Spaces for Life

The ReTouch Home Improvement blog



March Project of the month: Leawood Backyard Retreat

Do you guys do _______________? That’s one of the questions I get more than any other. The blank is usually filled with all kinds of projects…bathrooms, kitchens, new builds, office tenant finishes, decks, leaky faucets…We love it all because our real passion isn’t a certain type of project, but more a certain type of client. Once we find a client that is a good fit, we want to do whatever they need to make their spaces work better. I hope this monthly project will be informative about what other people are doing, what it is costing, and what may be possible. So, here we go…

Project of the Month:

Backyard Retreat

Location: Leawood

Designer: Kelly Van Elders of Van Elders Design

Budget Range: Between $70,000 and $90,000

Project Description:  Outdoor kitchen, deck, pergola, patio, firepit and hot tub (whew!)

Pictures online:

What it was like before:

Picture a plain back yard with grass and a small concrete patio.  Too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter.  Unused.  Lonely.  Looking for love in all the wrong places.

What it is like now: 

Now the space includes an array of options for spending time outside.  Wanna grill out?  We got that.  Wanna sit in the hot tub?  No problem.  How about catching some sun on a patio chair?  Check.  Hanging out at night by a fire roasting smore’s?  You bet.  It is a sweeping space that is able to handle dozens of people for a large party, yet doesn’t feel so big that it is uncomfortable.

Cool features:

-If you’ve never grilled with the Green Egg, you must try it

-The logs in the fire pit are actually custom made by a metal worker in Colorado.  As they rust, it looks even more like real wood.  Pretty sweet.

-The deck was a beautiful composite from Azek that was fastened using a hidden system from Cortex

-The stone veneer is Canyon Ledge Santa Fe from a local manufacturer Canyon Stone

-The concrete patio is a stamped slate pattern with three stain colors to give it real depth

Interesting detail:

The client has an office in the basement, and wanted to feel connected to the outside while he was working.  So, we cut a 6’ wide hole in the foundation and put in a set of french doors.  Now the space that used to be dark and dreary gets natural sunlight.

This client came into the process with lots of Pinterest boards and some great ideas.  It helped the landscape designer and us quickly move in the right direction.

Do you have questions about this space or others? Just reach out to me at

Ready to Take the Next Step?