Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Friday, May 04, 2007
The cat that ate the mouse that ate the spider....
It starts with a tree....
So....Last night I embarked on the first step of what will probably be a year long process to accomplish a number of big ticket home repair / improvement projects by hiring a landscape architect.
I'm working with Jennifer Kirchnick, the owner of Baltimore Garden Company. She came out to the house last night and spent over an hour discussing plans and ideas to remove the massive Siberian Elm tree from the yard and replace it with something more appropriate for the space and the scale of the yard. Her portfolio was impressive, we hit it off, she really listened to what features and style I like, and as I leafed through a patio and garden book, she took careful note of the colors and plants I was drawn to.
Removing the tree and grinding out the stump will require digging up my entire back yard, and also replacing the deck to get all the big roots out. The deck needs to be replaced anyway (it's old and I have two rotten boards in it). Since the deck is just an excuse for rats to breed under it, I would like to replace it with a nice brick or flagstone patio instead of a new deck. Besides, that will last a lot longer too.
Jennifer is going to draw up plans for a patio with some built in storage and seating and all the landscaping, planting and flower bed designs. "All" for a back yard that measure some 1,000 square feet total, and all for the very reasonable price of $300, which is waived if I hire her company to do the landscaping.
If I take out the deck, it means I have to remove the current storage shed, which is also falling apart. If I take out the shed, I can then freely access the heat pump which needs to be replaced because it is going on 21 years of age.
Speaking of turning 21, so is my roof. Yep it needs to be replaced as well. I've got three contractors lined up to tell me how much that's gonna hurt.
Not that I'm planning on selling my little dream home anytime soon, but all of these things have to be done if I were to ever think about putting it on the market, and they are all replacements / improvements with a very high return on the investment. More so than a kitchen or bath remodel, which would cost about the same.
Tree + patio + garden + heat pump / furnace + roof = $$$$$ Oh, and I had already budgeted and planned for refinishing all the hardwood floors this summer, so there's that too.