I've been working at this house for over a year now. Initially I did quite a bit of drainage work, then built some timber planters and steps. The clients are finishing up some construction with deck and hot tub additions and wanted a solution for the area under the deck. The finished basement has a door that leads out under the deck and prior to our getting started with this latest project they walked out to a fairly severe dropoff and muddy conditions. They wanted a usable space that would be connected to the previous timber work that ended at the gate leading to the back yard. We decided to enclose the area with a timber retaining wall, which was then backfilled with soil and surfaced with crushed shale. A walkway was built and steps added to tie everything to the steps along the side. You can now walk from the driveway in the front to the back door using the steps, walkway and patio area we constructed. Underneath the deck is now 800 square feet of usable, level space.