Oh Where Art Thou Landscaper?

July 9, 2006 at 4:42 pm (Home)

So in a couple of weeks will have been in our new house a year. A YEAR! And my back yard is still a barren waste land of dirt. A wasteland with a pergola, a playhouse, and a not-yet-hooked-up spa. Why has it taken this long? I’m really not sure. Well of course we had to focus on the front yard which had to be done within 90 days. Then I had to figure out what I wanted to do. Then we had to decide if we were going to build the pool now or later (for now it’s later).

So I developed my plans and had everything laid out on paper. Then hubby thought we should move the spa (good plan but meant I had to start over w/ my plans). So then I had to get a building permit for the pergola which took 4 weeks. Then I had to build the pergola which took 2 weeks (with dad).

I was finally ready to call our landscaper. Nice guy who helped with the front yard. Good rates. But he didn’t show. Twice. Maybe 3 times. I can’t remember now. And he doesn’t return calls. So I finally gave up on him last week and started calling people out of our west valley newspaper. Actually got 2 people to come out and give me estimates that day.

It’s expensive to landscape a yard that big. Yikes! The best quote was around $6,000. I think hubby almost choked when I showed it to him. (I’m just so ready to get it done that I didn’t even flinch.) So my frugal hubby and I start "negotiating" (with each other). Actually I’m not sure that was negotiating as he won 🙂 We decided to forgo the $1200 concrete under/around the spa and do a smaller area of pavers ourselves. Then we decided to spread the rock ourselves.

Now for those of you who are not from the southwest you are probably wondering what the heck I am talking about. Rock? Yes, rock? It’s called desert landscaping, or xeriscape, but really it’s just rock. We cover our yards in rock. It comes in different sizes and different colors (even green which is now outlawed my most HOAs but is plentiful in the older retirment community areas). Our yard needs 35 tons of it to be exact. And it has to be spread out. This is a backbreaking task that is made less fun by the 110 degree temperatures. So instead of letting nice landscaper spread it out in his Bobcat, hubby has decided to save an additional $700.

We’re hoping that the rock company will actually pull the dump truck through our wide side gate and dump the whole pile in the backyard. This will make spreading easy. But the rock co. wouldn’t guarantee that. It’s at the "driver’s discretion". I’m not above bribing with cold hard cash 🙂 The other alternative if they have to dump it in the front is to go down to Home Depot and hire a couple of the day laborers that are always hanging out looking for work.

So by doing pavers instead of concrete, spreading the rock ourselves and laying the sod ourselves we have the total price down to around $4200 and the work starts on Friday. I cannot wait! I will be sure to post pics when we’re done.



  1. Stacey said,

    Don’t wait until you’re done, post them as you go so we can see the progress : )

    I can’t wait to see it!!

  2. Kelley said,

    I have a couple suggestions — Mark Chavez (Dave’s brother) has a landscaping business, and I can probably get his number for you if you want. He was pretty reasonable, if I remember correctly. Also, if you want to use a Bobcat yourselves, call Arvid Veidmark. He would remember Mark, and he used to let us use it if we needed to. It might make your project a little easier.

  3. Mark said,

    Ok, I AM frugal, but I don’t remember saying we were going to do all the rock ourselves. I am pretty sure I was the one that had the other idea… And who knows, maybe the friendly neighborhood “bike riders” will stop by for a chat and pick up some shovels again.

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