There are times we like to name our projects. It’s fun for the clients and it makes it easier for communication among our teams. This particular project name certainly came about in the most natural way possible and we think you’ll agree how fitting it is. This backyard landscape project in Des Moines became known as… “The Big Job”.
How This Landscape Project Began
When we first met with the clients they were unhappy with the current landscaping situation in their backyard. They had just purchased the house and relocated from out of state. The homeowners had torn out many of the existing plants before we even met with them. They were ready to go!
They really disliked the backyard patios. The upper patios were too small and spread out, meaning there was no room for entertaining large numbers of people. There was an old wood burning outdoor fireplace that they didn’t use, so a new backyard fire pit was certainly in order. They also did not like the look of the boulder retaining walls.
A Big Landscape Design Plan for The Big Job
The goal was to give the backyard a fresh new look, with clean lines that would provide room for entertaining family and friends, either up by the house or down below by the pool and pool house.
We decided to use 14″ Chopped Castlewood Ledge Rock for the large retaining walls. This material was great for building walls because it was all a consistent thickness, which made it easier to build the retaining walls, rather than using field boulders like they previously had. The natural stone ledge rock is also great for structural reasons and retaining because of the shear size of them (each stone weighs approximate 1,500-2,000 lbs!).
We used 48″ Kasota natural stone step treads for the stone stairs. The client chose Unilock Beacon Hill pavers for the main paver patios with Copthorne banding around the edges. They decided on Unilock because of the quality of the product and, as a Unilock Authorized Contractor, we were certainly up to the task if designing and installing their new paver patios.
Planning for the Future
For the pool area portion of the project, we worked with the homeowners to plan ahead. If you’re thinking of doing a project in multiple stages, even if years apart, it’s always great to plan ahead and prepare for the future. It saves many headaches and can really help with expensive rework.
In this instance, the ultimate goal is a fully functioning outdoor kitchen. Outdoor kitchens really help bring the function of their indoor counterparts to the beautiful outdoors, allowing you to enjoy the fresh air and the company of your guests.
To prepare for the future kitchen, and minimize future need for heavy equipment, we poured footings under the pool’s patio for the outdoor kitchen, complete with electricity, running water, and a 20′ x 20′ pavilion to provide a shady break from the sun.
The Big Finish
One of the really neat things about this project are the ways stairs are used to accommodate the backyard’s grade. We built multiple, natural stone stairways throughout the landscape project so that you can access the different patios throughout the backyard.
Once the project was finished, the backyard was re-graded and we installed a fresh, new sod lawn.
Would you like to do your own big landscape project?
We’d love to talk to you about your backyard landscaping ideas. Please give us a call at 515-577-6903, or drop us a note via one of our contact forms. We look forward to hearing from you!