Last week I shared how we cleared a sight line to the pool and in that post I mentioned another section of our property that we’ve also been working on clearing and cleaning up.
This was the back of our house when we moved in.
There was nothing wrong with the back of the house, but there were some areas we knew could be improved upon fairly easily.
The chainlink fence is what really bothered me. It wasn’t the prettiest fence ever built. It also made that space unusable since we don’t have a dog and don’t have plans to get a dog.
The trees are what really bothered Handy Husband because they were hanging over the roof of the kitchen.
The kitchen was the last addition to this house and that is why the roofline is so much lower and different than the other rooflines. When this house was built in the late 1700s and added onto in the mid-1800s, they would have cooked over a fireplace, so there was no need for a kitchen.
Thankfully, these problems were ones that we could remedy with zero cost and a lot of sweat equity.
I do literally mean sweat. It was July, after all. It’s hot here!
First, the chainlink fence had to come down. The hardest part is not unclipping the fencing from all the poles. The hardest part is digging the posts out of the ground because they are set (or should be set) in concrete.
Next, we dealt with the trees. Ultimately, we decided the trees had to be removed, not just trimmed, for three reasons. First, when Handy Husband started trimming he confirmed his suspicions that the tree trunks were rotten.
Second, our future kitchen renovation dreams include moving the door to the deck to a place where a deck currently does not exist. If we extend the main deck to meet up with the other small deck someday, the trees would have to go anyway.
Third, the trees were some variety of Hawthorn. Emphasis on the “thorn.” I kid you not, those trees had 2-inch long spikes on every branch. It was death by a thousand puncture wounds dealing with those things – even with gloves on.
Thankfully, Handy Husband decided to start this project while we had friends visiting. There’s nothing like being woken up by the sound of a chainsaw while you’re on vacation, right?
Only the best for our guests!
Our friend provided the added muscle and expertise to help Handy Husband with the tree cutting endeavor.
All I had to do was stand back and yell, “TIMBER!”
I don’t care how old you are. That’s fun.
Actually, I did help with this project. The area inside the chainlink fence was completely overgrown, so when the fence was out I started pulling up weeds.
That’s when we found a whole bunch of rock slabs. I’m not joking when I say we didn’t know the rocks were there. In some cases, there was an inch of dirt and roots covering each rock.
This might have been my greatest Indiana Jones moment. I wasn’t an archaeologist finding the Holy Grail, but I did find rock slabs lining the entire 90-ft length of chainlink fence. So, close enough?
This epic discovery is why we had enough rock to make paths from the deck to the pool and the pool to the pump house. You can see a picture of the paths we are creating in this post.
We still have more of this same rock hiding in various places on the property, so our path-laying days are not done.
When we finished this project our first impression was that removing the rotten trees and the chainlink fence made our house look so much bigger. It also made our deck look disproportionately small. You win some, you lose some.
Our second impression was that you can see the sway in the roof on the right hand side of the house now. But, if you were built in the 1800s, you might have some sway in your roof too. The roof trusses are original, but do not worry. The home inspector could find nothing wrong with them. That section of the house has been well cared for.
Do I know what we are going to do with this space now that we’ve removed the rotten trees and the chainlink fence? Nope. No idea.
I’m just happy to be one step further in getting a handle on our outdoor space. Two acres of overgrown everything is a lot to deal with in our free time.
I doubt we will do anything about expanding the deck or creating a patio until we embark on a kitchen renovation at some point in the distant future. Still dreaming and saving for that one.
Until then, I guess we’ll remove the remaining tree trunks and then mow the area and hope for the best? No one tell me the flaws with this plan. It’s too soon. Ha!
P.S. This is the battery-powered chainsaw that Handy Husband swears by for the type of projects we’ve been tackling.
Thanks for checking in on our landscaping progress! Here are some other posts you might enjoy.
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