Imaginative Design needed for deck/garden/yard/stair area

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BE49

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I am looking suggestions for redesigning my back yard area.

The primary issue is the metal, spiral stairs that stop on an uneven rock base and then a drop-down ledge followed by rocks for steps at the garden.

Issues are safety, access as we age, pets must use this to get to the yard and with rain/snow it increases the problem.

I want to maintain a garden in some form but would enjoy going to raised beds.

I have considered extending the fence and moving the garden along the wall where wagon wheel is located.

If feasible I would like to remove the rock entirely but cannot get a good image of what to do with the area. Another possibility would be stairs from each of the two decks with a landing in the middle giving straight stirs, a slower drop and a surface with better traction.

Bottom line. I want to change the area but cannot come up with a good idea of what to do with it and am open to any suggestions. Cost is always a consideration, but I am willing to make an investment in improving this area.

Hopefully this group has some imaginative ideas and suggestions. Thank you.
 

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bud16415

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What can I do? What can we all do?



I think I would remove the spiral stairs and make a wider straight set of easy rise steps that attach to the house and are the width over to where the railing opening is. Handrails on both sides and closed in stairs for the dog. If it was all closed in you could add a door to the area under the stairs and use it for storing garden tools.



Put the spiral stairs on Chrigslist and make a couple hundred bucks.

I think the stones look ok a great place for a hot tub. the stone stairs for older people look like an ankle turner or a hip breaker. Do something with them to get a handrail.
 

BE49

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I really enjoy see how different people see issue from different angles... Sometimes I watch a cooking competition and see 4 people given the same ingredients and suddenly they each create 4 completely different dishes. Same thing here. I was hoping for different ideas and already you are helping.
Thanks for some great ideas.
 

Spicoli43

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You can use Lowes' Deck Designer, which will let you play around with designing it and will give you a list of materials. I haven't used it in a long time, but it was helpful when I was designing a front deck that I'll build when I win 186 Million in the lottery and can afford lumber.

You can also try the Sketchup free version, and if you like it you can pay $119 for a year to unlock more features.


 

Flyover

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I love the stone personally, but understand if you have concerns about injury if you're elderly. Is there a way to safen it up and maybe use the area as a container garden (or even a kind of Zen garden)? Koi pond?

I agree about getting rid of the spiral stairs, they offer no advantage where they are now, but what about closing off that side of the deck altogether and expanding on the other side instead? Maybe wrapping back around down the hill: you could do a series of cascading decks, each just a step or two lower than the one above. Then the lowest one brings you to ground level right by the stone. It looks like your property overlooks water, so it'd be nice if each deck provided an unbroken view of that, maybe from a different angle each time.

Ultimately you have to think about how you use the space or would realistically like to use it, and when you do use it, what you want the experience to be like. Which details do you care about? What brings you joy when you're spending time out there? Focus the design around those things or at least make sure they get prioritized.

If you just sit inside and watch TV all day anyway like some people then maybe this project isn't worth it.
 

BE49

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I love the stone personally, but understand if you have concerns about injury if you're elderly. Is there a way to safen it up and maybe use the area as a container garden (or even a kind of Zen garden)? Koi pond?

I agree about getting rid of the spiral stairs, they offer no advantage where they are now, but what about closing off that side of the deck altogether and expanding on the other side instead? Maybe wrapping back around down the hill: you could do a series of cascading decks, each just a step or two lower than the one above. Then the lowest one brings you to ground level right by the stone. It looks like your property overlooks water, so it'd be nice if each deck provided an unbroken view of that, maybe from a different angle each time.

Ultimately you have to think about how you use the space or would realistically like to use it, and when you do use it, what you want the experience to be like. Which details do you care about? What brings you joy when you're spending time out there? Focus the design around those things or at least make sure they get prioritized.

If you just sit inside and watch TV all day anyway like some people then maybe this project isn't worth it.
Cascading deck has a lot of appeal. Thank you. LOL, it would be a crime to be on the lake and stay inside all the time, we definitely will consider this
 

Flyover

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it would be a crime to be on the lake and stay inside all the time
I've seen it happen! I live in bland boring central Ohio and I'm outside constantly. But I know of several people who live in the scenic mountains of the great American west, and it seems like all they do is watch TV or sit on the computer.

So yeah, decide how you'll use the space and what experiences you want to have, then build around that.
 

RedneckGrump

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I love your idea of spiral stairs, but how safe is they as we age, and snow and rain... The way my body works... I would end up at the bottom plastering my face on the ground or bottom step... Maybe do some steps down, landing, and a few more steps down...

I love the deck the wife and I built with the gazebo we built on it... The deck is 12 X 16 and the Gazebo is 10 x 10... I only wished I had gone 12 or 14 X 10

20220529_183312 (1).jpg
 

Royal_Innovation

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I will say, at first replace the spiral stair with wide straight stairs and remove the rock base. From the patio, straight wide stairs will come down to the ground. If you like, you can arrange a cozy seating area in your backyard surrounded by a small garden.
the.finch_.home_after.jpg
Somewhat like the above picture.
 

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