Backyard Transformation in View Royal

I first visited this property during a snowstorm. As a result the entire backyard was hidden by snow cover. The owner wanted the area cleaned up into a low maintenance area that they could also enjoy more as a proper patio space.

When work started a couple of months later, a few surprises emerged.

It turns out the concrete pad covered something that we were afraid to investigate (oil tank, septic tank, hidden treasures). Thankfully, it was just an empty hole where a septic tank once sat. This concrete structure had to go in order to preserve the slope and level of the patio. Since we wanted the patio to slope away from the house for drainage and have it be level with the back door, it necessitated the removal of the top of this concrete box but also a good chunk of the side walls. A jackhammer then had to be brought in. Initially a handheld one was tried but after a few frustrating hours, it was decided to bring one attached to a bobcat. This proved to be a good decision.

Then there was the surprise that the backyard was actually quite slanted in height. As a result, what initially was to be around 6 to 7 inches of excavation turned into 2.5 to 3 ft. Not only that but a significant portion was clay, which was heavier and thus more costly to dump. Due to this one factor, the job was delayed by 2-2.5 weeks.

A really neat discovery was a giant geode like object. It was initially thought to be just another rock but while trying to cut part of it away to make room as it was too heavy to lift even with heavy machinery, there were special minerals inside. Briefly the thought of finding gold came to mind and running off with it without telling the owner but no such luck. The giant geode like object remains buried for the homeowner to crack open and unlock its mysteries inside at a future point.

Nevertheless challenges were overcome. The back was in fact cleaned up, a patio installed with many concrete slabs interlaced with colorful drain rock for decoration. Retaining walls were constructed to deal with the slanted grade of the yard. It turned out quite well.

What really helped in all this was the homeowner being very friendly and approachable. Problems were discussed and overcome as they cropped up. The homeowner seemed to be quite happy with the results and so am I.

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