Tag: outdoors

How Far We’ve Come – Backyard Updates

Chris and I spent an hour yesterday deciding what projects we’re going to make a priority this summer. The biggest obstacle to a DIY-er is time…there just aren’t enough hours in a day! We have all these projects going on but they all take time, something we don’t have a lot of between Chris’ work and me staying home with the baby. So we decided that while we have longer daylight hours, we should prioritize the exterior space. We’ve already come a long way.

This is what our side yard is looking like these days:

pool fence

There are definitely a few things we want to do. First, get rid of those hideous pipes on the roof. Chris put them up there as a project to make a solar pool heater, but it never got finished, and they’re just U-G-L-Y. I’ve convinced him they need to come down. Next, either paint/put siding up and paint the exterior of the house (your eyes are not deceiving you, the house is currently painted two different colors). I think we’ve decided to put siding up and then paint. These cheaply made houses were made of pre-fab wall panels and the exterior is just sheets of plywood + spray texture. It’s not even real stucco. So we’re going to add insulation + siding + pretty paint. It’s going to be a big project.

Still, it’s encouraging to know that we’ve come a long way from the day we moved in:

IMG_9771-2

The grass was dry and sparse. The white lattice fence was peeling and the wooden gate was sagging so badly it wouldn’t close, and it cut the house off from the yard. The paint on the fascias was peeling badly.

pool fence

Chris installed a pool fence (panels purchased at Home Depot, and welded together by my awesome hubster) and outward-swinging gate for the baby’s safety. We bought a gazebo, umbrella, and some cheap patio furniture at IKEA. Last summer, Chris painstakingly installed a brick paver patio (they’re actually concrete pavers that look like brick) using pavers he got for cheap on Craigslist.

gazebo from ikea

The gazebo is from IKEA and we like the faux-rattan on the sides. The outdoor sectional is from IKEA too (it’s pretty, but to be honest, not too comfortable), and the loveseat, coffee table, and ottomans were found for free on the side of the street. They are REALLY comfortable and I think are the best deal we’ve found for the house yet. I’d like to get some more exterior pillows and colorful accessories for this area, when the budget allows =).

landscaping with rocks

On the other side of the pool we’ve started doing some landscaping with citrus trees, shrubs (golden euonymus) and landscaping rocks that we found lying around the yard in random places when we moved in. I still need to get some more mulch and finish mulching the right side, and clean up the dirt on the concrete (this is definitely an in-progress post). Eventually when those trees and shrubs get bigger they’ll cover up more of the wall.

new patio chairs

You’ve seen the patio table, and I’ve got a project coming up with that table that I’ll post in the next couple of days. I think it will really add a lot to the space!

I’m so glad you’re following along with our DIY adventures! Please do take a minute to leave us any suggestions or comments!

A Few Yard Updates

Sorry about the lack of house posts this week, folks. We’ve got a couple of projects on the backburner and they’re just taking a while to get to the point where they merit a post. I’m really excited about them though and think they’ll have a big impact on our space.

Here’s a quick little update on the status of the yard. We recently added these new patio chairs. They’re from Kmart, of all places, and they were only $13 each, on sale! My husband is really good at finding deals like this.

new patio chairs

The new chairs are nice and comfy. They’re obviously not the highest quality things, but they are comparable to thirty-dollar chairs at Target or Home Depot, so I’m ok with the price we paid! They replace these grody things:

old patio chairs

The whole patio set was a hand-me-down from Chris’ parents. It was awesome, still sturdy and functional, but the chairs had seen better days. There was a ton of discoloration from sitting out in the sun for years, and it didn’t improve despite my attempts to bleach them out.

I finally got Chris to agree that we should get new ones. Now that we have nice chairs out there, I actually sit out there more! I’ll watch the baby running around the yard while I have my morning coffee.

patio chairs from kmart

The paint on the table is badly chipping and we’re planning to scrape it down and spray paint it. Guess what color we’re going to go with?

hose reel

We also installed a new hose reel this week. Suddenly the hose, which was lying coiled on the patio, is gone, and we have so much more usable space! It’s the little things…

Boy, we really need to get the outside of the house repainted. Sigh. That’s what happens when you buy a fixer. You have to live with peeling paint until you get around to it…which could be months or years. Be warned!

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