From Hillside to Two Level Retreat

Our clients had a typical backyard found in many homes that are built on the side of a hill. As the majority of vacant land left today is on the side of hills, more homeowners are faced with an unusable backyard due to a slope.

In order to make their backyard usable, during our design meetings with the clients, we proposed building a retaining wall and separating their backyard into two, level areas. The upper area consists of a large Timbertech deck with patio furniture to relax on. The lower area is comprised of an old country stone patio with basalt stacked stone retaining walls as well as a water feature.

A beautiful Timbertech staircase connects the upper level to the lower level. It was very important for our clients when entertaining guests and spending time with their family, to have immediate privacy from their neighbours. In order to accomplish this we installed mature Laurel hedging that was already eight feet tall. To give privacy at an even higher level, we craned in three large, Japanese maple trees.

To add a little more flair to the Timbertech deck, a different color of board was used for the edge, or picture frame, around the deck. Long lasting aluminium and glass railings were chosen to provide safety between the levels and the staircases.

Two types of landscape lighting were installed to extend the usable hours of the outdoor living spaces well into the evening. Lanterns were strategically placed to illuminate the flower beds. Spotlights were used to uplight the Japanese maples so they glow from dusk to dawn.

In order to add interest to the lower level, a three pillar basalt water feature was added to the design. The patio was intentionally sloped to the water feature to provide a continuous supply of rainwater. An overflow was incorporated into the design for days where there is an abundance of rain.

Backyard After Renovation

These two side by side photos show the upper level living space and its lounge area.
Photo of lower level outdoor living space with Japanese maples and hedging in focus.
Photo showcasing the unusual design of the lower level patio.
Bird's eye view of the lower patio with water feature.
View of lower patio and stairs leading to the upper level living space.

Backyard During Renovation

The Timbertech deck for the top level was built on top of a pressure treated lumber frame supported by poured concrete grade beams and an existing patio. Sacrificial 2 X 12 boards were installed against the fence to protect the fence from rotted decay and to make it easy to replace fence panels as they wear out.
An old country stone patio paver system was installed over compacted road base to ensure no movement in the pavers would occur. Although difficult, the grade of the patio was built to line up with the landing of the stairway that leads to the basement below, while also sloping towards the water feature. This design allows rainwater that lands on the patio to replenish the water feature.

Backyard During Renovation

In order to give the clients privacy at a higher level and remain stylish, Japanese maple trees were chosen. As the Japanese maple trees weighed between 800 and 1,000 pounds, a crane was required to move them into place.
Early stage of this backyard transformation with the existing yard excavated and the construction of the forms completed.

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We look forward to meeting with you and discussing your renovation or new construction project. Please feel free to give us as little or as much information as you choose.