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Old 11-30-2009, 09:20 PM   #1
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Help for my Front yard for landscaping


Please see the attached photos of my front yard.
http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv352/Forex101/PB060043.jpg
It's in a bad shape. I have to convert this into a landscape. One of the landscaper asked $4650 for the following items.

1) Repair sprinkler system - $500 (System is there but the controls and timer is not working.. probably some sprayers are also not working)
2) Sod marathon II front yard - $ 1100
3) Retained wall both sides of the driveway level to the yard - 1300
4) Demolition the planter/flower bed (shown in the picture) and move the side walk and replace the block cap - 950
http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv352/Forex101/PB080056.jpg
5) Plants and Flowers for planters - $850.

I am still not decided whether it is something I could do myself (never done such a job) or it makes sense to pay that guy to get the job done..

Also not sure, the job he is proposed is a good design to start with,,

I would appreciate your comments on this one.


Last edited by cprao; 11-30-2009 at 11:15 PM.
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Old 11-30-2009, 10:09 PM   #2
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Help for my Front yard for landscaping


No pics ?

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Old 11-30-2009, 11:16 PM   #3
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Help for my Front yard for landscaping


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No pics ?
Now you can see them.. They were not uploaded previously. Sorry about that
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Old 12-01-2009, 03:23 AM   #4
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Help for my Front yard for landscaping


Unless you have a couple months of time,I would let the guy do it, but I would get a couple more quotes and design options.
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Old 12-01-2009, 07:22 PM   #5
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Help for my Front yard for landscaping


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Unless you have a couple months of time,I would let the guy do it, but I would get a couple more quotes and design options.
I can work on weekends (and only weekends).. but I am still not sure Is something I should do it not only for saving money but also to gain some experience on this front.. I have never done such jobs.. But at the same time, I am confused where to start with..

Should I first start on demolition of the planter and placing the walkway close to the planter or something else ?? very confused !!

Comments are appreciated.
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Old 12-02-2009, 02:34 AM   #6
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Help for my Front yard for landscaping


very confused !!

I am of no help there, that is why I would get more quotes and more than likely hire a pro.
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Old 12-03-2009, 10:56 PM   #7
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I would do a mix of hiring the pro and doing some yourself. I would do the demolition yourself, then have them do the retaining wall and grading (which is much harder than it looks to get it so it slopes properly and drains away from the house). You can save money by having them prepare the ground for planting and then you do grass seed (instead of sod...much less expensive, but you have to spend time watering it every day...well worth it in the end). Then you can do your own plantings. Have them recommend the shrubs, flowers, etc. and you save on the labor of planting them. (lots of good info online about doing your own plantings).

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/gardening/planning-a-garden.shtml
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Old 12-03-2009, 11:39 PM   #8
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Help for my Front yard for landscaping


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I would do a mix of hiring the pro and doing some yourself. I would do the demolition yourself, then have them do the retaining wall and grading (which is much harder than it looks to get it so it slopes properly and drains away from the house). You can save money by having them prepare the ground for planting and then you do grass seed (instead of sod...much less expensive, but you have to spend time watering it every day...well worth it in the end). Then you can do your own plantings. Have them recommend the shrubs, flowers, etc. and you save on the labor of planting them. (lots of good info online about doing your own plantings).

http://www.oldhouseweb.com/gardening/planning-a-garden.shtml
Heard you !! Thinking in the same lines.. Can you list out some tools that are helpful for removing the things properly so that they can be reused, if required.
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Old 12-04-2009, 12:50 PM   #9
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Help for my Front yard for landscaping


I hate to sound like a wet blanket on this party, but this thread seems a little out of place.

By the OP's confession:
Quote:
but I am still not sure Is something I should do it not only for saving money but also to gain some experience on this front.. I have never done such jobs.. But at the same time, I am confused where to start with..
and the scope of the work he wants done-
demolition, grading, hardscape, installing sod, irrigation, I'm just not sure about this. If he wanted advice on which shrub would work best in a certain area, or which fertilizer to use for pansies, maybe, but.....
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Old 12-04-2009, 07:20 PM   #10
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Help for my Front yard for landscaping


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Originally Posted by downunder View Post
I hate to sound like a wet blanket on this party, but this thread seems a little out of place.

By the OP's confession:

and the scope of the work he wants done-
demolition, grading, hardscape, installing sod, irrigation, I'm just not sure about this. If he wanted advice on which shrub would work best in a certain area, or which fertilizer to use for pansies, maybe, but.....
Thank you for your comments.. I guess this work belongs to land scaping so I believe it is in the right section.. Next, about my question - Yes.. I am looking for some help or hints from the pros who has done such work previously..
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:05 AM   #11
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Help for my Front yard for landscaping


Without knowing your knowledge level and capabilities it's a bit hard to advise...but I am a homeowner who has learned things over time and am I'm quite handy but limited in some things so with that context here's what I'd recommend.

Sprinklers...I'd let someone else fix the controls and timer...that's the brains of the system. I'd do the rest myself...as you only need to know how to use a shovel and do Lego's to do the rest...unless you have some very unusual circumstances.

Sod - do it all yourself. A good chunk of the estimate is probably labor. Laying sod takes time but it ain't rocket science. Most important of all...if you do nothing else in this whole project....take care of the soil first. Quickly that means either remove old turf with sod cutter...or kill it all first then churn the whole yard up with a rototiller...then lay in some nice organic soil amendment...remove big rocks...turn it over well...then roll it out flat. Doing that will give you a dramatically lower maintenance lawn going forward...ie. looks very good with minimized effort and $$$. Do a soil analysis first if possible to get some guidance on dealing with composition deficiencies.

Retaining wall....depends...how high? type of slope? mortared? I did my first one ever this summer with stacked blocks with interlockign ridges. All the work is in getting the base and first layer level...then you just stack em up after that...pretty much...gravel in back for drainage.

Demo etc...I'd do the demo myself...but would leave laying sidework to a concrete guy...unless it's pavers...

Plants etc for planters. Totally do yourself. Buy the plants yourself and provide the labor. Otherwise...on top of those costs...the guy getting the plants for you will mark up the plants..plus charge an add'l 30% to 60% or more on top of that just to plant them.

As far as whether or not the design proposal you got is a good one...can't help much with that other than to advise that I have found there is a large percentage of "professionals" who don't have a clue what they are doing...so I'd get minimum of 3 proposals for anything of significance that I wasn't planning to do myself...which usually leads me to do it myself as a result!!!
good luck.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:53 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by piste View Post
Without knowing your knowledge level and capabilities it's a bit hard to advise...but I am a homeowner who has learned things over time and am I'm quite handy but limited in some things so with that context here's what I'd recommend.

Sprinklers...I'd let someone else fix the controls and timer...that's the brains of the system. I'd do the rest myself...as you only need to know how to use a shovel and do Lego's to do the rest...unless you have some very unusual circumstances.

Sod - do it all yourself. A good chunk of the estimate is probably labor. Laying sod takes time but it ain't rocket science. Most important of all...if you do nothing else in this whole project....take care of the soil first. Quickly that means either remove old turf with sod cutter...or kill it all first then churn the whole yard up with a rototiller...then lay in some nice organic soil amendment...remove big rocks...turn it over well...then roll it out flat. Doing that will give you a dramatically lower maintenance lawn going forward...ie. looks very good with minimized effort and $$$. Do a soil analysis first if possible to get some guidance on dealing with composition deficiencies.

Retaining wall....depends...how high? type of slope? mortared? I did my first one ever this summer with stacked blocks with interlockign ridges. All the work is in getting the base and first layer level...then you just stack em up after that...pretty much...gravel in back for drainage.

Demo etc...I'd do the demo myself...but would leave laying sidework to a concrete guy...unless it's pavers...

Plants etc for planters. Totally do yourself. Buy the plants yourself and provide the labor. Otherwise...on top of those costs...the guy getting the plants for you will mark up the plants..plus charge an add'l 30% to 60% or more on top of that just to plant them.

