I spent most of my life living in “flat” areas – first on my grandmother’s farm in Poland as a child, then in Chicago through my early 20s. An unexpected move to Atlanta changed all that, and we managed to find our perfect home in the city of Mountain Park. Our house is literally built into a hill, with two sides of our main living area left windowless.
As new home owners, we did not fully understand or appreciate the issues involved with living on a hilly, wooded lot. We quickly learned about erosion and dug a lot of ditches to bury drainage tubes. We also quickly realized that we did not have the typical backyard. Our outdoor living space was a concrete patio the builder had put in. The patio was not large. Growing grass on the few flat areas we had was not a possibility due to the towering shade trees and uneven terrain.
Determined to make it work we contacted local landscapers. We received an absurd quote of over 20K from a landscaper to terrace and level out the yard. Needless to say, we did not have an extra $20,000 sitting around. So we took matters into our own hands (OK, OK, into my husband’s hands, he gets the full credit!!). Our solution? A custom deck, built into the hill.
This beauty took Adam a good several years to finally complete on the weekends and weeknights. I believe we started in 2004 and finally finished in 2008. The end result? It nearly doubled our usable backyard space. We eat there. We relax there. We bird watch there. The deck flows downward in stages to accommodate the land and I love that this is a structure that adds both value and function to our property. I dug up these old in-progress photos to show you the transformation of the sloped backyard.