Well, it's about time, isn't it?! We started the renovation of our deck and backyard on May 11 and finished the demolition, re-grading and construction the last week of September. And we're not quite done — we still have the deck railing to install and landscaping to complete. But we're so pleased with how it's turned out so far that I couldn't wait to share it with you!
First, a bit of background. We built this house twenty-three years ago. At the time we convinced the builder to save most of the trees which were on the lot. We've enjoyed the shade they provided, but it meant that most of the sloping backyard was never graded. Over the years the trees had grown considerably taller and shaded more and more of the backyard.
Shortly after we moved in we had two small stone retaining walls built to provide somewhat level areas. We had a large back deck off the kitchen/breakfast room and a medium-sized concrete patio outside the French doors on the lower terrace level. Seven years ago we added another stone wall and flagstone patio beside the deck. Although we had the flagstone patio installed on several inches of packed sand and gravel with pebbles between the flagstones, we had gotten to the point where we could no longer keep up with the weeds growing on the patio in the soil washed down from our neighbor's yard. In addition, the deck was now long past its expected replacement time frame.
So in the winter we began to plan the transformation, not expecting to live in a construction zone for so long! Juggling schedules of different contractors who had to proceed in a sequenced, coordinated manner while dodging the wettest spring and summer in a decade!
We'll begin where you enter the backyard through the gate off the driveway.