8.31.2011

Before & After: Backyard Edition

When we first bought our house in May 2010, we knew one of the biggest projects of the house was going to be the backyard.
The backyard had ISSUES.
But we saw the potential the backyard had, so we didn't let the issues scare us.
The biggest issue was the pool (which was disclosed).
The pool had a crack, a pipe leak and the surface needed to be redone.
The spa also had a leak & didn't hold any water.
When we first saw the pool, it was green with algae & was filthy.
The girls thought it was so cool we had a "pond" in our backyard. Ha!

Last summer & this summer have been spent fixing up the Backyard.
I am so glad I took some Before pictures of when we first moved in because it looks SO different now & I thought I would share the Before & After's.

Here are some Before pictures of the pool:
(You can't tell how dirty & green the pool water is from these pictures. Trust me. It was nasty. There was no way I was ever going in that pool!)

All around the pool where overgrown trees, weeds & bushes.
DURING construction:
With all the rocks ripped out:
And, the AFTER:
The pool re-do was the first thing we did last summer.
The pool was drained June 1st and the pool was completed on July 1st.
Here are some close ups of the changes we did to the pool area.
Before, the pool was lined with lava rock:
After:
Did you know black widow spiders love Lava Rock? The Lava Rock had to go, especially because Lava Rock is bumpy & not comfortable to walk on or sit on.
Another Before:
Yuck.
So we had all the Lava Rock removed & replaced it with smooth Connecticut Blue Stone.
After:
View #2 of the pool:
AFTER:

Another thing we re-did on the pool is we got rid of the steps to the shallow end.
Before:
We added an Acapulco step, which is basically adding a baby pool/lounge area to the pool.
Here it is during construction:
The re-bar for the Acapulco step:
And, the AFTER:
The Acapulco step is my favorite thing we did. It shallow (and goes from 6 inches deep to 12 inches deep) and is perfect for the kids to play on & the adults to lounge around on.

Some other things we did around the pool area is get rid of this disgusting lattice trellis that was falling down & full of termites.
BEFORE:
We had the pool guys build up a bench for the spa area that people can sit on.
AFTER:
This past Fall, we replaced the fence we shared with our neighbors because it was also rotting & falling over. Literally. And, we had 2 pine trees removed & 2 huge privet trees removed.
BEFORE:
AFTER:
Ugly Privet tree BEFORE:
With dirt & a random walkway:
AFTER:

Nasty Pine Tree that dropped all it's needles into the pool:
AFTER:
There was no landscaping, just weeds & dirt.
BEFORE:
AFTER:
I love having color around the pool & no more pine needles everywhere!
BEFORE there wasn't a pool fence around the pool, but with 2 little kids we put one up as soon as the pool construction was complete.
BEFORE:
AFTER:
This summer Kevin tore down the overhang that was attached to our house. It was rotting and falling down. It needed to go.
BEFORE:
AFTER:
We planned on putting up a new one, but we like not having one (for right now)
Since the pool & fence were such big (and expensive) projects, we saved the rest of the backyard to deal with this summer.
Here is a BEFORE of what the other side of the backyard looked like:
Another BEFORE:
There wasn't much landscaping, just a lot of weeds, an overgrown rose bush & a dying apple tree.
AFTER:
(Family Friends gave us their old playset. Score!)
Kevin ripped it out the dead stuff & we added some landscaping & 3 crepe myrtle trees.
And, the final section of the backyard that Kevin slaved over is the side area.
BEFORE it was just a bunch of weeds & overgrown plum trees that didn't produce anything.
Kevin spent months ripping it all out and building me garden boxes!
AFTER:
We also put in a little walkway around the garden boxes:
Close up of the garden boxes/walkway. Oh how I LOVE my garden!
So, there you have it.
The BEFORE & AFTER of our backyard.
It certainly has been a labor of love.
(We hired people to do the pool & fence, but besides that we have done everything ourselves.)
Kevin did all the hard manual labor & I did the planning/landscaping.
I am so happy we are pretty much done with our backyard.
There are a few other things we need to do (like paint the house) and eventually red0 the cement patio, but for the most part, the BIG projects are done with and we have been able to enjoy our weekends and not spend them as Weekend Warriors working in the backyard.

