Outdoor Renovations

A backyard renovation on a bite-sized budget

A bare patch of grass goes from drab to fab in one weekend

Thanks to a lick of paint, some fresh blooms and an easy-to-build DIY deck, this backyard was transformed.

Backyard renovation
(Credit: Hayden Vale)

Why renovate?

The backyard stood bare and unused in this sprawling suburban home in Sydney’s north shore. The eyesore clothesline and drab outlook were the main reasons why this family tended to entertain indoors.

What happened?

1. First, the team dug into the earth around the clothesline, using a pick to break the concrete block into small pieces. After they’d removed the clothesline, they focused their attention on creating a small entertaining deck to help demarcate the large space.

2. Galvanised post stirrups, secured in place with concrete pad footings, hold horizontal joists of treated timber from Bunnings Warehouse. “We fixed fibro-cement sheeting over the timber joists to create a level platform for the tiles,” says stylist Lesiele Hailame. : Magica ‘Perlato’ glazed porcelain tiles from Living Tiles were laid over the timber to create a sleek, streamlined surface cover. “This was the cheapest way to lay the tiles without putting down a concrete slab.”

3. The rotting lattice that fringed the house was replaced by primed timber battens, nailed in place and supported at the back by leftover deck timber. 

4. The new lattice fence was painted in Dulux Vivid White to match the already-white window panels and plantation shutters, says stylist Lesiele. “The exposed bricks outside the garage were revitalised with a coat of Dulux Grey Pebble, which creates a muted background for the colourful plants.”

Backyard renovation
(Credit: Hayden Vale)

5. To add a dash of much-needed greenery in this area, the team removed the top layer of soil, added Organix compost and covered the newly formed flowerbeds with Richgro pinebark chips. Japanese Box was planted in front of the new battening, while roses and heady lavender brighten up the otherwise dull garage wall.

Backyard renovation
(Credit: Hayden Vale)

6. Comfy chairs are a necessity on the contemporary deck. The ‘Newport’ outdoor setting for Patio by Jamie Durie imparts a modern beachy feel to the deck, while gorgeous green cushions from My Island Home add a pop of audacious colour.

7. A collection of coastal tableware from My Island Home completes the look.

Renovation materials:

Decking: Four 3.6m x 70mm x 45mm treated pine joists; four galvanised post stirrups; four 20kg-bag Rapidset concrete; two 2400 x 450mm fibro cement sheets, all from bunnings.com.au. Magica ‘Perlato’ Italian glazed porcelain tiles, livingtiles.com.au

Plants: Four 40-litre bags of Richgro pinebark chips, and four 30-litre bags of Organix compost, from bunnings.com.au. Four standard Roses; four Lavender; four Japanese Box, all from Sherringham’s Nursery. Visit anlscape.com.au

Lattice: Eleven 5.4m x 66mm x 18mm primed pine battens, from bunnings.com.au

Paint: Dulux Weathershield in Vivid White, and in Grey Pebble. Visit dulux.com.au

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