Around the House #2

This is more of an outside the house but you get the idea. Actually I guess you could say this is more of a literally “around the house.” When we moved into our house they previous owners went on and on about how much they loved the house and had taken “such great care of it” over the 9 years they lived here. I would agree to a certain extent that they did take care of the home. I mean, it wasn’t falling apart and aside from desperately needing to be repainted inside it was in really good shape.

The yard however was a different story. They had yard people, but I personally would not have guessed they had a company taking care of it. I am definitely no fan of yard work but I think I could have kept it in better shape then it was in. The lawn was green, but it’s mostly weeds. The bushes were over grown and on half of the back yard has no grass, just a mix of dirt and vines growing everywhere! I’ll cut them some slack since that side was used primarily for the dogs to go out, but still a little grass would be nice. Oh and for some reason the sprinklers on that side of the yard don’t work. I did find a little friend while working on the yard one day.

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I also found that there’s landscaping wire all over the yard but no landscaping lights? I asked about that and got the same answer I had previously gotten when asking about other things (ie: broken pool pipes for a waterfall feature) “Oh I don’t know, we never used those.” I mean why in 8 years would you not figure out what all the little stuff around your house does or if it works.

Anyway I’m getting off track, on the other side of the back yard an ENTIRE corner of the yard was covered in ferns and to make it worse I don’t think they cleaned that corner of fallen debris the entire time they lived here. It was a mess and I’m not quite sure why anyone would choose to plant or let fern take over an entire corner of their yard, especially if you have a yard company taking care of it for you. *Update* I discovered that there’s tons of fern growing on the outside of the fence in the back, so maybe they didn’t intentionally plant it, but they still let it take over an entire corner of the yard!! yikes!! I forgot to take a picture before I started so this is after already taking out about 5 ft of fern and you can see how much of it is still there!

When we moved in step # 1 in the yard was to get rid of the fern, ALL OF IT! If you’ve never had this problem let me tell you it’s easy task. The fern itself rips out pretty easily. It’s web of roots however is a different story and you also have to make sure you get out all of the root balls so it doesn’t just grow back. It took me about a week to get it all out. Our garbage men I’m sure hated our house on yard trash day as it took about 50 bags to get rid of it all. It made such a huge different though!

After getting rid of the fern the next thing about the yard that bothered me was the fence. It looked like it was about to blow over if a strong wind came along. It’s also 12 years old so that’s to be expected. Two panels of the fence actually did fall over when the hurricane came through one month after we moved it. That’s still on the list of things to fix (priorities and a budget prevent things from moving quickly around here!). Two panels the previous owner fixed and while I’m glad they fixed them, the new panels make the old fence look even worse!!

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My Mom came over one day with her Pressure Washer to clean our pool deck and since she left it here I decided to clean off the side of the house that had been bothering me and since I was out there I figured why not give cleaning the fence a go. I didn’t think it would make that big of a difference anyway, I mean again it’s 12 years old! I hated the way it looked so dirty, parts of it were black with mold and dirt. Other parts were green! All I had were thoughts of needing to replace the whole thing and that was not in my budget in the foreseeable future. We put in a fence at one of our previous houses and let me tell you, it’s not cheap!!

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I gave it a go on the fence and the difference was actually amazing! I was shocked at what just using water and pressure washing did to the fence. It was good and bad at the same time. The good was that I knew it would breathe new life back into the fence. The bad was that now I had to pressure wash the entire fence. It seemed like a never ending task at the beginning and also despite being a cleaning task was a very messy! Look at the difference in the top of the fence panel below! That’s how disgusting the fence was!! I know it’s weird to be so excited about this, but I can’t help it, the difference is unbelievable!!

It took me about a week doing a few hours of pressure washing every day. I took a few days off from it because it takes a toll on your body standing and crouching to get all the different parts of the fence. My back hurt , I was soaked and covered in dirt by the end of a few hours of washing. It was all worth it though when I finished because it made our dying fence look almost new! I mean look at the difference in out view from our Lanai now! it brightens everything up getting all that dirt off the fence. (Ignore our ugly brown pool deck, it’s also on the list of things to update!)

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If you’ve ever pressure washed anything you understand the feeling you get from the instant gratification of cleaning something. It sucks you in and can actually be fun. It made such a difference that I just couldn’t stop until the entire fence was clean! My husband thought I was crazy but he had admitted that it made such a huge difference! I don’t feel like we need a new fence anytime soon now.

I’ll leave you with these two videos I made (don’t worry I time lapsed them, I know no one wants to watch me pressure was for an hour!) Check out that difference!!

Have you guys done anything to spruce up your yard? Any tips for budget friendly things I could do in our yard. It has a long way to go so any ideas would be great!

Also any of you guys built a deck in your yard and have any tips? Send them my way!! That’s also on our future list of things to do in our yard to have a place for our grill and smoker!

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