One couple's journey to a new yard

By JimRental

Renting a Utility Loader with the bucket attachment is always a blast. Projects that require this equipment will usually have a good story to go along with them. It was late January, but one of those really warm days in the middle of winter. You know - the kind of day that makes you think it's spring all over again.

The project locations had a driveway with about 4 cubic yards of gravel dumped in it.

Turns out this was a husband and wife "house-flipping" team/business called Hummingbird Homes. When I met them they were tearing out the front and side yards to replace everything with new sod. They also planned to use gravel for large areas where grass wasn't a viable long-term option.

Their initial intention was to use the loader for both gravel distribution and tearing the sod off the top of the old yard.

However, they quickly determined that the loader was not going to be able to cleanly or efficiently remove the sod. What they really needed was a Sod Cutter to evenly cut the top 2.5 inches of old grass and weeds from the yard. First use the sod cutter to do the cutting then the loader bucket to scoop up the sod and put it in their large debris box.

In no time they had all of the distributed into their backyard and side house pads. I could also see that they had cut all the sod and scooped it up into the debris box that they had rented. In fact, the box was not big enough and they had to leave a lot of the sod on the curb.

They call it house flipping for a reason and that means there probably won't be time to watch the grass grow. This couple will need to take the new sod route. I suggested that they read the OpenRental how-to on How to Install a New Lawn Using Sod. They will need to call a local sod company to arrange delivery of sod then rent a tiller, landscape rakes and roller to level, loosen and prepare the ground for optimal sod growing conditions. If done right, their sod installation will not only look beautiful for showing the house, but will also take root and last a very long time.

While they still have more work to complete on the house and the yard, this was an amazing first step.