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updated: 5/13/2013 2:03 PM

Outdoor makeover contest Week 2: Too much hill; not enough ideas

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  • Creating two levels, complete with a fire pit and seating area on the lower level, ties the landscape design together.

      Creating two levels, complete with a fire pit and seating area on the lower level, ties the landscape design together.
    Courtesy of RYCO Design Group

  • Underground electric lines, an unforgiving hill and a ground-level window make this space a tricky one for landscape design.

      Underground electric lines, an unforgiving hill and a ground-level window make this space a tricky one for landscape design.
    Courtesy of richard corbett

  • Creating two levels, complete with a fire pit and seating area on the lower level, ties the landscape design together.

      Creating two levels, complete with a fire pit and seating area on the lower level, ties the landscape design together.
    Courtesy of RYCO Design Group

 
By Richard Corbett of Sleepy Hollow

Please, we really need some real help here! This space off the back of our house remains unused because of several problems that exist within this space. There are underground electric lines, an unforgiving hill, and a ground level window all within this space that have become formidable barriers to making this part of the yard useful for us. We envision a wonderful patio with a built in fire pit that would be high enough for walk out access from both the patio and entry doors, but one that would not block the essential use and operation of the ground level window. We also envision a stairway from the existing upper deck to this lower patio area tying both outdoor spaces together. My wife and I are both retired, and winning this contest would provide us with an opportunity to get some expert help to develop this space into a really enjoyable outdoor area for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.

Transformation by RYCO Design Group

Budget: $10,000+

From the experts:

The back door area on a large slope is creating a problem with using the space. This is coupled with a low window limiting access and an existing deck space. The homeowner is unsure how to connect all the elements to form a usable space to enjoy with their family and friends.

• Create upper patio landing that levels out the area to meet up with existing patio doors.

• Add lower patio area with firepit and seatwall for extra seating.

• Plantings around patio with lots of color and texture to add interest.

• New deck steps to connect to new patio area.

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