Let the Sun Shine

This is what our house looked like on closing day.  Notice anything?  How about now:

Yeah–there was a LOT of extraneous greenery going on.  Particularly out back . . .

All those trees and bushes were basically out of control.  No seriously–there were two crab apple trees on the side of the house (the ones behind the Mr. in that picture above) that were dying, and then there was that giant pine that was leaning ever so uncomfortably towards the house.  Not to mention a wall of pines that had completely obliterated any hope of a backyard . . .

See what I mean?  Those 7 (yes–SEVEN!) pines were making it seriously gloomy in the house.  And they weren’t doing anything for the Mr.’s dream of a nice green lawn either.

And I’m sure you remember some shots of the back patio pre-removal right?

Ah!  So scary and overgrown.

Well, the good  news is that we’ve made some changes to outside (did you see that’s where I was going with this–you’re so smart!  Good job.  I mean it.)  So how about some before and after comparisons to really show you how far we’ve come since buying the house only 6 days ago!  6 days–wow.  Okay, let’s start with the little side yard to the left of the house.  Here’s the before:

And the after:

Big difference, eh?  Just wait, though–it gets better.

The front walkway before . . .

. . . and after:

(Oh, and we’re aware that the first step is a little wonky, but no worries–that’s on Steve’s fix-it list, so it’ll be all repaired by next week).

An overall front of house before . . .

And some afters (from slightly different angles–sorry):

and the after of the side garage door:

The back patio area before . . .

. . . and as it stands today (not a total after since the patio is far from done, but at least you get the idea):

But now the big changes–the backyard!  Here’s one before from the street side:

. . . and another from the patio side:

And the after:

Shocking, isn’t it?  Here’s the side shot of the house before:

And now it looks like this:

Can you believe it?!?!  The best part?  The house is now FILLED with light, particularly the dining/living room combo.  But we’ll share pics of that another time.  For now, let’s review everything that we had done:

  • Removed 8 medium pines in backyard
  • Removed 1 large spruce on side of house
  • Removed 2 overgrown crab apple trees on the side of the house
  • Removed 1 medium maple in front yard
  • Removed 20+ bushes from around the home
  • Trimmed bush/tree in back corner
  • Removed and chipped all stumps (this is why there are some large holes around the property)
Phew.  That’s a lot to have done in one day (actually only 5 hours–they had a crew of ~7 people).  So any guesses as to how much this all cost?  We were prepared for the worst–hearing from friends and family that similar jobs in Massachusetts cost ~$5,000, we knew that this was going to be a large (but necessary) expense when we moved in.  Well, we did our research (mostly on Angie’s List) and we got three estimates.  So what was the winning bid?!  $1,300!!  I know–so much less than we thought!  It actually came to $1,413.75 once tax was added, but still–what a steal!  The two other estimates were $2,400 and $3,200 and those were for much less work (just the back tree removal, but no bushes or the front and side trees).  So thank you Bob’s Tree and Stump Service–you guys rocked!
So what do you all think?  Are you hating that we removed so much greenery?  Do you want to report us to Greenpeace?  Or are you loving the more cleaned up look?  Obviously, we have a lot of landscaping to do, a privacy fence to add, and a patio to finish, but at least we’ve got some room to breathe now . . . and a whole lotta sunshine!
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