Brian has always been pretty discourged by the backyard. It is three terraced rows with no flat grade anywhere and an upper and lower deck made of beautiful redwood but very dirty and railings made of real glass (scary!). Because of this steep grade (the before pictures are actually quite deceiving, it is not as flat as it looks), Brian has been frustrated with not being able to have a place to kick a ball with Andrew and for the kids to play safe in the backyard. I tried to make it look pretty by laying down new bark and placing landscaping paper down to minimize weeds which were rampant the year before after we had torn out the overgrown shrubbery. Well, Brian decided the backyard needed to move up on the priority list. There is a member of our church who lives 2 hours away who builds retaining walls for a living and does most of his work here in Medford. He told us he could come in, dismantle the backyard, build the wall, backfill with soil, build a sprinkler system, and have sod down in 2 weeks (I said yeah right!). Well, he wasn’t kidding, and in 2 weeks I had a new backyard. Now, don’t look too close because we still have a lot of landscaping now to do but for now it looks pretty fantastic!
Brian’s project included dismantling the stairs connecting the lower and upper deck, removing the railing of the lower deck and dismantling the stairs on the lower deck. He did this over several days. Then made a makeshift railing up top so the kids would not fall off the deck. It was dirty work!
I went to volunteer in the girl’s preschool class for 2 1/2 hours the day the Hartshorn’s (guys who did the job [father/son]) started. When I got back, they had bulldozed the lower deck, All the old trees/shrubs had been removed, they had removed the wood from the deck and a concrete breaking machine was there to break up the concrete that was full of rebar. We had enough fill/stones to backfill the yard without ordering more fill. We even had to have a truck come and remove a truck full of fill.
All the wood products were put in the biomass container[33 ft x 8 ft x 8 ft] (which we filled two of them to the brim with trees, deck, and shrubbery) within 24 hours. Biomass then removed the containers and then a semi-truck came and unloaded pallets of pavers and stone. We had all together 43 pallets dropped off in our front yard. 2 semi-trucks worth.
They used the south side of our yard as the entrance to/from the backyard. It was pretty chewed up. Fortunately our neighbors forgave us of our mess despite the fact we even killed one of their shrubs. We made amends with them, had the shrub completely torn out and then paid for some yard waste to be removed for them, along with putting up a small retaining wall for them and new shrubery. It actually looks better now. Brian has also worked diligently on minimizing the amount of sprinkler water this side of our yard receives because of the drainage issues that occur in our neighbor’s yard because of the water flowing down hill.
Then, the wall began to form. They laid over 100 yards of gravel behind the wall, placed a geo grid, tarp and protectants to ensure the wall did not fall. They also started laying all of the gravel for the walkways and new patio that we decided to have done too.
They also paved an inner and outer walkway on either side of the wall.
The wall and the walkways began to take shape!
Then the sod arrived along with top soil. Brian loaded all the top soil in the CAT, then unloaded it in the backyard, then he and his dad raked the ground level. He then proceeded to put in the sprinkler system.
And then, we had a sod partly late one Monday night and laid sod until 9pm at night with the Hartshorns. Here are the after pictures. Now, since these were taken some of the empty spost have been filled and more landscaping has been done.
(We have ordered a wrought iron railing to prevent kids from falling off the wall. It will be in place October 22.)
South end of house with walkway up the side of the yard
Now we are currently remodeling our deck which will include a wrought iron railing, trex decking on the upper deck and a new deck below.
After the deck is completed and the wrought iron railing is on the retaining wall I will send updated pictures.