You can't plan for everything but, be as prepared as time allows

Our Previous patio - we wanted the same outdoor room feeling but now we had a hot sunny southern exposure to manage.

The Acacia tree - huge, aging, beautiful. How could we best us this asset of the site.

The orignal back patio couldn't be save from demo but it could be re-used.

How can we manage all the waste from this remodel? Can we divert 95% from the landfill.

The Planning for PDR started in December of 2005 - construction didn't start until December 2006 and the project finished in September of 2007.

How Much Time do we need for Planning ?

We spent one year planning and I still felt like I did not get enough time to properly plan. I could have used another 6-12 months, but that might just be me ... What is important to internalize is that once demolition/construction starts everything happens "quick" if only because there are so many decisions to be made. Spend the time in advance to think, plan and design the elements that are most important to you. Discuss these early with your architect and contractor.


Below are a some of the big picture issues that we wanted to think thru:

  • Challenges to Sustainable Construction
  • "Model" Green Options
  • Construction / Demolition Goals


Sometimes what we see as a "problem" really is a solution. For example, the aging Acacia tree was nearing the end of its "safe" life - they tend to fall over as they get older and weaker. We decided to make the best use of what we now saw as an asset. We used the leaves and small branches as mulch for the very clay soils and milled the trunk and largest branches into the wood for all our cabinets, bookshelves and bar top.

The beautiful back patio tile job couldn't be integrated into the new design so we had them cut into 2' X 1' blocks and made a bench seat in the back yard and used much of the demo'd concrete to help landscape the back yard.

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