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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 05-17-2005, 05:17 PM   #21
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Re: DIY landscaping

Thanks for the input, all. The main problem we're having is that the possibilities are endless. This is such an open-ended problem that I have trouble getting my arms around it. We've talked about plans that range from park-like (read: lots of grass) to disney-like (lots of concrete bike/skate paths + playground equipment, outbuildings, etc).

We're going to nail down the simpler aspects first, primarily the fencing (which also has too many options to consider), and we'll probably get a couple of contractor quotes before we make the DIY decision.
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 05-17-2005, 07:12 PM   #22
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Re: DIY landscaping

Get a comfy chair.

Cooler full of very cold beer.

Sit and sip and ponder it all.

Indefinitely.

Shoot, I could have made 4...make that 5...posts...
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 05-17-2005, 07:51 PM   #23
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Re: DIY landscaping

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabmester
We're going to nail down the simpler aspects first, primarily the fencing (which also has too many options to consider), and we'll probably get a couple of contractor quotes before we make the DIY decision.
A friend just gave us a couple dozen of her irises & bromeliads. We decided to plant them in the three-foot strip of hardpan along the side of the house.

Despite the palm-tree roots I got lucky on the first four holes, but when I drove my digging rod into the fifth-- psssssst followed by rising water levels. It took two hours to dig out the sprinkler line, repair, & retest. (I barely nicked the pipe and I still have no idea why the sprinkler line was routed that way!) So after seven hours of effort we had 10 holes. Think of Disney's "Holes" movie.

This morning we checked out Home Depot's rental augers. Whatta deal-- $45 worked out to less than $1/hole in less than four hours (including driving & lunch). The testosterone thrill was sheer bonus. Using an 8" augur we did a couple dozen (shallow!) iris holes in the side yard, a bunch of deeper bromeliad holes in the front yard, and a couple dozen two-foot holes on the back slope (for bougainvillea & trees). Roots and even the occasional rock were no challenge. I've been avoiding that backslope project for months and now I'm motivated to finish it.

Knowing that I'd get to use a power auger again, I'm happy to replace our parents-in-law's 25-year-old wooden fence with PVC. But for a dozen holes I guess it'd be hard to talk my spouse into letting me rent the Bobcat-attached version.

I also noticed that Home Depot's truck rentals are the same hourly rate as U-Haul WITHOUT the additional mileage charges. Hmmm...
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 05-17-2005, 11:00 PM   #24
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Re: DIY landscaping

Yeah, there's definitely something to be said for using power tools and dirt moving machines whether you need to or not....
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 05-18-2005, 05:25 AM   #25
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Re: DIY landscaping

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I guess it'd be hard to talk my spouse into letting me rent the Bobcat-attached version.
Mmmmmmmmm <eyes glazing over> Bobcat... DW says," You're all just like lttle boys playing with toy trucks. I bet you even make that engine noise while driving them BRRUUUMMM". Being a girl she couldnt do it right, but OMG how did she know!? Although stunned I pretended I didnt hear her.
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 05-18-2005, 07:05 AM   #26
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Re: DIY landscaping

Ah yes - like cars we have have owned - the boys and their toys.

Makes me all misty eyed, warm and fuzzy all over.

The rental co.'s know and love me - Little Bobcats - exotic ones with back hoes, trenchers, cement mixers, air powered nailers, air hammers for plastic bulkhead sheet piling - let me count the ways.

Thinking bulkhead later this summer - Navy or Harvard? wall to cut back on lake erosion.

P.S. The really big jobs like debris after hurricanes - I hired a bulldozer. BUT - I do takes pictures!

When I lose it on frugal - I really lose it. The cussing, sweating, and swearing never again are also great fun - in hindsight.
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 06-14-2005, 05:03 PM   #27
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Re: DIY landscaping

Just an update on our slooow landscaping progress.* * We're starting with the fence.* *It's a pretty big fence -- about 600 lineal ft.* *It's a combination of privacy fence and a fence that will keep the dogs/kid in the yard.

