Creating a home away from home in our backyard was definitely a passion project for us. We wanted the comforts of inside our home with the beauty of outside. So this new backyard project was born.
What we were looking for
When it came to creating a design for our new backyard project, it came down to three factors.
- Create a space for relaxing and a space for eating
- Casting as much shade on the back of the house as possible
- Control a ground swell that flooded out our backyard when it rained
We had to accomplish all three to create the perfect space. Most people create a backyard for the outdoor experience. For us, it was no different. We wanted to sit outside and watch tv, entertain and have a space for parties. But we knew the design had to solve a few other issues we faced.
The afternoon sun was a big problem. We couldn’t even grill in the afternoon or early evening without burning our hands on the grill. And there was no place to sit and enjoy a barbeque. The small strip of concrete between our garage and backdoor was so small it barely held a chair.
After living in our home for 10 years, we knew the slope in the backyard was something we had to address. It made the grass off the back concrete soaking wet whenever it rained. We knew we had to create a system that drained the water to the sides of the house.
Here are some before photos. You can see how the ground slopes toward the house.
How to Find the Right Contractor
When it comes to finding the right contractor, there are several things you should look for. For us, it came down to four things…design, price, references, and our gut feeling. I can’t underestimate what your gut tells you about who you decide to work with. We got extremely lucky with Kevin and DFW Creative Homes. He was truly the best partner we could have asked for.
The design and price had to make sense to me. Meaning did the scope of the work and the estimated cost match up? I knew what I wanted to spend and I knew what we wanted in the finished product and it was a match made in heaven. Doing research on their other clients was a big part of it as well. Kevin provided pages and pages of references from different towns and jobs they did and I looked into the families in my town.
We were extremely lucky to have the designs match up with what we wanted. Here’s a look at the designs Kevin first came up with.
New Backyard Project
If you have ever had any work done on your home or backyard you know patience is a big part of it. Between weather delays and worker shortages, time can sometimes not be your friend. We were given a 3-month window and were pretty lucky it came pretty close. That time frame also included the holidays and a very cold, wet winter.
Building the Structure and Fireplace
Once the concrete was done, we really thought were had made it. We had waited so long for a back patio that we would have been happy with that, shh don’t tell Kevin. But then came the structure and the fireplace and our worlds changed.
Stone and Benches
It’s truly amazing how talented masons are. There is a reason some people are in the stone business, they are so skilled at what they do. I was amazed watching them work every day to create our fireplace and our retaining wall and bench.
After the clean-up, we were starting to get excited. So much time and energy had gone into this backyard, we were just in awe of everything. We felt like we moved into our house all over again and it was beautiful.
Here’s How it all came Together
Just Do It
I can’t tell you how happy we are with our new backyard project. We love spending time in the backyard and the dogs love having a space outside to relax (we do too). Looking forward to making many memories out here!