Backyard Remodel 2009 Backyard Remodel in September 2009

Backyard Remodel in September 2009

In September 2009 we did another remodel to the backyard. The first remodel of the backyard involved putting in pavers, BBQ gas grill and a large table with chairs. This remodel replaced the 1985 120V electric spa with a new modern 220V electric spa with a lot of features. To give the spa a more built-in look we surrounded the spa with a stone facade and put in an extensive fire pit.

Old Spa

The old spa came with the house when George bought it in 1990. The Gazebo wood was getting rotten and George was tired of spending a lot of money every few years keeping it up. In addition the gazebo occupied too much space and made it so you could not see the stars when in the spa. George did not like the Gazebo. With the current design we can sit in the spa with the lights off and watch the stars as George has done with all the spas he has had in the past.

Removal of Gazebo

George got out his chain saw and went after the gazebo. In two days he cut all the wood that made up the Gazebo into 2 foot long chunks for our fireplace. We will not need more fire wood for at least two years. The firepit will use nice avocado wood we purchase from our vendor.

Our backyard goes back about 12 more feet up the hill. George debated putting in a small lap pool with in ground spa but decided against it because of cost and losing some of our nice green hill. But truth be known, being old and lazy had a lot to do with it too.

Out with Old Spa

You probably did not know Spas could fly. Well they can with the help of a crane. The little old spa removal was no problem. The big new spa install was scary. The crane was too small to cover the distance for the heavy new spa and everybody held their breath.

Our New Spa, Sideways

Our new spa weighed about twice the old spa. So the crane could not make it all the way to the backyard. So we cheated by only going to the side yard (and at that the crane beam bent like a pretzel). Since the side yard is not very wide we had to bring in the spa sideways and dolly it over to the block wall area.

George and Marguerite, being brave property owners at the time, were in the house while this was going on having a stiff drink.


Our backyard renovation included adding a high tech spa, a walled entertainment center for the spa and a fire pit, upgrading the grill stone to match the new wall stone, and adding drains. All together about $18,000 and one month's worth of work.

Backyard, North Looking South

This is our little (old people like the word little) backyard looking south from the nothern most point. To the right are some chairs for the Margueritie outside reading room, then on the left is our fountain, then the new spa, then the fire pit/conversation area, then the outside dinning table, then the grill. Our lot actually goes up the hill behind the white fence but we don't want more to take care of plus we like the green privacy feel.

Backyard, Middle Looking North

Standing on the stairs to the spa, looking north, we can see the spa cover, the fountain, the Margueritie outside reading room, and the entrance to the dog pens.

Backyard, Middle Looking South

Standing on the stairs to the spa, looking south, we can see the fire pit, a little of the outside dinning table, the BBQ grill, and the lounge chairs on the southern end of the backyard.

Flash Forward: Christmas Open House

This photo shows the patio ready for our Christmas Open House a few weeks before Christmas. The next photo below shows the Christening of the Patio Pary. We discovered some logistics problems so by the Christmas party we had good guest flow on our patio. Key is you have to have the bar where people will not congragate and block flow of traffic. We have a lot of "stuff" in our small home and small backyard so with a party with over 80 people we can have logistics problems.

Flash Back: Patio Christening Party

Our first backyard party, using the remodelled backyard, was on October 18, 2009. It was a great success given none of the walls fell down, the spa remained functional, and nobody caught fire at the fire pit. Much booze and food was consumed by all.

Snapshots of the Backyard Christening Party

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