Project Details

Square Feet

Single Family Residence

Old Town,
Chicago, IL


Services Included: Design and Construction

A dream came true for this family with young children when they purchased a double lot that included not only their home, but a second lot for an at-home, outdoor, kid-friendly play space, as well.

Unfortunately, it’s no secret that in a city as large as Chicago, we have rats. And this homeowner was determined to have an outdoor backyard design and side yard design that was clean, green, and sure to be inhospitable to rats!

A significant part of the project was dedicated to creating a perimeter barrier that would eliminate burrowing into the yard. The barrier, which is approximately 300+ feet, runs along the entirety of the fence line from the street to the backyard, and back towards the street. The process included digging a trench 36 inches deep by 18 inches wide, lining it with galvanized wire mesh, installing a layer of lava rock, and filling it in with concrete.

Additional measures to eliminate burrowing included the decision to use artificial turf so that the entirety of the yard could have galvanized wire mesh laid down. To keep creatures from running along the top of the fence line, custom flashing was installed at a pitch. Finally, the landscape beds were prepared by digging 18 inches deep and lining the bottom with a stainless-steel wool product.

The landscape beds were designed to accommodate enough space for Hornbeams and Hydrangeas to grow into their natural habits. And while the kids would get a large space to play, it was still important to upgrade the lounging and dining experience in the backyard. This was accomplished by using better quality products, such as bluestone instead of concrete pavers and teak furniture as opposed to wicker. The design also reincorporated the client’s existing grill area and awning.

While it isn’t 100% possible to eliminate rats when you live in a major metropolitan city – particularly in a neighborhood with so many restaurants – with some strategic problem-solving, we were able to design a Clean and Green outdoor oasis for this family (and NOT the local rats!) to enjoy.

And while the kids would get a large space to play, it was still important to upgrade the lounging and dining experience in the backyard with better products like bluestone rather than concrete pavers and teak furniture rather than wicker.

The existing grill area and awning were reincorporated into the design.

While it is not 100% possible to remove rats, particularly in an area with so many restaurants, Clean and Green’s design turned into an outdoor oasis for this family . . . not the rats!