The fact we wanted to start over with a fresh idea led us to talk to Jesse Wyatt at the Remodeling Company. Jesse is a friend and we knew the level of work the Remodeling Company normally took on was of greater scope than a mere deck replacement but we also knew Jesse would have a lot of ideas we would never think of since he is involved in so many different types of projects.
Being one of those folks with an engineering education and analytic job I researched all the options I could think of and came up with a list of ideas and questions for Jesse that probably made him think twice about wanting to take on a simple deck replacement because I was determined to not make it so simple. However, to his credit he provided all the answers and even offered up new ideas that led to the final outcome.
The iterations I threw out included a covered patio on top with deck below, a composite deck on top with a stamped concrete lower level or possibly stamped concrete on both levels. The main idea was to make it long lasting and maintenance free. Jesse suggested we go to Homearama to check out all the different backyard living space options which included everything I listed plus some homes using pavers instead of stamped concrete.
The bottom line is Karen and I both liked the looks of pavers the best even though we guessed it would be the most expensive option. We picked up several paver catalogues at the event and showed Jesse what we liked and what design elements we thought might work in our situation. Jesse brought his designer over and we discussed the options. The designer and Jesse took the comments and went to work measuring every aspect of the back of the house, the yard, and the views and melded them with our ideas to come up with a stunning design. We were very impressed with the level of detail and planning that went into that first step.
Jesse did his homework and, in addition to his normal trusted team professionals in the area of electrical, gas, siding and guttering, he found Renaissance Outdoor Contracting to do the hardscape work of installing the pavers. Robert Nye and his team from Renaissance really know the hardscape business and suggested some practical tweaks to the original plan and also helped us pick the right types of walls and pavers such that we could have our favorite elements of several paver manufacturers with all of the colors matching perfectly with our home and the yard.
The job turned out to be more complicated and time consuming than I would have anticipated when we just wanted to replace the deck. But the result speaks for itself and what was once just a plain wooden deck in a back yard is now an outdoor living space oriented with a focus on the pond’s fountain and the optimal view. The upper level with walls, columns and lights is perfect for the dining table and chairs. The curved steps leading down to the lower level point your attention to the best views as you traverse them, have imbedded lights for nighttime safety and are an architectural focal point of the project. The lower level with its built in grill is also curved to match the steps and has plenty of room for the casual outdoor living furniture and another temporary dining table when needed. It also provides great views of the pond and the yard.
We are extremely pleased with the result and the responsiveness of all the professionals doing the work and recommend this team to everyone!
Dave & Karen McFaddin