Design/Build: Deck and Patio creates idyllic backyard resort overlooking Long Island Sound
This particular home and property boasts such a lovely view of the Sound, President Richard Nixon, it was rumored, was a regular visitor here during his presidency in the early 1970’s.
However, expectations for outdoor recreation on Long Island have progressed beyond simply a beautiful view. Today, homeowners want a good deal more, including a wide range of resort-style amenities that enhance even already existing majestic views. One such amenity is a vanishing edge, or “infinity” pool or pond that brings the view of the shoreline right up to a backyard patio.
The homeowner says she was pleased with other finished projects of ours that she had seen and when she came to Deck and Patio, adds Bill Renter, she put no limits on a plan he would create.
So, in addition to the infinity pool, our outdoor living expert included a spectacular custom spa, perfectly positioned for the homeowner to enjoy the “vanishing edge” view out to Long Island sound from the spa as well as the pool and patio.
In meeting the vanishing edge amenities, Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert discovered the two-level back yard had a drawback: a steep – and dangerous – slope or bluff at its edge. The homeowner was savvy, however. She knew that a “vanishing edge” pool would actually make the deep slope an advantage and become the centerpiece of a beautiful resort-style outdoor living area. Her main requests were that we also keep the site’s already existing pond.
Our outdoor living expert did more than that, however. The original pond was in need of restoration. Renter says he and his team gave it a face-lift and expanded it. It now includes a waterfall, bridge, moss rock cave, a Savio skimmer and Aquascape biofalls.
Our outdoor living expert says that one way he worked with the homeowner was through the use of Deck and Patio’s computer software program called “Pool Studio, which is a 3-D animation program that allowed them to literally fly over and walk through the project as it was developing.
All aspects of the design — from the existing house to the proposed patio, pool, waterfalls, outdoor kitchen, and expanded pond – could be experienced in motion — even the gas campfires. This was particularly helpful, says our outdoor living expert, to fully appreciate the water-to-water views of the proposed vanishing edge pool.
Vanishing edge pools, he explains, are an optical illusion that suggest the water is vanishing out of the back edge of the pool. The ultimate vanishing edge is when, as with this Long Island Sound project, the illusion looks as if the water in the pool is connected to the water in the view ahead.
Installing Vanishing Edge Pools
Nothing is vanishing in a vanishing edge pool, of course. The water is clinging to a recess in the pool wall which then drops into a catching pool below. And while this sounds simple enough, it requires a good deal of mastery to design it correctly. An undersized catch pool can almost never be corrected.
Deck and Patio deals with an industry expert who is the foremost authority for vanishing edge pools. For this project, our outdoor living expert faxed him drawings and he called back and advised that the size of our planned catch basin could potentially be too small. We immediately changed the design to accommodate a larger one.
If the catch pool or basin isn’t large enough there won’t be enough water returning to the main pool and the catch pool will run dry. That can trigger huge water bills because it would have to be constantly refilled to compensate for not having enough room to store water. In addition, explains Bill Renter, Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert, during rain falls, the basin could be overwhelmed, leading to it overflowing, or eroding or liquefying the soil behind it.
At the very least, it might cause the pool to shift, rotate or settle and then it’s no longer a vanishing edge, he says, which is why Deck and Patio takes such great care to ensure it is done correctly.
Complete Project Showcase
The entire project includes the vanishing edge pool with five water pumps, 3,000 square feet of Techo Bloc tumbled stone patio, two natural gas campfires, and large evergreen trees that flank the left and right side for privacy. In the pool, there are two waterfalls, five bar stools, three staircases, and in-floor cleaning.
The lighting that creates such extraordinary night views was carefully hidden to give wonderful effects but yet go unseen. In fact, all the expertise and technology behind the waterfalls, water pumps, the DE filter, gas heater, LED lights, EOS wireless automation, etc. also go unnoticed.
Design/Build: Deck and Patio restores outdoor living spaces damaged by time and storm
Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert understands that sometimes property restorations and upgrades are forced on us when purchasing a home; other times, as in this project showcase, outdoor living spaces are ruined by storm or time. In other cases, properties simply look dated and tired. And, occasionally, the motive is simply to replace decks and patios that require constant care with more maintenance-free materials and designs.
In the case of this special waterside project, both time and storm had torn away the vinyl fabric and foundation of an existing pool. The surrounding landscaping also needed restoring, as, indeed, did the expansive backyard decking. Taking advantage of all the restoration being done, the homeowners asked our outdoor living expert for the “full water experience.” Beyond the wonderful dock/water access they already had on a charming Long Island canal, and the pool they were restoring, they wanted a new hot tub/spa to complete a new backyard oasis.
Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert kept the original straight lines of the previous geometric vinyl pool, but as an upgrade he chamfered the corners; he previous replaced the liner with a lagoon/grotto style that is so in demand today. Of course, before adding the new liner, the bottom and sides of the pool needed restoration. In fact, our vinyl pools also have steel reinforced concrete walls, which are thicker and stronger than a typical gunite pool. Vinyl liners simply soften the feel of the pool by offering a top layer of comfortable padding.
The only challenge with vinyl is measuring and accurately cutting and welding the liner to fit perfectly over the concrete base. Deck and Patio works with the very best experts who can do even very complex projects such as vinyl pools with a “vanishing” or “infinity” edge.
New Multi-tiered Decking
When designing expansive decking and pool surrounds, Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert
ensures that the chaise lounge, dining, and outdoor patio areas are all large enough for furniture and offer enough room to walk around. And he also tries not to over-build or “hardscape” the whole space.
For this project, in consultation with the homeowners, Deck and Patio’s design team installed three levels of Fiberon’s capped composite “Horizon” decking that begins at the back door and leads down to their canal-side dock.
The upper level has room to relax and enjoy the water views; this level is flanked by two different sets of steps. On the left, the stairs lead down to the new hot tub/lounge area. The stairs on the right lead down to the larger pool level. At the water’s edge, Deck and Patio provided a fire pit/sitting area that, along with the hot tub, dramatically extend the outdoor living season.
The decking chosen by Deck and Patio and the homeowners is the strong Fiberon Horizon decking because of the natural beauty this capped composite material offers and its durability. It has the look of wood but is warranted against staining and fading. No nail holes or wood knots to contend with, and certainly no staining or painting. Framing the entire area is lovely vinyl railing which also delivers durability as well as beautiful, sturdy and safe surrounds. The “capped” part of this quality composite decking acts like a veneer, or cap, for extra protection of the underneath composite materials.
In sum: the new three-level deck’s clean lines give a more modern and polished look to this lovely waterside outdoor space while also being extremely maintenance-friendly.
Hot Tub/Loung Area
Completing the “full water experience,” a new hot tub is just steps down from the backdoor where it has been set into the deck for a pleasing “built-in” appearance. The hot tub’s cover can be left upright to provide additional privacy and also easily dropped down to cover the hot tub when not in use.
Deck and Patio includes a hot tub cover with all its Bullfrog Spa packages. We feel this is important because when the wind blows and dirt and leaves fall, they throw off the balance of the water quality by affecting the sanitary conditions of the water. Our outdoor living expert has learned from experience that clients will use the cover more regularly if it’s easy to open and close and if it is attractive and suits their hot tub model. Such is the case for this hot tub’s cover which fits the hot tub’s size, design and where they wanted it placed.
For this project, Deck and Patio’s design/build team created cutouts in the “hardscape” decking and filled them with natural plantings. These bursts of green and color not only naturalize the area but they also enhance the views of the water — a key element of the overall design.
Our outdoor living expert believes that fresh gardening can raise a home’s value almost instantly and is the least expensive improvement/upgrade in a project such as this.
The homeowners love their new backyard restoration/upgrade. They can enjoy outdoor dining in a beautiful landscaped atmosphere, nights around a fire pit, relaxation in their new hot tub and several lounge areas, lovely water vistas from every space, as well as laps in their handsomely restored vinyl pool.
Beautiful new 3-tier Trex deck and freeform vinyl pool replaces what was lost in hurricane
The Northeast has just marked the first anniversary of Hurricane Sandy which devastated our shores. And no area was harder hit than Long Island’s South Shore. However, home-by-home, what was lost during that horrific super storm is being restored or replaced. Deck and Patio is honored to be part of this on-going resurrection, says our outdoor living expert, Bill Renter.
