Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Backyard clean-up

Oh the excitement! Today the boys and I arrived home after work to see this at our curb.

Our wonderful contractor had come by this afternoon (unbeknownst to me) with some of his guys to help us out with our little problem. The one that looked like this.

When we started the reno I wasn't convinced that I wanted to replace all of our appliances. I thought that we should see how much the reno was going to cost (since I was sure that we would uncover lots of unseen problems behind the 100+ year old walls) and then make the decision. Along the way we decided that we should just get it all over with at once, and I haven't regretted that decision in the least.

Except for the fact that we've been staring at the pile of crap in the yard. We tried to donate the appliances to Habitat for Humanity but they wanted pictures and purchase dates and manuals, so it was too big of a pain. Then we tried to find a charity that could use them, but that fell flat too. And before we knew it, winter was finally over, the appliances remained, and I was dying to use our patio.

Now I finally can. It took a lot of sweeping (and several blisters) to get the detritus all cleaned up. We didn't weed or sweep the patio at all last summer or fall, so it was in really rough shape. It's all set to go for outdoor dining now, though. Just in time for the hot weather we're expecting over the next couple of days.

We got the BBQs set up right next to the house, where perhaps we'll be more likely to fire one of them up on weeknights. 

The patio really needs to be redone. We laid reclaimed bricks from the foundation of the original back stairs (a tiny uninsulated entry to the basement from the back of the house) when we did the extension about 10 years ago. There appears to be two different kinds of brick - some are very resistant to the freeze-thaw of winter, and some of them crack to pieces. Every spring we have to replace a few. And the weeds that grow up between the bricks drive me batty.

We were planning to replace the patio and build a raised deck at the level of the door this summer, but now we're thinking of waiting until fall or next spring. It will allow us to get use of the backyard this year, without the mess of all that construction. And that sounds pretty appealing to me.

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