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Honorable Mention in Residential Exterior Category (NARI)

National Association of the Remodeling Industry

Each year, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry-Mn Chapter (NARI) has their Contractor of the Year (CotY) Awards in November.  This year, Tim Johnson took home an Honorable Mention in the Residential Exterior Category for his project in North Oaks.

Designer Tim Johnson receives congratulatory handshake from NARI President Todd Fuzzey

Designer Tim Johnson receives congratulatory handshake from NARI President Todd Fuzzey

With no cabin or other vacation property, this North Oaks family of four decided to look for a little bit of heaven right in their own back yard.    Looking for a cabin-y feel to the project, their wish list was long.

Homeowners’ Goals:

  • Outdoor entertainment space connected to the indoor family space.  A gazebo is out but want some sort of shade.  Increase the deck space and make it low-maintenance.
  • Since a swimming pool is out of the question, a hot tub space is high on the list.
  • Fire.  A fire pit at the edge of the wooded area in back seemed like a perfect teenage hangout.
  • All outdoor spaces should be open to the woods and grassy areas. Colorful plant beds.
  • Small space for a bistro set.
Pergola and Deck Fit with the Home's Architecture

Pergola and Deck Fit with the Home’s Architecture

Cozy setting with fire and water

Cozy setting with fire and water

Bistro Set along the Bluestone Walkway

Bistro Set along the Bluestone Walkway

Designer’s Challenges:

  • Use every inch of the back yard, right up to the septic system setbacks.
  • Dry-set bluestone sidewalk so a few of the stones can be easily removed every few years for septic system maintenance.
  • Create a shaded deck area just off the family room and kitchen.  Connect the room addition to the deck space by matching the main deck steps/ posts to those on the grill deck.
  • Up the coziness factor with LED lighting on the deck posts/steps, pergola rafters, and along the sidewalk.
  • Design a pergola to match the home in color, texture, and style. The challenge here – it can’t be connected to the home.  The soffits are too low. Plus, snow drop off the roof poses a weight problem. Design rafter tails accordingly.  The pergola structure sits out from the home but it should still look connected.
  • Combine placement of fire & water features, closer to the home for convenience. Guest should be close enough to converse between the two spaces.  It also makes sense for the budget.
  • Improve the traffic flow…guests should easily move from the family room through the kitchen to the 3-season porch then out to the grill deck, across a Bluestone sidewalk to a deck with a fire table and hot tub and back inside.

Maximize the space in your back yard…ask us how we can help you!

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