When I bought my house, it was every inch a fixer-upper. It had lived a maintenance free life for the past 20 years. One of the many big projects to tackle to turn this house into a home was the backyard.This is the story of turning a rotted wood deck and overgrown backyard into a beautiful outdoor living space. All DIY, and done on a tiny budget, you can see more photos and
Our back garden is on a very steep slope. Part of it has a hill that for every 4.5 metres, the level drops a metre in height. I consulted a landscape gardener and he quoted me about $5,500 to put steps in - he estimated about 20 steps. Well, that was much more than we could afford. So we turned to our neighbour who is a carpenter/builder. He built his own home so I figured he could do just about anything! He took a look and told me he could do it for about $1,500 - $2,000 but that we -my husband and I would be the labourers. This would keep the cost down. So we decided to go with that option.
I've hesitated posting this project. The reason was, I wasn't there for the entire step by step process while my honey was building it, so I felt like it would be hard to explain how he made it, ya know, since I wasn't there taking notes and pictures along the way. I tossed that idea of not posting it out the window because for one, its beautiful and two, he made it for my sweet Mama for this past Christmas. She asked for a stair step plant stand and he created this! Anywho, I decided to at least show it to you, even if I don't have a step by step tutorial on it.
"OLD?" It's all in how you decide to "mature." Out of necessity, I removed the steps built by a Contractor and built new ones - the right way! In the process, I discovered that I LOVE building, and I'm excited to be starting more building projects - at 71 (and I'm a girl)! Here we go.... First pic is what the Contractor built for me.
My favorite part of our DIY front deck is my husband's sunburst deck railing. It wasn't without its bumps and involved starting over but the finished product was worth it!
The old carpet on my stairs was worn out and stained. It's time was up and it needed to go. I'd seen other projects of people painting their stairs, so this is what I did with mine.
From carpet to wood treads, we are finally here to talk about our staircase remodel!
When you walk into our house, the first thing that you see is our staircase. So when we were thinking about the remodel we knew we wanted it to be very eye catching. As you can see the former staircase had dark maroon carpet with a black wrought iron handrail. We knew the awesome potential this outdated stairwell had when we first toured the home before we had put in an offer.
I needed some steps going out the back of the garage because the step down was very far. After scouring the internet on how to build regular steps and watching a ton of videos on YouTube, I figured there had to be an easier way.
When planning out our back patio spaces my husband and I saw a tree-house in a magazine that we fell in love with. It had a wrap-around cantilevered staircase. We both knew we had to try that, and we had the perfect opportunity so we went for it.
Welcome to the south where from May to September we are graced by full sun and heat from about 6:00 a.m.- 7:30 p.m. Since our deck faces east it has taken a BEATING! We had no idea how expensive decks were to build and that maintenance and repair of our deck was so important.
Just before Christmas we started ripping the old carpet off the stairs and good riddance to it! It has long been on our list to rid ourselves of the carpet that starts on the stairs and continues for the whole second floor. We had no idea what was underneath, though I wasn't hopeful there would be nice hardwood.
The existing plain wood handrail that was here when we moved in was too low and needed to be moved. I mentioned I'd really love something with a more rustic look for that room and my husband made it happen!
I posted a little while back that we were getting some 18 garden steps made for our back yard to traverse the steep hill. Our lovely neighbour who is a carpenter made the timber frames for us - some 1.5 metres in width and he also fitted them into the hillside by digging out the ground and clods of grass to fit them, join them one to another with galvanised steel brackets, ensure they were level and peg them firmly into the ground as he went along with hardwood pegs. Timber used was H4 treated ironbark. Treated against borer as they are exposed to the elements and some of the timber is buried in the soil. Anyhow, here is the end result.
The pool ladder that came with our pool just was not working for my husband that has many health issues. So I had to put my thinking cap on and get some steps for him to be able to get in the pool.
We noticed last fall that the Chippendale railings on our porch were falling apart due to rot. This was a DIY project that we both enjoyed tackling. After building the railings and painting them, they were screwed to the brick wall and vinyl post. Our porch once again looks inviting.