Back in January, my husband, Luke, and I decided we needed to fix up our back yard. Over the past 5 years of living in our “fixer upper” home, it was one of the last remaining places that had yet to be fixed up, and one of the biggest eye sores for us. Our kids sometimes enjoyed playing outside, but we did not enjoy sitting out there. The concrete had shifted over the years and the pillars were needing to be spruced up. With all of our random kids toys out back, it resembled a junk yard to me, and I was embarrassed by how little attention we had shown this space.
With Luke recently starting a construction business, Whyte Oak Homes, we decided now was time to fix up the back yard so that we could enjoy it during the spring and summer.
We made plans to begin renovations in February, and besides being a bit delayed due to the big freeze, we hit that target. We also made plans in December to get our kids a late Christmas gift – a gigantic playset from Farm + Yard here in Waco. We knew they would be thrilled and knew they would love playing on it all summer long while we sat on our brand new back porch.
The first step in the process of updating our back yard was actually getting the playset installed. We decided on the 6.5 Jaguar Playcenter Megasized Edition. We were excited to learn that the playset included free delivery and install. The guys from Farm + Yard showed up early on a Thursday morning, right before the fateful weekend of the Texas freeze. They worked diligently all day in the cold, and since my kids were home from school, they insisted on bringing them hot cocoa and snacks all day. It was so cute!
The guys did a great job and I seriously can’t say enough about how easy they were to work with. I absolutely recommend Farm + Yard for all your outdoor needs – playsets, chicken coops, sheds, horse barns and more!
We began the renovation portion of our process by having a crew demo the old concrete with a jackhammer and a skid steer. This took a significant amount of time. When demo was completed, dirt work had to be done, and rebar was put in and attached to the foundation of our house. The problem with the original concrete was that it wasn’t attached to our foundation this way, and that’s why it shifted so much over the years.
With the concrete all ripped up, we spontaneously decided to have a plumber run a line from our main propane tank to the porch. (Our area of Woodway doesn’t have the option of having gas, so we have a large propane tank.) We had the line put in so that we could have a new fire pit and grill run off the same tank as our gas range in our house.
When the site prep was done, the concrete was poured, smoothed, stamped and sealed. We decided to leave the natural concrete color rather than stain it. In the demo process with the skid steer, quite a bit of our grass was ripped up, so we also had to get 3-4 loads of sod to lay down.
We finished off the renovation by framing out and painting our old pillars and replacing a few other boards. We got these new light fixtures for the porch and also a basic fan from Home Depot, which was a new addition.
We selected this outdoor furniture and this modular outdoor kitchen and propane gas grill from Wayfair, as well as these chairs for the fire pit. We purchased this rug and this fire pit from Overstock.
Altogether, the renovation portion of the backyard update cost us about $16,000 including fixtures and furniture. This wasn’t an inexpensive project, but we think it was well worth it as it makes our outdoor space a desirable place to be now, rather than bringing down the value of our home.
We are so thrilled with the final product! Our back yard is now an oasis for our family, rather than an eye sore, and we have already hosted many friends in the evenings. The best part is watching our kids and their friends play on the playset long into the night. We want to say a huge thank you to Farm + Yard for their amazing customer service and for giving my kids the summer of their dreams.