56 Exterior Back Yard House Building Type Design Photos And Ideas

Out back, the paved patio serves as the family's main dining room. Though occasionally snow and cold keep them inside, family dinners can often be enjoyed outdoors.
“Exposing the craft and detail of the materials was a key part of the design,” Flato notes. The texture of the house, he says, can be observed in the concrete retaining wall for the lap pool.
A compact and vertical guest tower is sited at the western corner of the lot amongst tall evergreens, allowing for a more private guest experience, more compact floor plan, and the ability to effectively shut off (socially and energy-wise) the guest spaces zone by zone during typical daily use.
The roughly 5,000-square-foot Lens House renovation, which was finished in 2012 and just won a 2014 RIBA National Award, required six years, major remedial work on the roof and walls, approval from the planning committee, and even a sign-off from a horticulturalist to guarantee the backyard excavation didn't interfere with a walnut tree. "These things aren’t for people who are in a hurry," says architect Alison Brooks. The focus is the ten-sided trapezoidal office addition. "It wraps itself around the house with a completely different set of rules than the Victorian building," she says.
The Casa Cuatro sits above a 180-foot cliff that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The locally quarried stone makes the house blend in with the landscape and acts as a thermal-mass wall, absorbing heat during the day and releasing it through the evening.
After months spent researching solutions to make her home’s fabric roof functional, Lisa Sette can finally relax.
The east-facing pool terrace is outfitted with a series of Eos lounge chairs (and plenty of inflatable swim toys).
Unlike many other houses, whose views occur only out front, the 2inns offer a glimpse of the Pacific through the house and from the backyard.
A narrow building next to the main structure houses storage and an outdoor kitchen.
A modern interpretation of the traditional dogtrot home, Camp Baird comprises two cabins placed along an L-shaped orientation. An elongated, solar-heated lap pool runs the length of the south-facing side, alongside an expansive ipe deck that measures nearly 1,600 squarefeet. The lounge chairs are by Loll Designs.
“The backyard, which was kind of the focus of the project, was overgrown and quite disconnected from the house itself,” said architect Nigel Parish. The glass doors of the addition open onto a patio and lawn where the kids can play.
One of the main goals of the construction was to do as little harm as possible to the existing environment, which includes waterways that salmon depend upon. Herrin and his team created a garden roof that covers the full extent of the home to meet this objective. “This helps control storm water runoff and also replaces lost insect habitat—insects being a critical food source for juvenile salmon,” he says.
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Lauren Ewing’s stylish but unassuming shotgun-style house in Vincennes, Indiana, is set into a hill overlooking a field she has known since childhood.
The house has four varieties of wood that relate to one another with a similar material vocabulary. “It is all about finding ways to assemble pieces of the same nature,” says Lamine.
Bi-fold doors connect the main residence to the backyard, which features a large swimming pool, a 200-square-foot pool house, and an outdoor kitchen.
Outside of the studio, a small deck features a cedar soaking tub.
Winter takes care of chores like tree trimming and the tending of his succulents.
After months of arduous design and construction, Marmol and Becket are thrilled to escape Los Angeles for their idyllic desert retreat.
Composed of primarily steel, this prefab home has sufficient outdoor space. Photo by: Daniel Hennessy
The defining gesture of a house on the Big Island of Hawaii by architect Craig Steely is a 139-foot-long, four-foot-tall concrete beam spanning the roof. Owners Craig Mayer and Rick Penland relax on the lanai, or porch.
Six modular, concrete boxes comprise a five-bedroom home on Martha’s Vineyard, in Chilmark, Massachusetts. Designed with the sloping seaside site in mind, it was built to guard against potential erosion: Connected by interstitial wood paneling, each of the six units can be moved in just a week and fully installed in a few months.
It's traditional among homes in the region to enter through their backdoor, seen here. The door leads directly to the living room.
A COMPACT THREE-STORY BRICK LOFT IN SAN FRANCISCO

Making the most of vertical space unleashes the potential of a petite San Francisco project.

Photo by Cesar Rubio.
 The main level of the Franklin Mountain House is built with volcanic rock basalt and granite from the region.
The deck offers views and a quiet spot for outdoor dining. The Western red cedar vertical siding is naturally resistant to rot and decay, making it a hardy choice for the exterior. The bronze wolf sculpture is by Sharon Loper.
When Belgian fashion retailer Nathalie Vandemoortele was seeking a new nest for her brood, she stumbled upon a fortresslike house in the countryside designed in 1972 by a pair of Ghent architects, Johan Raman and Fritz Schaffrath. While the Brutalist concrete architecture and petite but lush gardens suited her tastes to a tee, the interiors needed a few updates.
Open and inviting, the addition enables a fluid indoor-outdoor connection that didn’t exist before.
Main Image
East Elevation
north elevation
At the rear addition, the existing overhang meets the new cedar mass to divide the length of the covered patio and create outdoor spaces of varying size.
Cabin at Longbranch | Olson Kundig
Covered deck, sunken fire pit, and pool
The location on the shores of a small bay means it is sheltered from cold southerly winds. The alpine location provided plenty of inspiration for landscaping, which Ritchie and Kerr elected to keep as minimal as possible, as if the home had landed on its site with as little disturbance or alteration as possible.
Buckner and Roberts both expressed admiration for Jones’s thoughtful details—including the sloping glass, angled columns, and Wrightian light shelf.
The new addition on the right extends the original home roofline and adds a new covered patio area
Master Suite with the glass doors closed
Studhorse | Olson Kundig

Zoom out for a look at the modern exterior. From your dream house, to cozy cabins, to loft-like apartments, to repurposed shipping containers, these stellar projects promise something for everyone. Explore a variety of building types with metal roofs, wood siding, gables, and everything in between.

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