A good friend purchased a house in San Francisco's Excelsior District, and asked me to rework its neglected backyard. The Excelsior sees more of Karl the Fog than other neighborhoods, and the damp conditions had taken their toll on the wood and concrete. The homeowner provided me with a wish list that included a raised bed garden, improved support for the out-of-control grape vines, and a space for outdoor entertaining. I designed a layout that minimized cost and required no major changes to the stonework. We set a budget and I dove in.
I cleaned, sanded, and refinished the redwood fence, strengthened and raised the grape arbor, and built a raised bed garden with an automatic drip irrigation system. The redwood bar is my favorite part, though. With the grapes now out of the way, the raised patio could become an entertaining area, so I framed a simple structure and covered it with heartwood redwood. The stainless steel dry sink can hold cold beverages, and is easily lifted out for cleaning.
The lower level is finished with pavers installed by a hardscape subcontractor, and I built new redwood steps for the house entrance and up to the patio.
Total working time was about two weeks, not including the hardscape work. When it was done, an unusable space had been converted into a food-producing, cocktail-having, sun-worshipping urban oasis!