Steep Yard with Rocks & Trees - HELP!

Mari15May 18, 2013

We are considering buying a home that is great...except for the backyard.HELP!
The yard is a very steep slope upwards; it goes up sharply to @ 50 - 90 degrees. it's with large rocks, no vegetation except trees (so too much shade) & the branches hang over the deck & just shed. if you look at the top of the "yard", there is another home there. My husband says there is no way we can dig any of it up to try & make a yard, the slope may purposely have been built that way to support the homes in back of it.
Is there any way to recoup such a yard, even parts of it? If so, what would that entail & cost?

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This property might be either fantastic ... or a horrible nightmare. From your brief description, there's no way to tell. You'd need to post photos of this back yard (not a close-up) so we could see. Would need to see from both directions.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2013 at 7:34PM
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Mari, first a complement. Over the years of this Forum I think you may be the first person to indicate studying the house surrounds BEFORE purchasing. The usual questions posted to us are...'We have just purchased a house and find the yard has the following problems and we have very little money....blah, blah.

Yes, pictures would help. It sounds as though this property might fill the needs of a busy family looking for minimal grounds maintenance. However, to rework it sounds expensive. If this is a house of great interest suggest you make arrangements with the realtor to allow you to pay for and consult with a landscape pro for advice on this situation. The consultation should take an hour or less and help with your decision once you understand the cost of tree removal, stabilizing slopes, etc. Also, important. How is water draining off the hill and where is it going? Lot's of questions to be answered. Doing your homework now may save you costly headaches in the future.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 9:54AM
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Also get an insurance quote--this home may be in a precarious location and hard or expensive to insure.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2013 at 10:22PM
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I have a very steep slope for a back yard. Really the only thing you can do with it to make more useable space is to terrace it--so, adding layers to it. We are currently planning our yard to have the space after our flat patio have several stairs and a wall. We are then going to backfill the wall to create more useable space as opposed to the slight slope. (We start at a small slpoe and work our way up to a much steeper one.) We bought our house from my in laws. About 20 years ago they had an in ground spa installed with waterfall. THey broke 3 jackhammers in the process since our ground is SOOOO rocky. It is basically cut into the slope. It is 25 years old now, has a leak of unknown origin(we live in earthquake country, so was only a matter of time, really.) We plan to fill in the spa and use the space as a sandy "getaway" area. Here are pictures for you:
This is back when our yard was green.

And when the spa was filled

We have since let the grass die, drained the spa due to the leak and added some terrace walls.
Here you can see some of the walls we had added. THis is now my garden-was backfilled with about 4 yards of dirt.

So-there ARE possibilities that are very beautiful for sloped yards-go to and search for "slope landscaping" Some of it is simply amazing. But you need to know if you want the added cost of designing a yard on a slope.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2013 at 4:40PM
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