Sticky Situation
Necessity is the mother of invention

The Turn of the Screw

Things are ramping up in home reno land.  Nope, not the stairs.  Nope, not the bathroom (did I mention that the bathroom is undergoing a very very slow transformation?  No?  Well, there are inside walls missing).  This time it's the yard.

For those who don't know, downtown Toronto homes have leeettle yards.  Postage stamps.  That suits me fine because there are parks within a few quick blocks and I'm not much for yard work.  But I do like a good barbeque and something esthetically pleasing when I look out my windows so there's work to be done.

First to go was the back deck.  It was this tiny thing that wrapped around the back of the house (a typically Toronto semi-detached that narrows at the kitchen) with a too-high railing and too little useable space.  I used to have photos, but I think they died with my laptop.  Too bad, I could have been a little more HGTV with my before and after photos.

Unlike many things in our house, this baby was built to withstand a nuclear explosion.  Buddy used a LOT of screws.

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Each screw was countersunk into the wood so far that the board expanded over it and the screw rusted. So we needed to drilling into each hole, blow out the debris with the air compressor, use a smaller bit to dig out more crap and then use the drill and Craig's manly strength to get those suckers out. It took a long fucking time. So long, that in the end we decided that we didn't really need to salvage the wood and we took the circular saw to it. Sorry, it happened so fast, I didn't get pictures. And that was just the top screws, repeat the process for the underneath frame. Then we got to the footings. 4-5ft down. 9 of them. We've dug out too, 7 more to go.

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We've also made a whole lot of garbage that we'll be hauling to the transfer station this weekend. This is only half, the other pile is on the other side. Note the yellow garage. That's going too (before it falls over).

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Here's the back of the house now. We're using the ample crushed rock under the deck to build a hill to our door. The plan is to put random flagstones down over the whole yard with something green growing in the spaces (maybe thyme--I'm open to suggestions). We'll also have some flowerbeds along the fences with pretty things and some smaller trees, but we have a ways to go before we get to that part.

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So far, the best part is that I can get my bike out to the sidewalk without that deck in the way and our tiny yard (probably 20ft wide by 12ft) is looking a whole lot bigger.

Comments

Just looking at that pile makes me tired.

woolly thyme makes for a nice springy "carpet".

I`ve found that thyme (and other perennial herbs)is much cheaper if you buy the plants in the herb section rather than those in the perennial section - I got a whole whack of creeping lemon thyme and lavender quite cheaply at Loblaws and they are thriving beautifully.

Alison says you need more pictures of your kids...

That's some major work! Good for you! Moss is also a nice cover for some variation.

That sounds like a pretty big project. Good work! It sounds like it will be really nice when it is done.

Our next home improvement project is either updating the attic or remodeling the bathroom.

Oh, boy, what a project! Don't you just love how it's only the stuff you don't like that's built to outlast the next ice age? The rest of my house may fall down any second, but the ugly wood paneling is there to stay! (I painted it years ago. No point in fighting the inevitable.) I'm sure the yard will be looking beautiful by summer!

Holy crap, that's a lot of screws. Otherwise, I have soon-to-be-new-deck envy. I do miss having a yard or patio for summer fun.

Egads! How long did it take to shovel all that rock?

Was the deck higher?

The resident laughed his arse off about the circular saw. Oh and he has the same drill.

All the visuals makes me crave a beer.

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