This weekend we took advantage of the nice weather by surveying our backyard elevation; we like to keep the neighbors entertained. First, we used landscaping flags to mark a grid spaced at 10 foot intervals (five foot intervals on the steeper part by the sidewalk). Then, we tied a nylon string 18 inches from the base of our tree and stretched the other end to each grid point one at a time. At each point we used a yard stick and a string level to record the elevation relative to the elevation of the tree. We found out that the back left corner of our yard is the highest at 3 inches above tree level, and the side bordering the sidewalk is the lowest at 21 inches below tree level. This should come in handy when drawing plans for our backyard landscaping.
We also did some more demolition, but overall it was another fairly light weekend of work for us. This makes me wonder if maybe our house is still too comfortable. As Kristin mentioned two weeks ago, living in your house while you renovate can be difficult. For a couple of weeks we had a mess in front of our washing machine and a toilet in front of our kegerator. Strangely, this is also one of the benefits of living in your house while renovating; constant motivation. The washing machine mess became a top priority when I ran out of clean clothes. Similarly, when Kristin and I first moved in, the 24 square foot kitchen we were forced to use downstairs motivated us to get the upstairs kitchen working very quickly. I think that despite all of the work our house needs at this point, it is oddly comfortable. We have a decently sized kitchen with a dishwasher; we have a washing machine and dryer; we have a shower and flushing toilet in a private room with a door that shuts. We’re living in the lap of luxury here. To really speed up our renovation, I think it would be useful for us to mess up the part of the house that we live in right now. I bet, for example, that we’d get that new bath put in pretty quickly if our current bathroom had a bed sheet for a door and didn’t have hot water!
Of course, trying something like that could backfire and turn us into lunatics. Better, I think, to keep things the way they are, slow and steady.