We are moving right along with The Great Outdoors and will now be addressing our side yard. Last year when we replaced our fence we extended it to the front of the house. This was something we always wanted to do, however, our side yard was a lot uglier than we realized!

This part of our yard sits on a slope and doesn’t get much sunlight, yet somehow weeds still manage to grow…..but not grass. Of course not! Next to the gate is also where we store our trash cans, aka Barry’s nemesis. Downhill slope + wheels = problem. It has always been a challenge to keep our trash cans upright hence the bricks supporting them. And since grass does not grow here, the winter provides us with a mud pit when a big snowfall melts. Clearly this area needed help!

We thought about this project basically since we re-did the fence which gave us plenty of time to ponder our options. Immediately, we wanted to create a walking path that would lead you through the gate and to the driveway to provide better access to the backyard without going through the house. We also wanted to fix the trash can debacle. I know you may be thinking “do you really need 3 trash cans?” YES! I know we are only two people, but one is used for trash, one is for yard waste and the other is there in case we have extra items to dispose, like when we tear out all of our carpet. Yes we could rent a dumpster, but they are several hundred dollars and we usually only renovate one room at a time so we never have enough to fill a dumpster so it feels like a waste. When we are in project mode and have carpet or something to throw away, Barry cuts it small and uses the third trash can.  Problem solved. Now we needed to give them all a proper home. Because the trash cans roll, the solution could not have steps or large uneven surfaces. This is the part that made things complicated. As many of you know, there is very little we are not willing to tackle on our own, but the obvious solution here would require some sort of built up surface.

We discussed doing a path with 24×24 step stones and filling the rest in with rock. This would be a great solution and very cost effective……if the area were flat. So I proposed building a “deck like” platform for the trash cans with some sort of ramp to wheel them down. Have I ever mentioned neither of us have stellar carpentry skills? True story. When we thought about said structure we both pictured the same thing……a very poorly constructed, janky surface with something similar to one of those ramps you can buy for your dog so they can get into the bed. Not exactly what we had been dreaming of. Plan B? Pay someone else to figure it out! So we scheduled a meeting with the company that did our patio to get a bid on the job. While it wasn’t the most cost effective option, it was the most time efficient and it solved all the grade issues. Sometimes it’s worth paying for! I did prepare an excel design showing what we wanted to accomplish and the guys figured out how to make it work with the slope.

We came up with a solution that would fix the grade issues and provide a home for our trash cans. We also contracted them to make a pad for a new shed in the back yard and lay rock on both sides of the house and in the front next to the driveway.

We scheduled the project and when day 1 of install came I was so excited!!! The guys started early in the morning and we walked the space and marked out where the path and such would go.

Then they got to work. And let me tell you, they work fast. It started off looking like this.

By the end of the day, they were almost done with the path!On the second day they started on the 8×8 pad in the backyard for the shed and the rock on the other side yard. 

By the end of the day, everything was done! Including spreading rock on both side yards. Can you believe it!?

And finally a proper home for our trash cans. This may very well be our favorite part of this project, as crazy as that sounds.And this is what it looked like after we got around to adding some plants in the raised bed.

This was exactly was we needed! We are so glad we had it done and it matches our patio 🙂 And what a time saver! Only 2 days! Stay tuned to see how our shed turns out!

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