When we bought the firehouse we opted for a 203k loan, which would allow us to tackle some immediate (and expensive) renovations. At the very top of the list were the we-can’t-live-here-unless-we-get-some-natural-light windows for the first floor. This was followed closely by a patio for our soon-to-be-purchased Left Lot/side yard. Ultimately that plan shifted to the Right Lot (more on the tale of two lots here), which looked like this when we bought the building:
The concrete contractor started by ripping out the asphalt pad and chain link fence behind the building to make way for the new parking pad. Then he graded the side and laid gravel.
The patio is 12 feet wide and around 130 feet long. In a word, it is mammoth. I guess it’s fitting considering the scale of the building. It runs from the front of the building to the alley in one nearly complete slab. Three wide steps were added near the back of the building due to the slope of the yard.
Now that the weather is getting warmer, this is one of my favorite spots at the firehouse. I let Mojo roam the mud pit… err… yard, while I soak up the sun and the sounds of the birds. There are so many birds here! I love it. It makes it feel like we have this awesome oasis in the middle of the city.
Speaking of the yard, we have some serious work ahead of us. Digging for the patio, unearthed a bunch of old bricks and the yard was filled with miscellaneous debris already. So here’s the long-term list to get this yard in shape:
- Install a fence. (This is already in the works.)
- Clean the yard of debris.
- Level the yard, which may require purchasing some topsoil.
- Plant grass.
- Plant a small garden.
- Remove the dead tree at the front of the property.
- Section the patio into a few functional zones: grilling, eating lounging and fire pit. This line could be split into several more because Aaron has plans to build some furniture and we’ll add an overhang to give some shade to part of the patio.
The kicker is that as much as we like renovation, we both HAAAAAATE yard work. It’s just not our jam. We’ll get it all done, but I’m sure there will be a fair amount of cursing throughout. Good thing we live right next to an elementary school…
What do you prefer: indoor or outdoor renovations?