Landscaping and housing project updates

From my place of imitating a lounging lizard on the couch yesterday I reviewed bids for laying concrete in our front and back yards and replacing the RV driveway on the side of our house. We received bids from 4 different contractors, 3 of which were in the $23,000 to $25,000 range – just for the back yard pool deck and RV pad replacement – and one for $16,200 for the pool deck and RV pad replacement AND another pad in the front of the house. Since the low bidder does a significant amount of work for M’s BFF as well as the realtor that sold us our home and the contractor who has done our remodeling to date, he has stellar references from people we like and professionals we like and recommend to others.

So we have finalized our selection and firming up plans for schedule, etc. Jose will come by tomorrow with the contract and probably not be able to start for a few weeks. We are fine with that; we just wanted to reserve our place on his calendar and secure it with a deposit. Plus, because his bid is significantly lower than the others as well as leaving money in the concrete jungle category, we are expanding our front yard plans and getting it all done this spring rather than putting it off to sometime in the future.

From all that we go to the deck resurfacing and likely exterior house paint. I am undecided about what to do about it. Maybe hire a painter to do the paint and then hire a deck guy to resurface the deck and rebuild the stairs after the concrete. While I know M can rebuild the deck, I would like it to be complete within a week or two, not sometime in 2015 as could potentially happen with M helming the project. He gets distracted. He gets perfectionistic. It becomes big drama and friction between us. As I remind him, it’s much more pleasant for me to be angry and pissy with a contractor we are paying than to be screaming at him. Once I know for sure when Jose is starting the concrete, I’ll start getting estimates and plans together for the deck and house painting. If both get done this year.

We have serious cases of spring fever out here, but with the depressingly warm weather and spring-like temperatures it is impossible not to start thinking plants and landscaping. There is no snow in the sierras, and even for non-snow-bunny types like us it is frightening. It truly looked more like late April than mid-February up there this weekend, and our water woes are only going to get worse if this continues. I know this is like salt in the wound to the snowbound east of us, but even lovely weather has its downsides.

I felt significantly better today and was back at the office after a quick trip to see my doc. A pulled/strained muscle in my rib cage/chest is the culprit, likely from schlepping crap to and fro or perhaps the violent sneezing that comes with blooming trees and allergies. The extra sleep has been welcome and needed, though, because I have been getting a lot the last couple of days. Naps – best thing EVER! Even tonight I shall be crashing early and hoping for restful sleep so this irritating, nagging pain will fade even more by morning.

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