This family of 4 approached us in February of 2018 to design and build a multi-use backyard space. The home is located in the central part of Woodbury where backyard lot space is limited, privacy is non-existent, and soils are extremely heavy. With vinyl siding and no accenting architecture, the rear facade of the home was drab and lacking interest. The existing deck, while spacious, was inefficient for traffic flow and space utilization. The main design statement was to create a new space that would be functional, efficient and significant.
Project Objectives (must have's):
- Create a multi-level deck/patio combination that must have a hot tub area, fireplace area, lounging area, garden area, and grilling space.
- Grilling space must be protected from rain and be spacious.
- Hot tub was to be positioned to have privacy from the neighbors, but also to have a fireplace view.
- A site block from the adjacent neighbors.
- Homeowners and their children cannot be exposed to intense summer sun for more than a few minutes (skin condition). Goal was to have an outdoor area that provided shade and rain protection, but also allowed for star gazing. It was made very clear that a pergola would not offer sufficient sun blockage.
- Vegetable/herb garden.
- Convenient and quick access to the lawn.
- Entire space must be low-maintenance.
- Restrictive Utility/Drainage Easements
- Winter start. Charcoal was used to burn through the 4' of frozen ground to install a dozen footings. We worked through several snowstorms, including record breaking April snow. Spent the beginning of many days shoveling snow.
- Engineering the deck structure to support an additional 20,000+ lbs of stone work.
- How to incorporate a hot tub area within building/deck setbacks and obtain city approval.
- Heavy clay soils
- Multi-level deck and patio combination was designed with traffic and functionality in mind. A sprawling upper deck incorporates a covered grilling area, lounge area and hot tub. The lower paver patio includes a fireplace with dual wood boxes. Lower patio centered to upper deck to offer views of the fireplace from all areas of the upper deck.
- Grilling area incorporates a shingled roof to allow the homeowners to use their grills protected from the sun and rain. This area was purposefully designed near the patio doors for traffic flow to and from the kitchen. Gutter alterations and additions were performed to make for sensible relocation of roof water.
- Upper deck lounging area features Zuri PVC composite decking and trim. The entire deck facade is Belgard Tandem wall stone. Matching stone facade was incorporated into the grill area surround and hot tub knee wall. Westbury aluminum railing was selected for it's clean look and lines. The space features a Sunesta retractable awning. This particular awning was selected to span the entire 14' length of the deck when opened.
- The hot tub area was tricky. Technically, the hot tub area is within building setbacks and thus, wouldn't be normally allowed. We overcame this by dropping the hot tub platform to ground level, thus labeling it as a patio. A stone privacy wall was built to give the illusion that the deck continues all the way around the hot tub, when technically the wall around the hot tub is classified as a fence. City approval was granted. The hot tub cover opens conveniently behind a stone knee wall. To create privacy from the neighbors, a custom privacy rail was installed using a double sided composite material that is approved for cladding.
- The lower patio provides room for 4 which was the goal. The patio was designed to be intimate so that the fireplace didn't feel disconnected from the upper deck areas.
- Low voltage lighting system was installed.
- A simple planting design was implemented.
- A raised vegetable/herb garden was installed along with custom fence/gate.
- Raised annual planting area was incorporated behind the fireplace.
- Overall traffic flow of the design keeps the individual spaces unimpeded.
- Landscape Award Winner 2019