DIY: Before & After Backyard Makeover

Published on 1 April 2024 at 15:38

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When my husband and I were house-hunting, a pool and a back yard big enough to create an outdoor living space were at the top of our "must have" list.  The amazing Florida weather allows us to spend time outside all year long, so it was important to us to have a fun and inviting pool area where we could host friends and family.  We did not have a big budget to invest in this project, so we knew that creating the ideal space would be a DIY effort.  We just needed some good bones to work with.  When we found this house with a pool AND an RV pad in the backyard, we immediately knew that big slab of concrete would be the foundation of our future poolside retreat.  So, we bought the house, and the journey began.  This post will take you through the steps of transforming this humble parking spot into what is now our favorite part of our home.

Before Pictures

Designing the Dream

The visionary behind this project was none other than my husband, who skillfully crafted the plans for the poolside retreat. Drawing on both functionality and aesthetics, he conceptualized a space that seamlessly blends relaxation with outdoor living.  With the foundation being the RV pad, he was able to save a huge chunk of change by not having to excavate, level the ground and fill it in with pavers or cement. He wanted the structure to be as sturdy as possible so that it could withstand hurricane winds that our area is often subject to.  The supporting posts and cross beams are 6 x 6 pressure treated pine.  The roof beams are 4 x 6 pressure treated pine, and the roof itself is galvanized metal.

Building with Passion

The construction phase was a labor of love, as my husband and our friends dedicated weekends to the task. From laying the foundation to erecting the structure, their craftsmanship brought the dream closer to realization. The collaborative effort not only strengthened friendships but also ensured that every nail and board was placed with care and precision.

Bringing it to Life

With the structure standing proudly in the backyard, it was my turn to go to work.  I knew that I wanted lights, a fireplace, comfortable seating for friends and LOTS of flowers.   A pivotal decision in the design process was the choice to use shade screens instead of enclosing the structure. These screens serve a dual purpose, providing much-needed shade to combat the Florida sun while allowing a gentle breeze to permeate the space. The result is a retreat that feels open and connected to nature, with the added benefit of privacy.

In typical man-fashion, my husband's only input on the patio was having a cooler to keep his beer accessible and cold.  Always budget conscious, he found a website during the Covid shutdown that was selling restaurant and bar appliances for pennies on the dollar.  He got a steal on a double door Perlick refrigerator/cooler which has made him and many other of his beer drinking friends very happy.  I have to admit, I kind of like it too.

And the Dream Becomes Reality

The transformation of the RV pad into a poolside retreat stands as a testament to creativity, collaboration, and a shared commitment to turning dreams into reality. From the initial design sketches to the final touches of furniture and plants, each element contributes to the welcoming atmosphere of this cozy haven. This DIY project not only added value to the property but also created a space where cherished memories are made, reminding us that sometimes, the most extraordinary transformations happen in our own backyard.

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