Project Type: Hardscape Design
Location: Wheaton, IL
Services: Hardscape Construction, Landscape Design, Landscape Lighting
We’re often called to update existing landscapes – that includes tired hardscapes. After 20 years, this client’s deck was looking weary and breaking down. While they had updated their interior over the years, the exterior hadn’t changed since the house was built in the 1980s. Some see a landscape makeover as daunting, but we love the challenge!
Design Based on Personality
The first meeting with the client is so important – not only do we get to see the areas of concern and learn about the site, but we learn about the client as well. What’s the style of the house? What’s the client’s personality? How do they want to use the space? What are their favorite outdoor activities? What have they always wanted but never been able to do in the space? How much light is there – what plants will thrive? Are there some great plants already there or do we need to start over? The answers help us develop and form a design that is unique to the property and homeowner.
The deck didn’t suit the architecture of the house and felt closed off from the landscape. The client loved their existing trees and wanted to showcase them. With only a few steps needed from the back doors to the ground, we felt a patio would allow the most accessibility from the three egresses while providing the desired open feel and a better connection to the rest of the yard.
Once the client agreed on a patio, the design started to take shape. Their three beautiful crabapple trees would offer a perfect canopy for a small seating area at the far end of the patio. Just off the master bedroom, this intimate space would become a favorite spot for morning coffee and listening to the birds. The main patio area needed to be large enough to accommodate upwards of 20 people during their frequent summer parties. Incorporating seat walls would allow for additional guest seating without cluttering the area with too much furniture and provide a stately finish to the patio without blocking views into the landscape. Including lighting in the patio design anticipated the clients’ desire to spend more time in their new space and increase the usability into the evening hours.
Even with the use and organization of the space finalized, the choice of materials can be stressful for a homeowner - we make it easier. After eliminating materials that didn’t suit the client’s desires or complement the home, we offered concrete paver stone, natural clay paver brick, and natural bluestone. With the choices narrowed, the client could focus and readily chose the concrete paver stone for its color. From there, deciding on a complimentary wall stone was painless.
While still in the planning stages, we thoroughly evaluate existing plants to determine their value in the new landscape. In this case, there was a large, failing ash tree that we wanted to remove prior to construction. With all details finalized, the client approved our proposal and we applied for and were granted the necessary city permit to begin the project!
Once our crew removed the old deck, we spray-painted the layout of the new patio. After days of trench and gravel work, the client was happy to see the new retaining walls, seat walls, and steps being built. Every day the crew was on-site brought them closer to enjoying their new living space, so anticipation and excitement was high! Once the patio was completed, the crew continued the transformation with new plants around the patio, low voltage lighting, and some touch-up grading and sod work.
Within a week of completion, our happy client celebrated with a large family barbecue. As we did our final walk-through with them a week later, they told us it was a huge success and would be the first of many!??
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