Well, it took two years, and it cost me a couple of vacations, but the backyard patio and porch are finally done! Yippee! The photo below is the finished product of our year long endeavor.
Before I continue, I'll give you a little back story about this space. This patio was done once before, for my daughter's wedding. She got married in our home and we had the reception on the patio (see this post HERE). But the patio and white fence didn't last long, because groundhogs kept getting under the bricks and dug tunnels. The panels also weren't treated wood (just the posts were) so they quickly rotted.
The beautiful patio space which once held my daughter's wedding ended up being a place to store and chop wood.
You can see how the fence panels just rotted away and fell over. A fence, or barrier of some type is needed in this space because there is a four foot drop off.
The first thing hubby had to do was order some fill level out the patio from all the damage the groundhogs had done. He also dug down and put chicken wire along the edge to keep the groundhogs from digging under the patio. It's been two years, and so far, no groundhog damage, so it worked. All the patio bricks had to be pulled up and he made the decision to flip them over and use the flat side instead of the rough side.
Once the ground was re-leveled on the left side of the patio, he had to move all that wood!
Next, he built a fire pit. I had a hard time figuring out why he built the fire pit first when there was so much more urgent work that needed to be done, but he said he couldn't arrange the patio bricks until the fire pit was in place.
He used a smaller red brick to create a basketball court.
He built an extended lean-too to keep the firewood dry.
We decided we really liked the view of the woods and didn't want to block it with a solid fence, plus, it is a great cost savings not to have a solid fence, so our new fence is just beams, cross bars, and cattle fencing.
We did have plans to paint the beams white, but we never got around to it. I'm kinda digging the natural look anyway.
Now the old porch was just a walkout but we decided since we barbecue out here and attract so many flies when we do, that we wanted to screen in the porch. We learned from our first screened in porch (see that porch HERE) to have the lower portion solid. We have a cat who destroyed the screens trying to open them. With the bottom solid he can't do that much damage.
The solid bottom is metal, white on the inside, grey on the outside.
In the front of the screen porch, he built a raised bed filled with rock to solve drainage issues. One of the reasons the old fence rotted away was poor drainage issues so after years of watching where the water travels hubby put in drains and spouts to carry the water away.
And here is the new raised bed filled with river rock.
The inside of the porch was chipped and faded paint.
Now after hubby did all the hard labor, it was my turn. I gave everything a fresh coat of paint. We decided we really liked the black stain on the other screen porch we did, so we used it here as well. It looks so much better with the floor black instead of red. It provides such a nice contrast to the red and white.
There are stairs leading up to the garage. We added a screen door there too. It use to be open and then all these leaves would constantly come down the stairs, like a wind tunnel. It made such a mess. Adding a door prevents that now.
Sadly, I didn't buy any new patio furniture and just used what I already had. I didn't think it was worth it. It costs so much money and it doesn't seem to last long, plus, we really don't use this porch much, just a few times a year. Our house has four porches, and this one is way in the back...it takes quite a long walk to come out here to just sit a spell. My front and south facing porches are more easily accessible so that is where we usually sit.
Hubby built this table many years ago, but he added the benches this year. The Tiffany light was given by a friend and hanging out in my closet for years, so we hung it here for decoration. We could plug it in if we wanted light, but were not out here late at night, so we never needed to.
The view of the new patio from the screened porch. So far Jackson, our kitty, hasn't destroyed this one.
My husband's new basketball court. Even the little grandchildren enjoy playing on this one, I'm sure as they grow older they will really like it.
I'm not allowed to put flowers anywhere near the basket ball court. My side of the patio is on the right, near the fire pit. Next year we plan to put window boxes over the upper beam and I'm gonna grow vines that hang down. We also have plans to add narrow flower beds at the base of the fence.
From this view, you can see the walking path into the vegetable garden.
I placed potted plants in the raised bed. Whatever I put back here seems to grow really well, which is a shame, because hardly anyone sees these flowers. I don't know why things grow so much better back here. It faces east, so it gets morning sun. I think most plants prefer to receive morning sun and afternoon shade. Also, because it's completely fenced off, animals can't get back here to nibble...so I guess I do know why things grow better back here after all! 😂
And that's it folks! Our backyard patio and porch is finally done! Whew! Glad that is over, now I can go on vacations again!
Have a Great Day! Amy
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