We looked at a lot of fences, and ultimately decided to go with something like this combo:



I could probably build it myself. I looked at material costs, and it's not cheap. Around $10/ft. And I figured there were a myriad ways for me to screw it up. So, I found a local guy who builds nice fences, and he's going to do it for around $14/ft. I get to help (just to pop my fence-building cherry), but he'll do most of the work.
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 06-14-2005, 05:14 PM   #28
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Re: DIY landscaping

Now THAT is a fence. It's beautiful....
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 06-14-2005, 06:53 PM   #29
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Re: DIY landscaping

Thanks -- I think we made a good choice. My wife gets all the credit though. I wanted to do a split-rail with chicken wire (CHEAP), but she wouldn't go for it.
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 06-14-2005, 11:36 PM   #30
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Re: DIY landscaping

Your gate is on backwards.

You used a grade of wood that I wouldnt touch with a 10' pole.

Whats the deal with the sudden tilt up in the fence on the left near the back? Too lazy to do a slow slope up with the pickets? Oh...you probably used those inferior premade sections that no DIY-er would even think about employing.

Oh, its a sample. No worries then. Yours wont look as good. May as well stick with the chicken wire.

Wait until tomorrow when I've had better than 4 hours of total sleep in 2 days. It'll get better
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 06-15-2005, 12:26 AM   #31
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Re: DIY landscaping

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Originally Posted by th
Your gate is on backwards.
There is no backwards and forwards to gates and fences.* *Only pretty sides and ugly sides, and you get to pick which side you want to look at and which side you want your neighbors to look at.

Quote:
You used a grade of wood that I wouldnt touch with a 10' pole.
We're going with #2 cedar.* *Good enough for fences.

Quote:
Whats the deal with the sudden tilt up in the fence on the left near the back?* Too lazy to do a slow slope up with the pickets?* Oh...you probably used those inferior premade sections that no DIY-er would even think about employing.
Agreed on the pre-made panels, but there are a few different ways to handle grades.* *The differences are aesthetic.* *I prefer the rectangular panel look, personally.
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 06-15-2005, 09:37 AM   #32
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Re: DIY landscaping

I still think that gate is on backwards. If its on straight you must be using incorrect line voltage and thats why it looks wrong.

Maybe its just you.

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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 07-21-2005, 06:41 PM   #33
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Re: DIY landscaping

Woohoo! The fence is in. And it looks mahvelous! I asked the contractor to let me do the last couple of fence segments so I could view my HUGE outlay as tuition for fence building school.

I dug three post holes with a hand-auger, and my back is in SERIOUS pain. But the money feels well spent now. The contractor dug the other 80-something post holes. He doesn't have to worry about me competing with him. And he did a much better job than I would have, although now that I know some of the finer details, I think I could build a decent fence.

Next, we're rebuilding a small deck, and then I need to level part of the backyard to prep for a playground. I think I'll take on the deck as a DIY, but hire somebody to build a retaining wall and truck in some dirt.
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 07-22-2005, 07:32 PM   #34
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Re: DIY landscaping

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Originally Posted by wabmester
Woohoo!* *The fence is in.* *And it looks mahvelous!* I asked the contractor to let me do the last couple of fence segments so I could view my HUGE outlay as tuition for fence building school.

I dug three post holes with a hand-auger, and my back is in SERIOUS pain.* *But the money feels well spent now.* *The contractor dug the other 80-something post holes.* *He doesn't have to worry about me competing with him.* *And he did a much better job than I would have, although now that I know some of the finer details, I think I could build a decent fence.
That must be a great project to have finished! You'll have to drink one frosty beverage for each hole.

We'll be putting in a gate & 50 feet of PVC fencing ourselves in the next few years (when the current fence finishes falling down). Anything you'd do differently or avoid like the plague? Anything you wish you'd added? Any advice on where to shop, what brands to buy, and how to save?
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 07-22-2005, 08:18 PM   #35
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Re: DIY landscaping

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Any advice?
Yes, if you have tricky vertebrae, avoid digging post holes.* *Especially in rocky hard pack.

