Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Yard Layout

Progress is being made… at least in my head.

This time, the area is in the yard. I’ve had several ideas floating around. I’d only be happy with parts of it and still tweaking the parts that needed work. Now I can say that I am 95% confident and happy with the layout.

Yard Layout Only - Final

Our lot is a corner lot facing East. Part of designing the house was to utilize the corner lot and no neighbor next to us. We can't have a forward facing garage, and I liked the idea of a garage on the back side of the house with a driveway on the side. Between designs, the garage always stayed the same. Even when I looked at other floor plans, I only considered garages on the back of the house.

I created my own yard layout months ago and played around with placement of trees and bushes.Each time I came up with a new floor plan, I would create a yard layout with it. I wanted to see how much space I had for things. However, the measurements were off. I made my house smaller than it really was in comparison to the lot.

I then exploded the floorplan on the lot to see what it might look like. All this wasn’t to scale like I needed it to be. The old floor plan is shown in the photo below. I toyed around with having a circular drive.

The neighborhood has rules for placement of a house on a lot. My street has a different rule than other streets. Our lot is a corner lot, so there are additional rules to that, too. Now before everyone chokes on the amount of rules, I am not one to complain. I like the rules because they make you think. Yes, if I were out in the country I could do what I want and perhaps regret the decision later. The rules help me not have regrets. Since we are a corner lot, Rule #1 is that the house has to be at least 20 feet from the street, on both street fronts. The other two lot lines, require the house be a minimum of seven feet away.

So, my original thought was to have the back of the garage seven feet away from the back lot line. The new builder caught this immediately and said there was a city ordinance about how far your house should be from the back lot line. The city requires the house to be twenty-five feet away from the back lot line.  I thought I knew my neighborhood rules, but the city rules trump the neighborhood. However, if the neighborhood required the house be 40 feet away, then the neighborhood rule wins.  The city just wants their minimum met.

I was a little upset at this finding. It meant my front porch would be closer to the road than I had planned. I was losing 18 feet in my front yard. However, I liked that it made my backyard bigger!

Large Front Yard Space

Planning a yard layout is very fun for me. I sit and stare at a blank piece of paper for hours. True story. It’s all about creating views. And the first thing I do is come up with flowerbed borders. I don’t worry about the plants. Some plants I do have in mind, but I don’t stress about the variety early on.

cozy front yard

I’m just happy with the layout finally. The side door was giving me trouble. I wanted to create a cool visual when you walk up to it and from the street. Also, the view from inside matters, too.

non-traditional sidewalk design
Side Porch

Most areas have plants selected for them, but there are a lot of bare areas, mostly in the back yard. I keep telling Mr. JCrew that I can’t make plant selections until the framing is up. I need to see the views from inside the house. Is there something I want to block? Is there a focal point out a window? When I designed the house, I focused on creating views in the back yard. Our last back yard was beautiful, but you could only see a sliver from the kitchen and some from the master bedroom. I wanted everyone to be able to enjoy the view.

corner lot landscape

Having this layout will help our builder. He knows where to lay sod and not. We used this same method on my parents’ house. I can plant the plants I am certain of and pass inspection (by the HOA) but still have room to grow and add each year.

That’s the part I’m excited about. I have flowerbeds prepared and can get to them one by one and that be my project!

Building / designing a house for someone else intimidates me because I know styles are different. But designing a yard for someone is exciting. I think I could do that all day.

I'm excited to start working in a new yard. The planning has been fun, but I am ready to execute!


  1. Awesome! You can do EVERYTHING!

    1. I TRY everything. I should post more of my bloopers. :)


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