Friday, May 23, 2014

Our DIY Backyard Project… Seven Years In The Making (So Far)


We’ve been working on our backyard ever since we moved in 7 years ago.  We initially put in a lot of hard work… was fine with that…

until we weren’t…

and then we changed it up all over again!

Backyard Project

This is what it first looked like when we moved in.


Pretty nice… except the yard had some muddy spots and held water really bad… very sloshy and muddy in spots after it rained.  When you have indoor dogs… that’s not good!

Portage Stone Back Yard Project

Our first attempt at fixing the muddy problem was adding portage stone pavers and a stone retaining wall for part of our sloping yard…

and then reseeding the yard.


Backyard Project Retaining Wall

(My hubby can build a beautiful wall!)

In order to have the stone go from one side of the yard to the other… I had to space them apart to stretch them out… leaving huge gaps between the stone that I filled with gravel and sand.


Then… we decided to open up our deck and add stairs all the way around it.

4b  4a


Not bad… and we were happy with it for a few years…


Unfortunately… after all this work… and over that few years…

their was flooding and mud below the steps and it became a huge problem, the stairs eventually warped (looked awful) and the stones ended up with tons of dirt and weeds between them and on top of them… which made them look bad.  It took a lot of maintenance to keep them clean.


And the trees didn’t help either… very shady and moist… perfect for mildew build up on the porch and pavors.

We eventually had the trees removed… and that beautiful big tree in the photo… had a huge hole all the way through the center… yikes!  Glad we got it out of there before it ever fell!

We finally realized that the drainage system was getting worse over the years and causing a lot of our flooding/muddy/mildew problem… aside from our sloping yard.



we decided to pull the pavers up, pull up the old drainage system and lay new pvc pipe last year.  And yes… we did this ourselves!  Pulled up the stone and started digging.  Very hard work as we had to route it all the way to the side of our house and to the road… lots of digging… in the middle of a humid summer… ugh!

5b  005 (2)

But… “we got ‘er done”!


Then… we turned our attention to the deck…


we decided to build a new extension and make it slightly bigger.

(a friend of mine built the deck for us and I helped with the railing)


As for the portage stone… 

We had pulled most of it up for the new drainage and so I pulled all of it up and decided to lay it the way it was meant to be.

Portage Stone Patio and Fire Pit

As you can see… we also added a fire pit area.

It’s been lots of hard work and sweat… (lots of icing the back) but totally worth it in the end.

We are still currently adding finishing touches… like painting the deck, etc.

I will show the “finished” project (ahem)… well… hopefully this summer! Smile

Thanks For Stopping By!

Click Here for the reveal… part two



  1. Man alive! That's a ton of work!!! I LOVE the pavers and the fire pit. Can't wait to see the deck, too.

    So, what's the little house looking building attached to the deck???


    1. Hey girly... tell me about it... do over after do over...LOL! I've put my back and knees through the wringer! Ha! The little house... It's the back of our gas fireplace.

  2. Mercy, Kolein is so right - a ton of work but the end result should be so worth it! Looking at the picture taken on the whole back yard from behind the fence, you can see that the rain water has been following the path out the back gate - I have the same problem but the water is coming from the horse pasture, so the guys just use a backhoe to dig a bit of a trench to divert the water - works well but obviously not a solution for you! I'm looking forward to seeing your pictures of the progress you are making and the final result!

    1. Thanks Farm Quilter! I'm so ready for it all to be over... LOL! But I am so pleased with how things have turned out... we haven't had a lot of torrential on going rain... (as of yet). But the rain that we've had so far has moved on through and not flooded that area back there... so YAY!! I'm hoping it has been fixed! :) Have a great Memorial Day!

  3. It’s nice to see the fabulous changes that you’ve done in your backyard, Kendra! While it’s hard to deal with flooding and mud, I’m glad you’ve formulated a solution to your problem. I do hope you won’t have any additional problems with the backyard. I agree that it was a beautiful tree, but I think removing that was really worth it.

    Melva Ullman @ MPDT


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