Building a Family-Friendly Backyard in North Shore, Auckland

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Transforming this landscape resulted in safer structures, minimalist planting, spacious new decking, and a family-friendly play area.

Transforming this landscape resulted in safer structures, minimalist planting, spacious new decking, and a family-friendly play area.

Before After
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The Initial Consultation

Trying to take in views of Oneoneroa Bay and neighbouring Takapuna from this North Shore property’s deck was nothing short of frustrating for the owners. Overgrown ivy and large mature plants also made the garden feel messy and congested. 

The home itself has wonderful indoor-outdoor flow, so homeowner Tristan decided the time had come to take back control of his property. He reached out to Zones Landscaping and was connected with local North Shore Landscape Consultant Richard Burge.

During their initial consultation, Tristan explained his two main goals: replace and extend the old deck and make the backyard safe for his young son to play. Taking these priorities into consideration, Richard got to work creating a plan. 

Adjusting the Scope for an Accurate Quote

Developing a design that worked with Tristan’s proposed budget of $30,000 took a few rounds and some compromise. The first concept had everything on Tristan’s wish list, including large trees and foliage, but came to $50,000 - beyond Tristan’s budget.

A redesign, which encompassed alternative materials and doing away with big plantings, was closer to Tristan’s budget, but he wanted to add a larger staircase and extended patio. After incorporating these requests into the design, Richard provided an estimate of $36,000, at which point Tristan was happy to move forward. 

Restoring the Landscape

Richard assembled a crew from his trusted network of landscaping professionals. They started with demolition and excavation work to remove the old pavers, stairs, decking, fencing, and plants. Levelling the landscape to create a more usable layout was part of the preparatory work. 

The original plan was to install new timber deck skirting, but during demolition the contractors deemed the subframe to be structurally unsound. This required a rebuild which caused delays, but Tristan was understanding. Creating a safer space was one of his top priorities, so time spent restoring the structural integrity of the subframe was well spent.    

Subsequent work went smoothly. The crew completed the deck, installed concrete pathways, laid mulch, and finished the low profile retaining walls to ensure the newly levelled landscape remains intact and supported. 

A Safe and Serene Backyard

Seamlessly blending the deck and skirting with minimal use of joinery has created beautiful clean lines, while a hatch door ensures ample underdeck storage is accessible. 

Painting the railings white to match the home’s exterior while leaving the deck and skirting natural, has created a subtle contrast, differentiating the spaces without losing the area’s cohesiveness.

Tristan’s request to make the yard safer for his son to play has been achieved with a concrete slab pathway, surpassing the original hazardous pavers. The railing bordering the deck and new staircases are appropriate for the fall height, further ensuring the safety of Tristan’s family and all completed with a contemporary style.

Final Words

Richard and the crew delivered an outstanding backyard transformation. The new layout better serves the property and enhances the home’s exterior rather than competing with it. The deck is now an ideal spot for Tristan to relax, take in views of the bay, and watch his son run around without worry.

Would you like to discuss your landscaping ideas?

Get in touch for a free consultation with your local Landscaping Consultant.

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This project was completed in
March 2022
Project description
Transforming this landscape resulted in safer structures, minimalist planting, spacious new decking, and a family-friendly play
Auckland Central
New Zealand
Project duration
5 months
Cost estimate
Actual cost
Unstable subframe
Interesting aspects
Timber deck skirting with minimal joinery
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Richard Burge is Landscaping Consultant of Burge Landscaping Ltd, a franchisee of Zones Outdoor Renovations Ltd, doing business in North Shore.

Actual costs vary by project. Plan ahead to reduce the impact of industry changes or disruptions. For more information see here.

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