Living City Large

It’s the before and after pictures that tell the full story. A worn down, “Contractor Special” utilitarian space, in basic colors, with a hidden rotten garage roof is transformed into a luxurious city living outdoor space.

To get to luxurious living, the old decking and pergola structure had to be removed. Unfortunately, we discovered that the roofing membrane had been installed incorrectly only a few years earlier by the house builder. This meant that the garage frame had rotted and was a safety hazard. While a set-back, the project continued.

Maximizing space for entertaining was the goal. It needed to be as comfortable and easy to use for as long as possible during Chicago’s outdoor season. By covering the main roof deck with a pergola frame, we were able to provide stationary acrylic covering over the kitchenette to limit rain over any food or drink, retractable shades for hot days, as well as, three heaters for the cooler days.

Living close to neighbors and living with an ally can also be an impetus for privacy screening. On this project there are a mixture of materials to provide additional interest. We used painted wood frame with opaque acrylic, as well as, Ipe horizontal slats.

While decking is an option, we kicked it up a notch with porcelain pavers on pedestals. (If there is every again a roofing issue, you can simply pick up a paver to look.) The lower area uses the same pavers but is set on a decking system that allows pavers to be set directly on the framing. The stairs needed to be replaced as well. Rather than using wood stairs, limestone treads were installed.

The lower level grill continued to be stationed by the back door for year around access, but upgraded with granite counter and stainless cabinetry, adding necessary counter and storage for entertaining.