One thing leads to another: The Bummer edition

So I didn’t notice it at first, but the outside of the patio wall totally cracked due to all the sledgehammering. It looks worse In person. I’m bummed, not sure what it will take to fix it, stay tuned…..

Update; after looking at some older pics of the front of the house, you can see that where the wall cracked is exactly where it had been repaired before. In other words, someone already broke it and fixed, but not that well. Not sure if that makes me feel better or worse.


It’s gone

My ugly, wonky, peeling, poorly draining cement patio in the front of the house is gone. I’ve wanted to change it since I moved in. It’s exciting that it’s in process to become something else! Something pretty and appropriate to the house. Next up the need to grade the dirt and lay down the base of new cement! That should happen on Tuesday. Then that cement will need to dry. Thursday, if we stay on track, the Saltillo tiles will be put in and then sealed and grouted, hopefully by early that next week it should be all done!! But I’m getting overly optimistic, for now I’m just happy phase one is accomplished.

The other thing I’m really happy about is it looks like my homeowners will cover some of the cost of replacing the patio since it was considered damage to the main structure of the house. That is a huge relief.

Here is how the front looked this am



Hoping this isn’t a disaster

The guys will be here this morning to take out the concrete from the front patio, it is so unlevel and so beat up there is no way to save it. It needs to be properly graded to keep water from running into the foundation and it just looks ugly. There is a chance the patio wall will not withstand the cement coming out since it’s had so many years of water damage. I’m totally nervous about worse case scenario.

The claims adjuster is coming this morning as well to see if my homeowner insurance will cover any of the patio repair as it’s due to the sewer main break. I’m not counting on it, but it’s worth checking.

The patio should be cleared by Saturday and left for the dirt underneath to dry out until Tuesday when new cement is poured. Then once that dries on Thursday, new Saltillo tiles should be set in place on Thursday….I’m not holding my breath but I can’t wait. One of the most exciting things about this will be new front entry steps. If all goes as planned they will be curved with decorative tile risers……so I’m hoping this goes as planned and preparing for various issues along the way. Here are the photos for the “before”


So not a one week job

Of course the backyard won’t be done this week, I don’t know why I even think such silly thoughts almost two years in to homeownership. That said there is progress and the irrigation has been updated. The irrigation was of course, more complicated and expensive than initially thought since the old system was barely hanging on. The patio area has been leveled, it could use a retaining wall…..but it looks good. The veggie beds have been relocated and we are pretty much ready for the mulch. Gardener should be back on Sunday, maybe finished by mid next week, maybe… This will, unfortunately, make me want to do more in the yard…..eventually.


Backyard fix

So I’m pretty sure I want that big tall lovely bamboo as a privacy screen against the back of the property. That however, will need to wait for now. That said the second level of the yard has fallen into disrepair, the sprinklers weren’t working well and the grass was never really grass but weeds full of prickers; tormenting kids, dog and even the inside of the house was not Immune to the prickers.

One thing I realized was I don’t need the whole top area to be grass, the play area could easily be mulched, ultimately saving on water. I also decided to mulch around the patio and to move the patio to the back corner. This of course, involved moving some fruit trees as well. The drip irrigation was not done correctly in the back and some of it needs to be redone and it needs to be added to places that lack it.

The good news is the mulch and patio moving phase is underway! The less good news the bamboo and new grass will need to wait a bit but this should help the existing plants do better (proper irrigation) and save money and water by reducing the area that needs watering. Hopefully this part of the project will be done this week!

Here it is very much in progress…