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Backyard renovation, kind of a challenge

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by jasonlandscape, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. jasonlandscape

    jasonlandscape LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 124

    Alright, i have a customer with a backyard that has never been maintained. She likes the wild and she loves lots of flowers. well she called me up and said she needs the yard to be fixed up. i go look at it and i say, i can completly rip it out and we can start over. she is somewhat ok with that but she has all these little plants everywere that she wants to save which will make it super hard clearing everything out....

    she only wants to spend $3000

    heres some pics...I just need opinions on how to get all the weeds and grass out, with out removing an of the plants. she doesn't want any roundup back there either. lol

    if it were me id bulldoz the whole backard an start from dirt. i would put any grass back there...it woul be all garden paths and native flowers, a couple of trees

    i'm almost wondering if it even worth it.



  2. Lawncop26

    Lawncop26 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 90

    Wow, that is a mess, you may want to cut it first to see where you stand in reguards to where the plants she wants to save are, and if you still want this job.
  3. SpruceLandscape

    SpruceLandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 502

    I don't know of any way to do this without using some sort of herbicide?? Take a look at all the dandelions alone! I would save some of the larger more established shrubs, round up the rest of the "grassy" areas, bring in some top soil and start from scratch if you want to try and bring the lawn back. I'm sure there will be lots of ways posted on here, some maybe better than that, but I think thats going to be the quickest way to get it done and still have it look good. $3000 doesn't go very far if you are back there once a week trying to pull weeds for the rest of the year. What are the tiers made of R.R. ties?? you may end up having your hands full as well with that if you cut the weeds/grass back and find that they are failing/moving and need to be fixed as well. Don't forget all the trimming of trees and shrubs you are going to be in for. You may want to do a paver or stone walkway for the area that obviously sees a lot of foot traffic to the back gate. You could eat that $3K up in a hurry in material alone, which is why I think you should kill off most of whats there and start over on the lawn.
  4. SpruceLandscape

    SpruceLandscape LawnSite Senior Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 502

    One more thing, whatever she has growing up the side of the house in pics 2 and 3 is starting to creep through the siding and is going to need to be dealt with before she ends up with damage to the house because of it. Once that gets behind the locks of the siding it can actually pull the siding apart start exposing the house to the elements.
  5. LawnVet

    LawnVet LawnSite Member
    from SE MI
    Messages: 220

    1. scalp w/ a mower
    2. weed fabric or another type of barrier (newspaper, etc)
    3. 4+ inches of mulch

    figure your cost for that plus labor time. you won't have $ left for pulling plants so just cut around them and tell her she can get her lazy butt on its knees and do that unless she's willing to pay the extra. Oh, and tell her some weeds will still get through - unless she's willing to pay for the yard to be demoed completely.

    I had a similar job last year, except the woman kept adding things to it (retaining wall, pond, paver patios), so I kept adding to the price. Her $5k budget turned into an $11k bill. At least it doesn't look like crap anymore...that is if she's maintaining it.

    Good luck - post some pics when you're done...if you do it.
  6. jasonlandscape

    jasonlandscape LawnSite Member
    from Georgia
    Messages: 124

    BTW this lady is on the homowners association of the neighborhood.

    oh and that vine has already gone into her bedroom.
  7. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    I hope that with that $3k budget she doesn't expect her back yard to look like the Garden of Eden or anything..

    I'd be hesitant to work back there for her budget; often times I find that people like her are expecting $10k worth of work to fit in to their $3k budget..

    I don't know the woman, though; maybe she's really nice, understanding, etc etc... or maybe she's not.

    Just be careful with what you get yourself in to...
  8. sawman65

    sawman65 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 754

    no round up? lol tell her you will put a few goats back there. but prune and pull what she wants to keep lol. sorry for the joke but for three grand it would be best to let that one go.
  9. Isobel

    Isobel LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 548

    i'm with LawnVet, go through the yard and cut everything down. find the plants she wants to save, newspaper over everything else, and then mulch it.

    and get that thing off the downspout on the side of the house :)

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