My initial plan did not include laying down grass seed.
But after trimming all the trees, and after clearing 99% of the vegetation, and after pulling up 90% of the buried rocks, I decided to put a decent raking on the yard. Why? Scope creep.
Long story short, being nose-to-dirt while pulling up all the rocks made me realize that there's a fairly thick layer of leaves, halfway decomposed, covering the entire yard underneath all the weeds. And with all the massive trees in the yard there won't ever be a leaf shortage, so I decided that to let the ground breathe a bit - and maybe have some non-weeds grow - I needed to get rid of the leaves.
While raking, I switched from the leaf rake to the hard rake (what's the official name for those? If the flimsy rake is the leaf rake, what is the rigid rake called?) and then realized that whatever the ground cover (weed) was, I could eradicate all of it, easily, with the hard rake.
So I did.
All of a sudden, I had a yard that was mostly bare dirt.
Yada yada yada, I needed to throw down some grass seed.
So I did.
Of course, if one throws down grass seed, one must water the grass seed.
So I went to the store I hate going to and I bought a hose, and a sprinkler, and all kinds of lawn and garden nonsense. It's been a long time since I made those sorts of purchases, and I was halfway excited to buy that stuff.
I took all of it over to the rehab, hooked everything up, turned on the hose bib...no water.
No big deal I thought, the previous owners probably turned off the interior shut-off valve to winterize the system. I had seen that shut-off valve in the basement, but just barely; it's located above a suspended ceiling and sort of tucked behind a "finished" wall. From the floor, I could only see the handle of the shut-off valve, not the piping.
I went to the basement, turned the valve handle, started to open the valve...and I instantly heard running water. Inside the house. Hitting the basement floor. At the shut-off valve. Not good. I closed the valve.
Obviously there was a leak, and a big one at that. I grabbed something to stand on so I could stick my head up in the ceiling and behind the wall to inspect the situation. This is what I found:
The valve was in a tricky spot to get a pic, so I was flying blind; apologies on the sketchy focus.
Anyhow, the "leak" was actually not a leak so much as a completely missing pipe on the outflow side of the valve. Awesome.
The crust on the valve indicated that a pipe had been there at one time, so I started poking a hammer through the finished basement wall (it's all getting demo'd, I just didn't think I'd be starting said demo just yet) to find the hose bib. The goal was to trace the line - if any existed - from the hose bib back to the shut-off valve so I could figure out what I'd need to make things right.
A little hammering and prying and cascading mouse poop later, I was staring at this:
Let's save a discussion of the litany of construction sins shown in this pic for another day. As for the plumbing situation, sure enough there was a pipe that at one time connected the shut-off valve (upper left side of the pic) to the hose bib (right side of the pic, next to the window). I don't know how it came loose - soldered joints don't usually just pop free - but it did. And it was just hanging there.
I cut out the existing valve and replaced it, after waiting forever for the water to fully drain out of the system, with a new shut-off valve. Then I cut out about half of the old dangling pipe because the piping from the valve back upstream was pretty rigid, and I was going to need some slack to get new pipe in to connect the valve to the hose bib.
Keep in mind, this entire space is going to get demo'd, I've already had 2 mouse mummies fall out of the basement ceiling, and this plumbing was in some tight quarters.
Short version: the immediate goal was to make water come out of the exterior faucet, not set world records for clean, legit plumbing work, so...I resorted to some slip-together plumbing components, which I'd never do if I were doing this for real. But they work, usually, and in this case were the simplest solution. I also added a little pipe clip to thwart any ideas the new pipe gets about replicating the actions of its predecessor and literally falling apart.
I cautiously turned the water back on. Everything held. No leaks (not counting the hose bib, but at least that leak is on the outside of the house). I reconnected the hose and sprinkler and...
...I watered the yard. It's a super minor thing, and really may not even make any difference in terms of getting grass to grow this time of year...but I was pretty excited about it.
Now, I have a new decision to make: go ahead and finish tearing out the entire "finished" basement, which I was going to do before too long anyhow, or stick with the original plan, buy some scaffolding, start working on the masonry around the parapet, and save the basement demo for a rainy day (couple weeks, really)?