As far as whether or not the design proposal you got is a good one...can't help much with that other than to advise that I have found there is a large percentage of "professionals" who don't have a clue what they are doing...so I'd get minimum of 3 proposals for anything of significance that I wasn't planning to do myself...which usually leads me to do it myself as a result!!!
good luck.
Thank you for your advise. I am thinking in the same lines of diving the types of work.. and see which work can be done by myself and which work should be done by professionals.

All the shovel,demolishing work and planting work will be done by me for sure.

Currently I am researching on irrigation part of it.

1) How many values should I be using and what company should I be using it ?
2) How big stationcontroller ( 6 stations, 9 or 12) I should be using for now and as well as in the future ?

3) What kind of spray heads and nozzles, I should be using.. Should I be using pop ups or the regular ? Any other considerations to be considered ?

4) Should I be using drip sytem or bubblers for my 3 ft apart trees ? How do I decide on that ?
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:37 AM   #13
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Help for my Front yard for landscaping


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Originally Posted by cprao View Post
Thank you for your advise. I am thinking in the same lines of diving the types of work.. and see which work can be done by myself and which work should be done by professionals.

All the shovel,demolishing work and planting work will be done by me for sure.

Currently I am researching on irrigation part of it.

1) How many values should I be using and what company should I be using it ?
2) How big stationcontroller ( 6 stations, 9 or 12) I should be using for now and as well as in the future ?

3) What kind of spray heads and nozzles, I should be using.. Should I be using pop ups or the regular ? Any other considerations to be considered ?

4) Should I be using drip sytem or bubblers for my 3 ft apart trees ? How do I decide on that ?
Much of the answers will depend on specifics of your yard. I would size the number of stations to be on the larger side depending on incremental cost..it's the kind of thing where you often end up needing more stations than you originally think...and it's better to have one or two stations you don't use than hit your max and wish you had more. As for the rest...swing by Home Depot or Lowes and there are irrigation basics books put out by the likes of Scotts or Rainbird that are well worth the $10 or $15 they cost and will make you an "expert" in no time.
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Old 12-08-2009, 06:49 PM   #14
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Help for my Front yard for landscaping


Quote:
Originally Posted by piste View Post
Much of the answers will depend on specifics of your yard. I would size the number of stations to be on the larger side depending on incremental cost..it's the kind of thing where you often end up needing more stations than you originally think...and it's better to have one or two stations you don't use than hit your max and wish you had more. As for the rest...swing by Home Depot or Lowes and there are irrigation basics books put out by the likes of Scotts or Rainbird that are well worth the $10 or $15 they cost and will make you an "expert" in no time.
Thank you for continuous feedback. I am sure I need that book about irrigation basics. Thank you for this info. I didn't know about this book.
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:41 PM   #15
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Help for my Front yard for landscaping


I do everything myself.....
I'd keep the front planter, make sure water can get out - good drainage
Put heavy plastic against the house, maybe even a perforated drainage pipe covered w/gravel
Ends of the pipe would drain water out of the planter
Then I'd plant flowers in the planter

Then put a new walkway in front of the planter
Does this have a use - leads out back ?

I've never done sprinklers....you might want to hire the guy for that
Plus the retaining walls

I'd prep the soil & put my own sod down
Water it for 3 weeks or so...possibly longer...talk to who you buy it from
Check the price of the actual sod VS having it installed
That will tell you the labor rate
If you don't water it, it will just die...so don't waste the $$

I only water my lawn when I am planting grass
Other then that I never water my lawn
Plants & flowers are fairly easy...where are you located ?
I've picked up a lot of my stuff from friends & from seeds
Other items I order online, making sure it will grow in my area
I only buy perennials now that will reseed
After 5 years I now "weed" perennials & throw them out unless I can find someone who wants them

From seed: (Different colors of these)




Hummingbords Love these & they have spread



I have white daisies all over, pink w/yellow ctrs just getting going





Purple Phlox 3' tall is spreading too


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