A little back story for ya: Last summer my next door neighbor, their other neighbor, and two other houses on the other side of my house all got brand new sidewalks through our city. We found out, through our neighbor, that the city pays for 90% of the labor and the homeowner pays the rest. Needless to say, we wanted in! Our city sidewalk (parallel to the street) was old, cracked and needed to be replaced. But what was even worse was the sidewalk from the city sidewalk to our front porch. Sooo... after some investigation, we talked to an old coworker's husband who was one of the workers and asked if we could pay him extra to do our sidewalks.
Fast forward from last fall to now and we're finally getting it done! Here are some of the before and during shots....
|You can see here that the construction in Lily's Room is still in full swing, but also focus on the weeds growing in all the cracks. Those weeds were actually holding our sidewalk together, so they stayed... yes, it was horrible. That rock with all the irises and lilies around it was one of our foundation stones. We had originally thought of painting our street address on it but then I planted the free (from my aunt) flowers and it hid the rock. The whole thing was surrounded by our free bricks and rocks but it all got removed (minus the gigantic rock, that thing isn't going anywhere!)|
Here's the after shot of the foundation stone after I removed the bricks, rocks and flowers. The flowers were transplanted with our other irises on the south side of our house (it's the most neglected area of our property but they bloom great there!). The rocks were moved to our front bed by the front porch where other rocks were. And the bricks are being held for now to make a new bed around this stone and to create another small flower garden once the sidewalk is complete.
Our house and it's desperate need for curb appeal. We're still in the middle of cleaning off the porch from the construction, my house plants need to go back to school next week (where they live August - May), and the other flowers need replaced after a bad heat spell killed them. Then there's my nemesis - the stupid holly bush. BUT there are some big plans for this small front yard... including the use of my dad's tractor to till it all up (there's a slight hole where an old tree was removed) and level it all out. We will then replace all the grass. The bottom step (right above the concrete sidewalk) was also torn out.. you can see how it's super unlevel in this photo.
More construction stuff. ;) Our giant bushes were removed and only their stumps are left. They will be killed off sooner or later.
This big guy removed our sidewalk so easily. It was so torn up that it wasn't hard, but that thing is beast! And of course, you can see more cracks!)
An Instagram photo (follow me at thebrickbungalow) of the city sidewalk once the beast removed all the concrete.
Our yard... or what's left of it.
Here's a shot of our new sidewalk we asked him to do too. It connects the front porch to our driveway, which is also getting replaced (the bad parts anyway).
This was our driveway...and in horrible shape. Some how I can't find my before photo of it, but imagine lots and lots of cracks. It looked like a piece of glass that had shattered, with lines going everywhere. It was bad.
A view looking from the driveway to our front yard. The giant stone is behind the pile of dirt and the patch of grass/weeds on the right is the entrance to Lily's garden (lots of plans in my head right now!).
And speaking of Lily's Garden... Once the sidewalk is complete, we will add plants that go between it and our house. It'll then continue to wrap around the house, giving me lots of area to plant. You can see the sides of the arbor we bought that will be centered in the area (centered between the house and the driveway), giving some climbing area for a clematis or another climbing flower. We still have plans to fence in the whole area as well to add a visual border, a place for flowers to grow up on, and to divide the area below up to have some in front of the fence and some behind the fence.
And just in case you wanted to know... we hired this project out. We have done concrete before. Doug spent a summer in college or high school working with a crew, my dad has built custom raised beds for his garden (I should post those here, they are cool!), and I helped with a few of the beds.. I'm good at leveling things out. However, my dad is busy and neither Doug or I really wanted to take on another project a week away from going back to work (we're both teachers). So, when the city program happened and we asked the guy to do the rest (normally not done with the city program), we were all excited to pay someone else. Plus, it's nice to be able to focus on other projects (like Lily's bedroom) while this gets worked on. AND it should be finished and hopefully completely cured by the time school starts next week (or at least the week after, I'm ok with parking in the street).