This was a waste of time and money, but it eliminates one of the two violations pending against my house by the City of Cincinnati.  My almost 100 year old house porch was too high by today’s standards, according to the City.  My options were to install a railing or build up the dirt.  Since I’m still thinking through the design of my pergola, I chose building up the dirt.  I needed to raise the level approximately 10″.

My entire yard needed grading, so the soil would slope away from the house.  The previous owners had planted flower bulbs along the foundation and I’ve spent two spring seasons trying to get rid of them.  The result is a created a place for water to gather towards the foundation instead of away.  I wasn’t overly concerned because I knew once I started 20200415_103832Phase 2, the garage, I’d have a ton of dirt that would need to be blended into the yard.  What I was forced to pay someone to do now, could have been incorporated into the garage project.  The someone was Robert Jones with Jones Construction Concrete and Excavation who will hopefully also lay the foundation for the garage.

To save me some money, Robert handled the job himself versus sending one of his staff.  I was thoroughly impressed with the precision in which he maneuvered his bobcat (or is 20200412_204529it called a front loader).  We pulled dirt from the back of my property as I was trying to minimize the mud field that I knew I’d have once the top layer of grass-weeds was removed.  After all I do have two dogs with overgrown coats that will now have more dirt than grass to walk on.  Why the government does not consider pet groomers essential businesses is beyond all logic, but I digress.

The amount of trash that was dug up was unreal, even what might have been a window pane by the amount of broken glass.  I had heard a previous owner maintained a junk yard and sadly it also looks like they tied up dogs.  I found several dog collars and rope.  While the side porch area was the main goal since his rate was flat, not based on time, I had him grade the full side and right side of the back steps.  I’m not going to waste more time or money throwing seed unless having a grass-less backyard is a violation too.  I had planned to hydro-seed after the garage was built.  Walking dogs during and after rain is going to be a necessity as the amount of mud already tracked in is ridiculous.

I will admit, with the grading, my foundation paint job looks even better and provides a further glimpse into how fabulous this house will be once the exterior is complete.  I put together a short Quik video of Robert in action.  So glad it was a short consideration of renting a machine and doing this myself.  This is NOT in my wheelhouse (currently 😊)


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