After necessary breaks for crazy work schedules, celebrations, and weather, we’re back on the home renovation wagon. (Literally. Stick with me a few and you’ll see what I mean.)
If you’re new here, here’s the jist: we bought a 100+ year old shotgun double almost 6 years ago. When we moved it, it had no kitchen and no fully functional bathroom. We’ve been renovating it ourselves (think optimistic D-I-Y) non-stop since then. It’s a slow process.
With the onset of glorious 60 degree days, we’ve started to dig out the backyard.
Drainage is an ongoing issue here. Paul dug out the mess the idiot builder of the pillar to ugly created along one side of the house and it works beautifully. Paul’s now proven method? Bring the house back to original grade. This is where the sides of the house were when we bought it almost 6 years ago and finally, the sides are back.
The backyard has been another story.
A good foot or more of soil gathered over the backyard and it’s not draining well in rain. Specifically, it wants to go into our foundation. Our plan is to bring it back to grade (and to the same level as the shotgun double next door) as it was originally built. We found treasure troves of bricks in our various projects, so the plan is to dig out the yard, lay down a gravel bed, and properly install the bricks in a patio — with raised planting areas around it.
The first step is to remove a lot of dirt.
Will has been helping, treasure hunting along the way. What you can see below represents much of his collection. Among the loot is a comb, a ninja bone, a square termite house, and various pieces of metal. (He’s also found glass marbles, but they were washed and brought inside.)
See how much soil we’re trying to remove? That’s the back of our house. One day we’ll be able to climb outside without twisting an ankle.
It’s about a foot deep. Over the entire back yard.
Every crumble has to be carried out of the back. Paul has been coordinating folks interested in the free dirt — people with trucks and trailers come and pick up from the beds out front or let Paul fill up their trailers.
See what he’s pulling?
This is the helper. Back on the wagon. (A moan-worthy joke, I agree.)
Will shows me one of his newest treasure finds.
Treasures are collected near Will’s special stool. Paul built this with scrap wood while he was framing the back of the house — he needed a place where Will would periodically stay put. Will provided some decor.
I haven’t a clue what the drawing is representing.
Here’s the little man, hard at work.
And here’s a Patootie shot. Look who’s up from her nap!
Once dug up, the dirt is wheeled to the front. Paul tells me this is the hardest part.
Will earns his ride in the wagon.
Meanwhile, Kate plays with Will’s treasures. In this case, the glass marbles Will found. They were a good foot down, so who knows how old they could be?