Mulch, Improving the Grade & a New Outlet and Spigot!

Dec 01 2019
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Improving the grade, covering my flashing, adding mulch, an outlet and a new faucet too. With all the rock and stucco finally gone and the job of finally fixing my house and finishing all of my siding behind me I was excited to do a couple last things just for me! (Cheers to the sweetest boyfriend on the planet for cleaning up the incredible stucco and rock mess I made in my yard so I could literally just move on to the fun stuff!)

DISCLAIMER: I know this post coming out in December is really weird. Us northerners only have so many decent days for outdoor work so, to catch you guys up on everything I got done here this summer, its gonna take awhile! So, here is my lovely September yard lol

Before tackling my grade and mulch I first did a couple of things that I’ve wanted for a LONG time: An outdoor spigot and outlet on the front of my house!

I’ve been putting this spigot off forever (FIVE YEARS!) because I really thought I would need to crawl through my house’s crawl space to get it done. (I’m not above procrastinating on nasty jobs.)

Mom: Isn’t there any way you can thread the pipe from the basement, through the crawl space to outside?
Me: No, it would be impossible to hit a hole that size from that far away.

It took me weeks to realize that that would absolutely work it would just have to be done from the opposite direction. (I can be SO DUMB sometimes.)

Improving the grade with garden edging, plastic, weed fabric and mulch. Covering the entire front of my home's foundation, the last step before siding.

Improving the grade with garden edging, plastic, weed fabric and mulch. Covering the entire front of my home's foundation, the last step before siding.

So, I used a 1″ Speedboard bit and my Dewalt impact driver, drilled my hole and then proceeded to have to run into town because I needed an extender and I found THE COOLEST THING EVER.

OMG seriously, you guys, this extension bit is like a miracle! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lost a bit in the wall because it fell off a damned normal extender. This thing has a little allen wrench with it so it clamps down and holds on to the bit!

SERIOUSLY: LIFE CHANGING.

Without that specific bit I would have ABSOLUTELY left my new Speedbor in my craw space! (Just whatever if it makes me weird just thinking about this bit makes me giddy and I WILL share that happiness with you guys!)

I took my frost-less spigot, clamped plenty of pex to the end of it and threaded it all the way through the crawl space to my basement from outside.

In my basement I just so happen to have water lines right above the access door to my crawl space so I didn’t have to do any crawling or anything. I just had to cut my cold water pex line, snap in a tee and connect my outdoor spigot.

Just like that, something I’ve wanted and been procrastinating on for FIVE years I literally completed in less than an hour!

(This spigot is about thirty feet closer to my horses’ water tank than my only other outdoor spigot on the back of my house. So, especially this winter, its going to save me a lot of grief and headache filling the tank.)

For my new outlet I pulled the wire out from the back of an outlet in my dining room and simply installed an outdoor rated box. (No more having to climb into my flower bed to access an outlet on this side of the house anymore!)

It never ceases to amaze me how a couple of hours of work can improve our lives SO MUCH!

From there I tackled the ugly job. Ever since I did the path for my garage I thought the same mulch would look awesome by the house too.

I started by putting down the same garden edging I used earlier this year for my garage path because I really liked it. I ordered it off of amazon and it comes with plastic spikes to keep it in place.

I put my edging just inside of the drip line – I will be putting gutters up eventually but, until then, I didn’t want the next storm to wash all my mulch away. (Besides that, some year, I also plan on expanding my front porch so about half of all of this will be covered by a new little front deck anyway.)

From there it was me and a wheel barrow hauling away at the pile of dirt I still have in front of my barn… (I’m very tired of (and I can’t stress this enough) digging and hauling. I am SO SICK OF IT that I didn’t even take pictures as I did this part… seriously how many times do you guys need to see my wheel barrow in action?)

Improving the grade with garden edging, plastic, weed fabric and mulch. Covering the entire front of my home's foundation, the last step before siding.

Improving the grade with garden edging, plastic, weed fabric and mulch. Covering the entire front of my home's foundation, the last step before siding.

Improving the grade with garden edging, plastic, weed fabric and mulch. Covering the entire front of my home's foundation, the last step before siding.

Improving the grade with garden edging, plastic, weed fabric and mulch. Covering the entire front of my home's foundation, the last step before siding.

Improving the grade with garden edging, plastic, weed fabric and mulch. Covering the entire front of my home's foundation, the last step before siding.

Improving the grade with garden edging, plastic, weed fabric and mulch. Covering the entire front of my home's foundation, the last step before siding.

Improving the grade with garden edging, plastic, weed fabric and mulch. Covering the entire front of my home's foundation, the last step before siding.

Improving the grade with garden edging, plastic, weed fabric and mulch. Covering the entire front of my home's foundation, the last step before siding.

Improving the grade with garden edging, plastic, weed fabric and mulch. Covering the entire front of my home's foundation, the last step before siding.

The dirt covered the bottom of my flashing and increased the grade and its also going to eliminate weed wacking here along the house.

I only improved the grade and did this work along the front. The rest of the house is going to wait for next year. I plan on renting a bob cat, bringing whats left of my dirt pile down here and not just improving the grade around my home but will probably have enough dirt to improve my driveway too.

I picked up a couple of bags of the same red cedar mulch and covered it all.

What a difference!

Ripping off all the rock, hauling it away, ripping off all the stucco and hauling that away too. And then cleaning up, fixing my house, adding flashing, house wrap and finally siding. And then this last push to final completion – I am so relieved to have it all finally done!

