Archive for the ‘exterior’ Category


Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

These terrible images were shot during our home inspection almost two years ago. Unfortunately, not that much has really changed with the exterior of The Brick House as we move on into 2010.

Heretofore I dub 2010 “the year of the exterior”.

So hey, lets start off with the DRIVEWAY.


Here is my awesome drawing denoting the super rad cement pads that would run up the length of the driveway with 1″ crushed rock gravel as a main base. HA HA HA – awww dreaming. Yeah, that was way too expensive. Quotes ranged from $6,000 – $20,000 dollars. What!

Our DIY budget was $1,000 to do almost 3,600 sq. ft. of driveway. Yeah, I know. Stupid low.

Here is what we did…

Step 1

-Rent a tractor for one day.

-Let the Boy go hog-wild grading all our fancy dirt.
(BTW, this was his first time on a tractor and he did brilliantly)

DSC06199 copy DSC06142 copy

DSC06137 copy DSC06109 copy

There was a surprising mess…

DSC06112 copy

WTF, giant cement blob. You were a pain in the ass.

Step 2

-Take preventative measures with geotextile fabric. It’s permeable, prevents erosion, keeps gravel in place and helps stop weeds. Keeps that gravel looking fresh and not ghetto.

-Roll out 3,600 sq. ft. of this stuff and stake it down into place.

DSC06225 copy DSC06168 copy
DSC06196 copy
Step 3

-Move 50 tons of locally sourced 1″ crushed river rock. By hand. 50 TONS. F*ck you gravel.

-Thank your mom, Carpenter Craig, two friendly neighbors, and the Boy for helping spread gravel all day. Thank you guys.

DSC06244 copy DSC06235 copy

DSC06227 copy DSC06306 copy

Yeah. BY HAND.

Step 4

-Compact that crap down. (We used our cars)

DSC06304 copy DSC06257 copy

DSC06298 copy DSC06324 copy


Well, almost. There is still the issue of that large mound of gravel in the middle. It’s the leftovers for another project we are currently working on…teaser.

The DIY cost break down:

Tractor Rental: $235.46
Geotextile Fabric: $250.13
50 Tons o’ Gravel: $610.00

Driveway Total: $1,095.59

All in all we finished on budget and on time. It took two full days with a lot of help, a little rain and a ton of aspirin.

River Rock

Thursday, December 17th, 2009

DSC05772 copy

We found a nice building supply place close to the Brick House that has some lovely Arizona 3″ river rock. At $45 for a half scoop it filled out the bed underneath the grapefruit tree and is much easier to maintain than the cheap mulch.

Problem is, it’s been raining off and on for days now which is good for the landscape but bad for our plans to redo the driveway. The big driveway project got postponed again this weekend and now we have a languid muddy river horror-show out back. Ick.


Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Blake Dollahite. Yum.

Yeah. Perfect. Landscape.

These are the sort of details and elements I want to incorporate in our upcoming landscaping project. Oh man. Love love love this.

I have got to learn how to weld, identify plants and be awesome at landscape design.