When we bought our first home a couple of years ago, I was so excited to make it our own through design. I had never been motivated to put too much effort into our rentals; I regret that. My advice on renting: Make it your own while you’re there. Hang those photos, paint those walls, do the things that will make you enjoy the space more. But I digress.

One of the major selling points for me was how big the backyard was for a city neighborhood. We are still inside the loop but have an outer-loop property lot, for sure.

We spent mid-March to the end of May at our family ranch and I was itching to get back home and start tackling the large project that is our backyard.

We had a budget and a timeline and an idea of what we wanted to do and thought we would be done with everything within a few weeks. Our projects started in the last week of May. It is July 6th now. What we thought was going to be a three-week project is rolling into its 7th week.

Here are 5 things we’ve learned in our “failed” backyard DIY projects.

1. The Weather is Never Your Timeline’s Friend

We live in one of the driest parts of Texas and it rained 5-6 times during our initial timeline. Landscaping and outdoor projects reeeeally don’t do well in the rain.

2. Leveling the Ground is Way More Time Consuming Than You Might Think!

We had our landscaper build our cement paver porch and him and his crew spent the first few hours leveling the area. I had no idea and I kept on peeking outside and getting really anxious that I wasn’t seeing the progress that I wanted. The truth is that the process was just more complex than I realized.

3. Sometimes Contractors Don’t Show.

This is just real life. I have never listened to a renovation story where contractors didn’t show when they say they would. Honestly, it sucks, but it happens. You are probably not the only person they are working for and when one project gets behind, it sets off a domino effect. Remember all of the rain I mentioned above? Well, the rain affected other jobs my guy was working on and he called ahead of time to let me know that he would be running late or that he wouldn’t be able to make it at all. I really like the people we are working with so I just learned to take it in stride and accepted that all this random rain we were getting was effecting everyone’s progress, not just mine.

4. Landscaping is Manual Labor. HGTV Has Lied To You.

Lemme tell you, this has not been the glamourous experience I thought it would be. I have been in a full sweat, mosquito-bitten, thirsty, exhausted mess. Ha. I haven’t been this sore in my arms and lower back in so long.

5. You Have To Be Able To Go With The Flow.

Being the perfectionist that I am, veering from the plan is always a hard pill for me to swallow. If you are anything like me, let me tell you, you gotta get over it if you’re going to enjoy this process.

The big take away? Enjoy the process and it is a process. A marathon, not a sprint, if you will. We are finally finding a groove and it is so satisfying  I can’t wait to share the results with yall!

Until next time.


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