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RobbieB 08-19-2017 12:15 PM

Home Improvement
 
My outdoor contractor will be over in a few to finalize the plan.

New redwood front patio fence and remove all the crushed red rocks around the fence and replace with red brick so leaf removal will be easy.

New concrete walkway in side yard and 9 foot octagon concrete slab for hot tub

New 20x30 foot solid redwood deck with bench seat along one side with hinged top lids for charcoal and propane storage.

River rock to replace red rock in front yard between retaining wall and sidewalk.

Gonna cost 12 grand! Blow that dough - :)

braumeister 08-19-2017 12:25 PM

You've probably already thought of this, but be sure you have a fireproof surface under and around any charcoal burner. There are plenty of horror stories about an unforeseen spark jumping out and causing huge damage.

That said, enjoy your yard!

RobbieB 08-19-2017 01:08 PM

Nope, never occurred to me. I've been burning charcoal out on the wood deck for 28 years now with no problem.

To tell the truth, I'm far more worried about all the eucalyptus leaves from the 3 huge trees in the yard so I rake them regularly and wet them a bit if it's really hot and dry.

I once deep fried a turkey out there too and the operative word here is once. Three gallons of boiling peanut oil over a roaring propane flame out on the wood deck with all the eucalyptus scared me silly. Just one little slip and knock that pot off the tripod and watch the whole house go up. I tossed that thing in the trash - :)

MRG 08-19-2017 01:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by braumeister (Post 1925386)
You've probably already thought of this, but be sure you have a fireproof surface under and around any charcoal burner. There are plenty of horror stories about an unforeseen spark jumping out and causing huge damage.

That said, enjoy your yard!

Indeed. I had a small piece of hickory smoking chips escape it's holder and my gas grill. A nice hot coal smoldering between 2 2x6s. Luckily I saw it before it was too advanced.

braumeister 08-19-2017 01:48 PM

I know of a guy who left his Big Green Egg unattended for a while in his driveway. A spark leaped out and flew several feet into his garage while he wasn't present. Burned down not only the garage but also his house.

W2R 08-19-2017 01:49 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by RobbieB (Post 1925382)
My outdoor contractor will be over in a few to finalize the plan.

New redwood front patio fence and remove all the crushed red rocks around the fence and replace with red brick so leaf removal will be easy.

New concrete walkway in side yard and 9 foot octagon concrete slab for hot tub

New 20x30 foot solid redwood deck with bench seat along one side with hinged top lids for charcoal and propane storage.

River rock to replace red rock in front yard between retaining wall and sidewalk.

Gonna cost 12 grand! Blow that dough - :)

How exciting! We want photos, before and after, once it is done! This sounds like some great improvements in your yard.

I blew $16K on my own yard improvements when I first moved in here, and to me it was worth three times that. It took 2-3 months for 3-6+ men working their tails off to complete, but what a difference it made and what a great and satisfying way in which to spend one's money.

In my case, here's what I did:

1) I had three large truly giant water oak trees (maybe 6'-8' in diameter?) removed that were the largest in our old and very tree lined neighborhood, and were falling down from their own weight plus full of bees and termites.
2) The rest of the yard was a jungle of bushes and I had all those removed, too.
3) Then I had the underground sprinkler system removed,
4) yard re-graded,
5) topsoil added,
6) sodded both front and back with grass.
7) Then the icing on the cake was a lot of concrete work in both the front and back yards, to replace all that was there before. This included a big concrete slab maybe 10x12 or so between the back door and the garage, plus about 100' of walkways.

As a result, I don't have to do any yard work whatsoever except to put out money for my lawn guy. This is the most important result because I am getting ready to age in place. In this climate, lawns do not need watering or fertilizing so they require no care but mowing.

When hurricanes or wind storms threaten, I no longer have to worry about giant branches crashing through my roof (which was a distinct possibility before).

I don't often have to clean big piles of leaves and branches out the storm drain down at the curb in front of my house before rainstorms, hurricanes, etc., to keep our street from flooding. I still check it before each storm, but generally it is completely clear.

