From Chicken Coop to Kid-Friendly Paradise: Stefanie’s Eco Friendly Outdoor Transformation

Wonder what it’s like working with the Bay Area’s leading sustainable outdoor living space contractor? Follow along with our real-life client, Stephanie, as we work with her family to make their landscaping dreams come true! 

June 2023

Our journey with Stefanie begins with an initial free, no-obligation consultation in June 2023. 

We introduced her to our designer, Christian, our lead landscaping contractor with over a decade of experience in the Bay Area. Christian worked with Stephanie and her family to learn what they wanted for their outdoor space, then meticulously captured her vision for the front and back yard. 

The Outdoor Living Space Checklist

The key requirements included usability, dog and family friendliness, retaining walls, paver patios, native ground cover featuring Bay Area native plants, outdoor play space for kids, and an efficient sprinkler system, among a few others.

During this process, Stefanie and her family visited local landscaping suppliers with Christian, finalizing their materials choice based on the plan we developed together. 

From organic brown mulch to the front-facing veneers for the retaining walls, Christian carefully selected every detail to Stephanie’s exact specifications, their months of diligent planning leading to a well-thought-out design plan.

September 2023

By September 2023, we were ready to bring Stephanie’s custom landscaping plan to life! 

The project started with excavating the front yard for a driveway extension, providing ample space for additional parking and a camper van. 

The backyard transformation began with clearing out an old chicken coop area and leveling the uneven terrain throughout the yard.

As the deliveries commenced, our crew carefully levelled the foundation for the patio, steps, and retaining walls. We laid the groundwork for the sprinkler system and electrical conduits, followed by constructing the cemented retaining walls and steps with chosen veneers.

Subsequent weeks saw the curing of retaining walls and steps, paving a relaxing concrete patio space, and development of the front yard’s new driveway and parking area. 

Garden Slope, Creosote, and Other Dangers

The yard had a feature we see a lot in the Bay Area – a potentially troublesome natural downslope, which increases erosion and channels rainwater away from the garden. We tackled this by building a wooden frame leading to a leveled platform and topped it with tri-colored gravel to even out the topography and help conserve water in the yard

After that, we installed the native, mow-free lawn, a beautiful dog-friendly choice that resembles a natural meadow. We handcrafted three custom 10-foot planter boxes, and planted a variety of low-maintenance plants and fruit trees. We ensured every plant was well-nourished with healthy soil and chicken manure and connected to drip sprinkler lines.

We then crafted the steps leading from the backyard gate to Patio #1 with natural dirt and Redwood, avoiding using chemically treated materials. Avoiding chemically-treated materials was important for the wellbeing of Stephanie’s family because the old steps were made with discarded railroad ties

Once a popular DIY landscaping option, most railroad ties are treated with creosote. Creosote contains various potentially harmful chemicals, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which can be carcinogenic. These chemicals can leach into the soil over time, posing risks to plants, animals, and even humans who come into contact with the treated wood. For the sake of Stephanie and her family’s health, we ditched those chemical-infused ties in favor of natural California Redwood.

November 2023 

We were happy to fulfill smaller requests that added the perfect personalized touch, like customized planter box covers, installing lights along retaining walls and planters, and creating two wood-based camping pads so the children had a place to play while learning about the outdoors

As the project completed, Stefanie and her family were overjoyed with the results. 

Their new yard met and exceeded their expectations, offering a safe, functional, and aesthetically pleasing environment for everyone – dogs, kids, and guests alike. 

The Happy Ending

This project is a testament to our commitment to delivering personalized, high-quality landscaping solutions that resonate with our client’s lifestyles and dreams. 

It was a pleasure to see the transformation of their space into a sustainable, beautiful, and practical area that will be enjoyed for years to come. 

Stefanie’s satisfaction with our work reflects our dedication to excellence and passion for creating outdoor spaces that enhance our clients’ and their families’ quality of life. 

At Bay Area Sustainable Landscaping, we are proud to have been a part of this journey and look forward to continuing to bring similar dreams to reality for all our clients.

If you’d like to make your outdoor living space dreams come true, trust our family of experts. Schedule a free, no-pressure consultation today! 

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Eco-Friendly Landscaping, Essential Landscaping Materials, Landscaping in California, Landscaping Solutions, Landscaping Tips, Professional Landscapers, Professional Landscaping Services

We are Bay Area Sustainable Landscaping.

Call us at 510-876-4030 to chat about designing and building your outdoor living space in the SF Bay Area.