Stepped Up With Stone: After

Who: Paul L.
Where: Leonia, New Jersey

I got 10 tons of soil, cheap, from a contractor who wanted to get rid of it. His crew moved it around the yard with small excavators, but I finished the job with more wheelbarrow loads than I could count. Some of the money I saved went toward exotic trees and plants, like Japanese maples, a river birch, carpet junipers, and blackberry lilies. It took about four months, working mornings, nights, and weekends, and I finished last summer, just in time for our daughter's birthday party. It was hard work but fun, and it all proves that a regular guy can do the job, and on a limited budget, too.

Who did the work: I did all the work myself
Cost: $5,000
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