Doubling The Measurement & Operate Of Our Yard


For almost a 12 months, we’ve been within the technique of reimagining our pool space as a much bigger, extra multi-functional house.

Sunken firepit area in larger backyard next to pool

It ended up being a bit extra than simply that, so I’ll take you thru the assorted steps we took to maximise this yard. In brief, right here’s what we did:

  • Moved a piece of fencing
  • Constructed a platform deck to create an out of doors eating house
  • Poured concrete walkways, stairs, and retaining partitions

As a part of this overhaul, we additionally added a driveway and pathways alongside the entrance of the home too, and we’re within the technique of placing all of these particulars and images into one other put up. So again to our larger and extra useful pool space.

Concrete Steps Leading Up To Pool In Backyard With Firepit

Video Stroll-Via Day & Night time

The video tour under reveals how every thing flows collectively higher than any sequence of images might – and even reveals you the way it transitions at evening when all of our out of doors lights come on.

Observe: You may also view this video on YouTube.

Step 1: Shifting The Fence

To go our closing pool inspection in 2021, the pool understandably wanted to be absolutely enclosed with fencing. The yard was already fenced on all sides besides one, so we simply added this quick part pictured under. We thought-about it to be “non permanent” as a result of as soon as we absolutely recovered from the exhaustion of pool building, we had deliberate to construct a small visitor construction (we affectionately referred to as it “a shed with a mattress”) proper the place these flowering bushes are and clearly must redo the fence round that.

Green fence connected to outdoor shower next to backyard pool

We finally determined that construction was pointless. One in all our neighbors rents us her visitor home for such a deal only a few homes away, so our family and friends love staying there – and it’s a lot roomier than any shed with a mattress that we might squeeze between our pool and that stunning tree that we have been unwilling to lose. In order that massive realization led to us nixing the concept of a visitor shed fully – and the fence stayed proper the place it was for some time.

Over time (which could be SUCH a great illuminator of issues), we realized that the part of fencing that we added to go inspection minimize off the pool from a big part of the yard past it that we weren’t utilizing (aside from the tree swing, under). That is the view from the road, with the pool behind the fence. See all that house???

Large yard area with pine straw with green fence in background with tire swing on oak tree

So final summer season, we lastly determined to redo this portion of the fence as deliberate – however with no visitor home coming into play first. Right here’s a photograph that was taken from our higher deck the day the fence crew confirmed as much as begin work (therefore the pavers being moved misplaced). You’ll be able to see the outdated part of the fence within the higher proper nook of the picture under. Observe: not solely was the outdated fence taken and reused, our outdated pavers stay on in one other home too.

View Of Yard From Above With Old Fence Location And Pavers Moved

I’ll bounce proper to an after picture right here, for simpler scroll-to-compare functions. Put together to see plenty of different adjustments in addition to simply the moved fence. However fence-wise, you possibly can see how we had it rebuilt to surround that beforehand underutilized space round our massive oak tree, which we will now take pleasure in from the pool space. And don’t fear, the tree swing simply moved to the opposite aspect of the home.

After View From Upper Deck With Large Concrete Walkway And Larger Fenced Area

Right here’s one other view (now we’re leaping again in time to proper after the brand new fence went up, earlier than it obtained painted). I climbed onto the roof of our coated porch to take this shot as a result of Sherry and I have been attempting to determine precisely how one can lay out the “new” house we had gained subsequent to the pool. This picture helped us visualize the entire house from above (all the time helpful if doable when house planning). Can you discover Sherry in it? She’s googling images to indicate me an concept she had for a retaining wall round a firepit to distinguish it from a close-by out of doors eating house.

View Of Pool Area From Roof Of Covered Porch Unfinished Fence

You’ll be able to see we had already moved some furnishings into the brand new house simply to attempt to image issues – however absolutely bringing it to life has taken us almost 8 months. So let’s transfer on to the following step.

Step 2: Constructing A Platform Deck For A Desk

A part of the aim of enlarging our yard was to group extra out of doors capabilities in a single place. Earlier than this, our giant out of doors eating desk was on our upstairs deck and our firepit was on the opposite aspect of our home. Again when every thing was so scattered, we positively used every zone, nevertheless it turned clearer that we’d be capable of extra comfortably entertain larger teams of family and friends multi functional spot if we had all of those options in a single giant out of doors space.

Upper Deck Dining Table And Downstairs Fire Pit In Yard

Once we moved the furnishings from these zones to the brand new larger yard, the overall structure clicked virtually instantly. Eating desk within the nook beneath the tree. Firepit space within the center (with six chairs as an alternative of the 4 we initially had). Some kind of walkway connecting every thing. Bingo. Bango. We’re completed. We even used Photoshop to mess around with what it would appear like:

Photoshopped Plans Of Backyard With New Dining And Firepit Zones

We knew we might do higher than simply plopping our eating desk into the pine straw. Plus, the bottom slopes down a bit right here, so we needed an answer that would supply a stage floor for the desk. That’s how we got here up with a plan (loosely photoshopped above) to have a easy platform deck in-built that again nook, and building happened final October.

