Muddy eyesore yard and confusing recommendations
This mud and zero curb appeal is the reason we're finally turning to a professional landscaper. We have muddy runoff likely because our grass is sparse and unhealthy. Our house is on a slope and lower than the street. The ground seems to drain fine (not spongey) so it seems to be just surface water issues. That's #1 priority, then we'd like to re-sod the yard and neaten everything up. A new walk and recovering the existing stoop would be great, but not sure it's in the budget.
I will post more photos in subsequent posts but don't know how to get more than one photo per post, sorry.
I have talked to 3 companies so far. One landscape designer wants to regrade and put fill dirt in the area between the walk and the windows, in the curve of the walk. Another two landscapers want to put a 100lf French drain underground along the house. I hear French drains are not only expensive, but might cause problems we're not currently having (I have scoured the forums for drain advice). As a side note, we are not having any water issues in our basement which is right under the front windows.
We also have grass that will not grow under our large oak tree (near the walk), and a tree swing that's not negotiable due to the amount of joy it provides my kids.
Our main goal with a budget of $10K max is to have the yard not look so jarringly awful and to not have mud. I don't need fancy plants. All suggestions, comments would be welcome. I don't know which landscaper to trust and what's most appropriate.