The following deck and pool project is an example of how Deck and Patio has been using our design/build expertise to bring back the joys of waterside living for families shaken by loss, but who are also strong in their desire to rebuild.
Beautifully situated on a bay off the Atlantic, the backdoor of this home is set high above ground. In order to bring the outdoor space up to the same level as the home, our design called for three deck levels leading from the door down to a new freeform vinyl pool and beautiful deck surround.
As always, when we build a deck, we take into consideration proper space planning to allow room for tables, chairs, barbeques, food pep areas and other features that make outdoor living so enjoyable. In addition, we create a design that takes into consideration the size of the property and the ability to maintain views. Considering the beautiful vistas open to this home, maximizing views was an important factor in every part of our design.
Deck and Patio’s design brought the deck up to the back door. Stepping out onto its first tier, the homeowners enjoy a deep seating/lounge area that boasts panoramic views of the bay’s inlet. Without obstructing the view, sophisticated drama was added by framing their deck with attractive vinyl railing which like the composite decking could last for years needing little or no repair.
The deck itself is “Trex” decking. We should add, in full disclosure, that Trex decking is the composite material most used by Deck and Patio. (Composite being deck materials manufactured with wood fiber and a mixture of plastic or other materials.) In fact, The Deck and Patio Company is a Certified Trex Pro Installer and we are one of only eight contracting firms, nationwide, that provide advice to the manufacturer as a member of the Trex Advisory Board.
That said, there are many good reasons we specialize in Trex Decking. Being a composite fabrication, there is no cracking, rotting or splitting. And because it requires no sealants their composite materials are also protected from UV rays, and allows no damage from insects, water, or sun.
We also love Trex Composite decking because they are available in a variety of colors and are durable and low maintenance. Trex designs can be configured in a variety of patterns to match the individual style of any home. In fact, at Deck and Patio’s new design and display studio you can see the various choices available and how it will look on your deck.
We also feel that Trex decking is a good choice to use around pools because it provides a stable, firm, slip-resistant surface – wet or dry which meets the American Disability Act’s non-slip standards.
Just steps from the seating area, level two of the new deck offers a custom outdoor kitchen/eating area. Here, a new grill, refrigerator, and smoker/cooker are set within curved custom cabinetry with raised bar that mimics the Trex decking. The white vinyl railing offers dramatic framing to the warm wood tone of the outdoor kitchen and deck.
The “level three” pool and decking area was also designed to capture beautiful views of the inlet. The pool is a vinyl-lined and our design/build team added a Long Island boulder wall in front of some plantings to increase the natural look of the pool area; we also added a large custom diving rock.
While Deck and Patio designs and builds gunite pools as well, we find that many of our clients these days prefer the padded, smooth, soft feel of vinyl, such as seen here. Of course, the base construction of the vinyl pool is the same as any other. “Vinyl” simply means the method used to line the pool’s interior. These liners come in a large variety of colors, which can react with the water to create the romantic “grotto” or “lagoon” effect so desirable today.
Our decks are designed to be safe and unique. Deck and Patio’s decks are built to bring the outdoor space up to the same level as the home. When faced with a steep slope, a higher deck can lead down to a lower deck creating multiple levels such as seen here. We use design enhancements to accommodate each lifestyle, such as setting the pool off to the side instead of in the center to give the homeowner more grassy area for children to play or to create lounge areas, colored skimmers and returns to blend in with the liner of the pool.
Stringent building codes help inspire Deck and Patio award-winning landscape design
Compared to the relatively flat terrain and beautiful sandy beaches that grace South Shore Long Island, the North Shore is a unique environment formed by receding glaciers thousands of years ago. With undulating topography, massive boulders, mature trees, streams and ponds, many North Shore homeowners, townships and villages look to preserve what is left of this relatively newly built and disturbed ecosystem. Now more than ever, designers and home builders alike are faced with many stringent construction and land use codes, in an attempt to hold on to what the North Shore represents to the landscape environment.
As with many residential landscape design projects across the Island, frequently site constraints or land-form challenges limit what can or cannot be constructed. Creating unique outdoor living spaces with such “limitations” often challenges Deck and Patio’s design/build team to become more creative in the design process.
For example, retaining wall systems are not normally hidden by a body of water. But, here, Deck and Patio designed the freeform concrete wall-vinyl-lined pool to sit uniquely into the hillside — thereby utilizing the pool wall as part of a retaining wall system. Its curved steel reinforced concrete wall has significant strength to withstand the natural forces of pressure exerted by the slope and the sheer weight of 20 tons of boulders sitting on the pool beam itself.
In addition, a Techo-Bloc Quarry Stone wall was located at the main patio to not only serve as an aesthetic feature to hide the grade changes to the pool area, but to become a seat wall as well. Long Island boulders were used throughout the landscape to support the remaining surrounding grades as well as to give visual impact.
In order to incorporate a client’s wish list into a design, Bill Renter, Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert, explains that every project, from inception to completion, requires a hands-on approach, in order to better understand every aspect of a site’s characteristics, architecture, building codes and its impact to the surrounding environment. It is a culmination of these factors that separate a good design from an award winning design, he says.
However, many homeowners cannot visualize such extreme makeovers to their property on a blueprint. As an aid, Deck and Patio’s design/build team utilizes state-of-the-art design technology and provides our clients with a computerized 3-D animation of their project. This presentation format aids them in understanding the design so they do not have to guess what the project will look like. It also allows construction crews to have a better understanding of what is expected to be constructed. To design and build a 22’ x 42’ freeform pool and raised spa with waterfalls nestled into a 20 foot hillside — and incorporate multiple patios at different elevations with landscaping — requires more than just lines on paper if a job is to be successful.
This property’s undulating hillside enabled Deck & Patio to create an “amphitheater-like” environment with two spectacular water features: a 6-foot-high waterfall into the pool, and a 4-foot-high cascading waterfall from the spa into the pool. These large water features not only present a visual impact from every viewing angle, but the enhanced sound effect of the cascading waters minimizes the noise pollution coming from a nearby heavily trafficked road. A unique combination of tumbled pavers, natural rock steps, Long Island boulders and retaining wall systems helped create a supple transition from the house, pool and spa patios and captured the similarities in the earth tones throughout.
In addition, the team applied their extensive knowledge of how plants will grow, sequentially bloom, and react to soil conditions, solar exposure, irrigation, etc. With so much rock and pavers built into the design, our outdoor living expert understood it was imperative to soften the impact of these massive structures by scalloping the plants into the hillside with a wide variety of colorful perennial, deciduous and evergreen plant material for a year-round impact. Once the pool is closed for the season, it’s nice to see an impact during the winter months as well.
Our outdoor living expert, Bill Renter, also believes that energy conservation is of great importance. Technology today makes operating a complex pool/spa and water feature combination with great ease and the equipment features on today’s pools are more energy efficient and programmable which helps with surging energy costs. Pool automation is a growing tool of the trade and makes it very user-friendly to pool owners. A simple touch of a button, whether with a remote control, or activate the automation computer program through the internet from anywhere, and a homeowner can turn up the heat in the pool or spa, activate the waterfalls, program the in-pool cleaning system, lighting, etc. For many satisfied pool customer’s automation is no longer an option, it’s a necessity.
Design, construction and preserving the natural environment takes on many facets and the culmination of these components needs to be thought through thoroughly during the design phase to meet the client’s overall expectation of luxury outdoor living.
This pool and spa recently won two NESPA (Northeast Spa and Pool Assoc.) awards:
Silver Medal, Second Place, and an Outstanding Achievement in Design and Building award.
In addition it won:
LIPSA- Long Island Pool and Spa Association Inc. – Silver Award, Second Place.
Design/Build Showcase: The Deck and Patio Company builds perfect backyard escapes for three clients
- # 1
Above 2 photos:
The owners of this Long Island property asked Deck and Patio’s design/build team to give their new pool area a “resort feel.” First, our team, under the leadership of our outdoor living expert, Bill Renter, designed a vinyl pool with sweeping curves, interior stairs and a love seat.
In addition, an eight-foot-high moss rock waterfall with two-horsepower pumps, that move 250 gallons of water per minute, was added to ensure a perpetual resort feeling. A large berm, complete with lush landscaping, added the right touches of color.
The client’s new patio made of tumbled pavers gives the look of natural stone while staying cool in the warm months. A white pergola with 10-inch-round columns adds a room-like feel to the patio while adding height to the once flat looking backyard.
The project was finished with landscape lighting which adds a sculpture appearance during the day while providing indirect lighting at night.
- # 2
Above 2 photos:
To maximize the view of the new pool area, for this showcase, Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert Bill Renter, and his team, designed and built an elegant multi-level deck which also was conceived to enhance the traditional look of the sloping property.
In order to match the gray siding on the house, Deck and Patio designed the architecturally chose Trex decking — a splinter-free and slip resistant composite deck material. Stairs, rails, benches and planters were also made from Trex, which offered the added benefit of not requiring preservation treatments.
The spacious wraparound wide stairs were positioned to maximize the view of the pool area. The geometric vinyl pool includes interior steps, love seats, an acrylic spill over spa, tile walls, and a Nicolock multi-level patio. An aluminum estate fence winds around the property, blending with colorful evergreen and perennial plantings.
To complete the outdoor experience for these clients, an accessible cedar barbecue cabinet with a built-in stainless steel weber grill was installed close to, but out of the view from, the kitchen doors.
Deck and Patio’s stellar landscaping was also well planned to enhance the property’s scenic views. Bluestone stepping stones provide a delightful meandering pathway to the pool area.
Above 2 photos:
Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert was contacted by local clients who wanted their 22-year-old gunite pool upgraded. They also had a non-functioning waterfall, and were very unhappy with their backyard’s uncomfortable spa; an uncomfortable expanse of grass also badly substituted for a patio.
The first step our design/build team took was to demolish the existing spa, waterfall
wood retaining wall, and rock coping. Next, a new, and very comfortable, acrylic spa was installed. To retain the sloping woodland behind the pool and also to beautify the area, our team added a seven-foot-high moss rock waterfall and boulder coping.
Because of the property’s natural setting around the pool, Deck and Patio’s design/build team
gave careful consideration to which patio material should be used. Deck and Patio’s designers suggested a tumbled pavingstone and wall system made from Techo-Bloc. The color of the patio, which has the look of natural stone, is a blend of tan and natural gray, which ties in beautifully with the color of the boulders used. The Techo-Bloc patio remains cool even on hot summer days and has the durability of a paver patio. The new technology behind the paving and matching wall systems ensures a lifetime of easy care for these surfaces.
The final touch was a lush and colorful landscape which was successfully accomplished despite the challenge of a mostly shady woodland setting.
Design/Build Showcase: The Deck and Patio Company helps clients choose the right Travertine pavers for an elegant and durable patio
The ancient Romans knew a thing or two about elegant and durable building. Parts of the Colosseum in Rome, for example, has survived thousands of years with some of its glorious facade still visible today. What many might not be aware of, however, is much of the Colosseum was constructed of the natural stone “travertine”: its main pillars, ground floor, and its external wall.
Although a natural stone, travertine is quite different from marble or granite. It is a form of limestone that the Romans called lapis Tiburtinus. Essentially made of calcite derived from deposits of mineral springs, it is commonly found in Umbria, Tuscany, Lazio and Marche regions in Italy and is also quarried from around the globe, primarily in Turkey and Mexico. Today we see it frequently used for indoor projects (floors, walls), but it is becoming increasingly used outdoors in driveways, pool decks, patio areas and walkways.
In our area of Long Island, where we have freezing cold winters, travertine has not been used very often outdoors. The holes and pores of this stone can collect moisture and freeze during ice-cold temperatures resulting in possible cracking. At least that is the conventional wisdom.
However, as pioneers in landscape design, The Deck and Patio Company doesn’t except conventional wisdom on its face. Our outdoor living expert and staff enjoy a reputation for exploring new products in detail until we understand what works and what doesn’t. And we never advise a homeowner on a new product until we are certain how it will fair over time.
