Contractor’s Corner: Project Spotlight – An Atlanta Retreat for Kids and Adults

Contractors play a pivotal role in helping homeowners bring their outdoor living visions to life. Each month, we’ll offer a Contractor’s Corner post to share tips to help our contractor partners offer even more to homeowners and their landscapes.

When Todd and Amy Brown purchased their home in Atlanta they expected to plant their roots and grow their family in the ATL. However, when a job opportunity took Todd and his family to Chicago, his three young daughters grew to know the Midwest as home.

After more than three years in the Windy City, Todd’s job once again had the family packing their bags. Luckily, this time it was back to Atlanta and into their former home. With blooming social lives and active school schedules, Todd’s daughters were less than thrilled by the idea of moving. However, after Todd promised to build his little girls a treehouse and zip line in the backyard, they were convinced.

Little did they know, their dad wasn’t exactly a professional when it came to building the much anticipated treehouse. His first attempt fell flat – literally – when faced with several of Mother Nature’s storms. Wanting to fulfill his promise and create a dream backyard for his kids, Todd sought out professional help.

“I knew I couldn’t do this project alone,” Todd said. “Luckily, it just so happened that a new home improvement show was filming in the area and looking for projects to feature.”

Fate and timing collided when Todd responded to an online posting seeking families with remodeling projects for a new HGTV show called Elbow Room. The show features expert craftsman Chip Wade coming to the rescue of families who love their home and love their neighborhoods, but whose houses no longer suit them. In each episode, Chip updates and customizes homes with smart and eye-popping renovations.

The Browns were elated to find out that they had been selected for the show. In addition to the treehouse and zip line, Todd and Amy wanted to create a space that the whole family could enjoy. Embarking on this project, Chip enlisted the help of local Belgard Authorized Contractor Sugar Hill Outdoors.

The first step was to decide how the new outdoor living space and treehouse would be laid out in relation to the house. The home was situated on a good sized plot of land with a wooded, hilly backyard area. Prior to construction, the outdoor space consisted only of a deck off of the second level.

“We agreed that the best course of action would be to design a long walkway with steps to lead from the bottom of the deck’s stairs down to what would become a large patio at the base of the treehouse,” said Clint Tucker, manager of Sugar Hill Outdoors.

Belgard Hardscapes pavers were specified to create the perfect patio for Todd and Amy’s lifestyle. The Browns wanted the new patio to accommodate both intimate evenings and large get-togethers.

“To create a centerpiece to the large space, the design included a paver fire pit,” said Ken O’Neill, vice president of marketing for Belgard Hardscapes. “The fire pit not only looks beautiful, but extends the outdoor season and allows the Browns to enjoy the outdoors well into the evening.”

Due to the hilly landscape of the backyard, a retaining wall was designed using Belgard Weston Wall in the Saddle Creek color blend to separate the downward slope from the flat patio area. The wall served double duty as a seating wall to accommodate large get-togethers.

Belgard’s large variety of styles and colors made it a difficult task to narrow down their selections. After settling on Belgard Lafitt pavers in both Brasstown and Belgian Stone color blends and Bergerac pavers in the Carriage House color blend it was time to get to work.

After a few weeks of work, the Browns’ new outdoor retreat was finished. The girls’ dream treehouse became a reality in a two-story treehouse complete with a trampoline station, tire swing, zip line, rope ladder and more. Todd and Amy also got the outdoor space of their dreams with a patio perfect for relaxing and watching the girls play.

With a transferable lifetime warranty, Belgard pavers will stand the test of time and stay beautiful long after the Brown girls grow up and move away.

“We couldn’t be more excited about our new outdoor living space, and neither could our girls,” Todd said. “They will definitely be putting the treehouse and zip line to good use, and you can bet that there will be many evenings spent around the fire pit roasting marshmallows!”

A clip from the Elbow Room episode featuring this project can be seen at: http://www.hgtv.com/video/the-worlds-best-treehouse-video/index.html.

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