Project Spotlight: Portland Landscaping Company Creates Covered Patio Solution

April 22, 2015

Portland Patio Design Landscape East & WestThe rainy days in the Pacific Northwest are negligible when you take into account the beautiful spring, summer and fall weather that our area enjoys. As much as our clients in southwest Portland loved being outside, their old patio made it difficult to enjoy their outdoor living space during inclement weather. In summer 2014, Our Portland landscaping company transformed our clients’ patio and deck into a seamless all-weather outdoor living space.

The Project

The homeowners had two places to enjoy the outdoors in their Portland backyard space—a patio on the main level and a deck on the balcony of the second level. The homeowners wanted more room to enjoy the sun on the upstairs deck. At the same time, they wanted a modern outdoor space in their backyard that they could use throughout the year without getting wet.

The Challenges

The existing upper-level deck of the home provided our clients with limited space to enjoy sunny days. Plus, the upper deck only partially covered the backyard patio and, when it rained, water dripped through the deck boards. Since decks aren’t impermeable, our Portland landscaping team had to come up with a solution that caught rainwater, sent it to a gutter system and looked attractive.

Because of the deck’s height, we had to acquire special permits from the City of Portland. As my crew and I worked on this project, we worked closely with the city to make sure we met all of its requirements as well as our client’s needs. Our clients really wanted a finished looking space and not a haphazard add-on. Below we outline the solutions our Portland landscaping team provided the homeowners.

The Solutions

  • Replace the upper deck: The homeowners’ new deck was created with Legacy decking from TimberTech. The composite decking looks like lumber, has a hand-scraped surface, and is capped with a polymer shell that makes the material resistant to fading, scratches, stains and the elements. The color of the deck is called “Tigerwood,” which looks very natural because the product has color injected into it in a random pattern. The colors are all in the same family and this, combined with the hand-scraped surface, makes the product look more like hardwood.

Before Photo

Portland Landscaping Patio

After Photo

Portland Landscaping Patio Solution

  • Add warmth: Instead of using a railing made from the same material as the deck, the client chose a custom steel railing that the manufacture powder coated black. The top of the rails have natural cedar caps that are flat. The combination gives the space a warm feel and the caps provide an extra space to hold plates or drinks for entertaining out of doors.
  • Install an invisible drainage system under the deck: While there are several drainage systems that catch water under a deck and send it to a gutter, none of them are attractive. Our Portland landscaping company created a custom gutter solution that sends water to a gutter that we installed. Because the clients wanted the outdoor living area to look like a finished space and not an add-on, a tongue-in-groove wood ceiling over the patio covers the drainage system, which sends rainwater to a gutter that’s encased in cedar.
  • Improved lighting and sound: The new deck has recessed lighting in the tongue-and-groove ceiling and the seat walls contain lights for added ambiance and increased safety. The deck also has a new speaker system that connects to the stereo inside the home.

After Photo

Portland landscaping upper patio design

  • Build over and expand over the old patio in the backyard: To save the client on expenses, our team built over their existing patio to expand the space. Building over the old patio saved the expense of removing it and adding new gravel. We used Lafitt Rustic Slab concrete pavers from the Belgard Natural Collection, which look like natural stone. We used polymeric sand in between the pavers, which hardens and keeps the sand from being washed away, stops ants, and reduces weed growth.
  • Add decorative seat walls: To give the patio a cohesive look and create a transition, the outside ends of the patio have a short retaining wall, or seat walls, made from cultured stone, the same stone used for the new fire pit.

Before Photo

Portland Patio before new design

After Photo

Portland Patio Design

  • Outdoor warmth: The main seating area in the patio features a beautiful raised fire pit made from cultured stone and a cast concrete coping. The pit has a steel insert and crushed fire glass for a contemporary look.

After Photo

Portland Landscaping & Patio Design

  • Sufficient fuel: Landscape East & West hired a gas contractor to set up a gas line for the fire pit that was large enough to produce a significant flame. A lot of people have a gas line to their BBQ and they want to run it to their fire pit, but the gas line is too small to create a significant flame. We wanted to make sure our clients had the necessary hookups.

Did you see a solution that would be great in your landscaping? If so, contact the Portland landscapers at Landscape East & West to schedule a free in-home consultation.

Bjorn NordquistContributing author Bjorn Nordquist is the Sales Manager at Landscape East & West, Portland landscaping and design professionals. Learn more about Landscape East & West’s design/build services, including outdoor kitchens, pergolas, patio covers, and more.