Deck and Patio design/build experts spent a good deal of time understanding what travertine is in its makeup, its strengths and weaknesses, and how it reacts to the extreme elements Long Islanders face. Indeed, we consulted with many stone experts from around the world as to when and how to use natural stone products in and around pools and homes. Such diligence has been worth the effort. It turns out, where travertine is quarried can be a major deciding factor on whether or not it is a good choice for an outdoor paver. In addition, knowing the right thickness, and how to grout it, means Long Islanders can enjoy this exquisite stone, with its small pores and dimples giving it a wonderful “old world finish.”
For this particular project showcase, Deck and Patio’s design/build team used well over 2,500 square feet of travertine and over 180 linear feet of fullnose coping for the pool and spa. We believe, as did our clients, that this stone beautifully enhanced the geometric shape of the pool while creating an elegant patio area for entertaining. In addition, we elevated the diving area for added interest.
Adding a Pergola For Shade and Elegance
The first known pergola perhaps was built in Egypt; but for certain it was the Italians that made it a popular feature during the Renaissance. Pergolas can extend out from a building or home and also stand alone as an open garden feature. The pergola we built for this project showcase used
fiberglass columns and clear cedar to create an airy outdoor living space with shade.
Deck and Patio’s design/build team elevated the diving area of the pool to create added interest. It has a span of twenty-eight feet and required engineered laminated veneer lumber beam (microlam) in order for it to be structurally sound and it was encased with clear cedar and then stained.
We also constructed a custom bar/barbecue veneered in natural stone to complement the home’s architecture, the elegant swath of travertine patio, and the new raised area of the pool. We also designed and built a seat wall with the same natural stone veneer; the edge restraint matched the capstone for the seat wall.
Beneath the pergola, we added a raised fire pit with the same natural stone veneer. The homeowner simply covered the pit with a prefabricated top which serves as a table for the attractive adjacent outdoor sitting area.
Choosing the Right Materials
Choosing your building material is probably the most important aspect of design. Initially a conceptual design consists of lines on paper, or just a vision in your head. Ultimately, however, it becomes fleshed out as a unique balance and culmination of materials defined in color, texture, scale and shape; whether in the vertical or horizontal plane or both. All this is what makes design successful or not.
As in this project showcase, travertine pavers, when used from the basis of knowledge, should become more and more an important aspect of outdoor design, particularly here on Long Island. As more and more homeowners want to express in their own backyards the style and elegance they enjoy while on vacation to Caribbean or Mediterranean, they will seek different ways to recreate those special places just steps outside their door. Travertine need no longer be limited to indoor walls and floors — with the help of design and build experts, it can be used to beautiful extent outdoors.
Design/Build Showcase: The Deck and Patio Company transforms cramped backyard into perfect landscape for parties and entertaining
When this Dix Hills family decided to update their 1980s backyard pool area, they called on Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert. The problem with their yard was their old wood deck and red brick patios were too small and unusable for parties and entertaining. In addition, a large wood retaining wall beside the pool took away from the attractiveness of the pool area.
Our design/build creative team introduced a unique concept to deal with the large retaining wall: re-grade the slope and create a large natural waterfall, stream, and woodland garden in its place. Our outdoor living expert chose Aquascape Designs’ pondless waterfall system to create a seven-foot-high “sheet” waterfall and stream, which requires a good deal of water volume to create a dramatic waterfall such as this.
We chose Aquascape’s waterfall system, says Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert, because their focus, like ours, is on an ecosystem approach to water features — in this case relying on the most natural balance of circulation, filtration, plants, rocks and gravel to ensure sustainability.
Another reason our waterfall retaining wall system looks so natural is our talented waterfall team understands how water flows over rock, how it releases from the rock in order to create a natural look and feel. We avoid the look of steps in the waterfall by making the water change directions in the waterfalls and streams.
Once the stream and waterfall was complete, we pressed boulders into the surrounding slope. After that, we addressed the landscaping. Our crew installed natural woodland plantings to tie in with the tall oaks that exist on the property’s perimeter and added evergreen shrubs to ensure year-round color.
With the slope stabilized, Deck and Patio’s design/build team addressed pool renovation. After draining the pool and removing the original liner, a poorly built concrete block wall was uncovered. The solution was to straighten the wall and fill the block in with concrete and steel rebars for strength. New vinyl covered stairs were then added, as well as new pipes, returns, skimmers, pump, filter and new liner was installed.
