The best backyard transformation of our small backyard.

When we found our 1857 built brownstone home in the city we loved the radical transformation the builder/flipper had done. Seriously, its perfection. However, and that’s a BIG however, the backyard was not good. Not good on so many levels to be honest. Not dog friendly… not human friendly. It was overlooked. Mostly hardscape, tons of stone and absolutely no character and the fence had seen better days. It was on our list once spring 2021 was going to roll around. We started to reach out to our our neighborhood Facebook group, relator etc. for references. We overwhelmingly had heard that Clean Cut was where it was at. Aaron came out and we brainstormed, drew up some ideas…. and waited for the estimate. I’ll be clear, having yard work done in the city is VERY pricey. I mean I still cannot get my head around that like we could’ve put in a pool at our house in the burbs for this price. Once we got the estimate, we did our due diligence and contacted other landscapers to check their pricing. Everyone was around the same price. We talked to Aaron a lot and discussed where our cap was (yeah that blew out) and we got on the calendar to start the construction. The time estimate was around 3-4 weeks and as we quickly learned, that was a lovely, pre-pandemic timeframe and not that of covid times.

So let’s start with the horrific before shots from my iPhone and please note that the blue tarp is covering a pallet of cement bags that the prior owner/flippers was intending to use on the plumbing project right before we closed. We opted not to do cement work in December because of the the temps.

One last note on the before pics is that just beyond the fence is where our 2 dedicated parking spots existand we had them resurface that as well and put some more durable stones down that would work better/drain water etc.

Now that you have that hot mess visual, I wanted to share what our vision was for this space. Being so small, we wanted to do an area for the dogs and Aaron suggested a turf space for them. We wanted to do stamped cement that we had dyed to dark charcoal or black (caaaa-ching!). We had to keep some kind of retaining walls along either side. And finally the fence had to be replaced. Because Clean Cut’s fence company was backlogged till September, we opted to find another company which we did.

The work was to start in May or June. June was the date and so the destruction began.


I’ll spare you all the details but the story goes… we started, the worked stopped for weeks and then resumed again. This is how it went the entire 3 or so months. Labor is suffering a shortage everywhere! Other reasons were that the cement guy was so backed up with work (yes, every single family started to work on their homes during the pandemic) so we waited. We had to work on patience. Thankfully Aaron was always updating us and we all just needed to wait. I cannot say enough about how professional Clean Cut was to work with period! They were incredible and the time delays were not due to them but to supply and manpower shortages like everything right now.

And let’s get ready for the reveal 🙂

Links:
Chair (we purchased at the C&B outlet for a steal) but here’s the link.
Side table (also purchased at the C&B outlet) but sold out online. Here is a similar one.
Big Green Egg grill
Couch and side round cement table was purchased from Penn Stone and is made by Brown Jordan. It is very pricey but absolutely stunning.
Flowers and pots were from Frey’s Nursery.
Outdoor string lights.
Cement LP fire pit.
Long lumbar pillow is sold out.
Two outdoor black pillows.

I think this finishes up our home tour! So happy with 3 months to spare before our 1st anniversary here.

— Knead to Cook

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