​New Backyard Appeal for Bungalow

Turning a muddy yard into a great entertaining space

Key Features

  • A paver walkway to the new oversized garage
  • ​A curved retaining wall that defines the edge of the patio and property line
  • A paver patio that evens out the slope of the yard, with seating space
  • A planting area above the retaining wall
Side yard of gray home before retaining wall installation
Gray home after curved retaining wall and paver patio installation
Gray home after paver patio installation with retaining wall planting area

A young couple fell in love with the Arts and Crafts-style interior of the bungalow they purchased in St. Paul, Minnesota, but knew the yard needed a lot of work. So, when DIY Network’s Sweat Equity TV show came calling, they agreed to a new garage and landscaping.

The homeowners wanted to have usable space outside and also fix some erosion and water issues they were having. In addition to a small hill by the one-car detached garage that made the yard less desirable, of serious concern was the steep slope on the west side of the home, which caused basement water damage and constant mud slides. An Anchor™ Diamond Stone Cut® retaining wall system, extending from the front of the home through the backyard, was the perfect remedy.

The new landscape features

  • A curved retaining wall that defines the edge of the patio and property line
  • A paver patio that evens out the slope of the yard, with seating space
  • A planting area above the retaining wall
  • A paver walkway to the new oversized garage

A landscape contractor designed the space and showed the homeowners how to install the retaining wall blocks and pavers in keeping with the do-it-yourself (DIY) theme of the Sweat Equity show.
The homeowners note that there is a rhythm in preparing the surface, laying out the sand and tamping down the material.

The homeowners worked on the project in their spare time over a few weeks and find their handiwork a source of pride. “More than two years later, it still looks like the day it was laid in the ground,” they say. The couple enjoys grilling on the patio and entertaining guests, who appreciate the extra seating on the retaining wall.

We didn’t use our yard at all prior to this. Now we have a ton of room and it makes our home feel bigger. Plus, it’s less yard to mow!

- Homeowner
Gray home after paver patio installation with retaining wall planting area
top