The side of our house has great potential for entertaining at both the upper (deck) and lower (patio) levels, but in its current state, it's not great. This side of the house is also what people see as they drive up to the house, but it is an eye sore right now. Our goals are: (1) to improve the aesthetics of this side of the house, (2) to improve the function of the deck/patio for outdoor living and entertaining, (3) and to improve the accessibility of the upper and lower levels. We are interested in design ideas that vary from budget-friendly (capitalizing on existing layout and structures) to dream design, though our current budget is probably more closely aligned with a budget-friendly to mid price range.
*Perspectives described below are based on the view standing outside, looking head on at the side of the house (same perspective as cover photo and drawings).
What we want:
-For the deck to have stairs or a gradual step down to the yard/patio
-To have a visual barrier around the A/C units, gas meter, etc. so that it is more aesthetically appealing driving up to the house.
-To the left of the garage people door (door that is furthest right in cover photo), a landing to put two large garbage bins
-To have access from the garage people door to the deck/patio via a walkway or deck extension
-Space for hot tub on patio: I envision having the hot tub to the left of the sliding glass door (where there is grass right now) with a trellis on the left side of the hot tub for privacy; this seems to maximize the rest of the patio space for furniture, etc. Of course, we are open to other locations for a hot tub.
-under-deck storage for outdoor furniture
-possibly a small outdoor bar: I'm not sure if there's space or budget for this, but it's a wish list item
Important things to consider:
-**Although we are up against the property line, as you can see in the plan views, we already have an encroachment agreement for our deck to extend beyond the property line. If a design can stay within our property line, great. If a design has to go a little beyond the property line, it should be fine (we were already told by the President of the HOA that it should not be a problem).
-The current deck is made of trex, which we like for durability, but currently the posts are spaced too far apart for this type of material, and the right side of the deck is bowing slightly.
-Although we would like to maintain as much of the existing structures that we already have in place (like the current deck, patio, retaining wall, built in patio bench, etc.) to minimize expenses, we are open to other designs that do not keep these
-There is a built-in gas line for the grill to the right of the door onto the deck.
-We'll need to have access to all A/C units, gas meter, etc.
-The cement patio is cracked in several areas, particularly around the left-most deck post and would need to be either fixed or replaced.
-The cement walkway from the garage people door is cracked and uneven and needs to be replaced.
-We do not have space on the interior of the house to make the deck door any larger than it is.
-The back of the house (left side in the side view of the house) is close to the road, so if we are increasing the functionality of the patio, some sort of trellis or privacy from the road would be important.
Other things to consider:
-If the wooden built-in bench is kept on the patio (power-washed and re-stained), I had envisioned using ~3 mosaic tile bistro tables with the bench seating on one side and chairs on the other side...But I am open to alternative designs.
-I love outdoor lighting and envision having string lighting on the 'roof' of the patio (i.e. on the underside of the deck)
-I will have baskets and pots of flowers out, but if in-ground landscaping is incorporated into the design, we would like low-maintenance, hardy plants/shrubs that do not block the view of the pond