Award Lehigh Valley Builders Association Professional Excellence Award Winner

Limerick, PA | 8 - 10 Week Project

Nowak Residence

With the backyard only allowing a 15′ deep area to build, we needed to design and build an outdoor living space off both the first and second floor of the home to connect with the existing swimming pool area. We also needed to take special care and precaution not to disrupt any of the hidden buried pool lines that connected the filter and pool on opposing sides of the property.

Designer Comments

This truly was a fun project for us because there were so many moving parts that required attention to detail, but we were up for the challenge! This client wanted to have a lot of features packed into a tight space, yet allow for storage to be present but not clearly visible to her guests. After removing the existing pressure treated deck, we knew we had to break this outdoor living space into rooms to include all of the items on this client’s wish list, without portraying a cluttered or overwhelming feeling. Creating a low maintenance space was in the forefront, which is why we chose to construct the deck out of TimberTech composite decking material. Tying all of the rooms together was also key, so the focal point would be the main chase which houses a cozy fireplace at the basement level of the home, and the grilling station on the top level.

This client loves to cook, so we created a kitchen fit for royalty. This kitchen features a stainless steel outdoor grill, a custom glass tile backsplash behind the grill, outdoor rated refrigerator, and plenty of storage. We installed a single piece of rounded bluestone into the chase above the grilling station to cover the cook while they are creating their culinary masterpieces. The bar area in front of the grilling station is constructed with a honed titanium granite countertop and can comfortably seat seven people. We also allowed for enough room on this level to include space for a dining room table and extra chairs to relax in, all under a custom engineered wooden pergola that is completed with LED down lights built into the shade beams. The design for the pergola was minimal with only one post to support it. So while the pergola provides structure, there still is an open feeling beyond the black powder-coated perimeter railings.

Following the LED lit stairs to the basement level, it would be easy to miss the storage underneath the switchback staircase. This hidden storage area is disguised in the same material that was used for the decking. The underside of the deck was outfitted with a water catchment system to create a dry space for uninterrupted relaxation. The ceiling is complete with an outdoor ceiling fan to keep a breeze moving and dimmable recessed lighting to allow for different mood settings while lounging by the gas-lit fireplace. We created a partition in the fence and under deck structure to be completed with a window and a self-closing pool code gate as an extra precaution. One of our goals was to allow the kids to run free in the yard without a worry that they would be able to play around the pool unsupervised. To finish off the basement area, we installed a Sunbright outdoor rated television above the fireplace with additional speakers above the archways to give the client a surround sound effect. The backyard is complete with a Bose sound system for the perfect entertainment package.

To make sure this backyard project doesn’t feel as though it was built years after the home, all design work and materials were chosen to match the existing home as closely as possible. All stone used in the fireplace and kitchen chase perfectly matches the stone used on the front of the house to keep everything cohesive with the look and feeling for the overall project. We were able to take this incomplete backyard area and transform it into a comfortable and beautiful place to dine, relax and entertain!

Client Wish List

  • Rear deck with shade structure for entertaining and relaxing
  • Under deck gas fireplace / living room to watch a movie or the big game
  • Low maintenance decking
  • Patio spaces / rooms
  • Kitchen
  • Connect fence to make the pool area kid-safe
  • Dry under deck space
  • Privacy landscaping
  • Lighting
  • Storage area with roof
  • Visually block out the pool equipment

"The final product is an impressive and welcoming backyard oasis that my family and friends will enjoy for many years."

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“From the time Josh and I first met to discuss the project through the end of the construction, Josh was nothing but professional, knowledgeable and accessible. Josh provided a state of the art 3D digital proposal for my patio, deck and pool area and the final product exceeded my expectations. He oversaw all aspects of the project including obtaining the architectural drawings, filing for permits, attending a variance hearing and supervising the multiple subcontractors on the project.

Josh was available for any questions or concerns that arose and checked in with me frequently for my feedback and to keep me up to date with scheduling. Josh has a welcome attention to detail and pointed out small changes that made a big difference. The final product is an impressive and welcoming backyard oasis that my family and friends will enjoy for many years.

I have used designers and subcontractors on multiple occasions and this has been, by far, my best experience. I highly recommend Josh and MasterPLAN to anyone considering an outdoor project. I’m looking forward to our next landscape project this spring.”

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Lehigh Valley Business Association
Pennsylvania Builders Association
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The Designer