Other contractors had suggested making the entire backyard flat and then building a 5ft retaining wall along the back of the property but trucking dirt offsite is expensive and retaining walls that are more than 4ft tall require more engineering and are more expensive than shorter versions. Our challenge then was to find a more elegant solution that could eliminate these additional costs.
Our design meetings lead to the conclusion that we should use the slope as a focal point and allow one side of the pool to be almost exposed with the other sides in-ground. We completely eliminated the need for any retaining wall taller than 3ft with this approach and saved thousands of dollars of trucking fees because we left most of the dirt where it was.
We kept the cost of the retaining walls down even more by using concrete block for the construction. To dress the walls up, we covered the block with wood giving the backyard a spa-feel.
The same wood was then used to build a fence and deck around the pool. The transition from a lower part of the yard to the pool deck needed stairs. To add just a little more flare, we used Corten steel risers that were topped with grass. The steel with the grass and the wood really brings the whole project together.