What do you get when you mix a large, active family with a dysfunctional yard? A recipe for a move. That was the case for Dr. Kevin and Julie McCallum when I first spoke with them. The McCallums loved their home; it’s the yard that proved problematic for them. Julie explained the situation to me when she said, “We had a backyard that wasn’t very useable; the deck that was originally built with the home was small and deteriorating, and we wanted to expand it,” she explained. The Problem With five active children and a physician husband with a busy practice, the McCallums often entertain for business and pleasure and considered moving to find a home with a yard suited to their needs. Unfortunately, the timing just wasn’t there; a slow economy and sluggish real estate market didn’t cooperate with their plans. So Kevin and Julie went to Plan B and decided to make some changes to their own home so that it would better accommodate their family and make it easier to sell their home when the time came. That’s where I came into the picture. Julie had seen some work that Booher Building had done for a neighbor, so she contacted us to take a look at her property. With a keen eye for style and design, Julie already had in mind what she wanted. My job was to bring that dream to reality. Right away I could see the possibilities to make their yard more functional for the needs of both the kids and the adults in the family. Julie wanted a larger deck that would accommodate more people and allow for entertaining. The McCallums’ yard slopes downward, so as we talked, we discussed the possibility of adding a new patio in the lower level, which would create another area for relaxation and entertainment. And that’s what we did. Make Your Home Work for You We finalized our plans and built a 14’ x 8’ composite deck with metal spindles off the back of the house that included a dual staircase. One staircase leads to the upper portion of the yard, and the other staircase leads to the lower level of the yard. In the lower level, we constructed a beautiful 14’ x 8’ bluestone patio complete with a cultured stone outdoor gas fireplace. The fireplace enables them to use the space in cooler weather as well. The McCallums chose easy-care, low maintenance materials for the project, because neither of them have much spare time for upkeep. The project was completed in 2010, and I recently asked Julie her thoughts on the whole thing. Julie’s Thoughts 1. I can’t get across enough how easy Rob Booher, his work crew and wife Kathi were to work with. They really took the time to listen to our ideas. I had in my mind what I wanted, but Rob was really able to bring it together and give us ideas of what would actually work and how to feasibly connect the two spaces. Rob is so professional and also easy going. We would definitely work with him again. 2. The construction quality is great. We’ve had no issues, and everything made it through the winter in wonderful shape. 3. These changes have made our home more unique. We’ve already had somebody approach us in this horrible [real estate] market wanting to buy our home because they loved the outdoor space. We turned them down because we are enjoying it so much ourselves. It’s really enhanced the house. 4. Rob’s quote was so reasonably priced compared to the other quotes we received. And for such a large project, they completed it quickly—in only about 2 ½ weeks. Overall, the project has been a success for the whole family. Julie tells me her younger children love movie night outside. They bring out the TV and enjoy movies and snacks. Her teens love hanging out with their friends by the fireplace. And as for the adults in the family, Julie and Kevin have already hosted several parties for friends and colleagues using their new outdoor space. At Booher Building, our goal is to transform your home to fit your needs and lifestyle. If something’s not working for you like it wasn’t for the McCallums, give us a call, and we’ll help make your dreams for your home a reality. Whether it is kitchen remodeling, a new bathroom or a room addition, Booher Building is your trusted Indianapolis home improvement expert.