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Backyard from nothing to Amazing - Comment to Plans

Frederic
February 10, 2019
So we live on a wooded lot and don’t have any yard, our deck is reaching it’s end of life, and rather then just rebuilding the deck we got a designer to create a whole make it usable space. I am very pleased with the designers renderings are we are just starting to get quotes but I would show the design and see if anyone has comments. Just for reference the present deck is a bit smaller then plan shows and nothing else exists.

Comments (23)

  • Frederic
    Few more renderings ...
  • PRO
    Dig Doug's Designs

    The hardscape looks nice.

    It reminds me a little of a project I designed some years ago:








  • Mrs. S

    Do you have kids? Because it looks like you could jump from the balcony into the pool, if you didn't slip. And lots of teens like to do that kind of thing.

    If you have a big backyard, I'd move that pool out from being quite that close to the balcony, for the reason above, but also because, depending on angle of the sun, your location, and which way the house faces, you may not want the shadow cast by the balcony over the pool.

  • Frederic
    No kids but I defiantly didn’t think about kids jumping. It’s 8 ft from the balcony to the edge of the pool. Our lot slopes so we are trying to balance getting usable space and not having to build enormous retaining walls. The tiers was one thing I thought the designer did an amazing job coming up with. We do have lots of windows from inside to the outside to stop the jumpers :-). We could also bring the deck in, it’s 4 ft deeper then what it is now.
  • laceyvail

    Seems to me to be terribly formal for a wooded lot.

  • cecily 7A

    Where is your septic field?

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    My question the septic field one is very important. I find it very formal and a bit contrived for my taste especailly when you have a wooded lot I would actually like to see real pictures of your house too, from what I can see this landscaping does not in any way suit the house this is a landscape for a mcmansion and I don’t think your house is one but post pics of the house please.

  • gracie01

    As someone who had a pool for 25 years on a wooded lot, let me warn you that you will constantly be cleaning leaves, seeds, and twigs out of the pool. And if it doesn't get enough sun you will need a heater.

  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    "And lots of teens like to do that kind of thing." That's how the we get rid of future troublemakers.

    No problem with the "formality." That's what people do.

  • mad_gallica

    It looks to me like a maintenance nightmare. Its a lot of weeding and a lot of leafblowing for little gain.

  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    "... little gain." ...? Other than a lot of outdoor living space! The comment about a lot of weeding ... I don't know how we would know that. The hardscape wouldn't be weeded. The beds could end up being very low maintenance, especially if planted simply and comprised of some shade. Blowing? Yes, at certain times of the year! But that's not too difficult with the proper blower.

  • partim

    The fire pit area is a bit small because there isn't enough room to walk behind the chairs surrounding the fire pit.

    It's just a matter of taste but I find the area with the raised stone beds a little too formal with all the rectangles. Even Versailles has more curves. And it isn't really useful living space.

    Where I live in Toronto this would cost a small fortune. I'd love to know the quotes you get on this.

  • Embothrium

    If in fact the perimeter planting shown in the above cartoons is supposed to be the full extent of it then there isn't nearly enough. For starters just look at all the unfilled space. And there needs to be enough planting to balance and soften all of the involved hardscaping. And form transitions in height between both the house and the hardscaping as well as between the hardscaping and the trees in the surrounding woods. Otherwise it's all going to look very abrupt.

  • PRO
    Revolutionary Gardens

    Ask ten designers about a design and you'll get 15 opinions. Your design should be based on hours of research that include conversations with you and visits to the site to understand what's working, what's not, and where you're trying to go with it. Posting it for comments without all the context your designer has is a recipe for disaster, because no one knows the reasons for any of the design decisions beyond "welp I guess they wanted a pool."

  • Frederic
    All, thanks for the comments, some answers. In regards to the septic. It’s about 30ft to the edge of the zone so that’s not a problem. In ref to what we wanted, our wants was a pool, fire pit, garden area, and bbq area. We have about a 12 ft drop in elevation from the driveway to the rear corner, and I thought the terrace areas was a great way to not build a monster wall to hold everything. We already cleared the trees about 20 ft from the pool so I’m not too worried about stuff in the pool though I’m sure we will be picking leaves out. We are located in north central NC so we get a good amount of pool use. We already decided to not do the planters beds out of stone, so either metal beds or wood. Also the material colors, etc are just for texture, we haven’t picked patio or stone veneer. I attached some. Ore pics of inside, I am thinking of using the same stone as the fireplace since it matches our kitchen backsplash. We also aren’t doing any planting until the hardscaping is done so we can decide then.
  • Frederic
    I do agree with the lack of curves, it’s tough in the back cause of the slope, go further away from the house just means the walls need to get taller and adds cost. We also have a design for the front which is much “sexier” and has some good curves.
  • tdemonti

    Is beautiful. Maybe an overstatement or not. Too much ongoing maintenance for me. Do you own a power washer? Trees = leaves, sweeping, seed sprouts and buried nuts.

  • PRO
    Patricia Colwell Consulting

    I stand by my first comment to over the top for that house.

  • jslazart

    It doesn't look too formal to me (as someone who grew up on a rural, wooded lot in a somewhat similar looking house), though I would imagine knowing the character of the neighborhood/area as a whole would be informative. Are the garden beds easy to see and access (i.e., is that door coming from the garage or the kitchen or...)? Do you currently garden? What exposure will they get?

    When you get bids, consider getting them with/without the porch expansion. To me, that sounds like the biggest concern in terms of a cost/benefit analysis.

    We have a taught pool cover you can walk on, which, in addition to safety benefits, makes off-season maintenance a breeze and heats the pool up to make it more usable during the spring/fall. It's the best money we spent on our yard so far, and we're undergoing a similarly drastic transformation right now.

  • Embothrium

    The trees will have no problem littering the pool from only 20 ft. away. Any debris coming from them that is small in size will get sucked into the filter.

    I wouldn't have so much curving that close to the rectilinear house shape. Also the static perfectly circular feature off the one corner of the house is a formal element that does not go with the informal curves around and near it.

    Finally the one planting space in the last image being created by having the path in front and the wall behind curve away from one another is not an attractive way to go about it. The wall should instead be echoing (but not matching exactly) the line the path makes, so that the two features do not bump into one another and form visual constrictions - think of a wild river and its two banks.

  • Frederic
    A few pictures show the neighbor and the wooded lot, I know the renderings don’t exactly capture the whole environment.
  • printesa

    It's beautiful. You need to think of what you want and like. Are you going to be in this house for a long time? You will have a bit of gardening work, but if you like that, it's not a problem. We redid our yard a few years ago and it's a lot of work, but I like gardening. You can always hire someone in Spring to do the first clean-up and then you can maintain it.

  • jslazart

    A garden on the east side of the house is ideal where I am (super hot in the afternoons), but I don't think a pool on the east side of a house is ideal anywhere. I could be wrong, but between the house and the trees, will the pool ever get enough light and heat to warm up?

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