Backyard Renovation - The Fun Begins

beartoothweb

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2009
188
We're tired of being total slaves to our yard, so we're doing a complete renovation. We have 5 acres, and over the last 7 years have "one project at a time"d ourselves into a mess, complete with an unnecessary pond, too much grass, and not enough area to enjoy this awesome place we call Montana.

Here's a wide screen look at what we started with.



This is what we'll end up with:

It's a 15x30 foot AGP with deep end, "buried" but with 4' of overdig so not really buried, full 8' surround pool deck, a new deck/pergola, patio with firepit, moved play area/sandbox, and an outdoor kitchen.



The hole is dug now. As you can see, our soil is great for digging, and it makes for a nice surface to deal with. We'll set the pool in the middle and build the deck around. It'll overhang by 4' onto the old lawn area, and then 4' will be open. I'll have some access hatches to get underneath.

Current Pics:



 

mamameg

Member
May 2, 2010
7
This is just gonna be fantastic when completed.
I, as will many others, will anxiously await more pictures of your progression!
 

FinsUp

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2009
68
Michigan
Da, da, da, da, da, da...I'm Loving It.
1. Is that a miniature dachshund in the first picture?
2. Is that going to be the white PVC fence in your plan? If so, I can't wait to see it because that's in my future plans as well.
3. Is the raised bed garden already existing? It's hard to tell, but it looks like maybe it is.
 

beartoothweb

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2009
188
FinsUp said:
Da, da, da, da, da, da...I'm Loving It.
1. Is that a miniature dachshund in the first picture?

2 of them. The boy (red smooth) is on the big side for a mini, more of a tweenie really, and the girl (black one) is on the small side, which is fun. Peanut and Penelope. They are a total pain in the butt, but we love the heck out of them.
FinsUp said:
2. Is that going to be the white PVC fence in your plan? If so, I can't wait to see it because that's in my future plans as well.

It's actually going to be a wood (cedar?) post-and-rail that i'm staining white. The -40-50 winter temps make vinyl or pvc fending impractical, one bump by a passing deer, and it's all over. It's not worth the expense.
FinsUp said:
3. Is the raised bed garden already existing? It's hard to tell, but it looks like maybe it is.
Yep, my wife is a big gardener, which is part of our motivation, she hasn't been able to devote the time due to the house beds, etc. We're going all lower maint plantings except for one bed in the front.

Melt in the Sun said:
I really like how the dirt from the pool hole is going to be used in the landscaping.
The berms really give some character to the yard. They'll be covered with natural grasses, wildflowers, and some shrubs that are coming out of the current beds. There's a berm behind the kitchen too. When you have 5 acres, there's always dirt to be had, but it really made that transition easy, moving from hole to berm right there...of course, it looks like a huge gopher came into the yard right now. ;->

We're really trying to reuse everything. I'll give away a couple of trees, and add about 40, but we're using almost all of what we have now.
 

beartoothweb

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2009
188
It's been raining almost solid for 3 weeks, so very little progress. We had a bunch of trees installed, more to come next week, weather permitting, and the big event was that the hot tub came in. It's a Strong Evo from Costco, and it's really nice, I'm very pleased with it so far.

Here's a fun time lapse video I put together from my webcam of the install. Just me and the skidsteer to get it in place.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ARMYYCrDPg

[attachment=0:2i3sac7e]gallery_2_20100601_075316_0.jpg[/attachment:2i3sac7e]
 

Attachments

beartoothweb

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2009
188
I saw your post on the outdoor shower. I'm putting one DIY in as well, so if you finish yours first, let me know, so I can copy it. ;-> I'm planning to use just some nice copper pipe for mine, possibly doing a layered thing with copper/galvanized for strength, then copper outside for looks. Not sure yet, but hoping I can do it cheaply.
 

1zuggy

Active member
Apr 19, 2010
39
We ordered this exact same hot tub a few days ago. Costco said it would ship in 4-6 weeks; did it really take that long? I'm thinking they just give that estimate in case they fall behind.
 

1zuggy

Active member
Apr 19, 2010
39
Oh, I forgot to ask - should we rent some equipment to move the hot tub from the curb to the backyard? I was planning on recruiting about ten guys to assist, or maybe even hire a professional installer who could move it to its proper place. What's your suggestion?
 

beartoothweb

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2009
188
It did take quite a while to get it, I think almost a month. However, I'm a long way from PA, where the tub came from.

