Friday, July 15, 2011

Project Spotlight - Somerset Ridge Residence

 The main goal for this Boise Foothills project was to screen the roof of a new neighbor’s house that was just built down the hill. The back yard used to look out at the Boise Foothills, now the view is of the neighbor’s roof. The main elements for the project were an outdoor kitchen, hot tub, fire pit and lots of sitting areas for entertaining friends and family.

Concept #1 – Key Points

• A new deck designed to be level with the threshold of the house. A dining area and cooking area for a outdoor kitchen is also located on the deck.
• A lower patio area has room for bar stools for the outdoor kitchen and extra seating area. A small sunken fire pit patio was located by the patio
• A raised planter with Bamboo is designed to screen the neighbors’ roof
• A new waterfall flows into new natural hot tub off the master patio
• Horizontal screen/accent fence to add privacy to the backyard

Concept #2 – Key Points

• A new upper paver patio to be level with threshold of the house.
• A sunken paver patio living room is centrally located with a fireplace. Cantilever wood steps between main patio and sunken living room add character and play off the architectural lines of the house.
• “L” shaped outdoor kitchen
• Fire and water sculpture element
• Horizontal screen/accent fence to add privacy
• Waterfall and spa with large cut boulders for a more artistic look

Concept #3 – Key Points

• The main paver patio area designed to be 1’ below threshold (2 steps down – level with existing grade) with a linear outdoor kitchen
• Raised dining area deck
• “Stone Forest” screen plantings to hide neighbor’s roof – The “Stone Forest” consists of upright basalt columns and evergreen trees
• Circular design theme
• Raised deck sitting area
• Boulder Outcrop with natural spa

Concept #4 – Key Points

• The main paver patio area designed o be 1’ below threshold (2 steps down – level with existing grade) with wood inlay
• Linear Outdoor Kitchen
• Raised Deck Dining area
• Horizontal accent fence with flowering trees to hide neighbors roof
• Formal screen wall with spillway into spa

After presenting the 4 concepts to our client, they gravitated toward a combination of concept #1 and #2, but they also like elements from the other concepts. The client initially wanted to deal with just the area just behind the house and leave the 2 grass areas to the sides as-is. After reviewing the plans the client wanted to see our idea for these areas as well. After this meeting we took our notes back to the office and designed next concept plan.

Concept #5– Key Points

• A main deck area that was level with the threshold with an “L” Shaped outdoor kitchen and stone inlay stepping stone in the deck.
• fire and water sculpture
• sunken fire pit
• Raised planting with horizontal screen fence and Bamboo to hide neighbors
• Natural waterfall and spa

After presenting this next concept to our client, they really liked the direction we were headed – but they really wanted a more enclosed/resort type feeling to the hot tub patio off the master. We decided to totally redesign the area to include large cultured stone walls with custom “Moon Gates” that will pick up the wood accents from horizontal screen fence. The moon Gates are my favorite part of the design.

Our Last Concept

The client loved the concept and we went on to our next step, construction documents.

Demolition plan - to illustrate all elements that were to be removed and elements to be saved and protected during construction.

Grading Plan - to illustrate the grade changes proposed, wall heights and drainage patterns. This drawing was approved by the City

Erosion and Sediment Control Plan – to illustrate how the contractor will reduce/eliminate erosion during and after construction. This drawing was approved by the City

Materials Plan – to illustrate, note and detail all hardscape items like, paver patio, deck, moongate, steps, walls, and boulder location.

• Planting Plan – to illustrate all plant material proposed for the project

Now that all the drawing were done, it was time solicit bids from sub-contractors. The General Contractor/Project Manager for this project was Tom Morton with LCG (Land Construction Group, Inc.). The final installation team consisted of Allison Concrete (concrete flatwork), Back Yards Unlimited (outdoor Kitchen), Boon LLC (Deck, screen fencing, moongate…all wood work), CoverTech (Shade Structures), John Sawyer Excavations, Pristine Pools and Spas (spa), NCC concrete (walls), Genther Masonry, Schaffeld Electrical Services and Anfinson Plumbing and Mechanical.

Because of access issue the project would have to be installed by working from the back (spa/courtyard area) and work their way out (patio, deck, outdoor kitchen) to the street. The first step was to demo the existing landscape and excavate for the large footings for the courtyard walls.

During the construction phase we worked with the Homeowner and the General contractor to incorporate other elements into the yard that were not in the original design. The Home Owners and General Contractor were great to work with, as well as the entire construction team. Some elements were changed, removed or added during the process by the home owner.

This was a fun project that took a while to complete; we started the design process in February of 2010, with the construction starting in August of 2010 and the majority of the construction being finished in the summer of 2011. I can’t wait for the plant material to mature over time.

Here is a sneak peek at some before pictures of project we will highlight in our Fall issue ….. Stay tuned to see how we transform this back yard!

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