Landscaping Day 250 – Hard landscaping completed

17 05 2014

Ben and the guys from Daviscapes have finished the hard landscaping.  All the retaining walls, decking, fences, concreting, driveways, irrigation etc are done.  Perhaps one of the most exciting developments to date has been having the turf laid.  For the past two years we have been looking at dirt and mud and prior to that where we lived had concrete paving. The greenery is certainly a welcome addition.

There are only a few things left to be completed which include finishing the wire on the front fence – which looks amazing.  The plants (can’t wait), clothes line installation, letterbox and outdoor lighting.  We also decided as a last minute inclusion to get Ben to incorporate a built-in BBQ area under the alfresco and have asked him to help with putting up the kids cubby house that we got from Matt’s Home and Outdoor Designs.  We were lucky that there was enough room to fit one of the smaller cubbies given that we don’t have a lot of space due to the slope of our block – we got the Townhouse with 900mm elevation. The great thing about working with Daviscapes has been their adaptability during the entire process. While we started with a clear plan, we have been able to make some changes along the way which Ben and the team have been really great at accommodating.

We are really happy with the way things have turned out and Ben and the team have been very meticulous  in their work. The finishes and attention to detail have been terrific.  The most recent work was oiling the decking on the front and in the alfresco which has turned out great.

Here are some photos:


Front fence looks great



Front retaining wall – the stone work complements the house facade



Bluestone paving up to the front decking and door


Front decking freshly oiled



We have grass!!!!






Close up of the oiled decking – wood is spotted gum


Side gate


Rear decking


Rear lower retaining wall with decorative wood


Closeup of the decorative wood on retaining wall


Alfresco area


Fences painted to match roof (Woodland Gray)


Retaining walls painted to match roof (Woodland Gray)


Purpose built shed


View of the stairs to top of backyard


View of the alfresco from top level of yard


View towards alfresco and rear of house


Steppers in the backyard



Landscaping Day 106 – More backyard decking

24 12 2013


More work on the back decking the last few days.  It is at a stage that we can use it – just in time for big family Christmas.  With the weather forecast to be 30 degress, we will sure make good use of the outdoor space.  The spotted gum is looking really good.

We requested to have decking screws to install the decking to the subframe as these will not come loose as easily, last longer and require lower maintenance.  Previously when we just had nails, we found that they came loose and consequently the decking lifted up from the frame.


Bi-fold doors opening up between dining room and alfresco.


Spotted gum decking up close. You can see the decking screws used to install the deck.



The decking instantly makes the backyard look bigger.


First part of the steps being constructed.


In the next few photos you can see extra concrete laid to complete the circular area outside the rumpus room window and decking.






103 Days of Landscaping in Review and Water Meter Relocation

21 12 2013

bobcatHere’s our first blog post since we started the landscaping construction.

We had to re-locate the water meter as it was in the middle of where the new driveway would go.  The process of moving the water meter was a pain due to some stuff ups by Select Solutions who are the contractors employed by the water authority, Yarra Valley Water, to officially re-locate water meters.  If the water meter was to move < 600mm your own plumber could do the move, be as we were relocating it a good few meters away so it had to go through proper authorities.  The cost to move the meter was around $1,900 (booked through Reece) and involved moving the meter to the new location and then connecting the meter and tap to a new mains located under the road.

The best information I could find about relocating water meters is in the document Water Metering & Servicing Guidelines (Section 6.3, page 11).

We completed our landscaping design with Ben from Daviscapes back in early July and landscaping construction started on 9 September.  Its been 103 days since we started and we are pleased we are making some progress after some rain delays during October.  We can now start to see the landscaping take shape and its starting to look great.

Below are some pics taken over the course of the construction.

Landscape Design v3. Copyright @ Daviscapes.

Landscape Design v3. Copyright @ Daviscapes.


Picture of the front before any landscaping works


The backyard before any earthworks. You can see the pink lines outlining the landscaping.


Digger in action. I think Ben calles it Daviscrapes!


Some of the dirt excavated from the back – there was a lot!


Back retaining wall foundations and brick going up





We like the curved wall – it softens the hard structure a bit. The curve was put in so we can put a trampoline in.




Render now applied. There was also some waterproofing underneath.


One of the guys from Daviscapes hard at work.


Rear decking going in. Makes the alfresco area feel bigger.



View from inside through the bi-folds towards the alfresco area and steps.

The boys unloading the digger from the truck

The boys unloading the digger from the truck


Front decking frame going in.


Front feature retaining wall


View of the front of the house.

We selectected Spotted Gum for the decking timber.  The finish of the wood is very smooth and the colour texture of the wood is great.  Another great selection.


Front decking almost complete


View of the front with concrete path base.  No more walking over dirt into the house!!
You can see Santa on the balcony.


View from the balcony


The retaining wall area – nice space.


The walk up to the front door. We are very happy with the white plantation shutters for the sidelight windows.


Nice going Daviscapes! 🙂


Day 243: Updated Landscape Design

8 07 2013

Today we got the updated landscape design from Ben which we love!!

Landscape Design v3. Copyright @ Daviscapes.

Landscape Design v3. Copyright @ Daviscapes.

And here are some of the perspectives of the landscape.  The first one is the front yard and the next three are the backyard – the last one a view from the covered alfresco area looking towards the rear.

Design v3 - Perspectives

Day 241: Landscape Design

6 07 2013

Today we met Ben (good bloke and very friendly) from Daviscapes on site to discuss the landscape design.

We really like the general layout of the latest version of the plans.  Ben has approached the landscaping from a holistic point of view, giving thought and consideration into the way the garden will flow, the various textures being used and elements that will capture the eye from various points of the house.  He has also incorporated our functional needs – for example incorporation of trampoline.

Doing a landscape design has really helped us visualise and get a feel for what the lanscaping will look like.  It is hard to imagine the backyard given we have a bit of slope, but Ben was able to show us a ‘walkthrough’ of the landscape on his laptop which really helped.

There’s a few changes/tweaks to be made to the design but the whole layout is something we can work with.  We should get the next version of the design and a quote for the construction next week – which we are really looking forward to considering we should be getting a handover from Metricon later this month.

Design v2

Landscape Plans v2. Copyright @ Daviscapes.


Landscape Design

2 06 2013

landscape-drawingWe are getting close to the completion of the house and the curtains have been ordered.  The next major item to organise is the landscaping.  With the wet weather, muddy conditions and young family we would like the landscaping started straight after we get possession of the keys.


We have met Ben from Daviscapes and decided to engage him to put together a design as we felt he was a good fit for our needs.  Here is some info about Daviscapes – PDF.

We are looking at getting the whole landscape design done:

  • Landscaping including excavation, irrigation, drainage and garden beds
  • Retaining walls
  • Front yard fencing
  • Front portico
  • Rear alfresco/outdoor area
  • Lighting
  • Side concreting
  • Driveway concreting including crossover relocation

We are looking forward to seeing the first output of the design hopefully late next week.   Once we have the design we can use it to get quotes for the construction, that way we can get an apples-for-apples comparison.  Daviscapes can also perform the construction, but it all depends on how competitive they are.

We already have a list of a few landscape construction contractors that have been recommended by friends.  However, if anyone has any other recommendations please let us know.  We would love to hear from you.