Friday, 10 May 2013

Operation Backyard Awesome : The Initial Plans

So, I mentioned that we were planning on tackling (at least part of) the back patio this year, and we're hoping to get started now that the weather's nice. We already ripped out the big bush, and cleared away a lot of other dead or dying plant life that would be in our way, so we're ready to think about the layout, and finalize a few things so we can dig the gas lines. This was my initial (super rough) idea that I came up with last year, more of a way to play with sizing. How, long and wide could we go, and all that jazz.

This idea doesn't work for a few reasons, but mainly it's just too small, and cramped. Here's a reminder of what the area looks like now. (minus Bertha the bush)

There are only four main things we're looking for with the patio:
  1. No more brick. We really don't like the brick. It's got copious amounts of weeds growing in between them, they're oil stained, and have massive dips in them from where the previous owners parked their cars. We'll be keeping the brick for the driveway for now, but it is our goal to eventually get rid of it, to put in something else.
  2. A dining area big enough to seat at least 8 off the back door.
  3. A designated "cooking" area close to the eating area. An outdoor kitchen if you will. (Since we plan on upgrading to a bigger badder gas BBQ down the line we'd like to run the gas line for it now so we don't have to make a mess of our pretty patio later)
  4. A lounge area with patio flame. We have a large outdoor sectional that will go around the patio flame making it like a conversation area.
  5. Must be made of wood, and must be pretty.
Not too big of a list of must haves. The first idea kind covered some of those needs, but not all of them, and it just seemed too small. We have a large back yard, so we want to patio to look like it belongs, and not be dwarfed. Here's what we  have in mind now...

It's got a little more oomph, and seems to hold it's weight better. See what I mean by we have a big backyard haha. And the blue spruce by the house is the only tree we have in our South facing backyard, so there's not much shade goin' on back there. You can also see, that this is why we need the help of a landscaper. We have a vast open space and no idea what to do with it. We need to put a fence up at the bottom of our yard to stop the crazy people from the stores and apartments above them walking through our yard. And we want to plant a few trees (we plan on planting one for every child we have) Anywho...lets take a closer look shall we?

Talk about a deck! This is definitely more of a statement, and definitely more our style and taste. Since we spend as much time as possible outside this idea covers our wants and needs better. It takes care of getting rid of the brick, it has a large eating area, under a pergola to provide some shade so our pasty necks won't get burnt (who am I kidding, we'll still get burnt - true story I got one of the worst burns of my life while sitting under a tree in the shade...I'm cool like that!) The pergola is attached to concrete pillars one of which turns into a bit of a bar area beside the barbeque. It's got a built in area for the BBQ, which is our designated cooking area. This area of the patio will come directly off the house, which means it'll be just over a foot off the ground, then we'll have a step down to our lounge area. This area has our sectional and the patio flame, and makes me want to sit there and roast marshmallows haha (and I don't even like marshmallows). We pulled this area away from the house so we're not blocking the basement windows, which we'll have to egress when we get to the finishing of it. It definitely covers our last's pretty and made of wood! I think this is a winning idea for us, Jason is wholeheartedly on board with it, so I look forward to getting started.

  Just for comparison sake, the first mockup I came up with was 29' x 9' (although I suggested bumping it up to 11') whereas this one is 36' x 27' considerably bigger. We're not sure how much we're going to be able to get done this year, since we still have a bunch of things inside to finish, and we're hoping to get a baby by the fall. We plan on starting with the lounge area, since we already have everything for that, so we'll run the line, and set up a temporary situation, and we'll likely stake everything out, and plan our all our materials so we can have a budget in mind. We'll set things up where they would go, to play with size and layout, and make sure it does work well, because we learned the hard way that things don't always fit as nicely in real life as they do online or on paper. The best part of having a giant backyard, is you can decide to build a 900sq.ft. patio and it doesn't cut into where your imaginary massive pool is, so we can still go pretend swimming. I look forward to hearing what the landscaping company I talked to has to say about what kind of plants and trees to plant and where.

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