At Deck and Patio we’re finding that it’s not just a desire for “stay-cations” motivating Long Islanders to want their own spectacular outdoor retreat. It seems, as the economy improves, the desire to celebrate is in the air. And with the onset of great weather, we’re hungering to hold life’s special occasions — outdoors.
Whatever the motivation or celebration, any outdoor oasis must start with the right foundation. We have found Cambridge Pavingstones with ArmorTec to be the most durable and beautiful. That’s because these pavers do not show signs of color loss or fading over time, and have blemish-free surfaces. In particular, at Deck and Patio, we often recommend the “Ledgestone 3Pc. Design Kit” from Cambridge’s “The Sherwood Collection,” for the pavers’ particular shape, surface and unique design opportunities.
Cambridge also has a good line of Wallstones to complement the pavers laid down in patios, terraces, walkways, and pool surrounds. Constructed to the right height, in addition to delineating outside spaces attractively, these walls can make perfect seating benches. Such extra seating is great for friends and family to gather around a large-screen television for ballgames, or a fire pit to toast hot dogs and marshmallows, or to sit when eating from a buffet plate.
In addition, no one plans an outdoor oasis to enjoy just for one season. We’re talking about a lifestyle change — which is another reason why we love Cambridge Pavingstones so much. For as summers get hotter and winters get colder, these seem to withstand abuse better than any poured and stenciled concrete. They are also quite resistant to chipping, de-icing salts and snow plowing.
Of course, maybe you don’t want to create the “ideal” outdoor paradise all at once. If that’s the case, you are not alone. Budgetary realities might mean starting small — but with a plan. Here at Deck and Patio we have a terrific computer program. We can design an oasis that can be done over time. And you can see how it will look each step of the way.
Perhaps the first phase will be simply a new walkway, or terrace — beautifully made from durable Cambridge Pavingstones. Another phase might include a fire pit and pergola. Still later, a pool, or water feature, spa, and outdoor kitchen. A stepping stone path, new deck, patios — the sky’s the limit for your dreams.
Photos: Courtesy of Cambridge Pavingstones with ArmorTec
Deck & Patio
This elegant multi-level deck was designed to enhance the traditional look of this sloping East Northport Residence. Bill Renter of the Deck and Patio Co., has uniformity in mind when he designed the architecturally correct area out of trex, a splinter-free and slip resistant composite deck material. Stairs, rails, benches and plants, made from trex, also match the gray siding on the house. As an added benefit, the deck does not require preservation treatments.
The spacious wide wraparound stairs were placed to maximize the view of the pool area. 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.
Landscaping enhances the property’s scenic views. A bluestone stepping stone path meanders to the pool area. The geometric vinyl pool includes interior steps, loveseats, an acrylic spill over spa, tile walls, and a nicoloc multi-level patio. An aluminum estate fence winds around the property, blending with colorful evergreen and perennial plantings.
Future plans for this property include a pavilion at the pool with a wet bar and refrigerator.
Deck and Patio Handles the ‘Impossible’
When the owners of this relatively small Nassau County property originally approached other firms for a landscape pool design, they were told that because terrain the construction would be nearly impossible. The homeowner had hired The Deck and Patio Company to handle their deck renovation from natural wood to Trex and had decided to ask one last time about the possibility of a pool. To the residents’ surprise, they were told it was not impossible at all; it would take a bit of innovation design to bring their dream to fruition.
The major issue that the inventive plan would have to resolve would be the installation of the pool in an area that inclined going towards the home. Another cause for concern was the restrictive town setbacks. The Deck and Patio Company tackled these issues by cleverly setting the pool mid grade and building risers up to the pool height. The water feature was built behind the pool. The idea was to design something that would deal with the rising higher grade and create a solution to the homeowner’s desire to screen out the neighbors while still maintaining a natural beauty.
