How to Get Landscaping Done For Free

Take My Trees. Please.

Did you know you can get landscaping done for free? Yup. There’s free labor out there. People can’t wait to come over and dig up your yard. As long as there’s something worth digging up. And as long as you let them take that something home with them…

Privacy Gone Wrong

Behold, My Crappy House! This picture is actually from the real estate listing from 2011, so this was before it was MY crappy house. It was definitely someone’s crappy house, though…

Run down white ranch house with arborvitae trees along a gravel driveway and a split rail fence

That “someone” thought it would be a good idea to edge their crappy driveway with trees. Thirteen trees, all in a row, in front of the house, like paunchy evergreen soldiers. They were either trying to perform a public service by hiding this crappy house from view, or they were (more likely) looking for privacy.

Run down white ranch house with arborvitae trees along a gravel driveway and a split rail fence

I get it. People like privacy. Me too! I love privacy. But, aesthetics are also important and I think privacy should be pretty, not visually chop your house up into equal vertical segments like a paper shredder.

A giant billboard would give me privacy too (and probably piss off my neighbors…) (Actually, no, they wouldn’t care. My neighborhood isn’t that nice.), but I wouldn’t put that in front of my crappy house either.

Where to Find Free Landscaping Labor

Arborvitae trees along a gravel driveway and a split rail fence

So, how do you get landscaping done for free? All you need is something of value that you want gone and a (preferably free) place to tell people about it. Enter Craigslist.

Craigslist is the bomb. I was actually surprised to get such an enthusiastic response to my ad: “Free trees. You have to dig them up.” I had to take the ad down within hours. Among the many (many, many, many) responses was a man who said he owned a Bobcat and could remove the trees easily and level the area after. SOLD! Peter Trees (Yes, amazingly, his real name. What are the odds?) to the rescue.

Some People Own Bobcats

Bobcat removing arborvitae trees from gravel driveway edge

Peter was awesome. He knew what my trees were worth. (I didn’t.) He felt bad taking them all for free, even though that was the deal, so he asked if there were any other projects I had that he could Bobcat for me. (There really are nice people in the world.)

Luckily (and of course), there was plenty of work to be done at my crappy house. In exchange for the trees, Peter dug out some fence posts and stumps, and removed Monsieur Patio from my backyard, which was fantastic because that giant concrete bâtard was causing major problems in my crappy basement and did not even flinch at my sledgehammer assault. It was fun watching the Bobcat kick his cement slab ass.

ARVE Error: Mode: lazyload not available (ARVE Pro not active?), switching to normal mode

So now there’s an unobstructed view of my crappy house from the street. You might not think that’s a good thing, but it will be. Someday. Subscribe so you won’t miss it when that day finally comes!

Unattractive white ranch house with poor landscaping and gravel driveway

*** Time Travel Links! To see what My Crappy House looks like painted, click here. I also installed a fancy new bay window. That’s here. Oh, and I got a new driveway! Check it out!

Subscribe and I'll love you forever.

Every time you share, an angel gets their wings.


  • Susie

    It really opens it up without the trees, I say you guys had a nice deal there, you go some serious work done with his handy Bob Cat and he got the trees

  • Amee

    Just found your blog – love it. Sans trees looks great – there is a lot of hidden street appeal in your little gem. Can’t wait to see you coax it out for the non-believers. Happy New Year!

    • My Crappy House

      Hi Amee. Happy New Year! Thanks for visiting. I think it will be cute one day. That day isn’t right around the corner, but it’s coming

    • My Crappy House

      Hi, Lynn! I hope you’re in it for the long haul because it’s gonna be a while! Hopefully it will be an entertaining journey

  • Natasha King

    Who would have thought that people would move ugly shrubs for free. They are actually worth something? That alone amazes me. Good for you for figuring that out- that had to of saved you a ton of bucks ripping up your ugly cement. Funny stuff.

    • My Crappy House

      Hi Natasha! They were actually nice shrubs. Just planted in a crappy way. I hope they survived their transplant. I felt bad for them

  • Mary Kay

    WOW love the openness of the front yard. What are you going to use the concrete for,stained stepping stones, and around a flower bed maybe. I love your blog and you go girl. I too have a crappy Mobile house,I’ve been in mine 2 yrs found out with this *^%$#@ freezing weather & snow my roof this summer I get to cool seal my roof along with a long list of to do’s.

    • My Crappy House

      Thank you! Getting rid of those trees made a HUGE difference. I wish I had taken better before pictures, but back then I had no idea I would be blogging about all of this. The concrete was not salvageable because it had rebar running through it all, but it caused me so much trouble, I was glad to see it hauled away. Good riddance! lol

  • aimee

    just had a blast reading your blogpost. Keep up the good work—and you will have to change your blog title! LOL–new follower…aimee :o)

    • My Crappy House

      Thanks, Aimee! This crappy house and I have been through a lot together. I think I’ll always call it Crappy as my affectionate nick name, even when it doesn’t look so crappy anymore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *