Monday, November 18, 2013

Renovation Diary: Courting Behavior

A small, square courtyard sits in the front of Rattlebridge.
As my general contractor said, the area is pretty but it was built weirdly, without regard to
the slope of the land and without the use of a building level.
You can't really turn your car around in the courtyard or you will
bump into a rosebush hedge or the front porch. Everyone uses
the blacktop strip as the "turn-around."
A view of the turnaround.
One day Bandwidth and I began to wonder how the courtyard might look if
steps were added in the center. I tried to create an image with my
limited photo-editing skills.
My general contractor thought that steps would add to the curb appeal,
even though we would need to level the inner part of courtyard.
A few ideas were tossed around. Concrete or Bomanite would
be very, very expensive. Since this area isn't really functional as a
parking space, why not turn it into a formal courtyard with sod, boxwoods, and
a walkway?
Bringing in truckloads of dirt can be a "spendy" thing, too.
Bandy suggested that we use the dirt that had been moved to make way for the steps.
My GC perked up and said, "Dr. W wants his pond dug out--we can use that dirt to fill
the courtyard."
Dr. W. loved that idea. He will finally get a "Duck Island," to protect the furry critters from
foxy predators.
Demolition began.

You can see the deep tilt of the existing courtyard. Much of this will be hidden by
shrubs, though. Will and our GC have a few ideas for the structure, too.
Later, the blacktop will be removed and soil will be added.
Come spring, the Lord willing, we will add the garden details.
Also, the bricks will be painted SW's Tennessee Limestone, to match the house.

My GC built the steps to echo the porch design. They sweep out, with columns at the base.
We love them.
We haven't decided what to put at the base. Another garden? Pavers? Benches?
We have plenty of time to think about it. And, with surgery looming for a certain, unnamed family member, he is looking forward to dreaming about outdoor projects. I am looking forward to
dreaming this dream with him.

I love this photo of father and son as they admire the steps. They are so alike, right down to their body language.  Had to share it!
In other news, the steps to Will's garden are finally in progress.

Weather permitting, the structure should be finished before Thanksgiving.
We also have a terrible leak near the swimming pool, like, under the Bomanite. The pool
also needs a new liner.
It takes up quite a bit of space in the rear courtyard. We need to decide if we want to fill the pool with dirt (my favorite idea--I'm not a fan of pools).
Traditional Patio via Houzz
Or we could make the pool smaller--a lap pool, for example. Will thinks that swimming is great exercise for old folks like ourselves.


Well, that's it for now.
Wherever you are today, I hope it's sunny!
Metamorphosis Monday contribution. 

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  1. So love your new stairs and vision! Amazed at depth of excavation for garden steps... great family portrait~

    I adore pools, the more you garden the more you will cherish cool refreshing dips, from fully clothed to naked I need to plunge!

  2. I was hoping you'd come by! The excavation is deep--W. wondered if they'd unearthed old graves, but apparently not. :-)

  3. The new steps look wonderful! Great picture of your two gentlemen. You already know my 2cents on the pool from when you first bought/showed me the house - Fill. It. Up!!

  4. The new steps are amazing! I'm in awe of all that you are doing on this property. Wonderful vision!
    I'm with you on pools - lots of trouble to keep up. We have two spas and wish we had just done fountains.
    Thanks for sharing the progress. It's fun to follow along……..Sarah

  5. Already such a beautiful place and you are taking it a step further. I need some of your ability to have a vision - I can't get a room painted these days. :-D
    Enjoy your evening.

  6. It looks fabulous! I cracked up with the picture of father and son with hands on their hips!

  7. Oh ML...the steps look FANTASTIC!!! What a beautiful addition...I love how they echo the front of the house. You will have lots of fun filling & creating this special place.

    We really miss our pool we had at the FL home, with solar heating. DH was in it just about every day & your DH is right...swimming is the BEST exercise for aging/aching joints.

    Loved seeing the Father & Son poses...too funny!

  8. Your stairs are going to be magnificent and I love the father son pose. The apple didn't fall far from the tree :)

  9. Your home is stunning and everything is coming together. It will be a show stopper. Loved the picture of father and son.
    I think a pool is a great idea because as you get older your joints could really use the pool.
    Have a wonderful week.

  10. Everything looks soooooooooooo beautiful :)

  11. It looks as if your project is coming along beautifully. I can't wait to see everything finished.


  12. What a terrific addition to your estate. Looks great!