Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Exterior update

Look at this mess!

That's the current view of our back yard. It's such a disaster, but we're trying hard to whip it into shape!
When we built the deck a few weeks ago, we decided to keep going with the landscaping and get as much done this summer as possible.
We're starting to lay a flagstone patio, since growing grass in our backyard has proved to be almost impossible!  You can see the first few pieces we've put down so far.

Flagstone is usually $$$$, but we found a rock quarry that had a rip-rap pile, where pieces that don't fit on their pallets or rock left over from jobs are thrown into a corner and sold for 1/4 of the usual price. You have to dig through it and load it yourself, but it sure saved us a lot of money.

Plus, we found these stones in that same pile!

It's flagstone that's been cut and smoothed/polished. Cam has cut them down to shorter lengths and we're laying them as a walkway from the deck to the garage.

When we're finished laying the stone, we're going to plant ground cover in between the stones to get a look similar to this image. So pretty right?

Around our sad looking garage, Cam started building a retaining wall with limestone.  We have piles and piles of this stone! Our original foundation was built with it, and when we tore off half the house/added the addition, we saved all the stones. They've been piled up behind our garage waiting until we had something to do with them.

Cam dug down around the garage, leveled the ground, added sand and started laying the first layer of limestone.

This is the back section of the garage where he's got a row down and has mortared between the stones.

The garage is an eyesore right now, but our whole house exterior used to look just as bad. It's a good reminder of how far we've come! New siding and shingles (down the road) will help take care of the ugliness.

Our house before we sided! Here's the AFTER

While Cam's been working on the patio/retaining wall, I've started staining the deck.  We're using an Australian Timber Oil by Cabot.

It's dark, but has a nice sheen that I prefer over the typical opaque stains used on decks. Also, our hardwood flooring inside will have a dark stain, so to carry it outside helps connect the two spaces.

It's a slow moving project, since I can only work on it in the late afternoon when the deck is in the shade. The direct sun will dry the stain too fast and leave a mess of brush marks.

I've been brushing the stain on two boards at a time so that I can start and stop as needed.
Usually with stains you apply them and then wipe off the excess, but this oil seems to soak right in. One less step is fine with me!

So that's where we're at with our landscaping to date. Still SO much to do, but that's the story of our life :)  It hasn't been ALL work the last few weeks though.  My mom came through town and left my youngest sister with us for the summer.  I love having her company and help with the kids! My brother and his wife also came for a weekend visit!

 Us girls hung out with the kiddo's and put the guys to work!

It's pretty obvious that T-man adores this Uncle Phil!

Having them here was a highlight to our summer for sure!
Once the yard work is finished (or mostly finished), we have a big job lined up for inside.

Pretty sure you can guess what it is! 











9 comments on "Exterior update"
  1. Your deck is gorgeous! And it looks like everything else is coming along, too! The flagstone is going to be beautiful when it is finished. :)

  2. oh wow! what a big project! it's going to be amazing!

  3. is that pressure treated wood and what did you use for fasteners?
    I am building a deck myself and am looking for a hidden fastener solution...also going dark stain on PT lumber. How did the stain dry? any updated pics of the deck?

    1. William- We used PT wood for the underside structural part of the deck and then used cedar for the rest. The hidden fastening system we purchased at Menards called Camo, but you can purchase it at any big box store. The stain dried well and does a good job of repelling water as it beads right up on it. Here's latest picture I have of the project: http://www.swooninteriors.com/2013/11/exterior-update.html
      Hope this helps! Good luck with your project.

  4. What shade of cabot stain did you use on the deck? Thanks

  5. Exactly what type of Austrailian Cabot Oil did you use? I want the exact same stain/color for my cedar deck

    Thank you

  6. did you use australian oil or the new cabot gold? did it stay shiny or dull out

  7. hello. Can you tell me what is the brand and color of the deck stain? Please? Thank you.

  8. Love the project and the seeing everything come together. Absolutely beautiful.
    I think we have the same thing with our house a dark hardwood color inside the home for wood floors. So I am trying to carry it outside and really think the color of the stain you used on your deck would be just the right match.
    Could you tell me what stain color you used for the Cabot Australian Timber Oil please?


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