Monthly Archives: July 2014

//July

How Many Dream Amenities Can Fit In Your Backyard?

Many Deck and Patio clients are surprised what can fit into their yard. For this project, the homeowners had a nicely sized backyard, rimmed by healthy trees, but they believed it was not expansive enough to hold everything they wanted in a dream backyard.

Deck and Patio’s Outdoor Living Expert, Bill Renter, came up with a plan that included it all: a geometric vinyl pool, separate patio areas, gas fire pit, custom stone bar with water feature, dramatic custom wood trellis, several banks of shade umbrellas, quiet lounging areas, and artful landscaping.

Bill’s design also included an automated pool cover. When not in use, the cover coils up at one end of the pool where its powerful motor and mechanisms are artfully hidden under an attractive swath of bluestone.

Because space was at a premium, the usual type of water feature — where waterfalls are fed by streams and ponds — was not practical. Bill came up with the idea of having two “sheer descent” waterfalls flowing out of the stone bar where the water is re-circulated without the usual above-ground presence of a pond.

The addition of a custom wood trellis over the bar area helps create an “outdoor great room” effect through the use of this attractive piece of architecture. It also adds to the private escape feeling so sought after these days. In addition, the shade it provides will increase over the years as any vines added by the homeowners continue to grow.

 

Vinyl Pool:

Vinyl Pool:

Our design included a lovely geometric vinyl pool with seating ledge and swim-out steps. While we design and build gunite pools, many of our clients prefer the padded, smooth feeling of vinyl. Of course, the base construction of a vinyl pool is the same as any other. “Vinyl” simply means the method used to line a pool’s interior.

 

 

Automated Pool Cover:

Automated Pool Cover:

Using a pool cover when the pool is not in use saves money as well as much of the time normally dedicated to keeping the pool free from debris. Made to fit this pool exactly, all the homeowners need do is press a button and the pool cover will automatically cover the entire pool within a minute.

 

 

Cambridge Pavers:

Cambridge Pavers:

The chestnut-hue of the random Cambridge pavers echoes that of the trellis and siding on the house, as well as the facade of the custom stone bar, creating one harmonious whole. These particular pavers have little or no color fade and the random design pattern adds interest.

 

 

Custom Outdoor Bar:

Custom Outdoor Bar:

This custom bar is set across from a slightly raised patio lounge area furnished with circular wicker seating and a shade umbrella. The bar’s stone mimics the lovely patio paving stones; it is topped by a counter made from composite decking material that gives the appearance of wood, but without the cracking, rotting, or splitting.

 

 

Sheer Descent Waterfalls:

Sheer Descent Waterfalls:

A special feature of sheer descent waterfalls is their ability to offer the audio and visual enjoyments of continuous flowing water while using only a minimum of water flow. An underground Aquascape “pondless waterfall” system stores and recirculates the water through an underneath pump, up through a filter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backyard Sanctuary Offers No Hint of Hi Tech Underpinnings

Incorporating the latest outdoor living technology, beautifully hidden in natural surroundings, is one of my passions,” says Deck and Patio’s Outdoor Living Expert, Bill Renter.

That passion is vividly expressed in this backyard sanctuary comprised of a new in-ground vinyl-lined pool, large patio area, outdoor kitchen, outdoor shower, fire pit, two streams and two waterfalls.

Its first, and most challenging, major hi tech component is an automatic pool cover attached to the vinyl free-form pool. These covers are difficult to attach to the free-form pool style and shape. In fact, previously, the homeowners were told it wasn’t possible to do so.

“We were glad to assure them that we could bring together all the expertise necessary to design and build it all,” adds Renter. “And when not in use, the cover retracts out of sight.”

Other technology: To heat the pool, we added a hybrid system that uses both a gas heater and an electric heat pump. The heat pump acts like a reverse air conditioner, pulling in warmth from the air and transferring it into the pool. This design not only adds heat taken from the air — and not from electricity — but the gas heater can act as back up when the air temperature is very low or when creating heat more quickly is required.

The “variable speed pump” Deck and Patio used is an extremely efficient pump that allows low energy use by slowing down the motor dramatically. It decreases the amount of energy the pump uses. It can run twenty-four-seven much more efficiently than others pumps that are used only a few hours a day.

 

Backyard Sanctuary:

Backyard Sanctuary:

This serene backyard sanctuary gives no hint of high-tech energy-efficient components supporting it all. Our biggest challenge was creating a four-inch ledge around pool which secures closed pool cover.

 

 

 

Hi Tech Pools:

Hi Tech Pools:

The gentle sounds of two streams leading to two separate waterfalls, as well as the splash of jet sprays, screen out any sounds from high-tech pool equipment. Outdoor shower stands at base of stepping stone pathway (right) that leads up to pool equipment.

 

 

Hiding Pool Equipment:

Hiding Pool Equipment:

High-tech pool equipment is well hidden behind berm, at end of the stepping stone path.

