I promised myself I'd get help this year. When a landscaper I had used previously dropped by two weeks ago asking if I had any work for him, I decided to look at what I needed and break it into three jobs. I was thinking I might have him do one, two or all three jobs. He started at $3,000 total with his bid and dropped to $2,500. I felt somewhat unsure. It seemed high and I had had some problems with his work the two occasions I had hired him. I decided to get a couple more bids. When he dropped by a day later, he dropped his bid to $2,000 but I would still have to pay for the mulch above that. The second guy had done work for my sister and he seemed to really grasp what I needed. He promised to mail me his quote. It never arrived. The third guy I found from a flyer left on the doorknob of a friend of mine. I was surprised the guy seemed to have a very good grasp of what I wanted and he made a couple of suggestions to improve on my ideas. The bid was just under $1700 including all materials.
After thinking about it over the weekend, I called the third guy on Monday and said let's do it. He asks for no payment until the job is done and I'm satisfied. He said he could start this week. He just called and he will be here tomorrow.
So here's where we're starting. I'm excited to be getting this done.
Steps to the upper level. My husband had made these out of full-length railroad ties years ago. Now they are tilting forward and slanting to the west. We will cut these long ties in half and make two sets of stairs, one at either side of that upper level. He will reinforce them with rebar to hold them firmly in place. This is such an ugly area just outside my dining room, I'll be so happy to have it cleaned up and straightened up.