A Pictorial Account of our House-building Experience

Saturday, July 1, 2006

Well, it's been a year since we moved in, and it was only a couple of weeks ago that we finally put down the last pieces of sod. We ended up doing it ourselves, and we saved quite a bit of money by doing it that way.

Part of our moonscape - a lot of sand and not much more

That's better. Who'll give me a hoo-hah?

The neighbors got a fence the same weekend we put down the first batch of sod. We had three pallets delivered on a Friday and just started right in after work. It took us about an hour-and-a-half to put down a pallet. We found over the course of this project that 90-minutes per pallet was our standard pace.

The first two batches were three pallets each. We would receive the sod on a Friday afternoon, and put one pallet down on Friday night before dark and get up early Saturday morning and start about 7 a.m. and be done by about 10:30 a.m. with stops for water and second breakfast in there.

Looking at the corner of the house from the back corner.

That same view now. Bit of a difference, eh?

It wasn't nearly as difficult as we imagined. Most homeowner jobs are that way. You think you have to call someone because you've never done it. A little google, a little poking around on the internet and a few well-placed questions in Sunday School are all you need to find out you can do it yourself and save some cash. I think Mary wants to take some of the money we saved by doing it ourselves and get screen doors for the front and back.

Backyard from one side ...

... and from the other.

The crepe myrtles and drake elm and the other trees are all enjoying the increased watering regine. The first two weeks after you plant your sod, you water an inch a day. In our case, it takes about an hour. That's part of the reason we opted to not do it all at once. This way we were able to get the sod down in one area and "watered in" before moving on to the next section. After two weeks, you start watering less frequently, assuming the sod has taken root. We waited a week and then ordered three more pallets. A pallet covers about 500 square feet. It took seven pallets to do our back and side yards. A little over a thousand dollars and a little time and sweat and it's done. It could have easily cost $2K to have someone else come in.

We added a few gardenias and have started putting in mulch around the rest of the house. We have put low bricks around the trees and will be adding a brick border to the beds around the house to try and keep the mulch in and so I can mow right up to them.

Crepe myrtle trees in bloom in the back yard.

One more view of the finished yard.

I don't know what the next step is. Homeownership is always a series of projects, a never-ending procession of improvements and changes. We still want/need shelving in the garage and there's flowerbeds that haven't even been started. I still want a couple of white rockers for the front porch. I'd like a "thing" over the patio to make it more liveable, whether an arbor-type thing or tent-type gazebo. Call and ask if you can stop by for the nickel tour. On a good day, we might even give you a dime's worth and a cup of coffee.

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