Garden Alley – update!

Now that we’re back in TX with no crazy plans on the horizon we’ve jumped back into home reno projects.

So – we went ahead and finished off “building” the garden – now just for plants!

So as far as improvements go…
– We built boxes
– Unexpectedly had to get a new A/C unit… not really a garden improvement, but it is technically an improvement in the garden lol
– Ordered and spread dirt
– Stained the backyard fence
– Put down weed fabric
– Spread gravel
– Got a rain barrel (not free, but the San Antonio Water System had an end of summer program selling them at a rate comparable to making your own)
– Built a stand for the rain barrel out of some scrap wood (for FREE – it’s the small things)


All thats really left to go is plants! and maybe figure out a better gutter to rain barrel solution…


Garden Alley

Our backyard is situated in such a way that the entire yard gets a fair amount of shade, other than by the AC unit.  So over in AC alley we’ve decided to completely get rid of the grass and make it a graveled garden with raised beds!  I knew I wanted to use cedar if possible, so I found these plans using cedar fenceposts ($$ saved) and went to town.  I’d say they turned out pretty sharp!


We still have to gravel and get a dirt shipment, but phase one is complete!

Progress Pics:

Project Backyard – Patio

As I’m sure I’ve mentioned, one of the major reasons we settled on the house we’re in is because of the potential we saw in the back patio/yard.  Last year we tackled clearing the yard and planting seed (it sounds so simple in retrospect), so now we get to move onto the fun stuff!  Some of which is actually fun, and some of which is less fun and more necessary.

On the patio side of things, I recently did a bunch of painting.  The covered patio was originally all (ceiling included) painted the same color as the siding of our house (a yellow-ish beige color) with green and white french doors, pictured here:


Zach and I wanted the patio to seem as spacious as possible so we went with a white on the walls, painted the french doors a navy so dark that it’s basically black, and did a haint blue on the ceiling.




That’s the first patio phase complete! Later this summer we’re hoping to accomplish the second phase which is refinishing & staining the cement slab, and encasing the existing support posts in wood/staining them. Stay tuned for more updates! I’ve been super busy!

A little bit of everything: house progress

We’ve been focusing on a few different small projects/updates while waiting on avoiding finishing up the closet project. Those projects being:

Painting the master!

that awful color now only exists in the bathrooms!


New blinds everywhere!

no more discolored/broken mini blinds!


New outdoor lights!

with bug zapper lights in them! #smarthouse


A back patio/yard we can now use!


bonus! fire pit!



No more half dead tree in the front yard!

the tree


Monster Yard post

Hi everyone! Welcome to Pass Me The Hammer (thanks Court) a blog chronicling the renovation process on our little ranch-style home here in San Antonio, Texas!

When Zach and I found out Zach would be stationed here in San Antonio, looking for a house would could do some work to was pretty high on our list, and we found one thanks to our amazing realtor Babs!


We were both really excited to have a house that had our own backyard…since we see dogs in our future.  Well in true reno spirit we found on that had a backyard that needed some work.

This is what it looked like on our walkthrough:


It was a mess.

Zach did a lot of clearing/weed killing before I got to San Antonio, but once Maddie and I showed up we went to town on the yard.  We took down all of the overgrown trees/shrubs/bushes that lined the fence.


Loads better, but still pretty far from finished. Zach and I cut down all the brush, raked the yard what felt like a million times, ripped out some chicken wire, took down the rotting planks from the fence and eventually had the yard all ready for seed!


We raked the yard, again, and put down seed last weekend.  We had some green pop through a few days later, and now about 10 days later this is our yard: