We have a roughly 4500-square-foot backyard that we wish to improve. The space is roughly 45 feet deep and 100 feet wide.
Here are some details about the current space:
- It is mostly sloped in a basin form from the right side closest to the house to the left side furthest from the house. Flattest areas are the 15 or so feet closest to the house and screen porch, and down in the lower left corner.
- We will be installing a split-rail fence about four feet inside the perimeter of the yard. We are interested in landscaping ideas along this fence that would make for easier maintenance of the grass along the inside of the fence as well as the strips of grass that will be between the fence and the outer property lines.
- We live on a D-shaped street block, so our backyard backs up to/is visible from at least five other yards. We are looking for ways to enhance privacy without constructing a large privacy fence or similar wall-type structures that are seen in many online idea photos. We would definitely be open to any privacy-enhancing measures we could take in the landscaping that goes in front of the above-mentioned split rail fence, such as arborvitae or other evergreen shrubs.
- We have a large grove of trees in the general center of the yard, one of which contains a treehouse that has a slide descending to a small deck. This area has a roughly circular area underneath it that is roughly 20 feet in diameter and is 100 percent shaded. For the most part we would like this area to remain open but we would like to perhaps make this into a seating area or some other such gathering place. we would like to place string lighting underneath it. Also, the circular edge closest to the house has a drop-off of about 18 inches that tapers as it goes around the circle. That edge nearest the house needs a retaining wall of some sort and a couple of steps.
- We have a 6x8 shed up against the house. We would like to relocate this to somewhere else in the yard.
- We have a screened-in porch on the left corner of the back of the house that has a door leading to the yard.
- There is a tree right outside the porch that has a tire swing. This swing needs to stay there.
Some things we would like to be in the design:
- We want to put a deck on the back of the house. The space available for this deck is roughly 36 feet wide and 16 feet deep, but we do not have to fill the entire area if there are other ideas for what we can do with some of this space. We are open to any ideas as far as the size/scope/usage of the deck, such as multiple levels, etc. We could consider a hot tub. This deck is in the highest point of the yard and as such would look down into several of these other yards, so privacy enhancements on the deck would be welcome as well.
- We would like a fire pit to be part of the design somewhere in the yard. We would be interested in designs with seating for up to 10 people.
- We would like other amenities to be in the yard that could be enjoyed by the family. We are two adults in our late 30s and three kids - two boys 12 and 9, and one girl age 6. We also have two dogs. Things that they enjoy doing in the backyard include swinging, playing tag and other such games, etc. They would enjoy dart/laser tag games or other ways to use their imagination. Other than the fire pit, the adults would use the space for relaxation.
Some overall things to consider in the design:
- We are looking for a design to guide us in what to do, as we are having a difficult time envisioning what works best on what is largely a blank canvas.
- We have a limited budget for the project. We will be doing much of the work ourselves and will be doing it in parts/sections. Due to this, less expensive options are preferred when possible, such as use of stone or crushed granite for paths instead of pavers or similar hardscapes.
- We do like the idea of using lighting wherever possible, especially string lighting in the area under the treehouse.
Some notes about the photos:
- all the items visible in the photos are there because of a renovation project to the porch and will be going away.
- All the bare areas are places I have recently placed topsoil in an effort to level the grade and eliminate some holes. They will be filled with grass.
- The air conditioner visible in the corner where the deck is planned will be relocated around the corner of the house.
- The stumps in the photos will be removed.
Thank you in advance for your time and effort.