Blog

Moving It Around

My back yard, all smoothed out

In order to get my final permit approval, I need to get the site inspection approved. In order to get the site inspection approved, the yard must be graded, the soil amended, the steep areas stabilized with plants and walls, and the root barrier buried (because my Very Confused Landscape Contractor didn’t know you’re supposed to bury root barriers, among other things). In order for the root barrier to be buried, my Very Confused Landscape Contractor must get his truck back from the shop. In order for his truck to get back from the shop, hell must freeze over.

Seriously this has been going on for weeks and weeks. The city actually finished their review and approval process a permit revision (hint: never put optional rain gardens in your permit drawings lest you later decide not to put in rain gardens) before this contractor even got back to me about what the delay was. I let myself get bullied into paying him fully before the job was fully done, so I’m honestly surprised he hasn’t ghosted me by now. And I get that he needs to pay his guys, that he doesn’t have cash reserves for repairs, that this delay is hurting him more than it’s hurting me… but it’s also no way to run a business.

In other news, I built a little retaining wall all by myself. And I’ve started getting plants. I’m going to host a battle between the strawberries and the mint. Who will win? Oh right, me!

A lovely threshold of drain rock between my deck and the yard Wood chips on top like sprinkles on a cake The retaining wall I built myself Apple mint waiting to be planted This baby magnolia is ambitiously putting forth a single perfect bloom

Kitting It Out

Gutter

Downspout

Bad house numbers

Couch sketch

My house, it has a gutter. I dug the hole for the downspout myself (for I am strong, like tiny ox!), and my dad figured out how to connect it to the drain line. The original plan was to have the roof run-off drip directly into a rain garden, but instead of the pleasant sheet of rain I imagined, I just got irregular, large drips that pounded the ground and splashed onto the deck, generally turning everything into a muddy morass.

I also painted some (rather terrible) temporary house numbers to pass inspection. The only thing left to do before I finally get the city to sign off on the whole thing is to get the yard graded and the soil amended. Seattle is very serious about soil amendments. They will come and measure how deep the compost is tilled into the soil! But then, then I can move in at long last. Fingers crossed for next week. (I’ve been saying this for many weeks now.)

In premature celebration – and in the hopes of enticing others to actually spend time in my little house – I’ve ditched my plans to do built-in bench seating for the comforts of a lovely modern couch. I bought it online (and on sale), relying on a generous return policy and good reviews. It’ll be dark grey, the same color the exterior will be. I’m also eyeing a yellow rug to match the doors. Apparently I’m a fan of yellow now? I blame the dark days that drive us Seattlites into glum hibernation all winter.