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Another day, another snowstorm

March 13th, 2018 at 06:01 am

It's been snowing since around 4 am and we're expecting 10 inches by the time it ends tonight. Boston, where I used to work, and the Cape, where I used to live, will be getting much more.

Hopefully no one at work will blame me for staying home today.

No doubt my shrubs and small trees will be bowed down again by the snow. I hope no more white pine branches come down, and I hope I keep my power on.

2018 Home improvement project: The patio

My mason agreed to return to remeasure the back patio redo. He suggested I call him when I was headed home from work, which I did at 6:45 pm. It was dark, but with a flashlight we did the remeasurement.

While the patio is about 650 square feet compared to the 1,000-foot paver driveway he did for me 2 years ago, he explained his various reasons why the price he gave me for the patio was not correspondingly less: a somewhat less accessible worksite (the backyard), the need to pull up the old bricks and dispose of them, etc. I'm not sure I fully bought that as a reason for the price, but I sensed he had pretty much given me all the discounts he was going to give me, and I know he does a great job.

He did come down a bit more on his original price of $8900, to $8400, and I've agreed to move forward with it. I felt it had to be done at some point, and probably better now than later. It will clean up an eyesore (disintegrating bricks with profusion of weeds growing in between them) and save me countless hours of weeding this summer and beyond.

The price includes a new paver patio that extends from one edge of the house (in backyard) to the other, with a wide walkway that then connects to a set of stone stairs leading up from my driveway to the backyard, as well as a circular path around my cement well cap. It also includes redoing and enlarging the stoop outside the kitchen door with bluestone, to match the stoop outside my sun room door, and they agreed to dig up 2 shrubs and a small half-dead evergreen. Plus they'll do a little surround thing where I have a basement window, and the entire patio will have a slight tilt away from the house so rain doesn't flow toward the house.

I am eliminating multiple largish perennial beds, so that means I need to find a home for the plants now there. I have a lot of ground phlox in there, plus sedums, a ton of coral bells, lungwort and a few other things.

Since I'm wanting to reduce areas I need to mulch (to control weeds) and/or weed, it doesn't make sense to create new beds for them somewhere else, so I'll have to either sell some plants on FaceBook or squeeze them in existing beds. Probably a combination of both.

He won't be here til late April or early May.

I need to find ways to fit this in my budget. I think it's important to abide by the new budget in this, the first year of being semi-retired.

I had allowed $5,000 for major home improvements this year, so this obviously exceeds that. But I did get a $1300 tax refund this year and I set aside $1,000 for vacations which I know I won't use. So that could pay for $7,300 of the patio, but I'm still short $1,100.

Well, I am determined not to buy any clothes this year, or any stuff PERIOD that I don't really need.

4 Responses to “Another day, another snowstorm”

  1. Laura Says:

    As much as I miss New England, I am not missing these Nor Easters!

  2. Joanne Says:

    Patient Saver, I live in Boston, and the city is sort of shut down today.Having lived here all my life should be used to it.Hope that you are staying warm.One thing, Boston is an interesting city to live in. The cost of housing is out out of this world though.

  3. Turtle Lover Says:

    I can't wait to see some photos ... sounds nice. Stay safe out there!

  4. rob62521 Says:

    I hope the snow lets up. You've had more than your share. Yuck!

    Your home improvement plans look wonderful.

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