Renovations from PoPville – Backyard

Thanks to a reader for sending in his great backyard renovation:

“All in all, costs for the backyard came in around around $33-$35K (yikes, I know). The deck material is what really drove up the cost. We chose to use Ipe wood decking which was quite pricey, but weathers and last much longer than conventional decking material.”

If you have a renovation you’d be willing to share please send a few photos (preferably before and after) and include a few details about the project including cost to – princeofpetworth(at)gmail


43 Comment

  • novadancer

    nice, I like the lights on the top of the fence.

    I would suspect the roll-up garage door ate up a significant portion of your costs too (9-10k).

    • I had no idea how expensive those roll up doors were until I checked some prices out of curiosity. Then I thought, nah I’m good with an open space there.

  • Does anyone know what those parking pad roll-up doors cost? (and for that matter, what they’re actually called?)

    • They are called roll-up doors. novadance has the price about right. Depending on size, they are around 10k. We got ours from N. Pooner & Sons 10 years ago. They guaranteed the door for 20 years. Our door is still going strong. The few times we’ve needed maintenance (because we screwed something up), one of the Pooners came out immediately.

  • looks great, maybe it’ll convince the neighbors to fix up their place….

  • Looks tight. Thanks for sharing the pricing.

    To the OP: Did you do the work yourself or hire a contractor? How long did the project take? Also, if used a contractor, please share their info.

  • Looks great, I really like the dark stain on the deck…

  • Very nice!

    Does anyone have a good method of cleaning cushions like those? I have some that are the same color, and after two years of being outside they’re looking a little dingy. Last year I scrubbed them with baking soda and mild soap before packing them up for the winter, but I didn’t really get the dirt out.

  • Amazing transformation. Conspicuous absence of green space though…

    • They can easily add lots of potted plants, planters, and hanging boxes in the backyard to give it a greener feel. That said, they’re facing an ugly alley and it seems the owners wanted a functional space for parking, grilling and entertaining. There’s not exactly a lot of space for a Garden of Eden.

  • Nice work. You will at least make back the cost of this, not counting reduced maintenance and your enjoyment.

  • haha to that price. i would expect to use gold brick for that amount. shouldn’t cost more than 15k all told, including the patio furniture.

    • Please invite me to live in your alternate universe. It sounds so nice.

    • not sure you know what you are talking about… since you didn’t do this renovation. but hey… at least your confident.

    • $15K would be low, given that the roller door would be ~$10K and the deck alone certainly more than $5,000. I am surprised it was this much though, and I have had to pay for a lot of renovations. Somewhere in the $20K-$25K range sounds more like it. I’m not sure how they reached that amount but maybe there was more grading/drainage work than is readily apparent here.

      • That’s pretty much what I said… something in the $20K-$25K range. From the information given I’d agree they overpaid but there may have been more work that we don’t know about.

        I don’t see how somebody could have this amount of work done for $15,000 though.

  • how much did it cost for the security system shown in the last photo?

  • Not to rain on a nice job, but . . .

    for anyone interested in helping the Chesapeake basin’s problem with stormwater runoff, there are a lot of good programs & ideas in Washington DC on rain gardens, permeable paving, rain barrels, trees and vegetation. The pictures above are great examples of what not to do.

    • This was my point from above but spelled out more directly.

    • Thanks for all of the comments … good and constructive. A few points:
      1) the ground cover is semi-permeable – this was a concern of ours as the original yard was all concrete and we did not want to contribute to DC’s runoff
      2) we hired a contractor – happy to provide his info, please go through PoP
      3) project took quite a while (5 months) due to encroachment issues on both sides of our property (see a previous PoP post from earlier this year), weather, and delivery of material – price did not include surveying costs
      4) pricing will vary based on material and space – believe it or not, the decking material was the most expensive material
      5) the stain is actually the wood’s natural color with a little help from an oil treatment – wood is very dense, does not mark, and is incredibly smooth
      6) plants are on the way!!
      7) we picked up the lights at Home Depot (on sale!) and also not included in the original cost. We are waiting for our final delivery, copper post covers for the deck and fence end posts
      8) Gabi is not for sale, but we are willing to lease her out for all your security and shedding requirements
      9) we are located in Shaw

  • What neighborhood is this in? Looks like Park View/Petworth

  • who was your contractor?

  • Nice job. The stormwater concern is real but there are ways this could have been done – perhaps it was? – with more permeable surfaces. In any case, the investment will be well worth it. I redid my deck. It costs a lot (about $8k) but my wife and I are out there all the time and get so much satisfaction out of it.

    We also used ipe for our railings and posts (deck is treks). We tried so hard to source it from a sustainable/FSC dealer but we needed such a tiny amount that it didn’t work out. It’s great wood. If anyone knows of a good dealer of sustainably sourced wood for small jobs please pass it along.

  • T

    Nice deck. I’m starting on an Ipe deck this spring — can’t wait!

    What type of wood is the fence?

  • Is that one fence on the deck legal? Or did you have to get a variance for it?

  • You need to plant a tree, preferably a native one. Not only will you get shade and cleaner air, but also help store carbon, help wildlife, and and water drainage.

  • I did the permit myself and got the door from buydoorsdirect and installed it myself for less than 5K. All you need is electric run to the door and it’s not that hard.

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