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Article posted: 5/19/2013 6:00 AM

Outdoor makeover contest Week 3: From start to finish

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Our daughter and son-in-law never seem to have time to donate to working in the backyard nor do they have an interest to start the project. With two children, ages 5 and 3, there is always something to be done. They are simple people who would like to spend time outdoors with their family and friends, have a barbecue and watch the children play.

The original landscaping was overgrown so they removed all of it. Now there is nothing but grass and dirt around the yard that the kids love to play in.

There is no storage for toys and outdoor miscellaneous.

I would love to see them relaxing on the patio, watching the children and a place for everything so the next time they go outdoors it is all ready and we can all relax and enjoy a beautiful backyard.

Transformation by Hearth and Home

Budget: Under $5,000

From the experts:

One can spend countless dollars, but enjoying time with a growing family and friends is priceless. Given the solid base you have to work with, Hearth & Home in Mount Prospect recommends:

A seating group by Berlin Gardens in all-weather poly-wood. It allows you to take life outdoors. Spread out lengthwise along your patio, this comfortable seating group provides you with the ability to watch your children have fun playing in the yard.

Adding a firepit, either built-in or portable, will enhance your evenings outdoors and allows you to roast marshmallows and make Smores while enjoying the enchanting fire.

Enjoy a barbecue on The Pink Pig wood pellet grill. Just pour in the pellets, plug it in, set-it and forget-it. You can cook slow 'n' low all day long or grill your burgers to perfection. What a great way to "cook-out" at home with the kids. Besides, your house will become the "go to" house since the kids and their friends can't resist watching the Pink Pig cook.

For daytime shade we recommend a Market Umbrella by Treasure Garden.

For greater shade coverage add a retractable awning by Sunesta for shade when you need it and sun when you want it.

To truly enjoy time outdoors during the day with your kids, an awning will shelter you from the scorching sun and keep your patio cool. You can even keep dry in a light rain with the awning extended. This optional feature will add about $5,000 to the budget.

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