Nov 1, 2010

Sliding Doors & Backyard Access

Project Announcement: We're having sliding glass doors installed in our dining room!  We will finally have real backyard access! 

We are hiring a contractor to remove the double windows and replace them with a set of Anderson sliding glass doors that will lead out to the backyard.  They are also going to build us a very small deck (6'x10') with stairs going into the yard.  In the spring we're planning on building a small patio next to the deck.

Originally we didn't want to spend the money on any sort of deck.  All we wanted was a simple set of stairs down to the backyard where we would build our future patio. Except the town refused to give us a permit for just stairs.  For "safety reasons" we would have to build a 3'x5' landing, and building a landing is the same complicated process (with the extra inspections and permits and approvals and costs) as building a deck.  Our contractor said basically that a small deck would only be a little bit more than a small landing.  I wasn't thrilled about the extra costs, but if we wanted real backyard access (no more of this basement side door nonsense) we were stuck.  So we went for the deck - might as well get a better bang for our buck!  At least decks add value to the house, landings do not.   And we'll have a nice little space for a small table with a couple of chairs, a place to sit outside and drink coffee and all that good stuff.

This is our biggest, most expensive project we've ever done to the house.  When we started planning we thought it was going to be a lot simpler (just pop out the windows and stick in a door! How hard could that be?! Stairs? Maybe! We could always use a milk crate! See how easy we are?! ).  I'm a little nervous about the whole thing but I think it will be worth it in the end.  Adding the doors will allow the house to flow into the backyard and fix the awkward yard access.  It will increase the livability and use of the dining room.  And the deck will become an extension of the house, an outdoor room I know we'll enjoy for many years to come... just in time for winter for winter of course.

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