neeroc (neeroc) wrote,

The joys of owning a house

In this post I mentioned that the landscaping dude we had out to quote mentioned that what I wanted (a flagstone path 30' long and stairs on the side of our driveway (3-4' high)) was going to be very expensive. I was hoping that he had a lot of cheap customers, and that the quote would be reasonable. My hopes were crushed last night, they finally emailed the quote - ten thousand freaking dollars! Now, I understand flagstone costs money, but we aren't looking for a lot of prep work, I told the guy I was looking for a natural path, flagstone with moss or the grass between the stones. So no need for weed barriers, no need for hugely deep beds of gravel to set any cement on, just a pile of flagstone. I was hoping 7 grand would be on the high side. But no. So we will be Plan B'ing that one*. You see, we'll need that extra money for our next project.

We are finally looking to put a fence in this summer. We've been meaning to do it for years, and I would much prefer it if Chet didn't have to go out on a lead all the time. This too is going to be expensive. We need at least 6' high (I'm hoping for 8 - better fences, better neighbours) and we also have to dig chicken wire into the ground all around the fence so the beasts don't escape. Sounds easy enough until you really take a look at our back yard - we have a drainage sewer in the back corner - all of the spring runoff, as well as summer storms drain to this corner. In fact, I believe our lot is a bit lower than our neighbours to the right, and their lots drain through ours (notice the existing fence post is leaning into the erosion). So something creative will have to be done to allow water out, not get clogged by leaves and debris and keep beasts in.

The second problem with our backyard is a result of laziness. The very back of our lot has a 'stand' of 30-40' cedars that are growing in a mound of earth (indicated by the arrow) that either the previous owners or the builders left. We would really like to remove it, but we would lose the privacy the trees give us and because we have a pie-shaped lot, part of the mound is in each of 3 other neighbours' yards, and some of them have built fences in it. But wait, it gets better - it is directly on top of our hydro, phone, and cable easement. We have no over-head wires here, they all run 4' in our property line. I certainly don't want to be doing that digging!

Our final task for this summer is to paint the exterior of the house. We have siding on a lot of the front of house, but due to it being a high-ranch, we have 3' of brick on the front as well as the 2 sides to paint. Now I know you're thinking, 'these people are whacked, who the hell paints brick?!' Believe me it's not my first choice. But these bricks aren't clay/fired, they're some sort of porous material. To make matters even better, rather than having smooth grout (is it called grout on brickwork or only tiles?) it is all squished out. Gotta love the '60's! Anyways, because the bricks are porous, they are painted to weather-proof them. But this also means that you can't use a pressure washer to remove the old flaking paint, it all has to be done with a wire brush. Joy!

The things to look out for in our next house. Speaking on next houses, I've been on our MLS site, and found these:
The last two are on the water. How crazy are those prices??

"I'm movin' to the country, I'm gonna eat me a lot of peaches"

*Plan B involves sweet-talking hubby into lots of manual labour.
Tags: home improvement

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