Deck Platform Under Construction In Backyard With Green Fence

It’s possible you’ll be asking: why didn’t you simply lengthen the pool pavers? The primary causes have been:

  1. We needed to protect the pool space because it was, particularly for the reason that pool deck has a pleasant balanced curve on this finish.
  2. We didn’t need to add much more vibrant white hardscaping that will detract from the naturalness of the yard on that aspect, which we actually preferred.
  3. We have already got this Havannah Gold Trex on our entrance porch and higher deck, so we knew it could tie in if we used it out by the eating desk as effectively.

See how the Trex blends properly with pine straw, which means the deck doesn’t actually “scream” at you again right here.

We have been cautious to verify the brand new deck was completely stage with the prevailing pool deck, which helps the areas really feel extra seamless and linked (minimizing tripping hazards is all the time a good suggestion). Don’t thoughts how dusty the Trex seems to be right here. Sandy seaside life + sand roads + no rain for a number of weeks = dusty decks. After all proper after we took these images it poured rain and the deck seems to be new once more.

Right here’s that view from our roof once more so you possibly can see how the house seems to be now:

Once more, for simpler scroll-to-compare functions, right here’s the way it appeared proper after the brand new fence was constructed:

View Of Pool Area From Roof Of Covered Porch Unfinished Fence

Truthfully, this deck & desk state of affairs has been probably the greatest components of this new yard state of affairs. It stays within the shade many of the day, so we use it for all types of issues. We eat pool lunches out right here. We work on our laptops out right here. We’ve hosted a child’s party, had associates over for dinner, and it has turn into our go-to out of doors household board sport spot too!

We even purchased this removable ping-pong web that I doubted would work with the slatted desk and umbrella within the center, however I used to be confirmed mistaken. It not often has a rogue bounce for the reason that desk slats are so shut, and the umbrella is simply kind of an added enjoyable impediment (the youngsters play it proper off the pole within the uncommon occasion that they hit it) so it’s really fairly enjoyable. To this point this summer season it has been used virtually daily.

To not offer you whiplash from time-hopping a lot, however right here’s an analogous view from proper after the pool was completed in 2021. See how the outdated fence ran so near the sting of the pool patio? And within the view above, we’ve opened up a complete new space for extra perform? We really moved the fence again round 20 entire ft! And nonetheless had room for a two-car car parking zone behind that.

Small Backyard Pool With Fence Along One Side

With the fence and deck accomplished final fall, we thought we have been on the quick monitor to a completed house by Christmas. Then got here…

Step 3: Including Poured Concrete Walkways

As you’ve seen in a few of these earlier than images, we had created some placeholder walkways round our home utilizing these cheap concrete pavers. They did the job of protecting our ft off the grime, however some would drift and teeter, and so they have been fairly small. Once more, tremendous for a short lived resolution however we have been prepared for a extra everlasting repair.

Concrete Pavers Leading To Fence And Swing

This was the a part of the undertaking we struggled with probably the most. We went backwards and forwards loads on what materials to make use of and the place precisely to place these everlasting paths. Our home wasn’t constructed fully parallel to the property strains, so we regularly run into some bizarre angles round right here.

After a number of weeks of being caught, we enlisted the assistance of a neighborhood panorama professional who had labored with a number of of our associates. We had lots of photos of huge concrete or stone stepping stones and walkways – however we weren’t positive what sizes of stone or poured concrete have been obtainable/doable, if the stone would conflict with our pool deck, and so on.

After listening to our concepts, the panorama professional instantly drove us to a close-by undertaking he’d labored on years in the past (under) after saying that the home had the identical vibe we have been describing – and every thing clicked into place for us. Thirty years in the past he added these actual BIG. POURED-IN-PLACE. CONCRETE. PAVERS.

Neighbor House With Large Concrete Pavers

It appears apparent on reflection – they’re like the larger, extra everlasting, can’t rock-or-drift model of what we already had. However seeing them at this different home and having the contractor accountable for them at our disposal made it really feel prefer it was meant to be. Plus these have been poured within the early 90s which makes them round 30 years outdated and so they’re all nonetheless going sturdy!

In order that little tour with the panorama professional occurred in November of final 12 months, nevertheless it took till April of this 12 months to lastly get it going. Between holidays, contractor schedules, and nailing down our actual plan, the entire thing took some time however let me inform you, it was effectively price it. And the method itself was fairly labor-intensive too (aka, LOTS of digging) so we’re actually glad we employed it out to a staff of execs.

