When we first bought our home, three years ago, we knew that our retaining wall was slowly falling down. During the inspection, our guy told us that it was sturdy and would last a little while longer. Since that was our only problem with the house, we obviously moved forward.
Not sure if you know this or not, but Texas was hit incredibly hard with snow, ice and A TON of rain. I think I blogged about it a while ago...
So with all that moisture and ice pounding the retaining wall, this year it finally crumbled and was about to collapse. We couldn't have that so close to our pool, we didn't want our neighbors yard falling over, and most importantly we didn't want one of the rail ties to fall on someone!! HOW AWFUL! We talked with the owner of our neighbors house, who just rents it out, and we discussed splitting the cost 50/50. I am so glad we did. It was a small fortune just for one half! And I'm not just talking about a few grand here... Plus the guy, his name is Frank, has actually been wanting us to go in on it with him now ever since we bought the house. It worked out.
Back in April we got the wheels turning and had a couple guys come give us a bid. We liked the price and signed the contract. Well Frank signed the contract, because the wall has a 10 year warranty and we probably won't be in this house that long, so it made sense to have him be the signer and we just wrote the checks.
The Before. I cried over losing this tree. It was so pretty and it gave us loads of shade in our backyard. Sadly all our trees were along the retaining wall, so we lost every single one of them. There was just no way of working around them.
I was NOT sad to lose these trees. They dropped little needles all over the backyard and it was impossible to keep that back corner clean. Though they did add greenery to the back.
These were in the front yard blocking Junes window from our neighbors home. That red line in the trees was where they were cutting. Sad to see these go as well.
It was really bad. As you can see all the cement blocking had fallen and the rail ties had shifted so much! It definitely needed to be fixed.
It was so rainy that the project got postponed but then one day they came and cut down the trees.
So sad and so weird!
Then it just rained and rained for two solid months. The project got further postponed and we were wondering if it would ever get done! It was very frustrating.
They finally came and started tearing down the wall the week we left for Colorado. We didn't know what we would be coming home to. Of course it continued to rain on and off, so the "Two week" project ended up taking three months!!
The workers got all the ties down, and then a HUGE wind and rain storm hit Dallas, just completely destroying the side of our house. Of course it did! There was no retaining wall!!
LOOK AT THIS MESS!
The dirt fell so far over that the foundation of our neighbors house was showing.
It took them another week just to clean up the mess and let all the mud dry. It was never ending. And because of all the dirt that fell they had to re-adjust the wall, so the front, that they had already started on, had to be taken down and pushed back another foot or so.
When we left for Canada, we finally saw progress. They were cementing and getting the stone laid. We were hoping to come home to have it all cleaned up. No.
We at least were on the home stretch when we returned. They had the fence being put back up and started smoothing out the dirt in the back yard. It was still pretty messy back there though.
While all of this was going on, our pool just got destroyed. So much stuff got thrown in there. Our poor pool guy did his very best to keep it clean! He was awesome and so patient with the mess for months.
They FINALLY finished the wall. It was really nice to just be done with it all. And have our yard to ourselves again.
Since they completely destroyed our grass in the front yard where they were working, along with the back, We decided to take the opportunity to lay new sod down and gain more useable space for the kids.
Dan had a weekend when we were in Idaho and took care of it all! He sodded the whole entire side of the house all by himself. In the Texas heat!
The fence blocking the front of our house to the back couldn't be saved, so we would have to build another one, and quickly for liable purposes. If someone, or a child wondered into our backyard and fell in our pool, it would be our fault. So a fence had to go up as soon as possible.
SO MUCH SODDING! I was worried about him doing all that work in such hot sun, so I kept calling him like every hour making sure he didn't die of heat exhaustion.
He didn't die, and it looks great. There actually used to be a cement pad back there, but the workers had covered it up with so much dirt, we hated it, and used it as the opportunity to cover it up.
The finally view in the back. We are very happy with how it turned out. I mean our backyard is now just a cement jungle, but we have plans for landscaping later this fall or next spring. It's just too hot right now to plant things.
After much discussion, and Dan getting convinced by his buddies, we actually decided to build a fence on our own. It was only like 15ft across... how hard could it be?!
It actually went really really smoothly. We (Dan) first dug out the remaining of the fence that was left behind. Then we had to dig two 2ft holes for posts to be cemented in. One night after the kids went down for bed. Dan and I went out and dug one 2ft hole and then we were really close to finishing the second one, but it just got too dark. The next morning, I quickly went out and finished digging out the hole. Easy peasy. Kind of.
When Dan got home from work Friday afternoon, we placed and measured the poles. Then cemented them in. It took a while to try so we called it a day and enjoyed our Friday, which we haven't had a weekend together in a long time!
Saturday morning the kids helped us out by waking up SUPER early, which meant we could put a positive spin on it and use the early wake up call as an excuse to go beat the heat and work outside. The kids came out and played, while we built a fence. Dan and I both had our handy electric screw drivers and we went to work. Dan was super manly and sexy using his power saw and being all handy. A real working man, I've got.
Saturday we finished putting up the fence, and we were super please with how it turned out. We actually measured everything right and it worked out splendidly!
Monday night, once Dan was home from work, we put the kids down and stained the deck. It was really fun building it, and I was happy, I got to take part in it. Dan, mister protective, was super cautious of what I could do, being pregnant... He's just so awesome.
The final product! We totally built a fence people. I know it's small, but it's super awesome and we are super proud of our little fence project! We feel like we could do anything now!
Three months! Three! When it should have taken two weeks, the project is finally done! It's really nice knowing our retaining wall is secure and we won't have to worry about it in this house, hopefully ever! We are so glad it's done and we are really happy to have gained more space in our backyard and have more grass! We hope to get the kids some fun stuff back there! Once it's not deathly hot outside!!