Now, I’m going to celebrate! This ugly job that I’ve been LOATHING and RAGING at for years is finally complete!

Bucket list: I want to have a couple of yards of black dirt dropped off next spring to cover what’s left of my front lawn. I’m going to plant it in creeping charlie and white clover in the hopes that it won’t ever need to be mowed and will bloom throughout the year for my bumbles and honey bees 🙂

Oh and also all of my eves need to be painted as well as the door going to the basement needs to be painted too. I also CAN’T WAIT to plant perennials (maybe hydrangeas!) along my house next year. I think they will look just lovely in my red mulch.

AND WITH THAT MY SUMMER TO DO LIST IS COMPLETE!

Improving the grade with garden edging, plastic, weed fabric and mulch. Covering the entire front of my home's foundation, the last step before siding.

Improving the grade with garden edging, plastic, weed fabric and mulch. Covering the entire front of my home's foundation, the last step before siding.

Improving the grade with garden edging, plastic, weed fabric and mulch. Covering the entire front of my home's foundation, the last step before siding.

Improving the grade with garden edging, plastic, weed fabric and mulch. Covering the entire front of my home's foundation, the last step before siding.

Improving the grade with garden edging, plastic, weed fabric and mulch. Covering the entire front of my home's foundation, the last step before siding.

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18 Comments

  1. December 1, 2019 at 9:54 am

    Summer Checklist….. it’s the first of December!! But well done for finishing your list, and how much better it looks, eh? You’ll feel good every time you drive up. Now just waiting for the pics of your living room. Enjoy being inside for a few months, don’t look for stuff that doesn’t need doing currently, and have a glass of wine with me! Cheers! xx

    • December 2, 2019 at 12:07 pm

      Thank you Susan, yep we have a foot of snow on the ground here but it was kind of nice to look back on what I got done this fall! Hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving!

  2. Pat M.
    December 1, 2019 at 10:29 am

    Your home looks so much cleaner and neater on the outside. While I think the rock was pretty also, if it wasn’t done correctly and was causing your house to disintegrate, then it needed to go,for sure.
    I loved your old barn and to see it falling down in the background is sad for me, so I’m sure it is for you. It served your family as long as it was able. In case you can’t tell, I absolutely love old barns.
    You work so hard for your home and are an inspiration to us all.

    • December 2, 2019 at 12:08 pm

      Thank you so much Pat, I’m so relieved to have all that cruddy work done on the outside of the home! The barn was a sad loss, I see her every day though so, admittedly, it doesn’t strike me as painfully as it does still to the rest of the family. I have learned to still love her anyway.

  3. Toni (in Niagara)
    December 1, 2019 at 10:41 am

    WOW GIRL! You must be so proud of the beautiful work you’ve done! I’m sure your grandparents are smiling too! Nice job!
    Do you think window boxes would work – flowers spilling out?
    Please come up here – stay at my airbnb (no charge!) and help me get my ideas prioritized? Clearly, whatever you do is practical as well as good looking!
    Have a wonderful winter!
    Toni (in Niagara)

    • December 2, 2019 at 12:08 pm

      Toni, a break at your airbnb sounds wonderful especially because we just got a foot of snow dumped on us! Thank you so much, it was a ton of work but so worth it!

  4. erika
    December 1, 2019 at 10:49 am

    My, my, you’ve done a great job, of it. Everything looks so much more pulled together and tidy. Your home is really taking shape. A big improvement. Yaaay to you and your beau.

  5. Marian J Diehl
    December 1, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    Tara
    Hats off to you with all the work that you have done to your house. You really have to feel so good about yourself with all that you have had. We are remodeling our house and I understand the frustrations that go with it as this is our third house and hopefully our last. Now you can take the winter off and enjoy a nice warm house. Sit back on the couch with a drink in your hand and enjoy your stove. Thanks for all the pictures that you show in regards to your work. I so look forward to seeing your post every sunday as that is our day off just to chill out. Have a good one and Enjoy. Happy Holidays Marian

    • December 2, 2019 at 12:11 pm

      Thank you so much Marian! I never thought I would say it but I am kind of glad winter is here lol I’m sure I would have found something to work on outside indefinitely if I wasn’t forced to finally take a break.

  6. Kathy H.
    December 1, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    The house looks Great!! You will have all Winter to decide what you want to plant. Remember to also see how large a plant,shrub,bush may grow. Many people plant too close to the house. They end up tearing it all out after a few years because it becomes too big and it’s growing up against the house. Happy Holidays. This year will be so much fun for you with the “ Boy friend” being in your life.

    • December 2, 2019 at 12:12 pm

      Kathy, now that is some very good advice! I was thinking hydrangeas as I know several people from my parts that cut them down completely every couple of years to keep them a manageable size.

  7. December 1, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Whew! I might have to go have a bit of lie-down after just reading about that, let only actually doing the work! You are amazing, as ever!

    • December 2, 2019 at 12:18 pm

      Thank you Jean, I laid down for quite awhile when it was all said and done lol

  8. madeline newton
    December 1, 2019 at 9:00 pm

    wow you have been very busy and it really shows …looks so nice …sounds like you like
    your new toy for drilling holes with ….great work …looks really nice you should be so proud of the work you have done …

  9. December 2, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    Wow! The before and afters are amazing. Probably didn’t feel amazing during but looks great!

    • December 3, 2019 at 9:49 am

      Thank you yeah it was a rough go but I’m SO excited with how it all turned out!

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