2013, A Look Ahead: The Backyard

Ready or not, 2013 is here. In 2012 we survived super storms, Twinkie shortages, and the end of the world. How is 2013 going to top that? Here at the Little House, we have a whole year of projects planned to rock our 2013. This week, we’re going to share some of those plans with you (just to keep us honest in the coming year). First up? The backyard.

We began demolition on the backyard way back in March of last year. Thanks to Dallas’ 100 degree summers, stubborn concrete, and a spate of other problems, we didn’t finish demoing until December. But now that the rubble’s cleared and we can take a look around, we have one heck of a blank canvas to work with.

Little Backyard Sans Hot Tub

Kevin and I are running our first ever 5K on March 16, the Saturday before St. Patrick’s Day. After the race, we’re having a huge St. Pat’s Day crawfish boil… in our backyard. That’s right, this project has an expiration date. We’ve got to get moving because we only have 68 days before the party!

And there’s a lot to do before we can have a yard that looks like this:


Now that both structures are gone (you can read more about their removal here, here, here, here, and here), we’re able to get started making the backyard of our dreams. Besides our raised veggie garden you see there on the right, our backyard will feature a roughly 20′ x 25′ crushed granite patio (more on that here) complete with bar and sunken fire pit along with our existing deck (to which we’re planning on add wrap-around stairs). Plus both our deck and 8′ privacy fence will be professionally restained this spring thanks to our insurance settlement from last summer’s hail storm.

We have a lot to do in 68 days. Here’s our current list, but it seems to be growing every day as we think of necessary intermediate steps for each project.

  • Remove old bar
  • Remove old hot tub/covered deck
  • Grade patio area (away from the house, towards the alley)
  • Install sprinkler system (we’re DIYing it)
  • Run electrical for the patio (will probably have a professional do this)
  • Excavate patio area
  • Build fire pit and bar foundation
  • Build patio
  • Build bar
  • Build wrap-around stairs on existing deck
  • Have deck and fence restained
  • Add furniture
  • Add accessories
  • Sod backyard (probably with Jamur Zoysia grass)
  • Plant flowers
  • Have HUGE crawfish boil!!

Doable in 68 days? Probably not. Are we going to try it anyway? You betcha! Plus we have a little added hurry up to the project as well: the best time to lay sod in Dallas is in the spring, right after things start to green up. Down here, that’s late February/early March. If we miss this date, we’ll have to wait until things cool down this fall to have a lush, green backyard!

What are your plans for the year? Are you going to remodel anything big? What are you doing for St. Pat’s?


24 thoughts on “2013, A Look Ahead: The Backyard

  1. Wow- you’re going to be busy!! It’s exciting work though and you should see immediate change as you do things. I find the finish work more rewarding than things like demo where it starts looking worse instead of better. Good luck! Can’t wait to follow along!

  2. Maybe you need to read my post today about baby steps… j/k!

    Man, good luck! That’s alot to do while you’re preparing for the 5K. I’ll be sure to shout encouragement your way. =) You can DO it!!!

  3. It’s going to look fabulous when it’s done! Over here, I’m trying to decorate our newly moved into house. I didn’t realize how much bigger a house is than an apt – I had just barely gotten our apt decently decorated, and now all of my decorating items fill about one room in this new place. Haha. Oh well – good excuse to go shopping, right?

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