Last Updated on September 24, 2019 by lindseymahoney
Our first backyard DIY project at our second home was building a swing set for Thomas. In the two years of living in this home (2013-2016), we completely transformed the backyard, including the wrap-around deck we built.
Today we are sharing the DIY swing set installation and the new fence that gave our backyard additional privacy.
Berkeley Backyard Before
Because I don’t have super clear photos of the full layout of the backyard, I made some quick drawings (very amateur) to illustrate what we had in the backyard before renovations and our plans for the updates.
Here is a view from the back door. The overgrown garden in the top right corner is where the swing set will go.
Here is another view of our backyard and the original deck.
Backyard Plans with Swing Set & Fence
We removed the chain link fence at the edge of the driveway and built a large gate across the driveway. This improvement kept the dogs contained and also added a portion of the driveway to the fenced-in area where Thomas could play.
The overgrown garden was split into two sections, the swing set and the vegetable garden.
We tore out the old deck, bricked in the original back door, and installed a large sliding door in a better location. We built a huge wrap-around deck with an outdoor kitchen, dining, and sitting area.
Swing Set DIY
My father-in-law has built many a swing sets in his day, so he was excited to come into town and build a custom swing set for his first grandchild.
He drew up the plans and mailed all of the parts he needed to our house prior to his arrival. My mother-in-law and brother-in-law, Tim, also flew to Denver to help with this swing set DIY. Thomas is one loved little boy.
It was a two-day project with three men and a baby tackling this swing set DIY.
On the first day, the boys purchased all of the wood and began building the swing set frame. The design plans include 2 swings, a fun landing at the top of the slide, and a sandbox underneath.
I have been looking back at old photos of projects and the one thing that remains constant is Thomas’s insistence on helping. He has been our big helper since he was very little. 🙂
This particular weekend, I remember him primarily being in the way and throwing a fit if he could not be in the backyard with the guys. We had to take him shopping to get him out of their way for a few hours.
These guys worked really hard this weekend to get the swing set up and running and it turned out amazing.
Thomas loved his swing set so much that we moved it to the backyard of our third home!
Backyard Swing Set After
I’d say the swing set built for Thomas was a hit! This kid loved the finished product so much!
Thomas loved his new slide!
And his new sandbox under the slide.
Backyard Fence Before
On to the backyard fence project!
You can see the old chain-linked fence in the photo above with the grapevine stuck in it. Between the fence and the driveway is a garden bed filled with rocks. It was such a pain in the butt to move them!
We spent one weekend sitting on our bums picking up rocks and tossing them into a pile. The fence was pretty easy to remove but we had to use our car to pull out the grapevine stump.
Backyard Fence After
And here is what the side yard looked like once the fence/rocks were removed and sod was put down. We then built the fence/gate across the driveway to keep the dogs and children from escaping.
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