The oak trees were grown around (and around, and around) the power lines very badly, so now I don't have to worry about falling branches taking out the power for many of my neighbors and myself every time the wind blows; the power company and parish (=county) are delighted that I did this. In fact, the power company did the "tricky part" in removing branches near the power lines for me, for free when I told them what I was doing. The tree removal people coordinated between themselves, the power company, and the Parish which required permits for removal of these big trees.

I can walk to and from the garage on a level surface with no irregularities or steps to trip on or fall on.

And last but not least, my yard looks GREAT, with grass as lush and brilliant green as an ad for vacationing in Ireland, and my beautiful yard brings a smile to my face every time I see it.

My back yard, after and before, taken from about the same vantage point, is shown in the photos below. The after photo was taken about a month after the resodding. It has been a year and a half by now so it is even more lush and green now and so very fine and lovely IMO.

Bamaman 08-19-2017 03:02 PM

I sold a lot that had two of the biggest oak trees in town--8 feet in diameter. The limbs were 42" in diameter at the tree trunk, and limbs were hanging over the next door neighbor's house. And the trees were at least 100 years old and not in the best of condition.

I was glad to sell that property. To take the trees down would have cost more than the property's worth.

W2R 08-19-2017 03:19 PM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bamaman (Post 1925438)
I sold a lot that had two of the biggest oak trees in town--8 feet in diameter. The limbs were 42" in diameter at the tree trunk, and limbs were hanging over the next door neighbor's house. And the trees were at least 100 years old and not in the best of condition.
I was glad to sell that property. To take the trees down would have cost more than the property's worth.

Your oak trees sound exactly like mine. When a branch fell, it was as big as an entire mid sized tree, and water oaks are notorious for shedding branches like that. They were falling on F's roof and six other roofs of nearby homes. The trunk of the oak tree shown in the photo took up half the width of my back yard.

I suspect that may have been why the former owner sold my Dream Home, and didn't overcharge for it either. The house is amazing and needed zero updates or fixes (other than new locks as is customary), but the yard needed some money poured into it.

RobbieB 08-19-2017 03:34 PM

There were 5 large eucalyptus in the back yard when I bought the place, also a dog run. A real dog run with a sloped concrete floor and supports for a shade roof. The guy must have been big into dogs. If you have eucalyptus you don't have fleas.

I removed one after a storm blew down half of it, tree guys said the trunk was rotten and needed to take down the rest. I had the power company take the other one down it was getting trimmed by them every year and was redundant, right in front of another and providing no extra shade.

Yup, Imma gonna "age in place" right here too. Nice location with lots of senior services, healthcare, outdoor activities and easy drive to bay area from 10 to 2 - :)

sheldon cornped 08-19-2017 06:31 PM

3 Attachment(s)
We just completed a patio project that included a Western Red Cedar pergola, kitchen island with grill head and side burner and travertine tile floor over existing concrete slab using imported stone from Turkey. With wife and I doing the work, total job was $7500. That includes the appliances and all. It's very satisfying after all the sweat and arguing to enjoy grilling, beering and wineing outdoors. That is until the rains hit here in Oregon.

RobbieB 08-19-2017 06:39 PM

Wow, that's sweet!

I have a big green egg, 2 hibachi's on a 4 foot picnic table and a small gas grill for when I'm too lazy to burn coal.

Guy came over took the deposit and we are scheduled to commence the 11th of next month.

Here in CA we now suffer a shortage of tradesmen. After the housing crash a lot went elsewhere or changed professions. We need a quarter million tradesmen. I contacted this company in June and asked about this job. He said we are booked until September, you still interested?

Amazing.

W2R 08-20-2017 03:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobbieB (Post 1925540)
Wow, that's sweet!

I have a big green egg, 2 hibachi's on a 4 foot picnic table and a small gas grill for when I'm too lazy to burn coal.

Guy came over took the deposit and we are scheduled to commence the 11th of next month.

Here in CA we now suffer a shortage of tradesmen. After the housing crash a lot went elsewhere or changed professions. We need a quarter million tradesmen. I contacted this company in June and asked about this job. He said we are booked until September, you still interested?

Amazing.

September is not that far away! Another 12 days. If they are good, it might be worth the wait.

