We began the work on the backyard this past week.  It seemed like it was going to be a straight forward project, but alas this too is a HORRIBLE pain in the butt. As with everything in the house nothing outside is square or level either.

We knew it would need some serious leveling, but we have spent days just digging up these pieces of broken block, concrete and pavers that were sticking up everywhere!  These are just what we dug up in an hour setting the base for the new gate. Unfortunately you are not allowed to throw these away in the trash and so we are are having to “break” them all apart into much smaller pieces and then use them under the sand layer we are putting down. It appears 6900 pounds of sand is not going to be enough even with using all the odd pieces of broken concrete blocks to properly level everything.

After we get it leveled with the sand we will still need a couple pallets full of pavers and sod before we can even sit and enjoy a glass of wine on the new patio. This is before the “PRETTY” side goes up.

Fencing is “supposed” to be part of the HOA fees, but we’ve been on the list for over 10 months with no hope for it getting done any time soon and figured the termites don’t care about the list so we just needed to get it done.  This is one of the better looking boards.  A good wind would knock this fence down.

I secretly believe the HOA makes everyone wait hoping they’ll do it themselves so the HOA won’t have to foot the bill. Since we are footing the bill we are building an “internal” “PRETTY” side to the fence so that in the future whoever lives here won’t be inconvenienced when the outer fence needs done again. It will also help with the leveling and paver process as we try to “square” up this mess.

Hubby did have wonderful progress on the gate.  I was able to paint the old hardware to reinstall it and we will be picking up the boards tomorrow to finish the inside of the fence before leveling the sand up against it. It does need a bit of tweaking and leveling, but we need to pick up longer bolts tomorrow before we can do that.

There are several things we would do different if we were staying, but all in all it looks like it will turn out well and at the very least be “turnkey” for the buyer.

I just pray that the vision in my head comes close to the reality when this is all said and done. I figure at the rate this is going with having to dig up all the broken bits and the fact that our backs are KILLING us from all the manual labor and sledge hammer swinging, we should be able to sit and have that first of wine sometime in late February or March.