Backyard Progress – Crossing Off Our List

About two weeks ago, I shared a backyard to-do list of chores that we were hoping to finish up this month. Well, we’ve slowly been crossing backyard projects off our list, little by little. Today, let’s touch base on where things stand…

Our backyard projects to-do list

Our Backyard To-Do List

  • Scrub pavers clean
  • Wash back deck windows and sliding door – DONE!
  • Powerwash garage siding and sidewalks
  • Paint door to garage – DONE!
  • Hang string lights – DONE!
  • Setup new furniture – Almost there…
  • Plant new planters – DONE!
  • Hang outdoor TV
  • Add trellises to garage siding – ON HOLD
  • Clean grill – DONE!
  • Cleanup alley & garbage area
  • Figure out hose storage – DONE!
  • Discuss potential DIY planters – ON HOLD
  • Remove unnecessary wires on the house – DONE!
  • Have pest control spray indoors & out – DONE!

Wash Back Deck Windows & Door

Washing the windows

This was a quick and easy backyard project to cross off my list. The windows were filthy from all of the debris and dirt that has been tossed around over the last few months, and I used my favorite e-cloth to clean them. This little gadget is the best because you don’t need any cleaners or sprays. You just take the textured towel, get it damp, and wipe down the windows. Then, use the other cloth to wipe dry. Works like a charm!

Setup New Furniture

Setting up our new outdoor furniture

I’ll consider this task partially done. Our large dining table arrived and it’s gorgeous! However, we’re still waiting on the chairs to arrive. In the meantime, we’ve been pulling up plastic chairs, or those from the kitchen, so we can still enjoy our time back here.

I also added our new umbrella and stand, both of which were inexpensive Amazon finds. Our chaise is really the only other piece of furniture we have right now, and I love it so much! Again, it was another budget-friendly find, and it’s so comfortable. I’m also happy that I opted for one with wheels, because I can bring it out to the grass when we have Rory’s water table set up so I can sit comfortably and watch her.

I’m still waiting on the other furniture (the shipping date has been pushed back a few times) and I hope it all arrives in the next week or so! Fingers crossed…

Plant New Planters

Backyard projects involve planting new planters

For this backyard project, I enlisted the help of Jan…my gardening guru. We have new gorgeous planters (they are these from Article), but since it’s August, I had no clue what to plant that would work well into the fall. Jan to the rescue! We hit up Home Depot and stocked up on some seriously stunning plants. Here’s a look at what we planted…

Polka Dot Plant
Polka Dot Plant
Flame thrower plant
Flame Thrower
Our backyard projects to-do list
Hen & Chicks, Flame Thrower, Lemon Coral
Planting planters
Mezoo Trailing Red, Sweet Potato Vine, Polka Dot Plant; White Wave Petunias

Clean Grill

Our dirty grill before

Our grill sat in our garage for months and months during our backyard renovation, so it felt good to finally get it out and into the open, but damn…it was dirty! I used this aluminum cleaner to polish up the outside and holy smokes, it made a world of difference.

Aluminum cleaner for your grill

Our grill is now clean!

The grill will eventually live up on the deck, but I’m not much help in the lifting department these days. So Finn’s friend is coming over soon so we can get it into its final resting spot!

Figure Out Hose Storage

Our old hose storage

While we loved our new kink-free hose, we never had a great storage solution for it. Instead, it would just sit on the side of our house in a tangled mess. You guys gave some great suggestions in the comment section of this post for storage, but ultimately I decided to go in a different direction.

Our new retractable garden hose

We ended up buying a new hose and container for it that we could mount directly to the brick. I like this because it’s off the ground and out of the way. Plus, this winds up all by itself! I’ve had it set up for a couple of weeks now and so far I really like it!

Bonus: Install New Hose Bibb

Our old hose bibb

I didn’t have this on my original backyard projects list, but I should have! Our hose bibb (what I would call the outdoor spigot, but I guess “hose bibb” with two “b’s” is the technical term) has been giving us major problems all summer. It was so rusted out that I would sometimes try to turn the water off and it would just keep spinning and spinning. Not good!

Replacing a hose bibb

My plan was to just replace it with a new one (this is the one I bought!), but I wasn’t sure if I could do that myself or if I needed a plumber. I used my favorite plumbing app, Plunjr, and connected with a licensed plumber, Aaron, who told me it was a total DIY project.

Replacing a hose bibb

I got the new hose bibb and then quickly ran into an issue when I found out the hose bibb was soldered onto the copper pipe in the wall. Eek. My 20-minute project turned into an all-day project, where I had to replace allllll of the pipes in the wall and inside, leading up to the main water shutoff. It was the toughest plumbing project I’ve done (and I’m sparing you the tutorial because I’m not sure how helpful it would be for the average person), but I did it!! Thankfully, Aaron walked me through it all, and I shared the entire saga last weekend over on Instagram stories. But the good news is…we have a new hose bibb that works!

Discuss DIY Planters & Trellis

Our original gameplan was to do two big DIY projects out here. One would be trellises, planters, and a bench along the garage wall. Another would be planters behind the couch area. Well, the summer is just about over and we haven’t tackled either project. We decided to forego these projects and instead asked our landscaper to go ahead and add some shrubs along the garage so it doesn’t look too bare. We’ll then transplant the plants next spring when it’s time to tackle those DIY projects!

Remove Unnecessary Wires

Finn has been hard at work removing all of the unnecessary wires on the side of our house. It’s wild how many there are! We also have tons of anchors and holes in the brick from past cables, so he ended up using clear silicone to fill them to keep cold and critters out.

What’s Next?

Our backyard projects to-do list

I still owe you a post all about the landscaping. I haven’t shared yet because we were waiting for it to all be finished completely. (This project has been so slow moving!) That is supposed to wrap by next week, so hopefully the following week I can share those details! Then, once all of the furniture arrives I can give you a proper reveal of the entire backyard space. Here’s to hoping that happens very soon…


Catch Up On Our Backyard Renovation

The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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