After this, the pool was carefully backfilled and tamped says Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert. We compacted the soil back around the pool in three-inch lifts to allow for the immediate installation of new pavers around the pool.
This compacting process is not done by many contractors, says our outdoor living expert. We, however, have been doing it successfully for over 15 years with little or no soil movement. The idea is that using compacted soil the base will not settle so you don’t have to wait to install a patio around a new pool. Many contractors still install concrete slabs under their patio. In our experience we find this does not work well. Settling still occurs under the slab allowing the patio to crack or settle.
After the base materials were finished, we installed the pavers. Our clients chose Cambridge’s Sahara Chestnut random pavers. Our outdoor living expert believes this was a nice choice because Cambridge pavers have little or no color fade and the random design pattern adds interest to the patio. These stone’s ArmorTec protective coating means one gets a clean-lined modern look from a paver with maximum color retention, which is concentrated where it counts — on the top 3/8 inch of every one of their paving stones. Even after being subjected to snow plowing, de-icing salts and normal wear, they keep their color and beautiful appearance.
The clients love their new patio and pondless waterfall. Not only do they find themselves outside more often enjoying nature’s sights and sounds, they have room for parties and entertaining. In fact, their perfect backyard was there all along — it just needed some expertise to bring it out says Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert.
Design/Build: 1980s’ yard is updated by Deck and Patio into new millennium landscape
Our foyers and entrance halls make strong first impressions of the interiors of our homes. We sometimes forget, however, says Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert, that the true first impression is happening outside. If our yards are outdated — even when the inside is fresh and up-to-date — the first welcome our home makes is not what we intend.
Landscape, then, can — and should be — fresh and modern. When the owners of this Long Island home approached Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert, they were looking for an innovative and modern outdoor look for their property. Our finished custom landscape brought their outdated eighties’ exterior landscaping into the new millennium.
The homeowner’s initial thought was to only replace their backyard’s old decking with something more modern that suited their busy schedules; in other words, the new deck couldn’t be “high maintenance.” Deck and Patio’s design/build team planned and executed the removal of the existing pressure-treated deck and replaced it with sleekly-designed Trex Accents composite decking, in “Saddle.” This new decking offers the warm, natural look of wood, but without the maintenance. Indeed. Trex being a composite fabrication, it eliminates the cracking, rotting or splitting natural wood is known for. It also requires no sealants which saves lots of regular maintenance hassles. These composite materials also protect from UV rays, and allow no damage from insects, water or sun.
In sum: the new deck’s clean lines give a more modern and polished look to their outdoor space and are extremely maintenance-friendly.
As the new deck was being completed, the design and build capabilities of Deck and Patio made a strong impression and we were asked to make a complete renovation of the remainder of the backyard as well as the front of the home.
Pool Surround/Allan Block Wall
Surrounding the pool, Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert created a fresh style by replacing the old tan Chanford brick pavers with the more modern and elegant look of Techo-Bloc’s “Hammered” tan pavers. Where there once stood a moss rock waterfall, we installed a sophisticated and elegant fountain style water feature with three spilling sheets of water. An old-fashioned, straight lined railroad tie wall was removed; it was replaced with a tan Allan Block wall, laid out in sweeping curves that don’t just define the space, but also soften the lines of their new relaxation spot. Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert chose these blocks because Allan blocks look like natural stone; also they combine a rustic and modern aesthetic that result in an attractive contemporary look. In addition, they are also “dry-stacked” so there was no need for footings, mortar or connectors in the building process because the blocks stay in place once they are stacked together — – a real boon for cost-savings.
With the backyard completely finished, the front required a bit of a makeover as well. The old, crumbling asphalt driveway needed serious attention. The Deck and Patio Company’s design required removing the old driveway and replacing it with durable tan Techo-Bloc. The asphalt walkway was also extracted and a series of graceful Techo-Bloc stairs and landings were installed.
The beauty of the newly installed step and landing were subtly accented by a decorative circle kit giving a charming and aesthetically pleasing finish. Made of interlocking paving stones, the design offered warmth and charm in a design that perfectly suited the design of their home.
Two final “hardscape” additions were the two sets of masonry light piers. The first set was installed at the end of the stairs creating a welcoming feature that would show off the fine details well after the sun went down. The second set of piers was set prominently at the end of the driveway to merely hint at the beauty of the property beyond.