As far as the install, as you can see, I use a skidsteer. The tub is heavier than I expected because of the resin it's made of. With 10 guys, and a good selection of straps, it can be done. I was by myself and have a bunch of room, so the machine made it pretty easy. It depends on your sidewalks and all that. All things considered, you might get an install price, just for comparison. Good luck!
 

beartoothweb

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2009
188
Instant Forest!

The rain finally stopped for a day, so we got the rest of the new trees in. This is a shot of the backyard from the upstairs. 15 total new Spruce trees (a couple not seen here), and 13 new aspen. The little "soldiers" in the back are designed to be a wind block, so once the grow up a little, they'll be awesome for that. If the rain holds off, I hope to get the pool set this weekend, or at least a start at it.

We also moved the choke cherry from the left side to the right side (behind the sandbox.) Man, it totally all changed the look already.

Sorry for stretching your screen, it's easier to visualize when I combine in panaraomic view. I think the forum resizes it, so you can go directly to the url too.

http://lh6.ggpht.com/_jc24YCM0TIY/TA_4H ... /trees.jpg

 

beartoothweb

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2009
188
It finally stopped raining long enough to get a start on the pool on Sunday. If it stays nice enough, the family and I will get the wall up tonight and get prepped for the liner. I bought my foam yesterday for the pool bottom (going with a styrofoam base.)

I did encounter one issue with the deep end. The diagram I found on this site and others showed measurements that didn't quite match my pool layout, it was 11" off in terms of overall length of the deep end section in relation to the last strap. We didn't discover this until we had already set the posts, so it just required expanding the deep in slightly (11", but graded). My only concern is that the liner will still stretch enough, so I'll be taking my sweet time letting that stretch into the bottom.)

A pic of where we are now.



Thanks for watching along!
 

Samantha_in_AL

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 19, 2010
242
Altoona, AL
Beartooth, you are going to have one incredible yard when this is done! I too will be anxiously keeping up with your progress. You, your family and your mini dachshunds are going to love the pool. Simon, my mini dachshund (black and tan, smooth coat) enjoys a nice swim every once in a while, on his own terms of course.

It's always nice to meet someone else who is owned by dachshunds, err, I mean who owns dachshunds. hehe :lol:
 

beartoothweb

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2009
188
Samantha_in_AL said:
Beartooth, you are going to have one incredible yard when this is done! I too will be anxiously keeping up with your progress. You, your family and your mini dachshunds are going to love the pool. Simon, my mini dachshund (black and tan, smooth coat) enjoys a nice swim every once in a while, on his own terms of course.

It's always nice to meet someone else who is owned by dachshunds, err, I mean who owns dachshunds. hehe :lol:
You've got that right! We're definitely owned. ;-> We have the red smooth who is on the big side of the "mini" at an actual fit and trim 13.5 pounds, and then our smooth black and tan female at like 5 lbs (full grown). Peanut (the boy) actually lifts Penelope up the stairs by her sweater when she gets stuck. They haven't had a fenced yard to this point, so have always been on leads (never off-leash, you know how that goes), so they'll be in heaven just with that! We'll have to keep an eye out for Bald Eagles (they fly over the house a lot) and hawks, but it'll be fun to give them some more range of play.

Now, if it'll just stop raining!

Here are a couple of pics of the dogs that let us live in their house... ;-> They are a HUGE pain in the butt, but worth pretty much every minute of it!



 

beartoothweb

Well-known member
Aug 28, 2009
188
Well...fun with the pool. It just goes to show you can never trust the weatherman. Not supposed to rain/storm for several days...just after I had the wall up and was setting the outer posts, it started lightning and then the wind came up.

I had support posts all over the pool, wood and metal fence posts, but the wind blew hard enough that it actually blew them out of the ground. Nothing I could do but stand inside and watch.

Oh well, that same storm produced a nasty tornado (rare for Montana) about 150 miles from us, so it could always be worse.

I checked it out already, no permanent damage to the pool (reminder that that pool was used, btw). All I'll have to do is set the wall back up, realign the base rail, and I'll be back in business, and good to go. No harm done.

 

catchyoulater

Active member
Apr 26, 2010
32
West Hollywood, CA
Oh my goodness! Hope the wall is okay! It looks bent. And I have to say your Peanut and Penelope are two really cute dogs!!! Dog lover here too!!! :party:

Good luck with the rest of the install... can't wait to see it finished!