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What You Can Expect If You Decide to Redesign Your Yard

Getting ready to add hardscapes, a retaining wall, or new grass to your backyard? Below you'll find a step-by-step guide showing what you can expect as the project gets underway.
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What You Can Expect If You Decide to Redesign Your Yard

It’s amazing how much a few modifications to your backyard can completely change the look and feel of your outdoor living space. If you’re thinking about making some changes to your backyard, here’s a project highlight that will offer up some details about exactly what you can expect from a backyard redesign. We completed this project recently, with the goal of taking a steep backyard and turning it into a highly usable area that’s perfect for entertaining and relaxing.


  • Notice the abundance of juniper bushes in this customer’s sloped backyard.
  • One complaint from the customer was the lack of yard. Their available entertaining space was one strip of lawn that was roughly 6 ft wide.
  • Our goal for this project was to remove the bushes, level out the slope and create a flat, more livable backyard space for this family.

Now, here’s a breakdown of how we tackled this project:

Step 1: Discuss the vision for the project
You have a basic idea about what you’d like your finished project to look like, but it’s important to sit down and get a clear shared vision before we begin any kind of work. Whether you’d like to add a retaining wall, grass, or a water feature, let’s chat about what, exactly, that looks like. We want to know what you like about your current yard and what you don’t like.

Step 2: Measure, create drawings, and provide a quote
Accuracy is our top priority, and for this reason it’s essential for us to measure, sketch up drawings, and offer our clients a quote before we proceed with any projects. We want you to know what to expect, and we want to be sure that the end results leave you proud to show off your backyard to your friends, family, and neighbors!

Step 3: Get approval
Of course, no work can begin without approval from your Homeowner’s Association. There’s nothing to take the wind out of an eager homeowner’s sails like learning a certain aspect of a project that can’t be permitted, so we get permission early on in the process. The same goes for getting city permits and engineers involved, as needed.

Step 4: Begin the job by staking the ground, spraying where features will be, and taking final measurements
This step allows us to ensure that the finished product looks exactly as you had envisioned it, with little need to go back and make modifications afterward.

Step 5: Excavate areas where retaining walls and bigger features will be
Of course, this varies based on the scope of the project we are completing, but it is a key step for clients who are anxious to add retaining walls, hardscapes, or water features to their property.

You can see with the backyard project we are highlighting that excavation, marking the retainer walls and back filling to create level tiers was crucial to the success of the project.

Step 6: Putting in footers and drainage.
When you add retaining walls, it’s important to include proper drainage. This includes geo-grid, soil, gravel, and drainage. Once the first set of footers is installed, gravel is compacted to create a solid base layer. Then, we layer additional blocks, soil, compacted gravel and necessary drainage. This is a steady, consistent process of layering to ensure the integrity of the wall and to allow for appropriate drainage.

Step 7: Have regular meetings with homeowners
We check in with our homeowners after each step is complete to ensure that things are progressing as discussed. As the project takes shape, we’ll discuss where to put final items such as electrical, entry points and address any issues that may arise. We consistently want to verify that the homeowner is clear about what the next steps look like.

Step 8 : Build walls and finalize features
Continuation of the project brings everything together as the walls are built to completion and features of the project are finalized such as wall curves, caps, lighting, etc.

Step 9: Lay sod/seed/etc. and finalize planting and landscaping
Once the foundation of the project is complete, we will lay sod or seed (depending on the homeowner’s preference) and finalize any additional planting or landscaping to bring the project together.

In the case of this backyard, we laid sod and planted privacy shrubs at the far end of the property.

Step 10: Enjoy your new living space!
Finally, we will provide instructions to nurture your grass and new landscaping. This will include watering, fertilizing and pruning recommendations. Proper care of your lawn and landscaping is essential for optimal growth and the sustainability of the design.

If you’re ready to redesign an outdoor living space, click here to get in touch with us today! We look forward to hearing from you and discussing your outdoor vision.