Yes, really I am. Why? Well at my old house I never really embraced doing yard work. For one thing, I’m convinced that when they prepped our lot for building they did not do it right. Our sod started out fine as it should, but after a while weeds just about completely took over the yard. We tried various weed killers. We tried detaching. We tried tilling. We tried new seed. Nothing worked! I pretty much knew that I would not be staying in the house forever, and I didn’t really have the money to invest in the professional service, so I just kind of gave up on the dream of great grass.

Don’t get me wrong, I did still want to get a little use out of my yard… despite the state of the grass. A couple of summers ago my kids and I headed off to Menard’s and loaded up my Ford Explorer with hundreds of pounds of cinder blocks and 4 x 4s to build a simple patio bench that I found on Pinterest. We also spotted an awesome corner umbrella which I had to have. So we bought that too! My husband and I had already spent some time laying bargain patio stones that I found at a local nursery.


The patio was looking pretty decent for a while. Thank goodness for my SUV made of steel which made hauling all of this stuff easy. I drove my truck right around to the backyard (over the bad grass) and unloaded. My kids could not believe that I did that. LOL!


And after moving, my husband and I decided that we just might want a pickup truck! We borrowed a friend’s pickup and we were able to move a ton more stuff than we would have been able to using only my Explorer. It was awesome! Just a couple of weeks ago we spent some time with my step-daughter browsing around Carmax. We looked at SUVs and pickup trucks. We test drove a couple. We played with the features. Yes… I think I see an upgraded Explorer and a pickup in our future!


Anyway… back to the yard. Now? I’m looking ahead to our new home.  I have Pinterest boards, folders full of photos, and tons of notes full of decorating ideas that I’m looking forward to using. I keep referring to them to keep me going. Originally our house was to be ready right about now. Well, late October –  early November. This would have been plenty for time for me to put out some fall mums, or plant bulbs for next Spring. But, due to circumstances out of our control it’s looking like the ETA is now mid-January. UGGHH!! The waiting is excruciating! We keep our eyes focused on the prize by gathering tons of ideas, planning what we will do when we finally get there, and glancing at our floor plan way too many times a week. 🙂

My old house (it feels so weird to say that already)… My old house had a huge yard. The lot is 70 x 180. That means it was 12,600 sq. feet. This was a major bonus of building where we did in the Chicago suburbs. I did know that we were blessed to have a larger lot than some other suburban homes though. So, when we first decided that we wanted to build again rather than get an existing home I knew that yard space would be important. Not that we ever used every sq. foot of our yard. But, I did not want to downsize too much, because we love to grill and we love to entertain.

We visited several different new construction communities. We thought that we had picked the one that we wanted to go with. But, I decided to ask the builder, “What is the lot size for these homes?” The answer was 5394 sq. feet. For the whole lot! I knew that this sounded very small. I mean this was less than half the size of my current lot. And the home would be larger. Since there were not really many homes like the one that we wanted under construction at the time this did not really sink in. I could not visualize just how small this really was. The backyard was quoted as being 30 ft from the back door to the property line. Again, I tried to convince myself that this didn’t sound terrible. But the truth is, that was no space. This was confirmed a few days ago when my husband and I decided to drive through that neighborhood and look around. The yards are tiny! He coined the phrase, “Suburban living with city space.” I am SO happy that I went with my gut and chose another community. I would have had no gardening space and no entertaining space.

In a strange twist of fate our new home may just have a lot slightly larger than I had before. And I am so happy about that! I vow to take care of this grass. I vow to plant a garden. I vow to have some flowers and a very nice patio! And I vow to DIY many of these things. I do not mind DIY at all. And I’m a bargain shopper. If I think that I can get it done myself, and cheaply… I will give it a try (within reason). I don’t mind doing a little heavy lifting (with the help of my big hunk of steel). By next Spring I hope to have a clear plan of exactly what I want our yard to be. Once we have a plan we can get it done little by little.

How about you? Do you DIY your landscaping? Or do you hire a professional?


Check out the Steel Matters blog for more tips and information on choosing your next car, and how #SteelMatters in the vehicles that we drive.


This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Steel Market Development Institute. The opinions and text are all mine.