Day three of the remodel was like managed chaos. It all started again at the crack of dawn and two full crews showed up. There was a swarm of activity with about 4-5 guys on each crew working away diligently.
The pavers and other material arrived for the hard scape and landscape work so dump trucks and delivery vehicles rolled in and out of the cul-de-sac on what seemed like regular intervals throughout the morning.
George’s landscape team began the excavation & ultimate relocation of the canary palm, finished the sprinkler lines, added an additional sprinkler box in the backyard and relocated the plants that were excavated on the first day to their new ‘homes’. This included replanting the barrel cacti and several rueillas in the front yard and getting the canary palm in to its new spot in the backyard. They also focused on leveling and prepping the backyard for the sod and curbing installs that were yet to happen.
At the same time the hard scape crew (led by Jeff and his son Austin at Innovative Masonry) leveled the sections of the front yard where the paverpatio, side walkway and steps would go. I was very excited about having a walkway to pull the garbage cans in and out of the side gate instead of having to drag the cans through loose landscape rock as well as replacing the old brick paver walkway to the front walk with a more updated version of paver steps.
This was also a good opportunity to review the placement and color of all the plants that would begin to go in over the days to come. I made a few switches that had to do with the color of the plants, staggering our purples and reds and moved a few of the plants that I knew would get larger with time, tucking them in to corners where we needed more of the height. Orange paint marked the location for the curbing and plants making it easier to envision the end result. The same orange paint was used to outline the final shape and curvature of the front patio and two walkways and we made slight revisions to those as well.
At this stage we also ordered additional boulders to the front landscape to better balance the yard. I really wanted to utilize something called ‘boulder retention’ for the paver patio instead of adding any kind of masonry wall. There’s a fairly steep angle to our front yard and one of the two was necessary to secure the patio edge. You’ll see it came out looking very nice in the end although I would have liked the boulders to be more staggered (some on their side and some more upright) to give a more natural feel ~ that’s one of the few times I was not home during the project and missed the opportunity to tweak the look.
Again, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to be present throughout a remodel – whether in be insideor outside your home. My husband and I made sure one of us was home just about all the time so the crews could have access to us with questions and so we could keep an eye on anything that wasn’t matching up with the original plan. Making tweaks and revisions before the plants and pavers started going in was extremely important from a cost and time perspective. And then there was the curbing ‘issue’ that caused some stress.
After the crews wrapped up on day 3 the curbing company arrived between 5-6pm. They installed the curbing in the backyard in preparation for the sod and landscape rock to be moved into place the following day. My husband was home at that hour but I had to leave to do a final walk through with a client at their new home in Ahwatukee. I received a frantic text from my husband accompanied with a photo (like the one you see below) asking if this is the curbing we ordered because it looked awfully industrial for a residential backyard. And it did; it resembled something you’d see in a parking lot.
I called Curt from Outside Living Concepts in a panic and he assured me it would look great after everything else went in the next day. I wasn’t so sure as in my mind I had always envisioned the s-shaped curbing you see so often but we never specifically talked about the shape. It did end up looking great in the end but we agreed it would have been best if he had shown me sample photos at the beginning of the project to keep us on the same page.
Large projects like this can be overwhelming and there are several things along that way that can go ‘wrong’ simply because they aren’t discussed. The most minute detail is worth discussing with your contractor. It’s common to envision how something will look in your head but the outcome may turn out to be very different because you didn’t discuss it with the designer. Cut out pictures from magazines, take photos of what you see in others homes and yards and take your contractor to actually look at samples of what you are trying to achieve. Be specific about material, shapes and colors. In the end it all makes a big difference and will ultimately save you time, money and angst.