Now a matching driveway — up to the front door of the residence — offers a wonderful “first impression” that is fresh, new, and inviting.
Gardening and Water Features
Finally, Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert explains, when it comes to updating a home, fresh gardening can raise a home’s value almost instantly and is the least expensive improvement you can make. For example, if your plantings are over 10 years old, they are probably way overgrown; any original landscape design has long faded when plants have grown practically into trees.
For this project, our new “hardscape” design was tied together with lush, colorful perennials throughout and two specimens of green lace leaf maples standing alongside the light piers at the end of the driveway.
In addition, a new pondless waterfall alongside the deck and pool area creates a luxurious and soothing highlight — an added bonus to their outdoor living experience.
When all the craftsmen packed up upon completion of the project, the homeowners were pleased with how their dream and the vision of their designer’s came to be a reality.
Deck and Patio offers design/build expertise in using proper materials to achieve desired effect
Deck and Patio’s design ability and the competence of our installation team has gained us a good deal of recognition for our hardscapes. We believe this stems from our using the proper materials for the effect intended. Our ability to do this comes from knowledge gained over time. For example, it is important to take the texture and shape of the materials into account for each project so they provide the desired natural look in their setting. This includes choosing the proper color and shading of brick and stone to complement any residence and provide a natural look in its environment.
1. The first Deck and Patio’s design/build patio project we are showcasing (below two photos) resulted in our outdoor expert creating five different patio levels around a pool where we integrated moss rock stone with the pavers. For it we used Techo-Bloc pavers, which look like natural stone. Our outdoor living expert chooses them often because they offer so many different sizes and shapes and a broad range of colors, which makes designing the right hardscape for a particular project easier. When they are put down, they look both natural and eye-catching. Instead of simply one brick that repeats throughout the entire patio or retaining wall, one gets an attractive random-looking design, instead of just straight lines and flat images. For this project, our outdoor living expert was able to design/build matching patio, retaining walls, steps, risers for a cohesive and attractive whole.
This project captured the #1 ranking in the North American Decorative and Durable Pavement Awards.
2. Three months of site preparation was key to the success of the next hardscape project (see two photos below). Stabilization of the property came from engineering Techo-Bloc Quarry Stone into a retaining wall, conforming to a compaction ratio of up to 99.9 percent — and at a 36” depth with recycled concrete aggregate. More than 5,000 square feet of Sandalwood tumbled pavers cover the patios and 3,000 pounds of moss rock boulders and a 20 step system. Two bars, faced with cultured stones and topped with granite are part of the project: one is a swim-up bar adjacent to the pool and spa, the other is a 56” U-shaped that integrates a number of modern appliances.
This project won an APSP Gold Award in the category of “Concrete paver, more than 5,000 square feet.”
3. Our outdoor living expert says that at Deck and Patio we end up using Tech-Bloc in so many projects, partly because it is cost-effective, but it also is flexible and adaptable. Our next award-winner also garnered a Gold Award from APSP in the 1,00-5,000 square-foot category.
In dealing with several site challenges — a 20-foot elevation change with several large Long Island stone boulders among them — the solution we came up with nesting patios into the slope of the property (see photo below). A 20’-by-40’ free-form concrete wall provides boundary; the deck utilizes 1,400 square feet of Techo-Bloc Elena Sandalwood tumbled pavers, combined with a 20”-high Techo-Bloc Quarry Stone seat wall and 20 irregular bluestone stepping stones. The pavers and stone captured the tones of the Long Island boulders used for waterfalls and soil retention.
Our designs frequently include lush plantings bright colors long bloom periods, spillover spas, cascading water, a hot water fall into spas, waterfalls, streams, ponds, and natural gas “firepits” around our pools to create warm areas on the patios, especially on cool evenings. We frequently install wireless outdoor speakers. Instead of placing a single speaker in one spot, we place as many as ten throughout the project area so our clients enjoy a subtle, consistent sound all around them.
With recent advances in landscaping, swimming pools, and technology, virtually anything you can conceive of should be discussed with an experienced landscape and mason contractor. With a little imagination, the sky’s the limit.