This year, we actually paid someone to do some work outside, in part because my work schedule would not permit me to do it myself and in part because some of it I couldn't do myself. We used A-Shift construction for the fence, A&A Sprinkler for the updates to our sprinkler system, Native Edge for the landscaping, and Buglet Solar for the panels. We could not have asked for a better group of contractors! There were a few lumps and bumps with the landscaping, but overall everything went very smoothly. If I had known it was that easy...
I am not the sole photographer on this page - credit to where credit is due. Mike was home while a lot of the work was being done, so he took most of the pictures.
02 May 2012
Work began in the front yard - take out the old grass, regrade the hill so it would retain water
better, redo the front garden, put in new top soil and new sod. Here's
step 1 -taking out the old grass.
The whole neighborhood was talking about the portapotty...
Meanwhile, in the back yard, they took out part of my temporary patio in order to build a small
retaining wall along the fence. (Our yard is higher than the yard to the north of us.)
Still chewing up the front yard...
Progress along the fence line by the end of the day:
By the time I come home, everything's puppies and flowers. (That's Zeke, who lives to the
south of us, and he's actually not a puppy any more.)
03 May 2012
Buglet started working - laying out the structure for the solar panels. We had come up with a
design where the solar panels would also work as a sun shield for the back wall. We had noticed that
the sun on the back wall of the house was a major source of heat during the summer, and cost
extra air conditioner time in the evenings as it emitted that heat into the house. Since our house stays
pretty toasty in the winter, we decided to design the panel assembly to help solve that summer heat problem.
Still making progress on the front and side yard.
By the end of the day, the framing for the panels was starting to take shape.
04 May 2012
The gas cans on the Buglet equipment are actually full of sand. They provide a counter
balance when lifting the panels up to the roof.
08 May 2012
Bart and Whitney (Buglet) finished the framework connected to the roof properly and started
installing the solar panels.
Our vision for the new side yard is coming together nicely. The area had poor drainage and was
often swampy. Yes, swampy - in Colorado. The walk removes the need to spend time caring for grass
no one sits on as well as an opportunity to run french drains along the side of the house out to a
dry well by the maple tree.
Inspector Chloe checks in.
09 May 2012
The dry well was ready for installation and the landscapers had started installing the final patio
around the shed. (You may remember that the other one was a temporary patio I had slapped down while
waiting for the base materials to settle over a few winters.)
10 May 2012
It was at this point that Mike was under the impression that some of the landscapers were not clear on the vision for the side yard...maybe because they filled in around the dry well with decorative rock. Luckily, he was home to make a few course corrections, and it wouldn't be long before the project started to take enough shape that they understood what look we were after.
By the time I got home from work, things were looking pretty good. The landscaping was coming together,
almost all the solar panels were installed, and Mike's dad was helping him set up a temporary location for the
14 May 2012
The fence is gone! A-Shift had been busy removing the old fence and putting in posts for
the new one. The new one would be taller so Zeke couldn't come visit. Also, we hadn't had a fence on the
north side of the house since we
excavated for the retaining wall in 2005.
15 May 2012
More progress on the fence.
18 May 2012
All done! I took a walk aroound to capture the new look. The new air conditioner was in the
back of the house, but we later had it moved to the side.
Last updated 11Jan2013