I am, 5 years later, and it has finally come to fruition.  Yes, a long time, whatever!  Each year I focused on a little something.

Problem #1: Back landing/stairs:

I started with the back stairs: or lack thereof.  These stairs were comprised of cinder blocks with bricks laying inside.  There was nothing holding it together but prayers.  I knew this was the first thing to be resolved- how the hell would the dogs, or myself, get in and out with out feeling like we were walking the plank?  Here are the before pictures:

As soon as my father and I started pulling away the bricks we saw that the whole inside was pretty much hollow, and the cinder provided no structural support.


A friend of mine from high school does masonry work on the side, and he installed the most beautiful blue stone stairs. The landing was wider, safer, and well- better looking:


Problem #2: White Stones

The back yard was filled with white stones; apparently the previous owners had an above ground pool and used these stones around it for drainage.  It was labor intensive to remove them.  Actually it was a b*tch.  My father and I sifted for days just to try to get some of them out.  These stones, although mostly gone, would continue to pinch my feet as I walked around.


Problem #3: Fence

As you can tell from the previous photos, the fence was barely standing up straight.  A new fence went up with an awesome new gate (that worked).


Problem #4: Patio

The brick patio wasn’t very attractive and definitely needed an upgrade.  It didn’t expand out towards the bulkhead, which left this open space.  I was left scratching my head.. umm, what the heck do I do with this?

Again, my friend from high school helped me pick out the cobble stone, and he crated the most beautiful patio for the space, and even incorporated some of the brick for an extra touch of flair.  The patio extended all the way to the bulk head, which provided a perfect space for the grill.  He re-used the brick to fill in the pathway to the gate.  By using the brick I already had, it was cost effective and really cleaned up the narrow space between the house and fence.

Problem # 5: Grass

Ok, so all these things look great together, but the greatest eyesore of the whole backyard was the lawn.  Excuse me I stand corrected: there was no grass, just desert scrub that existed in patches. Now this was difficult, because I have two big dogs, and I knew my choices for laying down new landscaping were limited.

Option #1) Seed: It would be almost impossible to put seed down- the dogs would walk through it and destroy the seeding and bring mud in the house.  Thus making more of a mess with little results.

Option #2: Hydro-seed: well apparently I didn’t have enough square footage for “it to be worth it,” as I was told from a few companies.  I say “to hell with them!”

Option #3: Sod.  I was terrified to put sod down, I know it can be temperamental and difficult to maintain in its early stages.  I figured I could replace pieces here and there if need be, but it made the most sense: I would get grass immediately and the dogs wouldn’t be able to inhibit its growth or bring in a hot mess!  I hired Dorabella’s Landscaping, and they were wonderful!  They took what was left of those damn white stones, grated it all, put fresh loam down, and perfect laid out the sod.

As you can tell the dogs are quite happy.  The whole dogs peeing on the lawn and causing yellow spots is another problem, but it will all work out.

I purchased new cushions to go with the really beautiful patio set I already had.  All in all, it was a lot of work, but now the backyard is done, and it’s a space I enjoy spending time in.


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