Two Down, Two to Go

Part of my 2011 goals is complete four home improvement projects. I already accomplished one of them for the year and now we have just finished up the second. Given the time of year, I find it appropriate that our focus was on what we have going on outside.
This has been an ongoing process for over a year and a half. Here are some of the things we have done.

  • Had the house painted. This had not been done properly in over 20 years.
  • Cleared the whole jungle of a yard, planted new plants and laid grass seed.
  • Leveled out yard and added dry wells. We had a problem with flooding in the yard.
  • Stained the cement patio.
  • Made and installed a rain barrel.
  • Removed Bilco (basement) doors, removed layer of rust, painted a couple layers of Rust Stop and then installed them again. This was such a pain, I didn't have help with this one either, and the steel doors weighed like 300 pounds. 
I am sorry to say I don't have a running total of the cost for everything. I just know we did almost everything ourselves (besides painting the house, I am afraid of heights and our house is very tall) and that probably saved us the most amount of money.

You can see in the picture above the hose going from the rain barrel to the garden. Saving money on water. Woo!
That little road you can see (better in the before) is the block's "paper alley". Everyone has their garage on this one little alley. Our garage is the last one. In the before picture, that tall house, that's actually someone's garage. It's almost as big as our house. You should see their house. Most of the houses are at least 100 years old, Victorian, gorgeous and enormous.
We have one the two smallest houses on the block with a 2100 sq. ft. house. Our house has a twin, right next door.

These are the crazy heavy Bilco doors that yours truly went all She-Ra on.

We have the smallest yard too. Which I am 100% okay with. I always thought I wanted a large yard, but even our small yard requires a bit of maintenance and money. I think as self proclaimed do-it-yourselfers we would be overwhelmed by something larger. Not only that, our yard is more than adequate for guests when having a BBQ.

It's nice to have one more thing done. I think I might tackle our master bedroom wallpaper next. I really don't want too, but I also really want it done and I am not going to pay someone else to do it.

Have you guys checked out Minting Nickel's First Friday Frugal DIY. She'll show you hers and than you can show her yours. Good ol' fashion DIY fun.