A month after the complete renovation of our front yard, we decided to put together a selection of the photos previously uploaded to allow you to view the renovation from start to finish. You’ll also notice that these have a description of the action. Enjoy!
Old walkways marked for demo
Old walkways removed with the help of a skid-steer
Easy come easy go
Even the city sidewalk was replaced
New paths were framed and tamped
The stairs and wall was also framed
Pipe was added to allow for the installation later in the project of the irrigation system
The paths have crushed rock base, rebar, and fiberesh
In goes concrete
In the second day we can already see the design coming together as the stairs magically appear
Like a treasured gift, the concrete is unboxed
A view from the (relieved) neighbors
The concrete will need a day or two to cure
The city requires an added coating on their walk
Angles give visual interest at every turn
Is this the same house?
We finally have a side porch at the right height, length, and actually attached to the house
Amazing how a tiny bit larger front porch makes all the difference
The old and dated looking iron is replaced with cedar
Initial regrading ensures proper volume
The skid-steer returns to aid in grading and distribution of soil
The crew trenches to bury the downspout
The grading of the trench ensures the pipe will flow toward the street
The beds are marked
The boulders arrive
Boulders are carefully placed to add both visual interest and structural integrity
Edging will separate the beds from the turf
Now that things are starting to look complete, we're nearly ready for irrigation
The north side of the yard has a gentle slope
The south side of the yard has a plateau
The irrigation guys place different colored flags indicating pipes, fixtures, and irrigation zones
the yard is trenched below frost line for irregation
Electronically controlled valves create environmentally conscientious irregation
A path to the basement is fixed
The backflow brings water from the main in the basement while ensuring flood protection for the lines in the house
The brain of the irrigation system
The floating bench is not only custom, it is built on-site
Adjustments are made before the final placement of the bench around the post
The bench is lowered from above around the bost
Fit, plumb and true are checked
The bench is in place and ready for the end pieces
A finished bench is ready for staining and sanding
From every angle, the bench adds to the warmth of the front porch
Angles and lines of the bench are the perfect match to the shapes elsewhere in the yard
A brilliant addition, the bench looks like it was meant to be there
This is the last time we will have to look at the overgrowth in our tree
The neighbors are happy to see the thickness removed as well
the post below the bench is wrapped and everything gets sanded and stained
The downspout in the center of the front of the house gets some river rock to ensure water is draining away from the house
High in the treetop, the silver maple gets a haircut
Mulch is applied as both ground cover and placeholder until next year when other plants and trees are added
The neighbor's shrub is invading
The neighbor gives permission to have his shrub trimmed
Tree trimmed, check
Wow, that's a very trimmed shrub
River rock to match the rock near the downspout on the front of the house is placed at exit of the buried downspout near the city sidewalk
The sod has arrived
Turf between the city sidewalk and the street is cut specially around the tree
Mulch completes the tree's new neighbors
Turf is filled in on the south plateau
The curves of the turf have a natural flow toward the city sidewalk and mulch fills the beds
The sod is in and some initial watering helps it overcome shock
A crew member enjoys the alcove at the bottom of the step
After rolling the sod the remainder of the mulch is placed
The system is ready for drip irrigation when we are ready to add plants to the beds
Even the side of the house gets clean edging and mulch
The side is complete and the renovation is coming to a close
Looks like there is a small chip off the old block caused by the placement of the new block next to the other new block. Also, irrigation is fully installed.
The bench has arrived! Most of the irrigation is also installed. Only a bit left to do before the final steps.
Today the irrigation installation began. All that level land was trenched, the plumber ran his lines, the control box was mounted, and the crew cleaned up with such attention that the crew manager was picking chunks of dirt off the sidewalk with his bare hands. More irrigation installation tomorrow.
The crew finalized a lot of beds and installed the metal edging today. The plumber comes tomorrow to get the hookups ready for the irrigation system. The irrigation crew came by and flagged the yard which denotes where junctions, nozzles, and lines will be placed. We also have decided to have a tree service come and address our silver maple out front.
Geno came by the house early this morning and as always, was awesome. He was able to answer all of our questions and put all of our concerns (read: nervousness) to rest. The post will have trim below the bench that will cover the parts that didn’t look perfect, the post will be stained so this color will not be the final color, and all else is now wonderful in postville (not the Iowa kind). As we met, his crew appeared and began working on the grading. I had to run to work, but Dana documented all day–including the arrival and installation of the boulders. Photos follow.
The initial installation of the post occurred today. There were a couple of issues. First, it was unclear when the installer was going to do the installation. Even after a call to our architect/GM Geno who immediately (Geno is always wonderful, accessible and on top of things) called the installer and reported back that the installer was on his way and would arrive in about 15 minutes. Dana waited around for a final hour and when the installer still didn’t show, she went to run her errands and hit the gym. When she returned she found the initial phase of the post installation completed but there were some issues with that as well. First, the color is a bit harsh against the bricks. Second, the bottom of the post, as it connects with the base, is chipped and it is not clear yet how much of it will be visible after the trim that will cover that base is installed. Finally, there is a gash missing out of one side of the post. Dana spoke with Geno who said he would come by first thing tomorrow morning to meet with us about it. Even with the issues, however, it is clear that the post is going to add visual drama (in a positive way) to the front of the house. More on the post in future posts.
Today the concrete guys returned to cut lines in the concrete, applied a curing agent to the city sidewalk and removed the forms from the remaining concrete. Photos follow.
From mounds of dirt, the design suddenly emerges, in all its concrete glory! Brilliant!
No turning back now. The demo of the hardscape and the prep for concrete has now occurred. It is so wonderful to no longer have all that dead and dying debris. Tomorrow the concrete guys will take care of the three f’s: forming, foundation, and filling. More photos tomorrow!