Rather than flattening a sloped corner of their backyard, the owners of this Bateman abode embraced it as a design challenge, fashioning a uniquely dimensional design. The property has served the Hay family well who bought it in 1994, eventually knocked down the existing home, built a new one and then completed a renovation in 2013.
Owner Scott Hay said he, wife Sally and their two daughters, who were growing up fast, had weighed up the options of building a second storey or relocating but they didn’t want to leave their beloved home.
“The main trigger for the renovation was that our two kids were rapidly growing up and along with our entertainment lifestyle, we needed a more productive entertaining area and outdoor living space that we could all expand into,” Mr Hay said. The existing backyard included a big kidney-shaped pool, which took up a majority of the yard and sat very close to the home, along with a small Colorbond alfresco area that wasn’t big enough for entertaining. “The existing fences were all asbestos and there was a sloping grassed area in the top right hand side,” Mr Hay said. The family’s brief sounded simple enough – for a large undercover entertaining area and a small plunge pool that would be easy to maintain – but the project, which took longer than a year to complete, was a joint effort between several outdoor specialists.
Newforms Landscape Architecture designed the space, which includes zoned alfresco, grassed, deck and pool areas that work just as well alone as they do in the bigger picture.
Greenbuilt Construction carried out the building works including the retaining walls, alfresco area, decking and planter boxes. Stuart Green from Greenbuilt is a personal friend of Sally’s and mine and, to be honest, the project wouldn’t have been completed without his hard work, dedication and his desire to work with us every step of the way both from a budgetary sense and in the ground on site,” Mr Hay said.
The natural stone and mahogany timber for the decking was supplied by Eco Outdoor as Barrier Reef Pools mastered the elevated pool works.
“We really wanted the pool area to still form part of the entertaining area and as we had a naturally sloping block it lent itself to utilising the retaining walls to meet the pool fence requirements allowing people in the pool to still feel a part of the entertaining space,” Mr Hay said.
“Likewise people in the entertaining space can walk up to the pool edge and engage in conversation without getting wet.” Barrier Reef Pools director Brad Hilbert said the pool had to be installed over five stages to work in with the construction of the retaining wall, which is less than 300mm from the inside of the water line.
The company’s 5.5m by 3.5m plunge pool was the perfect choice for the area.
“The plunge pool has a generous swimming area and spa bench to sit and relax on,” Mr Hilbert said.
Finished in a UV resistant Royal Blue Shimmer, the pool interior glows against the rebated bluestone capping, which folds down the encase the retaining walls.
The pool blanket is concealed inside the in-ground blanket box.
Mr Hilbert said the tight space in the pool zone meant there was no other choice than a pool blanket box, which hides the equipment out of sight for a seamless flow onto the adjoining deck.
“It’s not common for clients to have their whole pool area raised above their alfresco area and house,” he said. “It gives a very different dimension to the whole area that is unique yet glamorous.”
Barrier Reef Pools’ Mandurah display centre provided the inspiration for the backyard’s colour palette, The Hays replicating the centre’s natural stone on the water feature wall that rises above the head of the pool. Its earthy tones tie in with the modern greys and warmth of the timber.
“We selected the mahogany decking timber after visiting many display centres through summer and testing different materials under foot in the heat of the day,” Mr Hay said.
Holcim Magnolia exposed aggregate flooring lines the 54sqm alfresco area, which is now housed under a pitched roof with cedar-lining ceiling.
The outdoor kitchen encourages entertaining with practical stainless-steel bench tops and a built-in dining space.
There was limited access into the backyard, which proved the biggest challenge for the project, however a large opening was cut into the rear of the garage to ferry materials through.
“We also needed to remove the existing pool shell, which was done with a crane from the street and we then dropped the new soak wells into the old pool hole,” Mr Hay said.
Although the project took 14 months to complete, thanks to intricate scheduling and stepped construction, the finished product was worth the wait.
“We can entertain large numbers, small intimate numbers or can sit out and eat a meal on a balmy summer night just the four of us,” Mr Hay said.
“Through the summer months we cooked outside just about every night, and surprisingly even now in the winter we still use the outdoor kitchen quite regularly.
“We find the kids use the pool much more as it is smaller and easier for them to manage the pool cover; I like the maintenance aspects as I’m not cleaning it weekly and essentially it runs itself.”
“It is our dream backyard and entertaining space.”
With three display centres around Perth, there is always someone close by to answer any questions you have on our fibreglass pools and to show you our extensive range of pools.