Sunday, May 20, 2007

Landscaping a Backyard on a Budget (a Tale of Bricks)

So this site is officially lifting off now. I've been too busy to set up all the logistics of this blog, but now everything is pretty much set to go with only minor modifications. I hope you'll enjoy reading this blog as much as I will enjoy just documenting, observing, and commenting on the amusing and mundane aspects of life as a Californian. And no I definitely do not fall into any Baywatch stereotypes, so all readers can relax. ;)

In any case this weekend has been a very full and fulfilling one. Saturday Jon and I went to this local brick factory to see if we can find any deals. Apparently there is this one day a year only "open to the public" clearance sale held by this large factory that manufactures bricks/pavestones, etc. that I very serendipitously found out about while driving to work every morning because there was this big banner. Anyhow, since Jon and I have been working on our backyard (technically his, since we aren't married yet, but he very lovingly reminds me that it's our house), pulling out all the weeds in that overtaken backyard and putting in sand (that's for another post with pictures, I promise), we are now ready for pavestones to be put in. So we've been going to Lowe's and HD at least every other weekend and looking at prices and trying to figure out how we will transport several dozen bricks/pavers at a time back and forth and back and forth every weekend when we begin to put pavers down in his small Saturn S-1 and/or my Toyota Camry (oh, the pain of not having a SUV or a truck like the rest of America ;), NOT!) Still, we felt we'll somehow managed, but I had dreaded the prospect of spending the whole summer going to HD everyday to buy a few more bricks until the 540 feet of ground gets paved.

So imagine my joy yesterday when at the "Brick Factory" when we saw that pallets of nice bricks were going for 10-15 cents per brick! It was like I was 5 again and opening presents on Christmas morning! We got there a little later (the sale was only from 8-2) almost around noon and the selection was not very good anymore, but still we managed to get 3 pallets (525 bricks per pallet for those who are numbers-oriented :D) of the "Folsom gold" color and 2 pallets of a grey color one. The total price (including 5 wood pallets that cost $10 deposit/pallet going out and $8/ea back when we return them) came out to only about $330! Fantastic deal! I could've imagined a better way to spend a Saturday morning. I really was saying a prayer of thanks to God at this point. Wow!

So if you're a new homeowner/young couple/single starting out and wanting to create a nice backyard on a budget, or thinking of re-doing/upgrading your existing landscaping in your backyard with pavestones/bricks, I recommend looking into brickyards/local brick factories for these one-day a year clearance sales of 'seconds', samples, and just odds and ends that to the factory are just extras and that they just want to get off their lot/inventory but that to you is a pot of gold! We have yet to set up the delivery of the 5 pallets of bricks, but even adding the estimated cost of about $150, about 1/3 of our backyard would only cost $500 + the sand, weed blanket and labor we put into it. We'll continue to share pics and progress here. Hopefully, as we find out about more deals and ways to "Do it Yourself" on a shoestring budget, we can pass on some things we've learned and learn from all of you too!

Here's a picture of the backyard at this stage (we hired people to do our concrete and did some graveling along the side yard, but the rest of it will be our own sweat and hopefully-no-blood):

Share your backyard adventures!

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