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posted: 5/26/2013 5:00 AM

Outdoor makeover contest Week 4: Young family with big dreams

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  • Belgard suggests the homeowner replace the old wooden deck with a Belgard Mega Arbel paver patio with a seat wall, fire pit and grill enclosure.

      Belgard suggests the homeowner replace the old wooden deck with a Belgard Mega Arbel paver patio with a seat wall, fire pit and grill enclosure.

  • Belgard suggests the homeowner replace the old wooden desk with a Belgard Mega Arbel paver patio with a seat wall, fire pit and grill enclosure.

      Belgard suggests the homeowner replace the old wooden desk with a Belgard Mega Arbel paver patio with a seat wall, fire pit and grill enclosure.

  • This backyard gets a lot of use -- from the dogs and the kids.

      This backyard gets a lot of use -- from the dogs and the kids.

 
By Meredith Rice of Arlington Heights

I love being outdoors. When it's warm, I spend the majority of the day in my backyard playing with my children and dogs. I love teaching my children to love nature as much as I do, so I have planted butterfly and bee habitats all over the yard to go with my vegetable and raspberry gardens (a pitiful attempt at best).

Since we are a young family, there is not much money for yard care and much of the backyard is in disrepair. Practically everything in our yard is old and falling apart. When we moved in a few years ago, there were beautiful bushes at the back of our property that blocked the view into our neighbor's living room. First one bush died, then another. Now all of them have started to die and my attempts to revitalize them have just made things worse. We need more privacy in our yard because as much as we love our neighbors, we don't want to feel like we are living on top of them.

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Our deck has also seen better days and needs replacing. The wood is warped, rotting, and ugly. I hate when my sons run around on it because they have gotten many splinters from the wood. The dream would be to tear it all out and put in a patio that doesn't cut the space off from the rest of the yard.

And of course those are just the major headaches. There is a lot of potential in this yard, but unfortunately I don't know how to make it happen. I need a space where my dogs can run, my children can play, I can garden and my husband can grill. We need help.

Transformation by Belgard of Mundelein

Budget: $10,000

This backyard has lots of potential for the homeowner to enjoy the outdoors. With a little "TLC" and a few updates, we can transform this into an outdoor living area, which the family will relish for years to come. Updates would include removing the old deck and updating the plantings.

• Replace the old wooden deck with a Belgard Mega Arbel paver patio.

• Add seat walls and a grill enclosure made with Belgard's Weston Stone.

• Incorporate a fire pit made with Belgard's Weston Stone and Highland Stone.

• Soften the look and feel with colorful plantings.

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