34 comments:

  1. Can I borrow your backyard and put it at my house? That is awesome!!!

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  2. Everything looks BEAUTIFUL!!! Can I come over to visit? I'll be chocolate!! ;)

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  3. wow..its beautiful...Im sure your family will make lots of great memories there!

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  4. Good job. It's so beautiful.
    Kisses from Italy.

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  5. That looks amazing!
    I'm just lathering on the sunscreen and then I'll be right over!

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  6. Whoa that looks like some HGTV stuff right there. Looks great!

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  7. WOW! it looks amazing! I LOVE everything about it.

    good thinking replacing that lava rock. i remember getting a bit beat up when i was little on that same stuff that was around my grandma's pool.

    it looks so neat and well done. it's like i was browsing hgtv's website.
    i'm sure yall have been having a blast!

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  8. Love it! Love how you guys made so many simple but big changes :)

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  9. It looks wonderful!! You guys definitively put in a lot of hard work and love into the yard and it shows. Love your garden too :)

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  10. Looks great! I love the Acapulco step. :)

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  11. Amazing! I love your garden boxes - that is going to be my husband's project for next summer. Guess I should let him know about that... :)

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  12. Beautiful!!! We are looking into redoing our pool-scape as well!! What did you resurface with? Is that the diamond brite stuff??

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  13. So much work! But OH so worth it!! You're back yard is breathtaking! I'm so jealous of your pool!

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  14. So, I love the pool (who wouldn't!) BUT I adore the garden area!!!! I can imagine spending a LOT of time in that space. What a lovely backyard for your family.

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  15. Love this post! My husband and I plan to build a pool in our backyard in the next few years but I also have anxiety thinking about having a pool with small children. I got some great ideas from this post. Thanks!

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  16. Looks so good. Way to go Kev! And you too.

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  17. Beautiful yard! You mentioned that you did the landscaping yourself. May I ask you how did you know what type of flowers/plants/trees to plant? I have a lot of landscaping to do in my house and I don’t have a clue as to where to start. Any advice, suggestions or recommendations would be great and desperately needed! (I live in the East Bay-Hayward). I love what you did in your yard and like others mentioned, I would love to transplant your yard over to my yard :) Your family's hard work really shows! Thanks so much!!! Jeymmy

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  18. Your backyard is gorgeous! I am pretty jealous right about now :)

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  19. Let's party!!!

    I am so, so behind. I'll be so happy when this wedding is over, lol. Your back yard looks great and I can't believe you're already back to school. I hope it's a great school year.

    Can't wait to see you next weekend!!!

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  20. oh it looks wonderful! the pool is beautiful, love the blue stone. black widows are creepy, so glad you tossed their fave rocks;)

    xo

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  21. i love it!!! i think you live really close to my mama.

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  22. LOVE your backyard. so calming and serene. love seeing the before pictures. black widows??! yikes. not so calming or serene. good job, larson's! looks fab.

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  23. I love it!!
    You guys did such a great job.
    You have a perfect
    pool party house.
    :)

    ~Keri

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  24. @Jeymmy - I would go to Sunol Nursery (in Sunol) they have a huge selection and they are very helpful. I am pretty familiar with what types of plants do well in sun and in shade, so I just picked my favorites. My mom is really good at growing plants, so I asked her for advice also! good Luck!
    @ Benjamin and Karmen we used Pebble Tech for our pool surface. We love it! They say it has a longer life than white plaster, so we went for it!

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  25. I meant to tell you on Sunday that your backyard looks amazing!

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  26. That looks amazing!! The back yard is our next big project, so this was very inspiring. We have a really similar backyard (minus the pool- although that would be nice!!). Can I ask, what is the "piping" that lines your walkway around the garden boxes? And is that just dark mulch inside? It looks GREAT!

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