Shortly after moving into our new place we noticed some water issues in the backyard. After it rained we basically had two little ponds form, one right off our back patio and one in the front yard.

It was frustrating because new sod had just been laid in the back and we really didn’t want to tear it up to fix the grade. But after thinking about it knew we had to, otherwise we’d be dealing with water issues for years.

So we bit the bullet and decided to tear it up and fix it. We hired Dan Matson, who also recently moved to Texas from Washington, and he did an amazing job.

He cleared out all the brush in the back, including a few small trees, and it looks way better now. We didn’t realize how big our backyard really was until it was cleared. He also dug in around the house to fix the grade. And while he did he found a bunch of big rocks, including a massive boulder in front of our bedroom window. He dug it up and  rolled it around the side of the house.

Dan found a nice little pebble in our front yard.

He also scratched in a path from the house to my office. And then Lacie and the kids lined it with rocks they found on the property. 

New path from the office to the house.
New path from the house to the office.

We also had several dump trucks of rock, soil and mulch delivered.  I wish I could’ve taken the last three days off to help. But I had copywriting work to do in between all this activity. But was able to get my hands dirty in the afternoons.

Piles of soil and rock.

We also asked Dan to put in a drain in the front yard area and to grade it better. After he did that we put some weed barrier down and then laid rock and sod there.

Getting ready for rock and sod.

Dan had a great idea of building a retaining wall in the front using all the boulders he round on the property. It turned out really nice.

New rock wall out front.

And of course the kids loved playing in the excavator after Dan left. He told me, “You can let the kids play in there. They can’t hurt anything. I know when I was a kid I loved to play in them.” So they had fun with that.

We weren’t expecting to have to do this work right after we moved in. But I’m glad we got it done and that we won’t be dealing with water issues when we get heavy rains.

UPDATE 6/15/22: Here’s some pics after about a month of laying the new sod. There’s still so much more we want to do but we feel like it’s a good start.