I Need a Staycation

by Cait

Last night Robert and I started planning out the backyard projects. We broke everything down into four major parts: 1) the outdoor shower, 2) the deck, 3) the pool and 4) the fence(s).  Each part will most likely have sub-sections (we might do the shower surround one week and plumb it the next), but that is the general idea. I have no idea what all we’ll get done this summer, but I would like the backyard to be a nice place to relax on weekends and whenever we have time off.

from houzz

We figured out that the shower will cost about $250-300 for the galvanized metal sheets, wood to frame, stain & protectant and plumbing. We have a $100 Lowe’s gift card we’ve been hoarding*, and we just got a $25 off a $250 purchase coupon, so that should knock it down considerably.

from desire to inspire

After the shower I want to tackle a low deck like the one I talked about yesterday. We decided on a deck size of 12×32, but we haven’t fully priced it out yet. I know a deck would still be expensive (Robert said $1500-2000 ballpark), so we’re just trying to come up with the easiest way to make it happen. Contemplating the idea of using reclaimed pallet wood for the deck surface  to cut the cost down and framing the underside with 2x6s.

from bigBANG studio, seen on The Brick House

As I have said before, I want a pool like this really, really badly!  Technically the pool above is made from a silo (and deep!) while the one we want is only two feet deep (and either eight or ten feet, we haven’t decided yet).  Last summer we went to a Tractor Supply near us and I think the eight foot one was about $300.  Also, Robert’s parents know someone who have a somewhat similar pool, so we would probably discuss filters/etc with his parents’ friend.  We would probably buy the stock tank first, then the pump&filter/whatever. Eventually we also love the idea of having a smaller, heated tank (similar to the one below), but that would be another project in itself.

from Dwell via The Brick House

Around the backside of the pool I want an L-shaped fence similar to the top photo below. We would probably make ours from 1x6s or 2x6s with 4×4 uprights, and Robert says he wants the slats closer together for more privacy. There is also discussion about how far the long side of the L should go. He votes for all the way down the yard, and currently I vote for switching to a shorter fence a few feet past the pool. Also, we’d try to get the neighbor behind(/beside, since we’re on a corner) us to go in on the fence between our yards, and I’d probably suggest we do slats on both sides so that no one gets the “ugly” side. The front side of the pool would have a deck of some sort.

The weird jut-out  (that I tried to describe here; that some might call as a side yard but Robert describes as a “dog toilet”) would have a shorter fence like the one in the bottom photo below. Currently we have a picket fence that we (and when I say “we” I mean Robert&Ryan) put up when we moved in, but that was always sort of a temporary measure. When we replace it we’ll  make that area completely seperate from the rest of the yard (we might even add a second door off the porch that opens into it). And of course we’ll save the wood from the picket fence to resuse for other projects.

fence images from here, seen on The Brick House

As far as gates go, I want something fairly modern. I can’t decide if I want something wooden or metal, but I like the two images below.



from houzz

Going from the porch to the deck (and maybe the porch to the “dog toilet” area) I want barn doors kind of like the ones above. I can’t decide if I want something with glass/plexi or screen. I think not-screen would be the best option, because when we’re on the porch we’ll probably have them open, but it would be nice not to get rain insde when they’re closed. We’ve been talking about using plexi (or something) to replace the screen on the porch as well. 


I made a plan of what we’re hoping to do with help from  Better Homes & Garden’s Plan-A-Garden (which Emily used yesterday) and my BFF Photoshop. The large two-tone gray rectangle is the house/porch, which opens to a deck surrounded by river rock pea gravel. There will be stepping stones leading to both the pool/pool deck and the outdoor shower. The gray thing in the top left is the shed, and not pictured to the right we’ll have a short fence (maybe with an arbor) into the dog area. It’s not exactly “to scale” (it makes our yard look larger than it is), but you get the idea.

*We love gift cards! To anyone looking to get Robert birthday gifts next month, Lowe’s gift cards are always appreciated! We were saving this one to do the kitchen floor, but with summer quickly approaching, the outdoor shower will be more appreciated. We’re hoping to get as much of the backyard done as possible so that we can take a bit of time off and just chill out at home (preferably in the lawn chairs from our design board).

20 Responses to “I Need a Staycation”

  1. You might not know it (or me) – but I am going to move in with you once this is finished :)

  2. When this is all done, I’m coming over. Perhaps moving in. only in the summer months though.

  3. LOVE the retaining wall/wooden fence options. They also look like they’re so nicely stained and maintained, I wish I could have them. I’m a fan of that horizontal slatted fence/rail look though, it’s what I’m trying to duplicate (in a much less dramatic way) on my back deck pergolas.

  4. I know the feeling… this is the time of year when one is working more on the free time than at work, I think. There always seems to be so many projects to be done in the garden or on the house.

    Your plans are really inspiring. They got me wondering if there was any way I could incorporate a pool into our garden, but I think it will have to be a project for later. Love the picture with the tree covered in lights!

    • Yeah, I think I’d have to agree with that sentiment.

      I’m glad you like the plans! Here’s hoping you can incoorporate a pool, even if you have to wait a while! I love the lights on the tree, too! I’m thinking the trees in our front yard need lights like that (and that we need to plant one in the back to look like that).

  5. Thanks for all the inspiring images Cait!

  6. oh my gosh! I totally LOVE that slatted wood RV gate!!! I am saving that picture and source for our future RV gate rebuild! I’m totally in LOVE! But seriously, I totally love everything you picked out and your yard rendition is too cute! Can’t wait to see it all come to life! (though I know it takes time… lot’s of time… particularly for us… I guess patience is a virtue!)

  7. I love all these ideas, I’m inspired to get out of bed and start diying! We have been madly working on our yard this past month. We built a very similar horizontal planked fence, here is a photo:

    We bought the cheapest cedar fence boards at home depot. Cut the boards square and alternated the pattern to add visual interest. Overall we spent $300, this was the best bang for our buck so far. I couldn’t be happier with the results, if you are trying to save $$$ this was a great alternative for us!

  8. Clicked over from the comment you left on my post Permeable Paving on Re-Nest yesterday. I love the plan I see here! But you mentioned it was the “before” you ended up having to demo your bathroom. Do you have a more budget-friendly plan now? Would love to hear about that. I can be contacted at landis@apartmenttherapy.com.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: