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Thread: Spend on landscaping?

  1. #1
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    Spend on landscaping?

    It has become obvious that summers are getting more brutal year by year so its time to shrink the lawn in the front yard. It slopes quite a bit so any watering just runs down to the sidewalk. I got a quote for about $3000 to put in a retaining wall, bring in mulch, rocks etc. I will put in any plants or trees myself. Being as frugal as I am, any amount seems like too much but trying to justify the expense given that we might not be here for more than another year or two. Then again if the real estate market goes weird, we will be here longer and I will regret not doing it. Normally, we would make it a diy project but without a pickup and getting older, it makes more sense to hire out. What to do?

  2. #2
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Didn’t you say you save several thousand dollars every month from your current income? For heaven’s sake, hire the stonework out.

    We’re doing the same thing, had a giant ugly retaining wall built at a cost more like $15,000+ ( I don’t really want to know how much the total bill was.) We are doing the landscaping ourselves with plants we divide and move.

    If the work really does need to be done, what other option do you have? You just have an arbitrary idea of how much you can spend. That arbitrary idea may not reflect reality.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rogar's Avatar
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    I had a smaller section of lawn replaced with rock and also a bit of stone work done last year. Without knowing more your price seems fair. It uses less water and is less maintenance. I pick up a load of mulch every other year and do mulch on my own but rock work is worth paying someone else to do in my opinion.

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    I totally agree with IL, if money is not "tight".

    If it would make things easier, determine the materials cost and the hours of (back breakingly hard) work this project would entail. That would give you a dollars per hour labor equivalent. Of course, the disruption in your yard will be lessened with a pro as they might get a job completed in a day or two but DIY may take several long days or more.

    Do you know that trucks can be rented from home improvement stores at an hourly rate - I've seen them at $19 /HR here. Is this available near you?

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    I just hate spending money and just found out that DH needs a crown.

  6. #6
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Projects like this I often "think it over" a while, and end up being able to stall for years, which can often save money :-)

  7. #7
    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    In my area you need a permit to put up a wall or fence so I would definitely hire it out and let the contractor deal with that and any follow up issues with the City inspector. Also where it slopes runoff could be affected and the Conservation Commission might need to approve it and possibly do a site walk meeting. I kid you not.

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    In my previous city, one had to get a permit to do just about anything. Even cutting down trees with over a 3" diameter had to have a permit. Here, things are very lax that way so that shouldn't be an issue. I am debating on the material in front of the retaining wall - gravel or mulch. The quote for gravel is $800 which seems really high. Guess I have some checking out to do.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    It’s heavy hard work and I would hire it done. At your age you should have the things you want since you can afford it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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