Friday, January 4, 2008

Another Crazy Idea-Sunken Concrete Patio!

Turning Lemons into Lemonade in Grand Style!!

One of the things we didn't count on when doing this project was just how much the lot slopes from back to front. At the front the new slab will only be about a foot underground, while here in the back as the picture shows it's more like 3'!!! Yikes, we can't have our new door opening into a 3' tall dirt wall can we?
Here's what it looks like from inside the back room looking out into the back yard. We knew the back door was going to be below grade, just not this much. In the original contract with the concrete company they are going to excavate back 20', even with the sides of the house and re-pour the deck post footings so they will be at grade. We were thinking maybe 2' high walls....well, in the back they are going to be more like 3.5' walls!!! Yikes!!! Walls that tall are going to require a retaining wall.. we can't just have them make the cut and go away and get to it later - the walls will collapse and make a mess.

Here's what we've come up with! A big gorgeous sunken patio that Irene is calling our sunken living room. It'll have a stamped concrete floor (with drainage) to look like flagstones. We were not sure about how the stamped concrete would look but we saw an example on a house and it looked fine. We will use concrete stains to make it look like real stone. Along three sides of the patio we will have concrete benches. We would like some way to texture the benches so they don't look like concrete, but we don't know if they can be stamped like the patio? In the upper south-east corner we are going to plumb in a gas line for a fire pit that folks can sit around when it gets cold out. We also left space for a BBQ (which will also be plumbed with nat gas-yeah no more tanks to change!!)

Here's what the cross-section of the bench-retaining wall will look like. The seat is sloped for drainage, and the back and knee section will be sloped for comfort.
Here's the brilliant thing - the benches can be viewed as a two tier retaining wall (of odd shape for sure) that won't require permits!! Or a hand rail along the outside of the patio! The patio does not require permits either so we can do the whole thing without the city getting involved!!! Yahoo!!!! No paperwork, no fees!!!! and we'll have a super cool outdoor entertaining area for our most favorite BBQ parties!
So, what do y'all think? Great idea? Crazy idea?


Kitt said...

Start mixing those margaritas!

Aimee said...

Wow! It sounds like it will be a great fix to the problem. :)

decorative stamped concrete said...

Colors and patterns for stamped cement are often chosen to blend with other stone, tile or patterned concrete elements at the residence.

The MadScientist said...

I love these bizzarre spam comments!
Must be some sort of bot thing as the this decorative stamped concrete place is in Greece!!!
How funny!