Jump to content

Menu

Our Yard Desperately Needs Help. Advice, please?


Tohru
 Share

Recommended Posts

Last year we paid a contractor to come and remove some bushes in front of our house and he only did half the work.  Before he could return, there was a local fire in which he was evacuated.  Anyway, with whatever he had to deal with, I'm sure returning to finish the work was a low priority and now he seems to think he's done with our project because his wife (a homeschool mom) and I had a falling out over something else. :(

That being beside the point, our yard still looks terrible from the damage of removing the one bush and we still have another set that needs to go - huge fitzer bushes - probably 9'-10' long by 4'-5' high.

 

My husband and I are not yard people and don't even know where to start.  We can't afford to pay another contractor, so any ideas on how to fix our yard?  We can't just throw down grass seed because there are those 1" red decorative rocks scattered everywhere intermingled with the soil, plus our sprinkler lines are cut up from his backhoe, clear tarp paper sticking out in places where there was flagstone...it makes me want to cry just thinking about it.  I've tried to go out there with a rake to at least level the soil in places, but it seems like an exercise in futility.

 

Any ideas or suggestions? (other than call the contractor)

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you already pay him the normal, going rate and he failed to finish? Or did you pay some deeply discounted 'friend' rate so that he might feel he's done at least that much work already? Have you spoken directly to him and asked when he's coming to finish? Did you hold back any money until the job was completed?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did you already pay him the normal, going rate and he failed to finish? Or did you pay some deeply discounted 'friend' rate so that he might feel he's done at least that much work already? Have you spoken directly to him and asked when he's coming to finish? Did you hold back any money until the job was completed?

 

I'm not sure, I paid him the price he asked.  He didn't say whether it was a discount or not.  He did half the work last June while I was out.  When I was on my way home, he called to tell me he was done, but when I got home I saw the other half still there and called him immediately.  He said okay, he'd come back to finish it up but had something else he needed to get to.  A few days later he was evacuated...now it's been almost a year.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

was there any written contract?  was there an agreement that ALL the bushes would be removed with the grade returned to level and your watering system restored?  (he CUT THE PIPES! why is irrelevant, the fact is, he did. - I assume that was not something you agreed to, let alone were expecting to have happen.)

 

I would give him one more call - and explicitly state what I expected him to do and a deadline by which it needs to be done.  do you have any sort of receipt?  while doing this - I would also get a couple other contractors out for written bids - so you have documentation about how much it would cost to fix the damage he did.  then if he doesn't fix it - I'd take him to small claims court for the estimate of what it would cost to fix the damage he caused.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is he a licensed contractor?  If so, you can file a complaint with the license board.  You haven't said, but if you had no written contract and paid all the money up front, and if he's not a licensed contractor, you might be out of luck.  And in that case I'd suggest you start saving money up for someone else.   :grouphug:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rent a small tractor from Home Depot, attach a chain (use safety precautions in case the chain breaks!) to the bush and the tractor, clear the area of people, and pull.  Then post pictures so we can offer suggestions on how to re-decorate your yard!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rent a small tractor from Home Depot, 

 

depending upon where you are - there may also be other companies which specialize in renting this type of equipment.  we have one here - they have almost anything.  (more than HD does.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Then again after fees, time missed from work, and the fact they still might not get their money back...not sure of it is worthwhile for something like this.

 

What if the court rules in their favor and the person still doesn't pay them back?  Happens....

 

They can attach a lien to the contractor's property.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oops, that sounds difficult.  If you can't get him back in - how important is it to you to get rid of the other bushes?  Could you just trim them?  I don't know how those shrubs trim.  Could you fill in the hole with something more interesting?

 

The ground with the stones: is there any kind of membrane under the stones, or are they straight on the ground?  From experience, it's really hard to get stones out of earth - we sieved that contents of a couple of flower beds that bordered a patio - it was long and slow.  Can you afford to dump more rocks on every year or two and just not worry about it?  What happened to the flagstones?

 

L

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am not going to give legal advice. I would start by cutting the branches of the shrubbery with clippers. It will make it easier to remove the shrub. When the soil is moist you can dig up the root ball easier. Dig away what amount of the soil you can from around the shrub, then dig out the roots.

As for the rocks, maybe you could run an ad on freecycle or craigslist. They gather them, they can have them. Otherwise, I would use a yard rake (leaf rake). If it were my yard I would probably get down on the ground and pick up each one.

Or, put new soil down where the rocks are, just to cover them up. If you plan to put in more flowers or small shrubs, the red stones will probably not be very noticeable.

Is this area right in front of your house? In a shaded area?

Maybe hosta would look great there. :lol:

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's good.  I didn't know that. 

 

I mean what would be the point otherwise, but I was always under the impression that there wasn't necessarily any follow up.

 

I was involved in a small claims case (long story, but someone owed me for item purchased but not delivered). Once we had the judgement in our favor, it was up to us to follow through in getting wages garnished, leins etc. The court just issued the orders to do so when we asked. But I had to track down their employer (at one point I was going to hire a PI as she was not cooperating, she is supposed to reveal all that info on papers filed with the court) and serve papers, etc. In our case it was worth it, over $5000.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Rent a small tractor from Home Depot, attach a chain (use safety precautions in case the chain breaks!) to the bush and the tractor, clear the area of people, and pull.  Then post pictures so we can offer suggestions on how to re-decorate your yard!

 

Haha. I did this when I was young and single and a new homeowner, but with my little Toyota sports car! OP, I dug around the bush as far as I could, then tied a rope around the bush and attached it to my car and drove away from the bush. I think it came right up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, you can try googling, youtube, etc. for advice on how to do it yourself.  That's what we do when we don't know how to do something.  You can rent tools from a place like Home Depot if you don't have the needed tools.

 

And not to make light of your situation, I came across this video when searching:

 

 

 

Completely OT, but you solved my little dilemma today about some boxwoods.  (Don't worry, lol, I have a BIG van.) :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

our "we're so glad he moved, after ruing the day he came here and we were naively nice to him" neighbor story is he attached to our sewer pipe, without permission or compensation.  he was trying to do his on the cheap (he did everything on the cheap. he even skipped bothering the city for things they came after him for), even though we were the ones who had gone to the expense to put it in.  he didn't pay us for connecting to it.  dh put a lien on his property (we didn't need to take him to court first.)  it affected their ability to get financing - they HAD to pay us.  (I had no sympathy for the wife when she called up and started yelling at me.  hey lady - you're the people in the wrong here.)

 

 

Do they really follow through and do this?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd be very careful using a vehicle to remove bushes. You need to attach it to your vehicle in the right place, with the right kind of rope or chain, etc. Even then, you can damage your vehicle or hurt someone standing nearby.

 

If you try it, soak the the ground around the bushes and then loosen the dirt with a shovel or spade.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LOL!  Picturing that Toyota sports car with a chain around it and pulling a bush is funny!

Haha. I did this when I was young and single and a new homeowner, but with my little Toyota sports car! OP, I dug around the bush as far as I could, then tied a rope around the bush and attached it to my car and drove away from the bush. I think it came right up.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...