Work began on our back yard yesterday. To combat the water problems that we've had over the past 2 years (that the previous owner claimed never happened to them in ~30 years of ownership) we're completely redoing our backyard. We're burying the downspouts and having them empty into a french drain. That same drain will go diagonally across our backyard and then into the front yard where it will empty into the drainage ditch. The back and front yards will be re-graded to run into the drain and away from the house. The back yard will be completely re-seeded and the front will be seeded where necessary. Lastly, a pavers patio is going in and replaces the wood deck that we had.
Now for the bad news. The previous owners have once more completely screwed us. The guy did a lot of work himself, and in some cases it was good work and in others it wasn't. In the back yard he had a gas line just laying on top of the ground under the deck. We had a plumber out today to try to extend the line so that it could be buried. He said that a lot of the pipes and things were rotting as well as the line being completely out of code. As such, he just cut it off so that the pavers could go in. Now we'll have to have a gas line re-run from the meter to our gas fireplace, our gas grill, and the gas furnace that's in the garage. I'm sure that will be cheap too.
In the process of digging a trench they also came across the handiwork of the electrical cable run about 4 inches under ground from the house to the shed. Not only that, but it's not even in conduit! It's just outside electrical cable laying in the ground. A shovel in the wrong place would've electrocuted us. Great job jack hole. So we'll also have to get that fixed, but we've got a problem of having a huge drain in the ground now so we'll either have to go below that (which will cost extra cash) or above it (any it may not be deep enough then). This sucks!
On top of the back yard already being really expensive to fix, now we have to fix the other guys shoddy workmanship. Also, we apparently don't even have a legal case simply because the previous owner denies any problems. Well that's just great. What's to stop a murderer from just saying "No officer, I didn't kill that guy" and getting off.