My daughter Gabriella is turning ten later this month and we’re planning a small backyard party for her. it’s nothing out of control, just the family and a couple of close friends over for an afternoon of socializing over some expertly grilled burgers and dogs.
The other night my wife and I sat outside going over the details of Gabby’s party and we started looking around the yard and thinking of all the things we’d like to do to it. This is our third summer in the house and we’re making it all our own little by little.
When we moved in back in July of 2012 we weren’t in a rush to do anything at all as the yard was already in good shape. It’s fully fenced in (though the fence is falling down in spots) and the previous owners even left a swing set and slide behind.
Last year we started looking at the prices of local swim clubs and realized it just wasn’t worth it, so we decided to put in a small do-it-yourself pool on our own. Again, it’s nothing fancy…just a small Intex pool that you put up yourself and then take down at the end of the summer. The pool only cost $249 and the kids are in it all the time so to me it was money well spent (though I’ve learned the real cost of owning a pool is a lot more than you think).
This year, we added a ping pong table which we expect to go over very well at the birthday party. After visiting a friend’s house and playing on their table until about midnight, we thought it would make a great addition to our home as well. Of course, I wasn’t about to drop a fortune on it so we scrounged around Craigslist and found one that had barely been used. The original price was $300 but we got it for just $90 and it looks brand new. We keep it folded up in the corner of our garage most of the time but it is easy enough to pull outside on a nice day when we have company over.
Anyway, when my wife and I started discussing all the things we’d like to add to our yard I realized our wish list was getting awfully expensive. There’s no way we can afford to do it all at once so we’ll have to spread it out over the next few years. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the home projects we’d like to do and when we think we’ll be able to do it:
- Get a more powerful filter for the pool so it stays cleaner (next year or sooner if I get a good end of season deal)
- Add outdoor speakers and a stereo system so we can play music when we’re outside (hopefully next year)
- Install a new backyard fence (within the next few years, unless it collapses before then!)
- Add more electrical outside since we currently only have one outdoor outlet (not urgent, but on our wish list)
- Extend the concrete patio or install a deck (umm…someday)
- Install a permanent pool (probably not anytime soon)
Of course these are just the outdoor projects that we have in mind. I have a whole other list of things I’d like to do to the inside from small jobs like installing some ceiling fans to a major project of finishing one side of our 2-car garage to add more living space.
What kind of projects do you hope to do around your house over the next few years?