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posted: 6/3/2012 1:00 AM

Backyard makeover Week 5: AARP couple and disabled daughter need a backyard

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  • This Buffalo Grove family would like a design that entices outdoor lounging and visits from others, instead of the "hodgepodge of mix-and-match things" they have now.

      This Buffalo Grove family would like a design that entices outdoor lounging and visits from others, instead of the "hodgepodge of mix-and-match things" they have now.

  • A flat patio leading into a separate area with a seat wall surrounding a fire pit and optional brick oven will create a space for relaxing and entertaining.

      A flat patio leading into a separate area with a seat wall surrounding a fire pit and optional brick oven will create a space for relaxing and entertaining.

  • A flat patio leading into a separate area with a seat wall surrounding a fire pit and optional brick oven will create a space for relaxing and entertaining.

      A flat patio leading into a separate area with a seat wall surrounding a fire pit and optional brick oven will create a space for relaxing and entertaining.

 
By Teri Delofsky of Buffalo Grove

Sun's out, birds are chirping, open screen door ... ugly cracked cement porch, aging swing, unsightly chain fences, empty old flower pots and worn outdoor furniture. We have to leave many things outdoors year round; there's no room in the garage because it's filled -- we have no basement! Chicago winters usually leave my family housebound; my daughter uses a wheelchair that restricts going out a lot. It would mean a great deal to us to just unwind and enjoy nature outside. It would also prompt my daughter to get fresh air, instead of being on the computer. She says our backyard is boring! We would also enjoy being able to entertain and have some friends over. My husband does his best to plant flowers, mow the lawn, tidy up, but the backyard still looks like a hodgepodge of mix-and-match things! My husband deserves to be able to enjoy his backyard, as he has been battling cancer recently. Through all of the ups and downs, he has helped beyond the call of duty with everything! A nice backyard would be nice when he retires. I have been a stay-at-home mom for many years, and I, too, would welcome an outdoor uplift. We don't get the chance to travel much, so we would be content to have a comfortable, cheerful backyard.

What the experts at Belgard Hardscapes?? recommend, with a budget of $7,000 to $16,000:

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Belgard focused on the need for this family to have a patio that was made for entertaining and accessible by wheelchair. Using Bergerac Three-Piece pavers, our design includes a flat surface that is enticing for meals and gatherings. A fire pit gives a focal point and raised seating wall using Weston Stone allows for plenty of friends to be invited. To keep it simple, the design without the brick oven would cost about $6,000, but if the family wanted to add this feature the total design price would be $16,000.

Beginning May 6, through June 3, the Daily Herald is publishing finalists in our Get Your Summer On backyard makeover contest. Two winners will be chosen and they will receive prize packages valued at about $15,000. Winners will be featured in Home & Garden on June 10. To see more backyard makeover ideas, special Web page at www.dailyherald.com/entlife/homegarden/summer.

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