There are many highlights and exciting features located throughout this project. First of all, the newly installed pool was vinyl instead of gunite. The homeowner is afforded a number of benefits when choosing a vinyl lined pool over gunite. Vinyl lined pools can be constructed in any shape, curve, or angle due to the advanced computerization of liner fabrication. The concrete walls of vinyl lined pools have a life time guarantee and overall the savings are significantly less than gunite. With a vinyl lined pool, the homeowner is no longer stuck with unattractive white interior stairs that do not blend in with the rest of the pool and the comfort of a smooth bottom for the swimmer’s feet is its own reward. The Deck and Patio Company has an extensive background in natural design and has won several awards.
The pool is surrounded by patio created from Cambridge’s Round Table in Onyx Natural set in a modified herringbone pattern. Bluestone stepping stones skim across the sod and connect the pool patio to the deck and patio at the house which is also home to the outer kitchen area complete with BBQ and refrigerator. The entire project was finished off with the installation of lush colorful landscaping and low voltage lighting.
Deck and Patio’s Sound Design
By June Sullivan
With its seemingly endless miles of beautiful shoreline, Long Island has been a summer playground of choice for generations. In facet, this particular Glen Cove home and property boasts such a lovely view of “the Sound,” it was rumored that President Richard Nixon was a regular visitor here during his presidency in the early 1970’s.
However, that was the 70’s and today’s expectations for outdoor recreation on Long Island have progressed beyond simply a beautiful view to include resort-style amenities. “And this property’s two-level back yard,” says Bill Renter, owner of The Deck and Patio Company, in Huntington Station “had a drawback to that, a steep – and dangerous – slope or bluff at its edge. Its new homeowner was savvy, however,” he continues. “She knew that a “vanishing edge” pool would make its deep slope an advantage and become the centerpiece of a beautiful resort-style outdoor living area.
“When the homeowner came to us, she put no limits on a plan,” says Renter. “She was pleased with finished projects of ours that she had seen. Her main requests were for the vanishing edge pool and that we keep the site’s already existing pond.
“She was very open to additional new ideas,” continues Renter, “and there was a collaborative and cooperative relationship between us.”
Renter says that one way they work together 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.
“She could experience walking across the new patio to see things from different angles,” says Renter. “We have a talented designer who draws the plans. All aspects of the design — from the existing house to the proposed patio, pool, waterfalls, outdoor kitchens, and expanded pond – could be experienced in motion. Even the gas campfires.” This was particularly helpful, he says, to fully appreciate the water-to-water views of the proposed vanishing edge pool. These pools, explains Renter, are an optical illusion that suggests the water is vanishing out of the back edge of the pool. The ultimate vanishing edge, he adds, is when, as with this Glen Cove project, the illusion looks as if the water in the pool is connected to the water in the view behind.
“I should add, however, that it doesn’t have to connect to a water to be spectacular,” says Renter. “Some of the most dramatic vanishing edges simply have something beautiful behind them. It could be a beach, or as simple as a beautiful flower garden or charming wooded area. What happens is that the vanishing edge catches your eye and makes you focus on the spot.” Renter continues that even the size of the space doesn’t matter. “It just requires an attractive focal point behind it and, together with the pool edge, it can take your breath away.”
In reality, nothing is vanishing, of course, says the Deck and Patio owner. 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.
For example, says Renter, an undersized catch pool can almost never be corrected.
“I deal with an industry expert who is the foremost authority for vanishing edge pools. I asked him if I could fax him drawings and he called back and in formed me that the size of our catch basin could potentially be too small. We immediately changed the design to accommodate a larger one.” Renter explains that 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. Or, he adds, 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,” says Renter. “That is why we take such great care to ensure it is done correctly.”
Renter’s roster of experts are also useful in the construction of the pool itself.
“The pools we build are typically vinyl, not gunite,” says the Deck and Patio owner. “They have steel reinforced concrete walls, which are thicker and stronger than a typical gunite pool.”
“The real challenge is measuring and accurately cutting and welding the three vinyl pool liners for a project like this, e.g., a spa liner, pool liner and catch pool liner. For that, we called in experts at Dover Vinyl in New Jersey who can do complicated projects. They came to the Glen Cove job site to verify all measurements, to ensure the liners would fit perfectly, which they did.”
