Walk-Up to a Walk-Out

Walk-out basements are becoming an increasingly popular home design feature, and for good reason! Reverse homes come with a multitude of benefits. They’re the perfect floor plan for sloped lots. They allow natural light into the lower level which makes for a more inviting living space. Unlike their underground counterparts, walk-out basements count towards a property’s total square footage, potentially increasing resale value. All in all, they enhance the functionality of the oft-neglected bottom floor by making it more accessible. However, many of these advantages are lost if a home is constructed as a walk-up; that is, when a stairwell leads up to the yard as opposed to the back door opening directly onto the ground level. In this month’s transformation blog, we’re spotlighting an Olathe project where we converted a walk-up into a true walk-out!

The client’s previous setup consisted of a concrete window well with steps up to a small landing. The walls prevented sunlight from entering the basement, and the enclosed patio felt claustrophobic. Overall, the space wasn’t suitable for entertaining and it was time for a change. Designer Randy Phillips met with the family to devise a solution. He proposed that the yard be excavated to create a bona fide walk-out basement patio. Big renovations can be difficult to visualize, so Randy prepared 3D renderings like the one below to help the homeowners envision the final product.

This job required extensive demo. First, the deck stairs were removed. Then, the concrete walls, steps, and landing were broken apart and hauled away. From there, the crew graded the lawn until it was level with the existing cement pad.

Brittany Beige Weston stone retaining walls were installed to support the earth surrounding the sunken patio. They’ll provide plenty of bench seating, as well as help to divert gutter drainage away from the living area. A Chocolate border separates the original slab from the new stamped concrete. The minimal Monster Slate stamp makes for a smooth transition, and the Mesa shade brings out the warm tones of the Weston Stone.

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In addition to being a tripping hazard, the old steps directed water into the well where it would pool and create a slippery, moldy mess. Definitely not an environment where you’d want to entertain guests. Repositioning the deck stairs was integral to making the yard more conducive to entertaining. Now that the opening is unobstructed, the covered area is bright and airy, and the patio feels like one continuous space. Not to mention, the new open floorplan afforded plenty of room for a comfy, L-shaped sectional.

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The final result – a walk-out basement patio that’s as functional as it is beautiful. The privacy and shade of the under-deck area provide the perfect setting for watching a movie or relaxing, while the patio is ideal for grilling and alfresco dining. Hosting is a breeze now that food and drink can be quickly replenished from the basement fridge, and guests can use the downstairs bathroom rather than walking up to the main floor.

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When you have a gorgeous backyard that’s tailored to your needs, you’re guaranteed to spend more time outdoors with friends and family. Stop denying yourself that luxury! Visit our website or give us a call at 816-608-8903. We can’t wait to unlock your yard’s potential.