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Article updated: 5/12/2013 5:50 PM

Outdoor makeover contest Week 2: Help this backyard

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My husband and I bought this house in Lake Zurich in 1987; built new, first owners. We have not been able to enhance our backyard and would love to give not just ourselves, but also our neighbors, something nice to look at. We would love to be able to sit outside when the weather is warm and read the Daily Herald, good books, etc., and feel like it's a bit of an escape. It would be great to have a backyard that feels like an extension of the house that is welcoming and comfortable. The soil is hard, like clay and not easy to work with and we would appreciate a pro who could transform this sad backyard into something beautiful and would enjoy the challenge!

Transformation by Belgard Hardscapes

Budget: $10,000+

From the experts:

Created an outdoor room with the use of Belgard's Lafitt three-piece pavers.

Created seat walls and planters with Belgard's Weston Stone retaining wall block.

Added a place to relax in front of Belgard's Brighton Fireplace as well as a built in Bristol Grill Island.

Softened the look and feel by adding plantings and trees.

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