New backyard

by Diane on 19/01/2015


After our bathroom renovations we both said we’d never ever renovate again.

Unfortunately that’s not how home ownership works. You have to renovate occasionally to keep the property in a good state, and after all it’s nice to live in a place that’s well maintained and makes you happy. Never underestimate the effect it can have on your mood to wake up in a place you love.

So we decided to take on the backyard. This time we didn’t rely on one single recommendation for a professional trades person, we consulted No Cowboys instead. We chose the builder with the most positive reviews and the most impressive pictures of his work. That’s a big lesson learned from the bathroom renovations: one good project can be pure luck, but a large number of happy customers is almost a guarantee for success. Sure, things could still go wrong, but it’s less likely. This time we were lucky and loved our builder through every step of the project.

Here’s what our backyard used to look like:

Parts of the backyard, with view towards the bedroom with sliding door. Parts of the cement retaining wall and the tiles on the ground can be seen.

Ugly pseudo-deck.


Dark corner, bare clay wall with bush, in between the cement retaining wall and a wooden retaining wall in the back.

Not very happiness-inducing.

There was a small step onto a pseudo-deck from both the back door and the bedroom sliding door. Then there were ugly concrete tiles (originally yellow and red, but the colour was faded), half a retaining wall and solid naked clay.

But now it’s all pretty!

A proper deck, on level with the house. No more steps walking out the door, just pure indoor/outdoor flow, no more cement retaining wall but a pretty wooden one.

View from the hill towards the deck, with plants in the front and two beanbags on the deck.

A proper deck!

The deck with beanbags and planters with the new retaining wall in the background.

View from the back door.

Every morning I open the curtains in the bedroom and our backyard makes me smile. Now I just need to get some plants sorted (especially where you can see the coffee bags acting as weed mats in the top left corner in the bottom picture) and by next year it will be perfect, yay!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Jethro Carr January 19, 2015 at 8:16 pm

Looks like a great outcome!

This is precisely the issue I have with our place ATM – the previous owners built the exact same sort of pseudo-deck which is essentially useless to fit anything larger than a small table :-/ Not sure what motivates people to build such tiny useless spaces.

Trees January 21, 2015 at 8:06 pm

This looks wonderful! I can’t wait to come and visit you guys and see your new deck.

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