Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Landscapers Tomorrow!

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.
The upper level.  Long unused, it is the only flat spot in my yard and was once grass-covered and a place for croquet and badminton for the kids.  The workers will clean this up and put down landscaper's fabric and spread bark so I can extend my xeriscaping here.  Somewhere  here we will also put down sand and lay some rocks I have as pavers for a small patio.
Here are the rocks I got for free from my boss last year just for hauling them away.  Rocks are expensive and I was glad to get these.  I think the blue coloring is particularly interesting and should make for a pretty centerpiece in my upper level.
My main xeriscaped area will get all new rich brown bark this year.  Two years ago I worked very hard with the help of my granddaughter and put down some mulch that already looked rather gray and faded.  My landscaper promises nice and brown and he will bring a sample for me to approve.  I have already cut down all of last year's growth here, so it's pretty barren with just some daffodils and tulips poking through.  But everything is putting up shoots and it will soon be very pretty.
So those are the three areas.  If that goes well, I have some work for them to do on the west side, too.  With all that heavy lifting done, my job of maintaining becomes much easier.  And who knows, I may just hire some of that done as well.


Jacqui Binford-Bell said...

Sounds lovely. Naturally any plans for mine beyond turning over the old beds and putting in lettuce seeds are totally on hold until I find out if I get to keep the house.

I really would like to be ordering some Chintz Thyme and saving newspaper for another lasagna area, but I almost think of it as a taboo to be making such plans just now.

So I will live vicariously this spring through you. Let's hope by summer I know something. Meanwhile I look forward avidly to your progress photos.

Bill S. said...

Sounds like you are going to be very busy again this summer. Good luck with your help. Next week we start on our kitchen. Darn.

Becky Stauffer said...

Woo hoo, Bill! Great fun. Of course, easy for me to say since my remodel is behind me. Things are progressing so well here, I decided to expand the job. This will still take just another couple of days. No pictures today as they didn't leave until 9!