One concern potential customers have regarding vinyl pools, says Renter, is that some people are not certain they will like the feel of vinyl. In this case the homeowner initially thought that a vinyl pool might not be worthy of her new resort-style back yard. Renter says that he took her to his own home to demonstrate what a vinyl pool/spa combination would look like and how automation works.
“She took off her shoes and stepped into my spa and swimming pool,” says Renter. “Having been a gunite pool owner previously, she was surprised that’s she liked the smooth soft feel of the padded stairs in the vinyl pool. After that visit, she was really excited to go ‘vinyl’ and actually insisted on it.”
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. Plus the original pond she had wanted to keep 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.
The lighting that creates the extraordinary night views was done by Outdoor Lighting Perspectives in Huntington. “And just as their carefully hidden lighting gives wonderful effects – yet goes unseen,” says Renter, “all the expertise and technology behind the waterfalls, water pumps, the DE filter, gas heater, LED lights, EOS wireless automation, etc. also go unnoticed.
What you do notice, he says, are the breathtaking views and stunning outdoor living areas.
“The homeowner, her family and friends, in particular appreciate the swim up bar, which, on its opposite sides, is also a walk up bar, and that it includes a barbecue, refrigerator, ice maker, cabinets and hot and cold water running sink,” says Renter.
In fact, the homeowner says she doesn’t need to travel anywhere now. Her beautiful piece of Long Island has become more than a summer playground. “It’s a multi-seasonal resort worthy of today’s presidents,” says Renter. “It’s all hers to enjoy and share.”
Deck and Patio Company Offers Budget-friendly Options for Beautiful Landscape Design
In the following interview, Bill Renter, owner of The Deck and Patio Company, in Huntington Station, suggests some interesting ideas for operating within a modest landscape design budget.
Q: There are a lot of outdoor lovers wanting to create an oasis on their property but are concerned about costs. Can you give them a reason for hope?
A: I understand their passion. As an avid skier and hiker, experiencing nature is a life to me. As long as you include nature’s major elements: land, water, air, and fire, there is a wide range of options open. So, yes, there definitely is hope. In fact, much of our work at Deck and Patio is done in regular backyards, in phases, and within a modest budget. One way to keep costs down is to work from a scaled sketch and photos of the products, rather than have homeowners invest in a formal and intricate plan.
Q: Can you give me an example?
A: Budget pergola and fireplace kits can be half the price of custom ones and you can get a clear picture of what they will look like before hand. Such kits can produce a beautiful outdoor stage for a Great Room – the perfect spot for star gazing and sharing good times with family and friends.
Q: Can you recommend a cost effective alterative to an in-ground pool?
A: A hot tub can be an ideal budget option to a pool. In addition, by surrounding it with rocks and a small garden, it suggests that “in-ground” look even if it’s not.
Q: What type of fire pits do you recommend?
A: I prefer gas fire pits over wood-burning ones because they are smoke-free and sparks and embers don’t blow around whenever there is a puff of wind. A nice budget-conscious option is the “Inspiration” gas fireplace, with Venturi flame technology. It has only one flame but gives and intense tornado-type appearance through use of mirrors.
Q: Do you have any other favorite products or equipment?
A: Well we often use Bullfrog Spas because they have less plumbing than others. In addition, their removable jetted hot tub seats, called JetPaks, allow them to be individually selected by the customer for a perfect massage to relieve stress and increase flexibility.
Q: What about cost-friendly paver areas?
A: Instead of a brick or masonry pavers, we often create a meandering natural path with bluestone stepping stones. Each stone is about three or four feet wide and long. They give a more natural aged look as they invite guests to go from one spot to another, sometimes through a garden.
Q: Any last thoughts?
A: Don’t feel because you aren’t ready for a large or expensive landscape project that you can’t have an outdoor oasis. There’s more than hope. There really are options available for every budget. It just takes a little creativity.
