2015 | Great Backyards

Raise the Patio

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"Goodbye high-maintenance deck. An eye-catching two-tier patio serves the same function and can withstand everything Minnesota throws at it – wind, rain, multiple feet of snow; wet, sandy feet; and sultry summer days."

This suburban family loves the outdoors so the space had to work with their lifestyle. In the backyard, they were looking for dining spaces, a fire pit, and enough yard space for their children, friends, and dogs to enjoy. It seemed simple enough until Mr. Homeowner said "no deck." He disliked the enclosed feeling, the deck railing at eye level, and the cluttered look of storage under the deck. He also wanted visual appeal on the lake side so he insisted no deck. The drop from the sliding glass doors to the ground is about 8 feet! This required thinking outside the box.

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Thinking Outside the "Deck"

When Mr. Homeowner says "no deck, please," designers get creative with tiered retaining walls and paver patios.

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This Apple Valley project won top honors in 2012 from the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association for transforming a steep and useless backyard into an "amazing" outdoor living space.

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