Thursday, April 23, 2015

Curb Appeal

The move into our new house went wonderfully, easily, and quickly thanks to lots of help from our family and friends! Thankfully, the furnishings that my wife and I picked out (separately from each other) work really, really well together to fill out and breathe life into the space.

Of course, a homeowner's work is never done. So while the inside looks marvelous, the lawn is plagued by giant patches of dirt on every side (due to the tremendous renovations by the previous owner, including reinforcing all of the basement walls). While I didn't have the foresight to take any proper photos for a "before and after" segment (and the photos from the listing were taken during the winter with heavy snowfall that hid the lawn), I think you'll get the idea when you see this picture I snapped during move-in day:
I promise you that there's a lawn somewhere in this photo.
While the previous homeowner did his best to plant grass seed before winter hit, we didn't have much faith that all of the seeds survived the freeze. There's also the small matter of the house looking terribly boring at a glance.

So, in line with our goal to create some massive curb appeal, we set out purchasing several bags of topsoil, grass seed, decorative bricks, some potted flowers and bulbs, borrowed a few tools from our parents, and got to work the very next weekend after moving in.

Looks pretty easy and straightforward when you see it like that, doesn't it? In truth, everything did not go as perfectly (or quickly) as we'd hoped, and we ended up scrambling to finish with the grass seed before a thunderstorm rolled in. This was mostly due to a completely embarrassing miscalculation of how much topsoil, how many bricks, and how big of a yard waste bin would be needed to finish the task. We made a few unplanned trips back to the home and garden stores just to get it all done, and at the end of the day we felt completely drained and sunburned ... because it turns out that sunburn doesn't care what season it is or what the temperature is.

The toughest task was, by far, aerating the dirt patches. With only some basic hand-tools to work with (some of which broke during use) and so much dried, hard dirt to break up, we ended up taking turns having at it just to get a break from the annoyingly difficult task.

I'll update you with some photos of the results as soon as I get to it, but right now my hands are quite full since we also just adopted a beautiful new dog ... but more on that later.

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