Ideas for spaces to connect design + build
Tvelt Build - Cedar Deck Toronto

An urban backyard escape

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.

Tvelt Build Cedar Deck

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.

Tvelt Build Cedar Deck

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 RoofingShower DeluxeGreen Choice and Matt Vardy.

Check out the Backyard Escape project on Houzz for more photos.