And know thy boundaries.* *Building your fence on the neighbor's property is bad karma.* *Luckily, we found all the old survey markers while we were digging around.* *Also, find out where cables are buried before you dig.

It's hard to mow grass around fences, so I rented a sod cutter and removed some along the fence line.* *And we put down some mulch as a weed suppressor.* *It looks pretty good, and I'm hoping to avoid much weedwacking in the future.

We went with cedar instead of PVC because this is a woodsy area, and it just looks better.* * It took us a while to decide on a style that we thought would both compliment the house and the neighborhood.* *And still keep the dogs in.

In retrospect, there was only one pretty major thing we didn't consider: a new fence can make an old house look like crap.* *It didn't stand out so much before, but now we have to figure out a way to make the house as pretty as the fence.

This could turn out to be a very expensive fence.
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 07-22-2005, 08:40 PM   #36
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Re: DIY landscaping

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabmester
Yes, if you have tricky vertebrae, avoid digging post holes.* *Especially in rocky hard pack.

And know thy boundaries.* *Building your fence on the neighbor's property is bad karma.* *Luckily, we found all the old survey markers while we were digging around.* *Also, find out where cables are buried before you dig.

It's hard to mow grass around fences, so I rented a sod cutter and removed some along the fence line.* *And we put down some mulch as a weed suppressor.* *It looks pretty good, and I'm hoping to avoid much weedwacking in the future.

We went with cedar instead of PVC because this is a woodsy area, and it just looks better.* * It took us a while to decide on a style that we thought would both compliment the house and the neighborhood.* *And still keep the dogs in.

In retrospect, there was only one pretty major thing we didn't consider: a new fence can make an old house look like crap.* *It didn't stand out so much before, but now we have to figure out a way to make the house as pretty as the fence.

This could turn out to be a very expensive fence.
Yeah, I have this problem all the time. You do some landscaping and the
house looks like crap. You put in a new driveway and the yard looks bad.
You carpet the bedroom and everything else looks shabby. Have not
found a solution. DW can ignore. I can't.

JG
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 07-22-2005, 09:07 PM   #37
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Re: DIY landscaping

1. Tear down the fence

2. Fiind some really cool and funky fast growing plants/weeds to grow along the fence. We always had trouble with blackberry vines in the PacNW when I was a kid.

I remember my dad put a 1929 Buick on cinder blocks in front of the fence and painted the picket boards white. He was a minor union official - probably trying to garner the hillbilly and Scander hovien vote.
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 07-22-2005, 09:17 PM   #38
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Re: DIY landscaping

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We always had trouble with blackberry vines in the PacNW when I was a kid.
Mmmm, the Himalayan Blackberry. Delicious but very obnoxious. I think of the snakes of Medusa as I try to cut them down.
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 07-22-2005, 09:27 PM   #39
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Re: DIY landscaping

Wab

You need to get the fence - blended in ASAP - especially if she likes it.

1995 - a tornado tore the entire roof off the camp - and trashed the interior - unfortunately she got about 15 years of backlogged honeydews on that one.

And a bunch of 'new' stuff to match the 'new' interior. I only wanted to fix the roof and walls - maybe get some big throw cushions for the floor.

Some votes don't count - Pier 1 loved me that year.

Plant the weeds - quick.
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Re: DIY landscaping
Old 07-23-2005, 01:25 AM   #40
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Re: DIY landscaping

Quote:
Originally Posted by wabmester
Yes, if you have tricky vertebrae, avoid digging post holes.* *Especially in rocky hard pack.

This could turn out to be a very expensive fence.
Thanks, Wab! I was going to contract this one out until I realized how much fun it is to use a power auger. We have rocks here but it's mostly clay and I only need to go down about 18".

Good point about over-improving the property. We'll definitely go with PVC instead of lava rock...
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