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Back Yard Renovation

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Project by jlondon posted 07-14-2011 04:03 PM 1753 views 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife and I purchased our home last fall and while the interior of the house was completely remodeled, the yard was in dire need of some TLC. Its a smaller city lot that came with a cracked (but structurally sound) concrete patio, a chain-link fence and a poorly graded & uneven weed patch for a lawn. We had a limited budget so the only thing we hired out was the tear-out of the lawn and fence. Deck, fences/gates, garden and lawn was all DIY.

Fence

We could’ve saved a little time & money going with a prefab fence kit but we really loved the horizontal style after seeing it online. It took me awhile to figure out a good design but once I figured it out, it was a breeze to put up. Since I used 1×6” PT pine boards for the slats, I decided to space the posts 6’ instead of 8’ to help prevent warp. I unfortunately didn’t let the wood dry completely and a few of the slats are warping but since I used a stringer on the post, I can simply unscrew 10 screws to replace it. The nice part about this system is that there’s no “ugly” side.

Deck

We discussed having the concrete patio removed and putting up a proper deck but after checking on costs and building codes, I decided to just build a floating deck on top of the concrete. Joists are 2×6” ground contact rated PT pine and spaced 18”. PT 5/4 deck boards on the top and with them still pretty wet, no gap. Since the patio was a bit uneven, I shimmed it with scrap and left a few spaces for me to jack it up to re-shim if it moves.

I’m also finishing up a Herman Miller style bench off the tall raised bed.

Raised Beds

I ordered about 15% extra lumber since I’ve never taken on a project like this and expected some bad cuts. But I underestimated my DIY skills and had a bunch of leftovers (and a lot of leftover dirt from the landscaping). The tall raised bed wasn’t in the original plan and decided to use some of the 5/4 deck stock to build it 3’ tall and spanning the side of the deck. I realize the 5/4 stock isn’t ground contact rated but figured that if it lasts 5 years, it was worth it.

A shorter square foot gardening style bed runs along the fence and 2 raised beds in the back for our veggies.

In all, it took about a month for me to complete working nights and taking a week vacation. I estimate 90 or so hours to complete it.





7 comments so far

View DamnYankee's profile

DamnYankee

3240 posts in 1286 days


#1 posted 07-14-2011 04:31 PM

Looks good and sounds like you thought it out for future corrections.

-- Shameless - Winner of two Stumpy Nubs Awards

View Lane's profile

Lane

34 posts in 2445 days


#2 posted 07-14-2011 07:36 PM

Nice job.

View Derek1980's profile

Derek1980

31 posts in 1632 days


#3 posted 07-15-2011 01:04 AM

great looking work.I really like the varying bored widths in the fence.

A word of caution based on my experience helping fix a friends house is that using you foundation as one side raised bed can invite insects and rot into your house. Buying one more board on the back and leaving a few inch air gap between the bed and house may pay big in the long run.

great yard.

-- Derek

View jlondon's profile

jlondon

6 posts in 1359 days


#4 posted 07-22-2011 03:24 PM

Thanks everyone.

Derek, I think the raised beds you’re talking about are the ones against our garage. They’re right next to the concrete foundation but I see what you’re talking about with bugs potentially crawling under the siding. I may correct that next year… or hope for an infestation forcing us to tear it down :). It’s the small 1 car variety and we eventually want to build a 2 car with workshop space.

View Beginningwoodworker's profile

Beginningwoodworker

13347 posts in 2397 days


#5 posted 07-22-2011 03:33 PM

Nice job!

-- CJIII Future cabinetmaker

View Derek1980's profile

Derek1980

31 posts in 1632 days


#6 posted 07-22-2011 04:26 PM

:) In that case i recommend you pile rotting wood up past the 2nd or third level of siding to maximize the potential for a new shop.

-- Derek

View Captainyoni's profile

Captainyoni

1 post in 883 days


#7 posted 06-29-2012 01:42 AM

Hey there, great fence. I am in thge planning stages of building a horizontal fence, You mentioned you were able to run your boards up the middle of the posts, so there was no “ugly side” how did you accomplish this?

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