What We've Done
Here is a deck we created for a new house in Northcote. The client didn't want Merbau so instead we recommended Black-Butt decking. It's a gorgeous timber that looks absolutely amazing. They also wanted some built-in seating so we created this "floating" bench seat together with a new planter box (just visible on the RHSide).
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This client wanted to make her small backyard more usable and inviting. She wanted a new day-bed and sitting area with planter-boxes and a place for "tea". And that's what we've delivered here. She's absolutely ecstatic with the result.
The clients asked us to create a "built-in entertainment unit" in their living room. Accompanied with a very rough sketch on a scrap of A4 paper, they also wanted some slide-out drawers underneath. So we came up with this concept and suggested they purchase some Ikea drawers which we then modified to incorporate in the unit.
The client wanted to make her small backyard (7m x 3.6m) more usable and interesting. Her lounge area looks out onto this area through large glass doors. She designed this outdoor sitting area with integrated planters to go the entire length of the yard. Yes 7 metres. The fence is on the north side so she wanted the plants to sit as high as possible to try and capture the sun. Each planter is 1m high and the end ones are 1m square. The middle one is 75cm square. The seats are hinged so she can store garden tools etc. out of the weather. She's ecstatic with the result. Eventually she will put "umbrella" type plants in ther planter boxes and exotic grasses along the front of new sitting area.
Here's a little project we did at a holiday house recently. The customer wanted a new outdoor shower on the side of their beach house, so we organised the plumber to fit the taps, showerhead and a drainage pit. We then built a small deck for standing on, framed up some walls and attached this brush fencing for privacy.
This client came to us asking if we could create a paved sitting area in his otherwise uninteresting backyard. Upon further discussion it was obvious he really wanted a lot more. The backyard had a patterned concrete path which was proving to be difficult to make coherent with a paved area, and a grassed sloped area to the back fence. We suggested levelling out the backyard, new retaining walls around the perimeter for new garden beds, a new deck that started from the back door that was incorporated with the retaining walls and a slightly raised grass area to separate it from the path that is actually level with the new deck. After sketching out the idea we got the go-ahead and created this new "entertainers" backyard that the owners are "over the moon" with.
This fence has transformed the front of this Edwardian in Ascot Vale. What was a dreary falling down wire fence is now a vibrant picket fence more suited to this lovely house. The owner wanted "All The Trimmings" with this one and that's what we've delivered. Exposed posts with Capitols atop. The pickets ebbing up-to and down-from each post. The front gate set back from the street to help make this a grand entrance.
The last piece of the puzzle for this new Front Entry is Tesselated tiles. These tiles are cut-to-size when ordering, and then laid using tile adhesive and finished off with tile grout. A tricky job but when finished, a stunning effect.
This was supposed to be a regular new boundary fence between two properties. And on the other side it appears that way. This side however was lined with the palings from the original fence that was removed. But here they are fixed horizontally instead if vertically. We also created "highlight boxes" and installed solar-powered LED lights to automatically come on at night.
This is some improvements we helped do at the local Scout Hall. The retaining wall was already created from Treated Pine sleepers that had been concreted vertically into the ground. We then created and attached "floating" seating from Merbau, and some extra seating independent of the retaining wall. The brief was to ensure the Fire Pit was a focal point.
Here the client wanted to have an area at the front of the house where it was low maintenance but also practical. The pavers are Bluestone 150mm x 150mm with a 55mm gap between. Once the sand and soil has settled they will plant some Mondo and Herb grasses, which means they will have a visually appealling area and one that can be used in the kitchen.
This was an interesting dilemma. If you look carefully you'll notice that there are 2 different size pavers. They were purchased at different times and the owner was able to match the colour but not the size. So we suggested creating a "border" between the different pavers from cement that is inlaid with pebbles.
Here's a really simple yet stylish deck on the back of an inner-city terrace. The owner insisted the deck have a curve in it where she could put cushions in place for visitors to sit on nice days and to make it more aesthetically pleasing. The result was beyond her (and our) expectations
At the other end of the deck was your typical boring fence. Here we've created a nice "screen" to hide the fence and down pipe, but also give the deck a wholistic "closed in" feeling that the owner was looking for. Apparently it's now a great spot to relax with a comfortable cushion and glass of wine whilst reading a good book.
This is a shed in a very small backyard that didn't look overly attractive. So we gave it 2 coats of render and created this piece of artwork from some extra decking left-over at the same job. Now instead of the shed dominating the space, it is integrated giving the entire yard a nice "complete" feeling.
This Courtyard was totally stripped of all weeds. We then laid a complete weed mat and gave it a treatment to minimise the future growth of weeds. The end result was achieved by using premium grade top soil followed by the planting of Standard Roses a delicate Mondo Grass boarder and finished with striking black mulch
This front yard was once occupied by knee high weeds and a dying patchy lawn. The area was totally stripped of all weeds followed by a complete weed mat and treatment to minimise the future growth of weeds. Premium grade top soil was then used followed by the planting of Standard Ficus's and English Box Hedge's. The visually stunning center was achieved by using 2 different size pebbles highlighted by a gorgeous wrought iron urn.
Before & After's
Here's a job that gave us (and now the owners) a huge amount of pleasure. The brief was simple. Turn this unloved spa area into an entertainers paradise. We reckon we've achieved it.
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What was a drab and dark front yard has now been transformed into light, airy and interesting. Here we demolished the brick fence and built a new picket fence and entry, replaced the verandah columns with new posts (in keeping with the style of the house), removed the faded and broken blinds, replaced the glass around the front door entrance to let more light inside, organised for our painters to work their magic and gave the front yard a thorough makeover as well.
The customer didn't have room for a full-size shed but still wanted to keep their bikes out of the rain whilst maintaing unimpeded access from the front of the house to the back of the house. The side access to the house was quite wide so we designed and built this lean-to shed to accommodate the bikes, which keeps them dry and leaves enough access to pass through as well. Bike hanging racks enable up to 4 bikes to be stored at any time.
This bathroom was very tired but the owner didn't want to spend too much money on a renovation, so we pulled the old cabinet out and replaced it with this flat-pack/benchtop and new taps etc. purchased from Bunnings. As an extra cost-saving the owner was happy to have the wall tiles painted instead of replaced. To do this we used a special primer as the intermediary between the tiles and the paint.
The front-entry was on the side of the house with this small verandah. Visitors often had trouble identifying where the entry was, so we removed it and built a new entry and verandah so that the front door was obvious from the street and there was still room for a verandah. We enhanced it with some victorian lacework. Other work included a new garden along the front path with less intrusive trees which opened up the small space and made access much easier. A very dramatic change for these happy owners.
An example of a backyard that has been hedged, mowed and weeded regaining what was once an overgrown "uninviting" area.
An example of a front yard that desperately needed some TLC. Again it has been hedged, mowed and weeded to present it with the "best face" possible to the front street whilst sticking to a very tight budget.