Clifton Park – Featured Project
A CLOSER LOOK AT THE PROJECT
The owners of this residence in Clifton Park wanted to renovate their backyard and make it a more enjoyable and useable space for the whole family. Redbud was invited to the property to review the property and help the owners consider the options.
The existing backyard was broken up into a series of small and uncomfortable spaces comprised of an in-ground pool enclosed by a four foot picket fence, a large shed that was very difficult to access, pool equipment (heater & filter) sitting in the middle of yard and an oddly situated retaining wall. The upper portion of the yard had some interesting grade changes and a wonderful sunroom with a large deck off the back of the house. This rear yard was actually a diamond in the rough; by adding a focal point, correcting some traffic flow and access issues and refurbishing the pool space really helped pull the backyard together again.
Goals & Desires/ Design Components
The initial design meetings determined the critical components to be:
- Views from the sunroom to the new focal point and vice versa should not be interrupted.
- Assess the existing in-ground vinyl pool (approximately 20 years old) and determine if it is of sound construction and salvageable
- Create a more open and flowing patio space to provide better views back to the house
- Reorganize the fence arrangement so that the pool does not feel so closed in and cut off from the rest of the backyard
- Incorporate as much plant color and interest as possible while also blending the space into the existing woods behind the house
- Consider a water feature to add visual and auditory interest
- Integrate outdoor lighting and audio to enhance the total outdoor ambiance and experience
- Selectively remove trees to allow more sun into the yard
- Maintain storage for pool supplies and furniture (ie – relocate the shed if possible)
- Miscellaneous other elements
After a few collaborative rounds of design it was determined that the space would benefit greatly from a custom roofed structure. Redbud worked with Tim Gallagher of Architex and Roarke Custom Builders to incorporate a post and beam structure into the space. This structure mimics the personality of the house, provides the desired storage and also blends well into the existing woodland feel.
Ultimately the final design and budgets were set and the appropriate permits were secured. Construction began with the removal of the fencing, several targeted trees and the pool patio. Some rough grading was done to set the new an improved elevations . Upgraded pool equipment was installed in a more discreet location. The custom water feature and retaining walls were constructed and these set the stage for the roofed structure and integrated storage shed. The classically stylish post and beam was the perfect space to house an outdoor audio system, an integrated low voltage lighting system and, of course, a ceiling fan. Finally, the hand selected plant materials were installed, the irrigation system modified, the new fencing set and sod installed.
Benefits/ Lessons Learned
Having a clear, open and collaborative relationship with the owners allowed for a creative and unique design to develop from a space that was under-utilized and uncomfortable.
- Clearly identifying the primary goals and dismissing others that were less important streamlined the construction process and eliminated the need for change orders.
- Assessing the existing 20 year old pool and making necessary upgrades gave new life to an old structure saving significant dollars which the owners applied to other areas of the property, giving them more with less money.
- Integration of numerous trades ensured the project was done on time and within budget.