It was a beautiful day in Pittsburgh yesterday, so I took the opportunity to get outside. First was to clean the gutter on the back of my house, since I noticed that it looked to be completely clogged. That earned me the right to do actual fun things, like take a motorcycle ride and go to the batting cages. But before I did that, I went up to the top of the hill at the back of my property so that I could stand triumphantly on the stump of the tree that had been threatening to fall over on the house. While I was up there I took a few pictures, and since my backyard isn’t even close to being in Revit yet, I thought I would sketch out my first thoughts for the backyard. Click for larger images!
Kill zombies/dismantle shed
First thing would have to be first, get rid of zombie-infested shed. The zombies are dangerous enough on their own, but you could cut yourself on the sheet metal or hit your head on the 5′-0″ door. Yup, it has to go. I am gonna miss those little rascals though.
That’s Ethel on the right, Mirman on the left. They’re just the cutest old zombie couple. I think that’s their granddaughter or someone waving. Anyway, they gotta go.
Extend and square off retaining wall
Whoever did the landscaping here earlier made some strange choices. For example, this is what the shittiest ever cross-section of our planting beds would look like:
Not sure what the impetus to put down plastic trash bags in your yard is, but hey, I’m no landscaper. I’m also not sure why they decided to go with a horseshoe-shaped retaining wall at the back of the yard. I’m sure it made a pleasing shape on paper, but it makes it really hard to mow around an inside curve, and it eats away at the edges of the yard. Plus, I just like straight lines. Also, it looks like the retaining wall could be pushed back a few feet and still be the same height.
Remove depressing “sunroom”. Build less-depressing outdoor kitchen.
You can see why I hesitate to call this a sunroom. This was taken at about noon, and the sun is moving towards the front of the house, so this is about as sunny as it gets. There are three things I love about this room. The first is that the rain makes nice noises on the metal roof. The second is that whoever added this on mercifully did not mangle the exterior finishes/building envelope, which means it can go away without much of a trace. The third is that the slab for it is way bigger than we would need for an outdoor kitchen, so I can keep part (or none) of it and not have to pour anything new.
That’s about it. Exterior improvements are about last on my list of things to accomplish, but it’s good to keep the gears moving on this stuff.