Demo is the first step in the physical work of a renovation whether it is inside or out. It’s exciting and transformative. It was a shocking change to see the land scraped of all the excess dirt and brush not to mention the giant hole in the ground where the pool will go.
We did a lot of green demo before we could begin the grading and excavation for the pool, pavers and turf. There were a lot of bushes that surrounded the house and we decided to pull. They were mostly doing well but they required a lot of maintenance. The bougainvillea’s, in our front yard, were beautiful but a little out of control. We would have to trim them back at least once a month. It’s a lot of work and creates a lot of trash. Additionally, these bushes are perfect spots for rodents, insects and snakes to hide out. After seeing a rat sitting at our front door, I was convinced that the bushes needed to go. Once my fiancé saw a rattlesnake near our back door, he finally agreed. I know it seems crazy to get rid of perfectly good bushes but we don’t want to encourage wild life to live so close to our home. Not to mention we don’t want to be slaves to our yard every weekend. We want something a little more low maintenance.
After we did the green demo, the pool guys were able to get their mini bulldozer into the back yard and get started on digging the pool. They also graded the backyard as it’s on a slope. Obviously the pool needs to be on level ground so we ended up cutting into the slope.
The cut looks much deeper than it looks, as the land is about 4 inches lower than it will be when it’s finished. We had to excavate the land down about 4 inches as we needed to make room for the pavers and turf.
While we were digging out the slope, we hit rock. Our pool company, San Diego Pools, was responsible for the costs of demo and the fee to dump the dirt. The one thing that wasn't included was rock. If we hit rock, it would be an additional expense to remove it. We got really lucky as it wasn't bedrock and it was just 3 boulders that could be lifted and removed by the bulldozer so that part didn't cost us anything. If those boulders were bigger then the bulldozer would not have been able to lift them and we would have been responsible. We were planning on using boulders instead of the manufactured concrete blocks to surround the magnolia tree in the front yard. Instead of paying a rock quarry for big boulders, we decided to use the ones from our property. Finding rock actually saved us money as it would have been about $800 to buy, deliver and place the boulders in the yard.
We also excavated the side yard for the bocce ball court and the front year for gravel. If you want a good laugh, check out the insta video of the view of the tractor in the side yard from my living room.
Stay tuned for the next step in our renovation which is steel, plumbing and electrical! In the meantime, be sure to follow along the renovation on instagram using the hashtag #BethHomeProject.
If you missed the design decisions and the plan, check out my post, Backyard and Frontyard Renovation: Design Decisions and The Plan.