 

 

 

Automatic Pool Cover:

Automatic Pool Cover:

Automatic pool cover, when closed, supports clients’ young children should they walk on it unsupervised. This particular ‘rigid slated plastic’ pool cover, however, had never been fitted to this type of pool in this part of the world before.

 

 

 

Automatic Pool Cover:

Automatic Pool Cover:

Pool covers reduce evaporation of water — thereby reducing the chemical usage required. Because automated pool cover is so easy to use, it is more likely to be closed when not in use — increasing energy-efficiency as well as safety.

 

 

 

Outdoor Kitchen:

Outdoor Kitchen:

The mechanics of this outdoor kitchen’s amenities are hidden handsomely within a work station with stone facade; outdoor kitchen includes ample work area, barbecue, sink, refrigerator and eating bar with bar stools.

 

 

 

Let Your Home’s Architecture and Landscape Inspire Your Next Upgrade

This elegant multi-level deck, expansive landscaped lawn with play area, and pool/spa with patio surround were designed to both enhance the traditional look of this Long Island residence, and to fit harmoniously within the contours of its sloping property.

Making use of property gradations, Deck and Patio’s Outdoor Living Expert, Bill Renter, designed a multi-level deck with separate functional areas open to different sections of the lawn, including a close-by play area.

For the deck levels, stairs, rails, benches and plants, he chose Trex composite materials, in a gray tone that perfectly blends with the siding on the house. As an added benefit, Trex is manufactured from reclaimed and recycled materials, and does not require preservation treatments.

The spacious wide wraparound stairs were placed to maximize the view of the pool area. The landscaping was also planned to enhance the property’s scenic views. A bluestone stepping stone path meandering to the pool ensures that too much hardscape does not disturb the pastoral scene.

The geometric vinyl pool includes interior steps, loveseats, an acrylic spillover spa, tile walls; a Nicolock multi-level patio creates an elegant surround. An aluminum estate fence winds around the property, blending with colorful evergreen and perennial plantings.

 

Multi-level Decking;

Multi-level Decking;

The wood grain appearance of this splinter-free and slip resistant composite decking is a beautiful alternative to natural wood.

 

 

 

Trex Decking and Railing:

Trex Decking and Railing:

The railing around the deck frames the deck handsomely, while offering added safety on a multi-level deck.

 

 

 

Nicolock Pool Surround:

Nicolock Pool Surround:

An all-Nicolock paver surround is vibrant and durable.

 

 

 

Spillover Raised Spa:

Spillover Raised Spa:

The tiles that face the spa beam underneath this raised spa complement the vinyl linings of the spa and pool.

 

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. Future plans for this property include a pavilion at the pool with a wet bar and refrigerator.

 

 

A Backyard Upgrade With A Unique Garden Fence

This project was an interesting one for us. Our clients’ Long Island, NY, home is part of a beach community where properties are close together, and where shade and privacy is at a premium.

Our planned backyard upgrade included new amenities such as: patio, shade pergola, wood-burning fireplace, fire pit, attractive landscaping — and, a small herb/vegetable garden. The only problem was the homeowners feared the larger of their two dogs would trample any garden created. Some sort of fencing would be required, but would that detract from the limited natural space they had?

Deck and Patio’s Outdoor Living Expert, Bill Renter, considered their concerns as work began. And when they were cutting down a large overgrown bush in the yard, a unique idea occurred to him.

“I remembered they also have a ski lodge in the Catskills and it occurred to me that a fence made from the old bush would offer a whimsical piece of Catskill design to the yard.”

The result is the bush clippings didn’t end up at the dump, and, instead, were used to good effect. The custom pergola beautifully provides shaded areas in their backyard, as well as privacy around the sitting areas. Cool evening ocean breezes are eased by the fireplace and fire pit, and the couple has fresh herbs and vegetables already budding — unmolested.

Note: Many will also wish to know that their cherished larger dog hasn’t gotten into any trouble — at least because of any harm to their garden.

 

 

New Patio and Pergola:

New Patio and Pergola:

The project’s new shade pergola and fireplace offer privacy in this compact beach community; the new patio is made from Cambridge Renaissance 6 x 9 Ruby Onyx pavers.

 

 

Vegetable Garden Fencing:

Vegetable Garden Fencing:

Deck and Patio used some unique materials to protect the newly created herb/vegetable garden. A 2.5-foot-high fence with gate was made from brush twigs; it not only protects the garden, but offers an interesting focal point to the yard.

 

 

 

Garden Fence Construction:

Garden Fence Construction:

The garden fence made from cut down brush is completely custom and is a unique part of the backyard upgrade design.

 

 

 

Outdoor Fireplace:

Outdoor Fireplace:

The new wood-burning fireplace in made in cultured stone: Country Ledgestone, in the color “Bucks County.” The fire pit table is “Snowbird” made with a stainless steel burner: its clear fire jewels appear to be bubbling when the flame is lit.

 

 

 

Shade Pergola:

Shade Pergola:

The custom shade pergola can be enjoyed for its beautiful architectural interest alone. However, it also offers privacy and shade during the intense heat and light of summer.