Small Area - Terrace Renovation

Bethesda, MD

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About a year ago, our client located up in Bethesda, MD contacted us to look at a smaller side yard terrace area within their overall corner lot parcel.  The existing conditions reflected:

  • a failing CMU block retaining wall, which was built ad-hock by previous property owner, with no internal structural reinforcing, or wall footings
  • cramped and failing corner entrance step system at northeast corner of terrace
  • a disorganized menagerie of home utilities and cable wires cramped and cobbled together within an existing AC unit niche located at the center of one of the home’s most visible building elevations
  • poor sheet-flow and drainage of AC unit / bay window area, stemming from roof gutter and down-spout system backup that needed to be both cleaned out a remedied by upgrade of drain mechanisms as well as partial re-direction of drain action (poor drainage condition was causing basement level water condition & moisture at adjacent foundation wall)
  • a miss-matched poor selection and placement of oversized tree & shrub plantings that were cramping and eating into usable yard footprint, as well as side yard entrance access

Through iterative step design collaboration with project client and the exquisite work of our select landscape build contractor, KBLA was able to accomplish and offer the following:

  • re-establish side yard footprint @ approximate same square footage, with the classic beauty of a low-tech semi-dry stack stone knee wall @ half the height of the old failing retaining wall and with strategic designed re-grading / expansion of side yard footprint to the east
  • re-organize, screen & clean up AC unit area utilities and footprint
  • positive drainage condition and remedy of prior AC unit area water condition, with design implementation of proposed under-drain system, as well as clean-out / re-association of existing to remain roof-top water shed downspouts to existing water infiltration mechanisms
  • re-establish and maximize a more usable turf area plateau/footprint for outdoor recreation
  • remove old step alignment and re-center new step system on centerline of terrace for more formalized sense of entrance and ease in access transition
  • new planting footprint accentuates & compliments formal qualities of new terrace hardscape, as well as reinforces/stabilizes designed grade adjustments
  • plant pallet offers seasonal color & texture throughout the year with a collection of evergreen & deciduous shrubs & ground covers
  • enhance overall property building elevation
Early post-installation - fall 2017

Early post-installation - fall 2017

Early post-installation - fall 2017

Early post-installation - fall 2017

Early post-installation - fall 2017.  proposed ground covers are projected to fill in mulch gaps in-between plantings and provide anti-erosion root mat (what you see is an even mix of: catmint, toadflax, creeping jenny, creeping phlox, candytuft, stonecrop, lithodoro & creeping thyme)

Early post-installation - fall 2017.  proposed ground covers are projected to fill in mulch gaps in-between plantings and provide anti-erosion root mat (what you see is an even mix of: catmint, toadflax, creeping jenny, creeping phlox, candytuft, stonecrop, lithodoro & creeping thyme)

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Early post-installation - fall 2017

Early post-installation - fall 2017

Early post-installation - fall 2017

Early post-installation - fall 2017

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Preliminary - refined concept plan

Preliminary - refined concept plan

 

Pre-Construction:

(Pre-construction - late 2016 / early 2017)

(Pre-construction - late 2016 / early 2017)

(Site Survey - Pre-construction - late 2016 / early 2017)

(Site Survey - Pre-construction - late 2016 / early 2017)

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