Our yard is probably the most intimidating/embarrassing thing about our whole house, but after years of planning, it’s finally time to do something about it. It’s divided into, what I can only describe as, three triangles. When we were putting in our fence a couple years ago, we drew up this quick mockup of the property. We have large side yards and a pretty small back yard.
Here’s a photo of the back “triangle” I snapped a couple months ago.
We envision the right side yard being a play set for the girls and the left side yard being a garden and this backyard an extension of our indoors–perfect for entertaining/dining/lounging. We decided to turn the whole thing into a deck. Which, although it’s small for a yard, it’s turning out to be quite a massive deck, but we’re excited to have different zones. Here’s a drawing of just the backyard:
Some of these things will happen this year and some in the future, but for reference, the 9.5’x6.5′ section in the upper left hand corner will be an outdoor kitchen. And the pointed corner at the bottom of the diagram (we ended up making it larger than 4.5′ across), we’ll be putting in a fireplace. I was inspired by this photo (by Eric Olsen Design) for the idea:
Although we’re not exactly sure if we’ll do lighter stone, concrete, something taller, something super dark–that’s the great thing about inspiration–you can see something you love and make it your own. There will also be lounging zones and a dining space and we’d love to squeeze in a hammock or something like it, too. Overall, the deck will be 1100 sq ft….and it’s going to be finished by next week!
You may have heard me mention on our podcast, we decided to hire the installation of the deck out. With trying to finalize plans for the Pittsburgh kitchen we’re doing, and keeping up with our other projects and jobs, we wanted to be able to enjoy this deck before summer hit too hard. So, we forked over the cash to a guy we found on a neighborhood Facebook page. He has 10 years experience and he’s been over every morning working on it. It’s really exciting to see it starting to take shape.
We ordered the materials ourselves and had them delivered and gave him all the plans, so he didn’t have to worry about designing or shopping. For the substructure, we’re using 6x6s, 2x10s and 2x8s and the actual decking, we decided to go with Trex. A couple years ago (told you we’ve been planning this forever!), we asked you if you preferred composite or wood decking and there was really good insight on both. In the end, we love the fact that Trex, a brand of composite decking, provides us with a durable deck that won’t fade, splinter (safer for little feet and paws!), crack, rot, swell, or require any staining or painting year after year. And since this is a decent sized deck, that all is very appealing to us. We decided to go with their Clam Shell color (in their enhance line, see photo from the Trex site below). It’s a sort of moody charcoal with warm undertones–right up our alley!
If everything stays on schedule, we should have finished photos of that for you by next week. Fingers crossed! Anyone else working on a deck project? Doing it yourself or hired it out. I gotta say, our guy was $1600 and I can already say it’s been worth every penny!
Thanks to Trex for partnering with us to create this awesome outdoor space.