I often refer to our plot of land as the ‘ugly-duckling.’ Being the smallest plot in the neighborhood that has numerous utility easements, a building spot that is less than half the total acre it claims to be and plenty of slopes, it’s no wonder it was constantly passed up for the other lots. Though what it lacks on the paper, it makes up for with views. Still even with our views, the sloped yard makes it a bit tricky to install green grass.
Our yard plans aren’t anything exceptional, but I thought it might be fun to see what we have up our sleeves. And talk about making the best of lemons that life sometimes hands you.
The biggest plan is to simply start. Because truthfully there isn’t anything worse than the dirt and weed patches we live in today.
After running the numbers, we decided to do a mix of hydroseed and sod for our lawn. Sod price stacks up and hydroseed is a great option for those who want a plush yard, but are willing to be patient in the name of budget. Since our yard is so sloped (we have very few – if any flat spots) hydroseed also allows for a more effective solution versus traditional seeding.
Along with green grass, we will also add in a few garden beds.
Typically with plans so far down the road I hesitate to even mention them, but we did have to plan our sprinkler system around fences and future projects. Possibly the biggest addition to the yard would be our utility/garden shed. On one side the shed would house standard yard equipment (I call it the boring side) the other side is the garden side – the SheShed side if you will.
Since the garden shed will share a wall with the utility side it won’t be necessarily large or grand by any means. But a few well-placed windows and a potting bench would greatly help me extend our short growing season.
I feel like it’s important to mention this garden shed was not even on our radar this year. Or the next. Or the one after that! But life sometimes does not go as planned.
It’s a bit complicated of a story, so I’ll keep it short – when we started building the land our house is on was owned by #lee dad. And actually still is to this day, thus leading to the problem. The bank we worked with who handled our construction loan completely bungled our, granted atypical, situation.
In a typical situation, we would have had to outright buy the land our house is on and complete the transaction with a ‘quick release.” Seeing how we were related to the owner our situation wasn’t really routine. So we forged on owning and building our house, but not the land *officially.* Our bank assured us this was a simple remedy they could fix at closing. But the farther we got down the line the more uncertain the remedy actually seemed. Fast forward and after numerous meetings with the bank and even the bank president they ultimately told us, “Oh well. You just have to get a second mortgage to pay for the land.”
After spending a year building our own house and hitting the first wave of lumber surcharge (we owed $13,000 out of our pocket to cover the lumber), we were left so extremely frustrated with yet another unplanned expense. And quite frankly a bit angry. We let the bank know our feelings and frustration they wouldn’t stand by their word, in the end we decided to make the most of our situation. We already have to take a large loan out to pay for the land, so we may as well take a little bit more out and put it right back into our home.
Ultimately, we hope our addition adds to the value of our home and I mean, a cute garden shed is basically like making lemonade out of lemons right?