Marita40 08-20-2017 04:01 PM

Great to see these yard/patio plans and finished products! I spend $9,000 on the removal of a huge, ugly concrete slab and walkway in my back yard and new brick patio this June. They also regraded and sodded the lawn. Now I'm filling in the garden plots with perennials. It looks so much better!

RobbieB 08-28-2017 05:07 PM

Oh yeah, the good guys are always booked up. Just like a full parking lot is a prime indicator of a good restaurant.

Just put down a deposit on another major improvement a new sliding glass door. A big one too, 96" x 80", going to be double pane 366 LowE glass. But the best part is it's going to have the dog door built right into one of the panels. The "dog door" panel will be a grand by itself, so this little addition nets out at $3500.

Woo-Hoo, blow that dough - :)

But it will be nice not having that "panel insert" style dog door as it will look a lot cleaner (literally the panel means the door won't close and you have a permanent one foot wide "dirty stripe" because you can't clean the overlap zone) as well as save energy because the dog door retro fit panels seal less than ideal.

The hot tub will get the outside work up to twenty grand easy. I should be able to blow two to three times that on the inside!

Blue Collar Guy 08-28-2017 06:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobbieB (Post 1925396)
Nope, never occurred to me. I've been burning charcoal out on the wood deck for 28 years now with no problem.

To tell the truth, I'm far more worried about all the eucalyptus leaves from the 3 huge trees in the yard so I rake them regularly and wet them a bit if it's really hot and dry.

I once deep fried a turkey out there too and the operative word here is once. Three gallons of boiling peanut oil over a roaring propane flame out on the wood deck with all the eucalyptus scared me silly. Just one little slip and knock that pot off the tripod and watch the whole house go up. I tossed that thing in the trash - :)

I almost tried the turkey deep fry thing. I knew in advance that Murphy's Law would strike me and I would A) ruin the turkey and or 2) Id burn the place down. We had a neighbor do it on the sidewalk. Just wasnt my thing to try to deep frying on a public sidewalk. Glad you posted this tidbit, I'll refer to it next time someone suggests I deep fry my bird.:).

Blue Collar Guy 08-28-2017 06:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sheldon cornped (Post 1925537)
We just completed a patio project that included a Western Red Cedar pergola, kitchen island with grill head and side burner and travertine tile floor over existing concrete slab using imported stone from Turkey. With wife and I doing the work, total job was $7500. That includes the appliances and all. It's very satisfying after all the sweat and arguing to enjoy grilling, beering and wineing outdoors. That is until the rains hit here in Oregon.

That is stunning! Would would the damage have been if a contractor did it?

NW-Bound 08-28-2017 08:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bamaman (Post 1925438)
I sold a lot that had two of the biggest oak trees in town--8 feet in diameter...

Quote:

Originally Posted by W2R (Post 1925450)
Your oak trees sound exactly like mine...

Is there money in that oak wood?

Blue Collar Guy 08-28-2017 08:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NW-Bound (Post 1929436)
Is there money in that oak wood?

You would make a mint in my area. They sell wood not by the cord but by the piece, haha. They have maybe 3 pieces of wood that resemble maybe 3 rolled up newspapers that sell for 10 bucks.

jazz4cash 08-28-2017 09:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blue Collar Guy (Post 1929392)
I almost tried the turkey deep fry thing. I knew in advance that Murphy's Law would strike me and I would A) ruin the turkey and or 2) Id burn the place down. We had a neighbor do it on the sidewalk. Just wasnt my thing to try to deep frying on a public sidewalk. Glad you posted this tidbit, I'll refer to it next time someone suggests I deep fry my bird.:).

My BIL got DW hooked on the fried turkey fad. He uses the big fryer and propane cooker, but she insisted on getting on of these. We use it on the kitchen counter and fried turkey has become a routine addition to our holiday meals.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Butterbal...0fryer&veh=sem

Bamaman 08-28-2017 09:10 PM

Ever try to get an 8 ft. tree trunk 20 ft. Talk on a log splitter? No, the limbs are just too heavy.

Last big trees I removed were $1,100 each and required a crane and a loaded with grapple to move'em.


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