Thursday, May 28, 2015

Retaining The Bungalow's Backyard

We are one step closer to having our patio off the back of the Bungalow.  This, after three hard weeks of moving a bunch of dirt, setting temporary block steps, building a retaining wall with 6'x6' posts, moving more dirt to allow us to put in two drainage systems (one along the front of the wall, one to take down-spout runoff under the patio, both spilling into the dry creek bed), moving even more dirt back to approximately its original spot, and then praying for everything to work during our first rain storm, which happened last night.

We used about thirty eight-foot 6'x6's, a gazillion two-foot pieces of rebar, three long pieces of perforated/corrugated pipe, three sections of PVC, elbows and connectors and endcaps (oh, my), a fortune's worth of deck screws, and sacks and sacks of drainage rock (which pained us both bought rock *sigh*).

Thankfully, on the first day of groundbreaking we had some friends stop by to dig some and help set/level the first course of the wall (which was very helpful since I discovered during our first purchase trip that I couldn't comfortably lift a 6x6.).  We were thankful for the help.  From that point on, we tried to work some on the wall each night after work and each weekend.  For three weeks.  Now, we will have a concrete patio poured on top.  But only after we get a few more estimates.  And then we'll build the tin roof (...rusted! Guess the name of the song!).  And maybe in the fall we'll start on the second, lower level of patio, which is part of the Liz Wood/Finlayson Landscaping Design master plan for our backyard.  Liz knows us well and designed our yard with DIY over a couple of years in mind.  We love her for that.

Jeremy Jackson and Eric, digging.

Dave Hyatt, Jeremy & Eric, leveling.

Booker and the dead men.



Booker, Eric & the steps.

I may have strained my biscuit a few times during the project.  Eric had never heard that saying, which prompted me to look it up. As it appears to not exist anywhere in normal English language, it must be a phrase my mother or sister coined during the late 70s, early 80s, a phrase that has stuck with me all my life and represents the vague act of pulling generally everything in one's body.  Usually, straining one's biscuit and then sitting for a spell result in a person finding themselves stove up...It's a Southern thing, I'm sure.  Or maybe it is a Roark thing.

This retaining wall was paid for almost in full with gifts/gift cards saved from our engagement party back in October of last year.  So, it is a wedding gift to us from some wonderful friends and family.  We look forward to sharing it with them soon.

In case you forgot what the backyard looked like, here is a before and after:

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