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Article posted: 6/2/2013 6:00 AM

Outdoor makeover contest Week 5: A mud pit

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Last summer, my husband and I started a backyard makeover project around our wooden deck. Over the course of several weekends, we jack-hammered out an old concrete pond and waterfall left behind by the previous homeowners. Afterward we removed buckets and buckets full of old gravel and rock. As part of the makeover, we added a trellis section around the area where we planned to install a pondless waterfall, landscaping, plants and lighting. After getting through the destruction part of the project, we had just started to get to the fun part of making it beautiful when our sewer pipe collapsed! Anyone who has experienced this knows the destruction it does to a yard when a 10-foot-deep trench is dug from the foundation of a home all the way to the sidewalk in order to replace the pipe. Now that repairing the front yard damage has become the priority, our remaining "deck/pond" funds are going toward addressing that eyesore. Unfortunately this leaves us with a big hole and nasty view in the backyard. We would really love to be able to enjoy our deck for entertaining family and friends over the summer. Please help!

Transformation by Aquascape Designs of St. Charles/Lisle

Budget: $5,000

To help this family realize their dreams of a waterfall in the backyard, Aquascape will create a beautiful Pondless Waterfall using the ever-popular moss rock. The homeowner's eyesore of a mud pit will be replaced with the beautiful sight and sound of running water in the landscape, where birds, butterflies, and more will flock to enjoy the cool, refreshing waters. The waterfall will be scaled to fit the space and landscape surroundings so that it appears it has always been there. The homeowners can say goodbye to their mud pit and hello to their waterfront property!

Pondless Waterfall Kit.

Three large AquaBlox for reservoir.

Three PL Water Pump.

Moss rocks in range of sizes.

Transformation by Viking Ski and Patio Shop of Barrington

Budget: $3,000-$6,500

This family could choose to do a seating area with dining or just a seating area around a new waterfall.

Tropitone Ravello deep seating with fire pit would cost around $6,500. The deep seating set has aluminum frames with cast aluminum arms. Cushions are made with Sunbrella brand outdoor fabrics. The fire pit is propane or natural gas. The sofa can be a crescent set or regular sofa and chairs.

Tropitone Dining table with aluminum chair and vinyl wicker seating area could cost $5,000.

A Berlin Gardens adirondack seating area with four or six chairs around a table. Price, $3,000 to $5,000.

A Lloyd Flanders set could provide a seating area with sofa and a love seat with two lounge chairs around the pond with dining behind it in all-weather vinyl wicker with aluminum frame and cushions. Price, $6,500.

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