Written By: June Sullivan
The Deck and Patio Company Updates this Backyard for a Truly Relaxing Environment
When the owners of this Huntington home decided to update their backyard, they researched magazines and websites to find a qualified pool area remodeler. The same name came up again and again. They chose The Deck and Patio Company in Huntington Station because of their many awards, magazine articles and website that was loaded with helpful photos.
They met with Bill Renter and Ronnie Brown to discuss their ideas. The plan was to keep the existing gunite swimming pool and remove the small and confining patios to open up the space and show off their spectacular water view of Long Island sound.
After the first meeting ended the design team went to work. They used autocad and 3-D animation to show how this multilevel pool area would change. “We used what the client described as a problem area as a feature” described Brown. “We enlarged the upper area where the client liked to sit in the shade and enjoy the view.” The lower area was expanded for sunning and an outdoor kitchen was added for entertaining.
Boulders and a waterfall were added to the spillover spa. The spa patio was enlarged by the master bedroom. The side of the house has a secret garden path that leads to clients private bbq patio and pondless water feature.
The landscaping was arranged to screen out unwanted views and enhance the water views and enhance the water view with colorful plants and flowers.
The result of this transformation is breathtaking views and space from all areas. The clients’ ideas were turned into reality with the blending of the old pool and new patios, waterfalls, boulders and of course landscaping.
Photos of this project will be submitted for local, regional and international awards this fall.
You’ve found the right place. Ask your question about and outdoor project and our Expert Bill Renter of the Deck and Patio Company in Huntington Station Long Island will answer it promptly. Are you doing research before you call to make an appointment? Our blog and website is full of useful information about current trends and long lasting durable products and their proper installation.
We answer questions about building a deck, patio. paver patio, ponds, waterfalls, waterfeatures, watergardens, Bullfrog spas and hot tubs, pergolas, swimming pools, spillover spas, landscape design landscaping, outdoor kitchens, outdoor bbq, fire pits camp fires, in Nassau and Suffolk county New York.
When looking for a deck builder on Long Island, look for a company that has been established for a number of years. The Deck and Patio Company has been building wood, composite, and pvc decks since 1992. They specialize in decking from Trex including Transend, Escapes, and Accents, also Timbertech XLM, Earthwood Evolutions, Twin Finish, and Reliaboard, also Azek decking.
The Most Energy Efficient Hot Tubs
January 27th, 2011
The JetPak System and Full Foam Insulation Combine to Make Bullfrog Spas Incredibly Energy Efficient
These days most people just can’t afford to waste money. So, it’s important to know that your hot tub doesn’t have a direct debit line to your bank account. Many hot tubs out there claim to be energy efficient but may cost you hundreds of dollars per month on your electricity bill – a Bullfrog Spa probably costs less than $20.
Of course, costs vary depending on the climate where you live, energy rates, and how often you use your hot tub. One thing is certain though, a Bullfrog Spa is extremely energy efficient, which will cost you less money in the long run, all the while providing better massages, true customization, American-made quality and extreme durability.
Why are Bullfrog Spas more energy efficient?
Well, it all comes down to the fact that Bullfrog Spas are built differently than every other spa out there. Bullfrog Spas are the only hot tubs built with the patented JetPak System. JetPak Technology provides a more advanced and more efficient way to build a hot tub. The JetPak System eliminates up to 90% of the plumbing that is required to build all other spas. In addition, almost all of the plumbing utilized in the JetPak System resides inside the spa’s warm water so it recycles heat instead of losing it to the outside environment. Bullfrog combines the JetPak System with high-grade full foam insulation and insulated tight fitting hot tub covers to achieve maximum heat retention.
The result: A Bullfrog Spa holds heat better and requires far less electricity to maintain warm water.
In energy efficiency stats compiled by the California Energy Commission, Bullfrog Spas either lead or are top 4 on the list for every category in which we have a spa model. And, keep in mind, we didn’t make any modifications to our normal production spas for these tests.