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Old 04-10-2015, 08:46 AM   #1
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Backyard Phase 2: Patio or Screen Porch or Deck?


Wife and I are starting to play with ideas for what to do with "phase 2" of our backyard improvement plan.

This was what the area outside our back door looked like when we bought the place in 2012. The yard sloped towards the house, and any significant rain would pool against the foundation and get into the crawlspace. It was also devoid of any real outdoor living space.


To correct those problems, in 2013 we built a retaining wall 20' off the back of the house, graded everything away from the house, and added some catch basins to collect and redirect the water that ends up there. We just did a mulch layer over the excavation area because we were out of money. This was Phase 1, since we knew we'd be doing additional improvement later.




We are now starting to think about how we'd like to improve the space further. We use the back door shown as our "primary" door since it's right off the driveway and enters into the open floorplan living room and kitchen.

My initial plan was to do a paver or stone patio. Cons with this would be excavating more dirt for the base (I really hate dealing with piles of dirt). I also worry it might just feel like a parking lot or something, since the area is ~800 square feet.

My wife would absolutely love a screen porch back there. This is in GA, so we get mosquitoes. In either situation considered below, I think we'd so something like this:
http://www.familyhandyman.com/garden...ction/view-all


The way the roof lines work out, the only real options for a screen porch location would be to extend one of the gabled roof sections (above the door, or above the double window) back towards the wall. Here is a rough sketch, shown building off the "door" section. The other option would be the same thing on the "window" section. Either option ends up being about 12x18.


I'm torn on which location makes the most sense, which is what I'm mainly needing help considering.

Building off the door section:

- Direct access from inside (pro)
- creates an outdoor extension of living room with french doors opened up (pro)
-Existing electrical for outlets and lights already exists on outside of house.
- Might make living room feel darker because of less light through the french doors (con)
- Need a door from the driveway, and a door to the remaining section of "patio", which eats into useable floor space (con).
- one more door to deal with when your arms are full of kids/groceries going to and from the cars (con).
- might make the remaining patio area feel like a "pit" and block most of the sun, since it'll have the porch one side, the house on another, and the retaining wall on the remaining two sides.

Building off the window section:

- No need to remove entryway awning or modify siding (pro)
- Only one door required, freeing up floor space (pro)
- Maintains sunlight into living room and remaining patio section (pro . . .the two windows are the master bedroom)
- One less door to deal with entering/exiting frequently.
- Essentially a detached structure with no interior access points (con)
- No nearby electrical that can be used.

So, any thoughts or ideas would be much appreciated! Is the screen porch worth the extra complication? Should we just do pavers and move on with life?

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Last edited by red92s; 04-10-2015 at 09:09 AM.
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Old 04-11-2015, 03:12 AM   #2
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Backyard Phase 2: Patio or Screen Porch or Deck?


A little air circulation via ceiling fan and the screen porches can be awesome if you like eating al fresco.

Not sure about the door layout and impacts.

You okay with cutting in the extra door?

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Old 04-11-2015, 09:34 PM   #3
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Backyard Phase 2: Patio or Screen Porch or Deck?


If it were my house putting the screen porch off the master bedroom would not even be considered. Unless you never plan on having guests use it having it's only interior access from the master bedroom makes absolutely no sense.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:15 AM   #4
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Backyard Phase 2: Patio or Screen Porch or Deck?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Msradell View Post
If it were my house putting the screen porch off the master bedroom would not even be considered. Unless you never plan on having guests use it having it's only interior access from the master bedroom makes absolutely no sense.
If we built it off the bedroom, it wouldn't have interior access.
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