With the lot size, side-yard setback, outdoor staircase and lap pool setting rigid boundaries for the porch addition, Home ReBuilders had to accomplish a lot in a tightly constrained area. The kitchen equipment is efficiently configured to provide a food preparation area that meets the owners’ needs without being excessive. The remainder of the covered porch easily accommodates a long dining table with six chairs. Additional seating is located beneath the new arbor, which provides much-needed shading for the nearby windows while creating a visual bridge between the outdoor kitchen and the mudroom addition.
Hardscaping throughout the backyard was redone
or added to create comfortable transitions and clear pathways between spaces. The porch addition includes three sets of steps: one leads from the food-preparation and dining
areas to the side yard where the trash bins are located (making cleanup a breeze); a second set of steps provides access from the porch to the pool via the patio; and the third set connects the mudroom addition to the detached garage and driveway at the back of the corner lot.
“Because most of the lawn was being eliminated, we decided to add some greenery by planting mini mondo grass between the patio pavers,” Southwick says. This provides a soft transition between the porch and pool—from visual and tactile standpoints—because mini mondo is hearty, dense and “fluffy for the feet.” It also requires very little maintenance because it remains 3- to 4-inches tall without needing to be mowed.
The design also features multiple lighting sources that were selected for functional, aesthetic and practical reasons. Recessed cans are carefully positioned over the outdoor kitchen’s countertop to reduce shadows. Mini spotlights with a copper finish illuminate the perimeter of the porch, providing ambient illumination and accentuating architectural details, such as the v-groove wood ceiling. Column-mounted lanterns light gathering areas and the steps that lead to the pool. All of the fixtures use standard bulbs, so the homeowners can easily find replacements at the local hardware store.
The variety of materials, textures and equipment needed to accomplish this project made precise execution and fine craftsmanship absolutely essential during each step of the phased construction process.
“The clients had high expectations,” Southwick says. “They wanted a good, quality design and our job was to make it happen. This was a complex puzzle that required a big collaborative effort. All the planning was completed in advance. A lot of the work on the pool was concurrent with ours. The pool contractor dug the pool at the same time we dug the foundations. The concrete work happened about the same time, as well. Then the finishing pool work dovetailed with ours.”
“We are happy with the fit and flow of the spaces,” Southwick notes. “Most importantly, the homeowners are thrilled. They invited the entire neighborhood over for a fourth of July party after the construction was finished.”
“They’ve already hired us to complete another project,” Bartlett adds. “What matters most to us is the good relationship we’ve developed with the homeowners. With 30 years of experience working in the Atlanta Metro Area, we know happy clients and continued patronage are the real measures of success.”
Fast Facts 2010 Master Design Awards Outdoor Living Silver Winner
- Location: Atlanta
- Remodeler: Home ReBuilders, Atlanta, www.homerebuilders.com
- Bill Bartlett, president/owner/account manager
- Donna Southwick, architect
- Lisa Grisham and Kim Wingard, designers
- Andy Tolley, project manager
- Landscaper: Poulos Lawn Service, Decatur, Ga., (404) 325-7603
- Pool contractor: Artistic Pools Inc., Atlanta, www.artisticpools.com