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posted: 5/15/2014 1:01 AM

Updates badly needed

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  • David Behnke of Glen Ellyn says the house they bought is in need of updating.

      David Behnke of Glen Ellyn says the house they bought is in need of updating.

  • A new patio space with a built-in kitchen, along with a play area  for kids, will turn this yard into a great place to entertain.

      A new patio space with a built-in kitchen, along with a play area for kids, will turn this yard into a great place to entertain.
    Courtesy of RYCO Landscaping and RYCO Design Group

  • A new patio space with a built-in kitchen, along with a play area  for kids, will turn this yard into a great place to entertain.

      A new patio space with a built-in kitchen, along with a play area for kids, will turn this yard into a great place to entertain.
    Courtesy of RYCO Landscaping and RYCO Design Group

 
By David Behnke of Glen Ellyn

Seven years ago we bought a townhouse and planned to live in for three to five years, then buy bigger home and start family. Two years later, market tanked, housing values tanked and we were stuck! It took us eight years to save enough to buy a bigger home!

We have two kids (3 and 1) that have shared a 10-by-10 bedroom for the last 18 months and living in a townhouse means very minimal yard to play and run around in. The new house we bought is 37 years old and has not been updated since -- inside or out. We put everything into the purchase and a few updates to the interior -- and now that the snow has melted, the horridness of the yard is visible. There is a dead tree needing removal, the patio slab is cracked with grass growing through, the shed likely won't withstand another spring storm, and the yard -- well, I hope my kids have strong ankles and always wear shoes!

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This makeover would provide the kids a nice safe place to play, and us to entertain family and friends -- in addition to just relaxing and enjoying the warm/fresh summer air.

Transformation by RYCO Landscaping and RYCO Design Group

Budget: $10,000+

From the experts:

These homeowners were finally able to move from a townhouse to a single-family home after their family grew and the market crashed. The house they purchased is an older home and has not had many updates done in 37 years. They've spent a lot of time making the inside of their home their own and now are ready to move to the exterior. Once our winter snows finally melted, they were a bit disappointed with what they found -- cracked concrete, dead trees and patchy lawn. They desire a family-friendly space to enjoy.

1) New patio space with area for eating and entertaining -- mixture of pavers and possibly natural stone.

2) A play area for the kids to swing and slide within sight of the patio area.

3) A built-in kitchen perfect for grilling for the family or for parties.

4) Low-maintenance plantings to bring interest, color and shade to the patio spaces.

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