Using Neighbor's yard for access

Lori BApril 20, 2013

Any ideas on what to offer to a neighbor in exchange for letting us use their yard for access in our pool dig/excavation? PB says cost is less expensive to most expensive - 6' bobcat, 5' bobcat, 4' bobcat, hand-dig. By using only our property, we could do the 4' bobcat or hand-dig only. We *might* be able to use the 5' bobcat, but even that would be really close. Obviously, we will offer to repair anything of the neighbor's that is broken during the process. That neighbor does not have any irrigation and the yard is not tidy in that's a little "natural". Do we offer any other perks for her allowing us to use it? Not sure how to frame the conversation. Our relationship is fine with the neighbor...just not sure what she will think about a bobcat going back and forth repeatedly for an entire day!

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Have you even asked them about their opinions of the pool to begin with?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 10:51AM
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Lori B

No, we haven't talked to any neighbors about the pool. We didn't really think their opinions about the pool are exactly relevant. If she is opposed to the pool completely, she will definitely say no to our using her yard for access. If she is fine with the pool, but has concerns about the damage to her own property she still may say no. The fence on both sides was completely paid for by us. We replaced a 60 year old chain link fence with a stained 8' tall cedar fence with a trellis detail top. Everyone that comes to our yard loves it. That doesn't relate to the pool at all, but we have done everything to our house very tasteful. From that aspect, I think she will know that we will be adding something of quality to our property.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 11:28AM
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I have to smile when I see your post because I swear you must be in our neighborhood! :) We had our excavation yesterday and heard that there's another one 'down the road' from us that needs one also. PB came back and said that our 'neighbor' will not get to have her excavation due to the access problem and might need to use her neighbor's yard to get in. If you are not in Texas, then it is just a coincidence! Sorry I didn't have any good idea regarding this issue. I just think If her yard is a little 'natural', then offer to resod her grass (trust me the grass will be gone after the bobcat ran over), and maybe a gift card for a few lawn care services would be good enough! HIH.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 2:16PM
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Ask them if you can have access, and offer to make repairs and re-landscape that area to the level it is now...sod for grass...seed it with wildflowers...or adding a few landscape plants.

That's it. If they agree, they agree. When the pool is in and the landscaping repaired, THEN you can give them a gift of appreciation.

If they disagree, you could ask if you could "rent" access for the month it will take to roughscape your pool. After the work is done you can regrade it and reseed it. Making sure the seed germinates is up to them.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 5:33PM
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I would be tempted to ask, offer to put absolutely everything back as good as or better than it was, and then offer to send her/the family away for that day. If it is just her, maybe a day spa trip? If it is her family - tickets to the local amusement park? I would think it will all be easier if she isn't there worrying about everything. Hopefully you have been a good neighbor and she will hear the words "spa" and trust you to handle everything else.

We had friends that could not get access from either side neighbor nor their back neighbor. The cost involved in craning and hand digging were insane. Good luck trying to get it figured out!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 2:39PM
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Lori B

We have a really great neighbor. She acquiesced and said that she trusted we would do a good job putting everything back together! Now -- we have to figure out if we are ready to do this!!

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 7:05PM
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We had to use our neighbor's yard for access. I just told him the situation, told him that his yard would be completely redone from any damage and told him we would pay for a nice new fence. He was was fine with it.

After the build, we made sure his yard was leveled, re-sodded his lawn and put the fence up. I even watered his new sod twice a day for 4 weeks. After that, he never watered his lawn again and let all the new grass die.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2013 at 9:28AM
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So happy to hear your neighbor said yes with no problems! Ours did the same. The PB just finished excavating last week. We told the neighbor we would have his yard professionally repaired once the pool was done. I'll probably make a gift basket for his family to say thanks once all is complete. I was thinking a bottle of wine and movie tickets for him and his wife and maybe a Disney DVD and snacks for the kids.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 11:07PM
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Lori B

Shreani - or anyone else who has completed excavation -- was the area that the bobcat and backhoe went just a total disaster?? Lots of ruts? One person suggested that we haul in 6-8" of mulch where the bobcat runs, and then have it removed to avoid ruts in the ground. Is that overkill??

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 11:12PM
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I have included a pic of what my side yard looked like after a couple of days of excavation. By the time they completed excavation it even looked a little worse, you could see no grass between the ruts. My front yard looks worse. Apparently, the ground is very soft and the tractor and bobcat just sunk right down. I have thought about putting mulch down just to help with the mud, but either way the yard is already trashed and this process should only take another 6 weeks, so I'm just going to leave it.

As for putting mulch down before hand, I don't really know what effect it would have other than maybe cutting down on the mud. The excavation equipment would still be just as heavy and the ground just as soft (if it is soft), so I would think the ground would still have the same size ruts with or without mulch. That is just my unprofessional opinion. Hope it helps.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 8:50AM
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Ouch, maybe a trip to Tahiti.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 7:03PM
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We damaged our neighbor's lawn sprinkler system with the heavy equipment used during our pool installation. $250 was the bill... not too bad.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 10:19PM
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Our vacation home pool was escavated in Jan. Luckily there is no house on either side of us and the Island is sand only. The land next to us belonged to someone across the street and we asked them if it was OK, he just wanted to make sure they took the escavated sand and OMG was he right. Since then we had really high winds and sand was everywhere, i can't imaginehe had that pile of sand still been there. But what I really want to say is make sure none of the equipment goes over the cable wire. It's very delicate compared to electrical lines and it will go down if heavy equipment is going over it. We had it replaced and even after that i had to have the cable company come out because TV's were randomly turning on in our house. I work at home so no internet means no work which was really bad.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 2:53PM
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Here is the damage ours did and a picture of the big machine in the Neighbor's back yard.. Rain during the build sure didn't help the damage.

BTW, I told him they would only need access to 2 feet into his yard, boy was I wrong. I met him in his driveway as he pulled up and said "it's was worse than I thought", He just laughed and said he knew I would take care of it.



    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 4:04PM
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Lori B

Thanks alyx_c for the head-up about the cable. Wouldn't you know it...our access point would cross buried gas, electricity, and cable/internet? Those are on our side, but not sure if our neighbor's would also be in that vicinity! I asked an arborist to come look at our property for help in looking at our trees and if they would survive the digging. He suggested having 6-8" of mulch temporarily laid in the path of the excavation equipment. He said it would leave less ruts. I wonder if that help avoid losing power or cable. AND what does 6-8" of mulch laid and removed cost in a 7 foot wide area??? It's about 50 feet long from the street!

Paradigmdawg -- thanks so much for posting the pic to give me an idea of the damage. Did repair just consist of sod?? Awesome pool! Can I ask what your decking / coping is? Could it be concrete overlay?? That's something I'm looking into recently.

    Bookmark   May 2, 2013 at 4:10PM
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It depends how far down your cable is and how heavy the equipment. Our escavation was all done in a morning because the Island is all sand. Check out the boy scouts, in San Antonio they were just selling big bags of mulch for $2. I thought you live in DFW or somewhere in TX.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2013 at 3:47AM
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We just had a yard of dirt brought in,packed it and leveled it and then re-sod.

Our deck is just stamped concrete and the coping is Seashell.The coping is very porous and likely not the best for salt water but I just keep it sealed.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2013 at 6:49PM
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