But enough trivia for the moment, let's get down to business. So, as you have probably already guessed, this post has to do with my walkway. I have been not-so-silently scheming and dreaming since we moved in to replace the uneven, rickety brick walkway that leads to our side door. Not only is it an eyesore, but it is actually pretty dangerous to walk on at this point (since I haven't really seen my feet for a few weeks now). The hubby and I have talked about getting it done before the little bundle of joy arrives, but we hadn't really planned much further than that. Or so he thought.......
We had originally planned to go away for the fourth of july weekend, but I hadn't been feeling great towards the end of the week and we have been on the go so much that we decided to cancel. And since we didnt' really have other plans lined up, I thought, why don't we tackle the walkway! And by we, I mean him.....and my rockstar parents! Trust me, I tried to help out, but everyone kept yelling at me to sit down and rest. I know that I'm 8 months pregnant, but I hate sitting around and watching other people do work. I like to get in the action and get my hands dirty!!! So....instead of helping them with the walkway, my mom and I worked on weeding and planting (which she did all of since we've heard bad things about pregnancy and soil - I guess the chemicals in some fertilizers and soil can be really bad for unborn babies, so I stuck to yanking out weeds and trimming bushes).
So here is what we started with on Saturday morning (Hi Mom!).
The bricks really didn't bother me (from an asthetic perspective). In fact, I took a drive around the neighborhood (since it was WAAY too hot this weekend to walk) and everyone in the neighborhood has brick walkways. Either there was a sale on it when our houses were all built, or it is just the traditional Hingham style. I'm not exactly sure, all I know is that the old, dirty, worn-out bricks that made up our existing walkway just weren't cutting it. We considered reusing them in a different pattern once we re-leveled the ground, but after more thought, and a few trips to Home Depot to check out their patio stones, we realized that we ultimately wanted a change. So, anyone that is looking for about a thousand bricks (there were some stacked up in the garage when we moved in as well), just let me know. I'm actually thinking about putting them up on Craigslist to see if anyone bites. I'm not sure what the going rate for bricks is these days, but maybe I'll just do a $__ + pickup deal and hope that someone wants to haul them away!!
But back to the project!! Let's fast forward to Monday night (yes, it took almost three full days of work to get er' done, but it was worth it). Here is the "after" photo:
I love it!! I can't tell you how happy I am with it. What do you guys think? I feel like it brightens up the area so much and the landscaping doesn't hurt to spruce it up either. There is still more work to do (adding crushed stone along the foundation to keep out bugs and moisture, fixing a few of the trim pieces that are rotted out, replacing the molding around the door (since the current stuff is just not beefy enough for me.....nor is it tall enough, and replacing the steps). After we started laying the stones, we realized that we didn't love our steps anymore since 1) they don't match the new walkway and 2) they are really dingy and starting to chip around the edges. So, I called a local mason and he is coming later this week or next to re-face both the front and side-door steps with some limestone to match the new walkway. YAY!! So, once that is done, I will do a full before and after post with a little tutorial on patio/stone-laying (since it was our first time tackling a walkway). I might drag B in to help out with that post, though, since he honestly did most of the work!! I can't even begin to take credit for this one...they wouldn't even let me pick up the individual stones...haha!!
But, while the boys were busy doing the heavy-lifting, my mom and I cleared out the jungle that was taking over the front of our house (and the side next to the walkway). When we bought the house, we learned that the previous owner was an avid gardener. Unfortunately, though, she became rather sick and wasn't able to maintain the outside of the house (or the inside, to be honest) for the last few years, so it was pretty unkempt when we moved in last year. The good thing is, though, that there was a lot of great plants to work with around the house, they just needed a little love. So love we gave them.....tough love.
Here is the before picture of the front of the house (SCARY!!):
I can't believe we had let it get so bad. We had talked about tackling the landscaping, but with a whole acre of weeding and edging, it just seemed too much to handle. So, instead of tackling the whole thing this weekend, we just decided to focus on the front of the house (since we were sprucing up the walkway anyway).
Here is where we ended up on Monday evening:
Again, we are not totally finished with the makeover (we are going to add a hydrangea to the front of the walkway in that empty corner, and add the crushed stone along the house), but it is definitely an improvement from before. I was grinning from ear to ear as I watered the plants on Monday night after the dust had settled, literally, and everything was picked up. My parents are seriously amazing. They stuck it out with us all weekend and helped us push through. In fact, most of the time, they were still going strong while B and I were sitting in the shade taking a breather!! I have mentioned it in the past, but I just want to reiterate that we couldn't get done HALF of the work that we do on our house without their help. They are our own little extreme home makeover team and we are really lucky to have them around!!! So, if you are reading this, thanks guys!! We owe you!!
So that's it for our little weekend transformation. Hopefully we will have the steps finished in the next few days and the crushed stone all laid along the foundation. I will definitely report back as progress is made. But for now, you can find me standing out on my new little walkway just taking it all in!