Yard Area Dug Up For Concrete Retaining Wall

A part of the problem (and one more reason we would have liked outdoors assist) was due to the gradual grade of the yard. We decided that, along with the walkways, we’d want a retaining wall across the firepit space too (assuming we needed the world the place the chairs and firepit are to be fairly stage). So first they needed to dig, body, and pour concrete for that wall earlier than they may start on any walkways – which additionally included some steps main as much as the pool.

Framed Steps For Backyard Pool Area Before Concrete Paver Pouring

It was a reasonably fascinating and meticulous course of to look at. And even as soon as every thing was framed and prepared for concrete, there have been a number of levels of smoothing, brushing, and refining of edges to offer every thing the ultimate look. Don’t sleep on concrete guys – they’re artists!

Concrete Being Poured In Front Walkway

We’re ridiculously pleased with how they turned out. It’s like our property had a full-fledged glow as much as a legit, completed house. It not seems to be piddly or in limbo from the road and the brand new bigger pool space feels so welcoming and deliberately deliberate.

Concrete Steps Leading Up To Pool In Backyard With Firepit

And since concrete is such a sturdy materials, it looks like a wise long-term selection. I discussed that the undertaking that impressed us is three many years outdated and nonetheless seems to be superior – and a few estimates say poured concrete lasts over 50 years! So identical to the no-rot Trex that we selected for all of our decking, it’s one other method we’re serving to our home stand as much as the tough parts round right here.

The pathways, as you’ve seen in a few of these images, have been an enormous undertaking that prolonged past simply this fenced space. However earlier than we transfer outdoors of the pool zone, let’s spotlight one last item we did in our yard.

Step 4: Including A Sunken Firepit Space

As a result of among the fastened parts within the house have been at totally different floor ranges – particularly the home & the massive oak tree – we determined the firepit space wanted to be decrease than the pool & deck (stage with the big tree that we love). Decreasing the firepit simply round 15″ ended up properly defining the useful areas of the house whereas making a kind of sunken lounge space that matches with the trendy ’70s vibe that our home tends to offer off. Groovy, child. Peace, love, and s’mores.

The newly outlined firepit space was even sufficiently big to suit two further Adirondack chairs. We solely had 4 in the outdated location, however now we’ve obtained seating for six, to not point out loads of bonus spots on the close by desk and lounge chairs. The Adirondacks we selected are product of no-rot-polywood and we’ve been SUPER pleased with the 4 that we’ve had for nearly 3 years (they nonetheless appear like new – no fading or breaking down in any respect). So getting two extra was a straightforward selection.

The firepit itself is a Solo Range, which is designed to burn with out all that loopy smoke you get with a standard campfire. We’ve been actually pleased with it. We now have the Bonfire dimension and it matches completely on a kind of outdated concrete pavers that was once our walkways. Then we simply surrounded that with a hoop of marble chips. That method we don’t want to purchase the Solo Range stand (which you def want if it’s on any kind of wooden decking or mulch). However we do have and suggest the metallic lid, seen above.

Solo Stove Firepit With Kids Playing In Pool In Backyard

It has been such an enormous improve to have the pool and firepit on the identical aspect of the home, particularly now that it’s summer season and we’re utilizing that aspect of the home continuously. The youngsters love having associates over for an evening swim whereas we adults take pleasure in lounging by the hearth. And sure, I notice a hearth sounds bizarre in the summertime, nevertheless it’s cozy and each evening is an efficient evening for s’mores. Please observe that we took the picture under with about 10 youngsters within the pool, therefore the spectacular splash zone.

Fire in Solo Stove firepit in sunken firepit area in backyard

You may also see that we added some plug-in LED cafe string lights to our in any other case absolutely photo voltaic lighting set-up again right here. We simply needed some further brightness for the firepit and eating space, and so they’re all Alexa enabled so we simply have them on once we’re on the market to take pleasure in them.

Once more, one other a part of this undertaking was creating a correct parking house and entrance walkways as effectively, which we previewed to our e-mail publication subscribers not too long ago. We’ve obtained that put up virtually full and queued up for subsequent week (simply have so as to add a number of final images), so keep tuned!

Gray SUV parked in gravel driveway parking spot with concrete walkway sidewalk

It’s very nice to look again on all of the levels of our pool space and really feel prefer it’s completed and useful. This stuff can take years (and contain shifting a fence) however I promise even these lengthy and winding evolutions can result in such nice outcomes. We couldn’t be happier.

Overhead View Of Larger Backyard Pool Area With Lounge And Dining Area

lounge chairs | adirondack chairs | firepit | comparable desk | eating chairs | nest chair | photo voltaic lights | umbrellas | pillows

Need To See Extra Outside Transformations?

To atone for the opposite exterior updates and initiatives we did right here, make sure to try:

Grid of Four Images Pool Under Construction Exterior Of House Getting Painted FInished Porch With Lights and Outdoor Shower With Plants

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