When we posted about our patio plans last week we mentioned we were contemplating putting a "gig offered" on Craigs List just to get an idea of how much it might cost to have someone help with the digging and leveling. Apparently professional landscapers scout out CL for jobs 'cause within 20 minutes of posting our gig we had over 25 quotes. And most of those quotes blew our budget or our what-we-might-pay-to-have-someone-else-dig since we hadn't really set a budget yet, out of the water. We disregarded the $350 quote since it was so far from the rest it just reeked of scam.

Then on Friday after work we were in the yard chatting over the fence with our next door neighbor when S mentioned the patio project. Our neighbor, who also happens to be the same neighbor who gave us our basement contractor's number, ran inside, grabbed the business card of the guy who installed landscaping stones and bricks in their yard this spring and told us to give him a call.

Just like the basement guy, this landscaping person has worked at several houses in our neighborhood. And just like our basement guy, this landscaping guy gave us a price, including all materials and labor (except the actual patio stone, which we already have) we couldn't refuse.

So we're getting a patio. On Monday. For just a touch more than the crushed stone, stone dust and other materials would cost us at retail. And that means we just freed up a ton of our (S's) time to get working on all the other projects on our to-do-before-baby list. Like staining the fence...if it ever stops raining.

Here's an non-artists rendition of what the patio may or may not look like when it's done. There's a little bit of a language barrier, so we're really hoping for the best!

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