With the weather getting nicer and a couple landscaping projects on the horizon, my thoughts turned to a recent North Toronto landscaping project.
The project was a great fit for us:
- design was an important consideration, coupled with reasonable budget
- natural property features, lush greenery
- just the right amount of design + build autonomy
The house backs onto a park hill, and back yard feels like it’s swallowed by greenery, in a non-claustrophobic kind of way. The property slopes towards a park, the 10ft change in elevation means you can walk out of the basement on-grade.
The project seems simple at first: deck, patio, stairs…easy right!?! Then we really started to think about the steps and tasks involved in bringing the pretty pictures to life.
From a construction perspective, project included a bit of everything:
- excavation, footings, foundations, drainage
- framing, siding/cladding, roofing
- decks, patios, utilities
Some of my favourite features
Drainage: Not starting off with the sexiest feature, but critical for longevity and all-weather enjoyment. Being on a hill, all the water from the property drains towards back yard, which can be a problem in heavy rainfalls or when temperatures hover around 0 degrees C (32F). As a solution, we installed a network of underground drains to help the water bypass the back yard.
Wood Finishes: We were lucky enough to use two of our favourites – ipe and clear cedar. Ipe – rich, dense, durable. Clear Cedar – timeless and clean.
Glass railing: Natural foliage shines, unencumbered, deep into the interior. Poetic.
No project is without it’s challenges.
Design Challenge – Change in elevation: Needed to tie-in laneway, upper deck, and lower patio in short span – space was limited due to mature trees.
Process Challenge – Working on a crowded site: The house was undergoing a complete reno at the time – Lots of trucks, limited parking. Lots of material deliveries; no room to stage. All seem like minor inconveniences, but inefficiencies add up.
Thankful to be able to collaborate with the following: J Spec Roofing, Shower Deluxe, Green Choice and Matt Vardy.
Check out the Backyard Escape project on Houzz for more photos.