Back Yard Reveal!

I woke up to an email this morning that said 'Ain't you done with that yard yet? I want to see those cobblestones.' That made me giggle. Well, Diane...here it is! Finally! I was debating on how I should do this. A bunch of before's and a bunch of after's? Or, one at a time before and after. I like the instant gratification of the latter, so I think we'll go with that, then give the final result at the very end.

In Outside Improvements pt1, I introduced the list of everything that needed to get done in the back yard. I also showed you the little courtyard off the deck, the cobblestone mold from Lowe's and the concrete fire columns. In Outside Improvements pt2, I showed you how I made the A/C screen and everything I planted. None of those bulbs in the courtyard have come up yet, by the way.

 Keep your eye on that block window. I'll show you that in a bit.

In Outside Improvements pt3, I showed you our 'under $300 deck addition' made from pallets. It remains my most popular and most read blog post to date. Beating out the kitchen renovation by hundreds of reads. I also showed you what became of the fire columns. I never did tell you what I painted them with, though. They got new glass candle holders, and I painted them with high gloss poly spray and then sprayed pearlized paint on them from Rustolium. It gives them a hint of silvery shine.

Outside Improvements pt4 was the pool liner and how we got the cheap looking shrubs out from around the pool area.

Outside Improvements pt5 was the Pallet Garden and finishing up.

Drum roll please!

There's still a tiny bit to do. We have to get the face front put back on the original part of the deck, on top of the top tier. (I ran out of deck paint.) We are also going to make a pergola to go over the top of the deck.

Next year, we will landscape around the fence line, adding trees, shrubs and mulch.

I made a slight oops putting the poly on the deck addition. When someone gets out of the pool and steps on it, they wind up busting their butt! So that will be getting some texture soon.

I want to thank everyone for all of the sweet comments and the encouragement!

On a personal note, I ask that this week you keep Waco/West in your prayers. The people who lost their lives in the West explosion were our friends, our neighbors, our family. The past week has been hell on this town and there are people that wish to make it worse. Westboro is in town to picket their services...something that hurts my heart deeply and saddens me greatly. On the flip side of that, I have never seen such dedication and a willingness to help in the face of such tragedy. The sense of community is strong and proud, and I'm proud to be a member of it.

UPDATE: I completely forgot to add the breakdown of the cost, and the cost was a huge part of why we did things the way we did. Here goes...

Plants around the pool: $150. A savings of over $200, if we had planted ones that were twice the size.

Deck: $285. A savings of $1,100, if we had gone with the Lowe's Deck Calculator and bought all the wood and supplies needed for a 14x10 deck.

Cobblestones: 24 bags of concrete, 1 mold from Lowe's-$134. A savings of $2000, if we had rented the equipment and bought real cobblestones.

9 bags of Sand for in between cobblestones: About $30

Stain for stones: $50

Grand total: $649...$49 over budget

Savings: $3,300 off the top, plus whatever labor would have been had we not done it ourselves.

The pool liner is not in this budget because that was another deal on its own. We knew it needed to be replaced, so that was set aside before. That was $2100 with labor.



  1. Everything looks fabulous! What an inviting space to enjoy this year! Thanks so much for sharing at Project Inspire{d} this week!

  2. wow! Amazing transformation!! Thanks so much for linking up to Give Me The Goods Monday! Hope to see you again tomorrow ;)
    Jamie @ somuchbetterwithage.com

  3. This looks great! We have one of those cobblestone molds, but have never really had much luck with the results. Now we are wanting to cover our patio and your photos have made me think that pavers may not be the best way to go.

    1. Thank you Dustin! My sister used it at her house as well, but they did it a little different. They blocked in spaces and filled them with concrete, then used the mold as a stamp. I like it because it's solid in between the stones.

  4. I wondered about that finish on your lower decks, it looked like it would be slick when wet. Your results are beautiful. Gave me an idea on how to have a patio without spending a fortune on cement.

  5. Beautiful transformation at very little cost (but probably a lot of your time and effort!). Unfortunately, it would only work in tropical areas like Texas and the Southern US. Most places would need real concrete footings (here we would need them 4 feet deep) and wood that would not rot. I have used pallets but they only last about 3 or 4 years before rotting.


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