Building a front-entrance terrace

When building our garden, the front-entrance terrace was one of the initial projects that I took on, right after completing the  terrace in the back.

I modelled the front-terrace using Google SketchUp, providing me with a means to calculate material needs, visualise the result and as blueprint during the work. I actually showed the model to my neighbour before starting the work and asked him if he would be OK with the design.

model-front-terrace
Model of the front-entrance terrace

I built the front-entrance terrace following the same pattern as for the terrace in the back: digging to the depth of the concrete slab foundation, placing and levelling the slabs, fixing the supporting beams, creating a 10% sloping gravel plane to drain water away from the house’s foundations, fixing the top layer beams of the framework and then the decking boards. There was a one-step stair that I needed to build with the decking, I opted to just leave out the top framework layer for this 60 cm x 2 m area. There is  also a post supporting the roof that protects the entrance area, with a rather ugly concrete foundation rising about 30 cm above the level of the step. For this I had design to build a 60 cm x 40 cm sized box out of decking board high enough to cover the ugly concrete bit. The box has the second purpose of proving a side wall for the step, rising higher than the terrace. To make it look less of a strange design feature to hide something and more like a purpose-made add-on, I left an area in the box open that could be used for plants. We ended up putting pretty stones there, as they do not need maintenance. We learned, however, that small children love to pick and throw those stones… Originally I had planned to have the terrace narrower and a larger area for the flower bed, but my neighbour talked me into making the terrace area larger, and I am glad of it as now we have a front terrace were I can sit in the morning sun, when the back garden is in shade. To tie the flower bed into the front area, I framed it in using decking board.

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