The project that never ends that hasn’t even started yet

Problems that have beset our landscaping:

1) Our wishlist was so extensive that it is beyond our budget. Slowly, everything has gone on the chopping block. Goodbye green wall (never even knew ya), drop down countertop, built in bench,  stadium steps.  We are now reduced to a new deck/landing, a patio, a single Japanese maple.  Sob.

2) Our magnolia tree died a sudden and unexpected death this spring.  #### <–insert foul language.  We were first alerted by the lack of flowers.  Then…nothing.  The only contractor who visited confirmed.

3) Which brings us to: not being able to get a quote from anyone but ONE contractor thus far into the process. It’s already mid-August and the project is/was to take place in September to coincide with the neighbours, which brings us to:

4) Neighbour decides, all of a sudden, to do his work in August so he can throw a party at the beginning of September. So first this created problems of access, because the contractor who has been working with us does not want to damage the finished work of the neighbour (we are boxed in between two townhouses with no access to the backyard except from kindness granted by neighbour).  This morning the neighbour (luckily he is a charming and jaunty fellow) wakes me up to tell me his chosen contractor (a questionable type to begin with) has backed out of the deal by adding $10,000 to the first quote.  Ha ha ha ha.   And neighbour has my bro swallowing the kool-aid, that if the neighbour’s property is going to be done for X amount, then ours should be substantially lower than that, instead of the same X amount neighbour has in his mind (our current quote is between $10K-15K).  Neighbour can be very persuasive, but no contractors are signing up to do his job for the price he has in mind (his property is about double ours because he is a semi-detached vs. our townhouse).

5) What to do with the shoddily placed AC?  We discovered, with the contractor, that our original AC guy had done a shitty job for us and not buried the pipe leading to the AC.   Stupid, stupid.  Contractor proposed hiding AC under the deck, but now I think we may just end up leaving it where it is, but burying the pipe, because apparently contractor ‘doesn’t do that kind of work’ (so it’s not included in the current quote).  I looked at this article about hiding eyesores but it wasn’t that helpful. No pictures.

All this chaos.  My brother at least began demolition (shaving about $400 off of the quote) but now is grappling with the removal of patio stones that are much heavier than he originally thought.  And was forced to cut down the dead magnolia with a flimsy hand saw.

Plus the brother was promoted (so new work) and is purchasing a condo…he’s a tad stressed.

In better news, my daughter took her first step in the past two days!  She’s been standing and bouncing, and squatting and standing again, all without support, but when it came to moving from point A to point B, she would get back down on her knees and crawl.   Walking is around the corner! She’s almost 11 months old.

By the way, I have an amazing Pinterest board devoted to designs that you will love but perhaps not be able to afford.  Wait. I’m talking about myself.  Enjoy the dreaming phase.