Decayed to Decked Out

A homeowner and casual gardener called Art of Stone one spring day when she’d finally had it with the old deck off the back of her fabulous Northeast Georgia home. She wasn’t specific about what might go in its place. She just knew she wanted to have a nice place to entertain.

And some raised flower beds.

Before Remodel

And she wanted that deck G-O-N-E.

Getting rid of the deck didn’t cause anyone a bit of angst. It was literally decaying and falling apart, and wasps had set up camp all throughout the rotting lumber.

Working with a blank canvas, we helped the client hone in on what she wanted to accomplish with the project. How would she and her family use the space? How many people might she entertain there? What materials did she like? How did she want it to feel?

We brought in our architect, Scott McLendon, to help. First, we measured the site and prepared a preliminary design concept to begin breathing life into her ideas. Then, site elevations—front and side view drawings—helped her visualize the finished space as if she were standing in the middle of it. Questions were addressed, a few details were tweaked, and we were ready to begin executing the plan.

After a lot of measuring and math, we were finally able to begin the fun process of laying out the planting beds. Following the design specifications precisely, Jason and the crew constructed foundations for the walls. They dug trenches along the outlines of the beds, set up forms, placed rebar reinforcement inside and filled them with gravel, then concrete. This would ensure the structural integrity of the raised bed walls.

After the foundations were poured and allowed to cure, rows of concrete blocks were built up to form the walls of the beds.

The client wanted irrigation and lighting in all the raised beds. Pipes and conduit were installed in the beds earlier in the process to allow access to those utilities later, and PVC piping was put in for drainage.

Once the block walls were structurally completed, our expert masons moved on to the artistic stonework we’re known for. The stone was chosen to match existing stone accenting on the home’s foundation and chimneys.

At this point, the client’s new entertaining space was taking shape, and she was getting excited. The stone-clad walls of the raised beds were almost complete.

We embedded wiring under the treads to support step lighting for safety and ambience at night. In addition to the illumination provided in the raised beds, we stubbed in wiring for extra lighting the client might want to add in the future.

Finally, the patio surface was poured. An exquisite stone imported from India was laid to complete the terrace and repeated as wall caps around the raised beds. The thin cut of the special stone is compatible with the surface’s very clean and contemporary look. And isn’t the earthy color striking?

The project gave the client everything she’d asked for that spring day. Now she has a wonderful space for entertaining. And she has a series of multi-level, stone, raised flower beds that allow her to enjoy a little leisurely planting and gardening after work without breaking her back. And she’s as happy about what’s gone as she is about what is there.

What deck?

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