cascading water

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Outdoor Living Design: Let’s Rock This Place!

Rocks are a natural part of nature. And in landscaping, when boulders and stones are chosen well and positioned perfectly around your home’s landscape, a man-made waterfall or stream can appear as if it’s flowing from a natural stream carved out by Mother Nature herself.

Elsewhere on your property, a single, perfectly-sized, durable rock can become a pool’s diving board that feels like you’re jumping off a small cliff into a Caribbean lagoon. The right choice in patio pavers also add to an outdoor living elegant design.

 

 

Diving/Jump Rocks (Long Island/NY):

Diving/Jump Rocks (Long Island/NY):

Set against lush plantings and a beautiful man-made waterfall, this diving rock and the sandy-hued paving stone patio feel like they’ve come about organically.

On a smaller scale, a group of flat, well-placed stepping stones (e.g. bluestone) can turn a functional lawn-protecting pathway into a peaceful stroll well worth the taking.

 

Backyard Escape (Long Island/NY):

Backyard Escape (Long Island/NY):

How’s this for a example of the serenity that comes from simply adding bluestone stepping stones in a landscaped area. For this project, the stones make a special walking area for the homeowners as they move around their larger backyard retreat.

 

Moss Rocks

To create truly natural-looking water features, it is key to know how rocks affect water flow as it occurs in nature. We are happy to say that over the years, Deck and Patio has received a multitude of awards for doing just that — choosing the perfect rocks for water features, and then artfully installing them to great effect.

“Deck and Patio finds that moss rocks, or sandstone or flagstone rocks, with their red and brown undertones, provide the ‘mountain stream-woodsy appeal’ that is key to any natural looking water feature and surrounding landscaped garden,” says our own Dave Stockwell.

 

Backyard Stream with Moss Rock (Long Island/NY):

Backyard Stream with Moss Rock (Long Island/NY):

We designed and built this natural looking meandering watery trail and lined it with natural moss rock boulders and river stone gravel. Robust plantings along the stream also add to the natural look of it all.

 

Spill Rocks for Backyard Streams (Long Island/NY):

Spill Rocks for Backyard Streams (Long Island/NY):

Each spill rock along this second backyard stream was carefully positioned to depict the most natural water movement. The stream flows down and over a 2-foot-by-2-foot-wide moss rock waterfall and cascades into a 10-foot-by-15-foot pond. It looks like it has always been there, part of the natural environment.

 

Upgrading Your Existing Backyard Retreat (Long Island/NY):

Upgrading Your Existing Backyard Retreat (Long Island/NY):

Where once stood an outdated waterfall, now stands a sophisticated and elegant fountain style water feature with three spilling sheets of water, and of course the perfect stones and boulders, including smaller and beautiful river rocks. 

 

Spectacular Backyard Water Features(Long Island/NY):

Spectacular Backyard Water Features(Long Island/NY):

“Just about any backyard space has room to ‘rock’ the space. Here is another nice example of where we designed and built a dramatic man-made waterfall that appears as if it had been created by Mother Nature herself.

 

Using Rocks for Outdoor Living Design (Long Island/NY):

Using Rocks for Outdoor Living Design (Long Island/NY):

Just look at how many ways rocks were used in this Deck and Patio project to create a beautiful backyard landscape…a natural looking retaining wall, attractive pool paver surround, natural looking waterfalls, campfires, stone steps up the grade. We are proud to say that it’s a Deck and Patio award-winning design that truly rocks!

 

When It Comes to Long Island (NY) Landscaping: Stones and Boulders Really Rock

Deck and Patio’s Outdoor Living Expert uses hard rocks: boulders, stone — and even man made wet-cast concrete — to create soft effects in backyard landscapes

 

Rocks are a natural part of nature, and when chosen well and positioned perfectly, they can make a man-made waterfall appear as if it’s flowing from a natural mountain stream.

Elsewhere in your landscape, a single, perfectly-sized, durable rock can make a diving board feel like you’re jumping from a small cliff into a Caribbean lagoon. Plus, a group of flat, well placed stepping stones can turn a functional lawn-protecting pathway into a peaceful stroll well worth taking.

An avid outdoor enthusiast, Deck and Patio’s own Bill Renter spends as much time as he can walking the hillsides of NY’s Catskills and studying the landscape. His expertise in how rocks affect streams and waterfalls is well known. Over the years, he has received a multitude of awards for choosing the perfect rocks, and artfully installing them to great effect and function.

 

Man-made Waterfalls (Long Island/NY):

Man-made Waterfalls (Long Island/NY):

Waterfalls cascading over natural rock creates perfect mood for meditation or romantic al fresco dining. Rocks used here include river rock, moss rock, spill rocks, and bluestone stepping stones.

 

 

Diving/Jump Rocks (Long Island/NY):

Diving/Jump Rocks (Long Island/NY):

Set against lush landscaping and a beautiful man-made waterfall, this diving rock and paving stone patio feel like they’ve come about organically.

 

 

Backyard Hardscapes (Long island/NY):

Backyard Hardscapes (Long island/NY):

Here rocks have been used to create two stepping stone paths; a natural looking and sturdy set of stairs; a custom raised spa set above the pool, from where a heated waterfall flows; and a retaining wall of natural stones.

 

 

Stepping Stone Paths (Long Island/NY):

Stepping Stone Paths (Long Island/NY):

Stepping stones can be round, square, or irregularly shaped; place them squarely along your intended path.

 

 

Upgrading Existing Backyard Retreat

Upgrading Existing Backyard Retreat

Where once stood an outdated moss rock waterfall, now stands a sophisticated and elegant fountain style water feature with three spilling sheets of water.

Award-Winning Project Showcase: Turning Challenges Into Benefits

When creating this beautiful backyard retreat, the first challenge facing Deck and Patio Company’s Outdoor Living Expert, Bill Renter, was meeting the expectations of both the husband and wife: he wanted a place to take full advantage of the sun; she wanted a cool place to relax with friends.

The solution was (1) to position the pool in the sun, in order to gain the most sun exposure during the day and, (2) for congregating in comfort, create a shady pergola, over a granite swim-up/walk-up bar and patio.

The second challenge was ensuring the plan would fit in the 12-foot elevation change from the rear of the home to the back of the property. To alleviate this problem, we built a multi-tiered Techo-Bloc system of patios, including a raised patio, with a wide, wrap-around stair, leading to the pool, lower patio, and a sunken swim-up-bar patio.

We did all this without using rails and fences, which would obstruct views of the natural stone waterfall and vibrant landscaping. By designing wide stairs, multi-level stone walls and generous planting beds, we were able to create a colorful buffer between the upper and lower levels.

Both husband and wife were delighted with the design, and the property’s most difficult challenge — its rising elevation — was turned into a benefit.

This project won several awards, including the prestigious Gold prize from the National Spa and Pool Institute (NSPI).

 

Patio Landscaping:

Patio Landscaping:

Matching steps, walls, coping and moss rock add elegant finishing touches to the Techo-Bloc patios that surround this inviting free-form vinyl pool.

 

 

 

Pool-Side Bar

Pool-Side Bar:

This 32-foot, U-shaped swim-up granite-topped bar, in cultured stone and rock facing, curves around to be enjoyed from patio as well.

 

 

 

Techo-Bloc Patios

Techo-Bloc Patios:

Techo-Bloc’s Elena/Sandlewood, with its warm gray and tan earth tones, in random sizes, creates welcoming spacious patios around new free-form vinyl pool.

 

 

 

Vinyl Pool Swim-Up Bar

Vinyl Pool Swim-Up Bar:

For the ultimate in outdoor socializing, guests can walk up to, or swim up to, this U-shaped bar and sit on patio or in-pool stools.

Turning a Tired Backyard Into Award-Winning Retreat

Like many homeowners, you may already have a landscaped backyard, possibly with a pool that’s been through a number of summers. You’ve probably considered doing something with it, but what? Take a look at this pool renovation project that helped our Outdoor Living Expert, Bill Renter, capture the #1 ranking several years ago in patio design.

As the mason contractor on the job, our firm was dealing with a 20-year old pool with similarly-aged coping surrounded by grass where had never been a patio. There was also a concrete spa the family never used because it was uncomfortable.

The fact that the clients really loved the existing pool coping made Bill’s job even more interesting. After visiting several mason suppliers, and finding it impossible to obtain the original coping, he turned to Techo-Bloc to make a match. This coping had tan and grey tones, and Techo-Bloc’s sandalwood paving stones were an extremely good complement.

We also constructed a retaining wall and masonry steps down to the pool patio. The finished design featured a five-level patio all around the swimming pool. Later we added new maintenance-free decking.

So if you’re interested in creating your own backyard paradise, whatever the size of your space, a little creativity goes a long way.

 

 

Cascading Water Features:

Cascading Water Features:

There are five different patio levels around the pool, all comprised of Techo-Bloc. The design features cascading water, a hot water fall into a new spa, then a spillover from the spa five feet above the main pool.

 

 

 

Raised Spillover Spas:

Raised Spillover Spas:

We began by demolishing the old uncomfortable spa and replacing it with a new acrylic one. Using Techo-Bloc “Creta” wall stone, we created the face between the raised acrylic spillover spa and the swimming pool.

 

 

 

Techo-Bloc Patios

Techo-Bloc Patios

The couple didn’t want to deal with much maintenance and our solution was a raised patio design. The challenge was the steep slope that ran away from the house making it necessary to put solid compactable materials underneath to avoid settling issues later on.

 

 

 

Backyard Retreats:

Backyard Retreats:

In total, there are five waterfalls, plus a swim-up bar in the pool that features stunning granite countertops and a shade pergola. From the highest waterfall, to the lawn below, is an elevation change of twelve feet, all with a different grades.

 

 

 

 

 

Enjoying a Tropical Holiday Every Day

After returning from a holiday in Costa Rica, which is bordered on one side by the Pacific, and on the other by the Caribbean, these homeowners wanted to keep enjoying the tropical experience they so enjoyed there.

The first challenge facing Deck and Patio Company’s outdoor living expert, Bill Renter, was to meet the expectations of both the husband and wife: he wanted a place to take full advantage of the sun; she wanted a cool place to relax with friends.

The solution was (1) to position the pool in the sun, in order to gain the most sun exposure during the day and, (2) for congregating in comfort, create a shady pergola, over a granite swim-up/walk-up bar and patio.

The second challenge was developing a plan that would fit in the 12-foot elevation change from the rear of the home to the back of the property. To alleviate this, we built a raised patio, with a wide, wrap-around stair, leading to the pool, patio, and sunken swim up bar patio.

We did all this without using rails and fences, which would obstruct views of the natural stone waterfall and vibrant landscaping. By designing wide stairs, multi-level stone walls and generous planting beds, we were able to create a colorful buffer between the upper and lower levels.

Both husband and wife were delighted with the design, and the property’s most difficult challenge — its rising elevation — was turned into a benefit. The main thing, is they both feel like they’re back in Costa Rica, every single day.

This project won several GOLD MEDAL awards from the several design awards awards from the NSPI and NESPA.

 

Techo-Bloc’s “Elena” in Sandlewood:

Techo-Bloc’s “Elena” in Sandlewood:

Techo-Bloc’s Elena/Sandlewood, with its warm gray and tan earth tones, in random sizes, creates welcoming, spacious patios.

 

 

Patio Landscaping:

Patio Landscaping:

Matching steps, walls, coping and moss rock add elegant finishing touches to the Techo-Bloc patios.

 

 

 

Pool-Side Bar:

Pool-Side Bar:

This 32-foot, U-shaped swim-up granite-topped bar, in cultured stone and rock facing, curves around to be enjoyed from patio as well.

 

 

 

Vinyl Pool Swim-Up Bar:

Vinyl Pool Swim-Up Bar:

For the ultimate in outdoor socializing, guests can walk up to, or swim up to, this U-shaped bar and sit on patio or in-pool stools.

 

 

 

When It Comes to Long Island (NY) Landscaping: Stones and Boulders Really Rock

Deck and Patios Outdoor Living Expert uses hard rocks: boulders, stone and even man made wet-cast concrete to create soft effects in backyard landscapes

 

Rocks are a natural part of nature, and when chosen well and positioned perfectly, they can make a man-made waterfall appear as if it’s flowing from a natural mountain stream.

Elsewhere in your landscape, a single, perfectly-sized, durable rock can make a diving board feel like you’re jumping from a small cliff into a Caribbean lagoon. Plus, a group of flat, well placed stepping stones can turn a functional lawn-protecting pathway into a peaceful stroll well worth taking.

An avid outdoor enthusiast, Deck and Patio’s own Bill Renter spends as much time as he can walking the hillsides of NY’s Catskills and studying the landscape. His expertise in how rocks affect streams and waterfalls is well known. Over the years, he has received a multitude of awards for choosing the perfect rocks, and artfully installing them to great effect and function.

 

Man-made Waterfalls (Long Island/NY):

Man-made Waterfalls (Long Island/NY):

Waterfalls cascading over natural rock creates perfect mood for meditation or romantic al fresco dining. Rocks used here include river rock, moss rock, spill rocks, and bluestone stepping stones.

 

Diving/Jump Rocks (Long Island/NY):

Diving/Jump Rocks (Long Island/NY):

Set against lush landscaping and a beautiful man-made waterfall, this diving rock and paving stone patio feel like they’ve come about organically.

 

Backyard Hardscapes (Long island/NY):

Backyard Hardscapes (Long island/NY):

Here rocks have been used to create two stepping stone paths; a natural looking and sturdy set of stairs; a custom raised spa set above the pool, from where a heated waterfall flows; and a retaining wall of natural stones.

 

Stepping Stone Paths (Long Island/NY):

Stepping Stone Paths (Long Island/NY):

Stepping stones can be round, square, or irregularly shaped; place them squarely along your intended path.

 

Upgrading Your Existing Backyard Retreat (Long Island/NY):

Upgrading Your Existing Backyard Retreat (Long Island/NY):

 

 

Landscape Update To Freshen Home’s Exterior

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, 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 our 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. www.deckandpatio.com

New Decking

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.” Our 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.

 

Maintenance-friendly Deck:

Maintenance-friendly Deck:

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

The patio surrounding the pool was given 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.

 

Fountain Style Water Feature:

Fountain Style Water Feature:

Where there once stood a moss rock waterfall, we installed a sophisticated and elegant fountain style water feature with three spilling sheets of water.

 

Allan Block Wall:

Allan Block Wall:

An old-fashioned, straight lined railroad tie wall was removed; it was replaced with a tan Allan Block wall, laid out in sweeping curves.

 

Techo-Bloc “Hammered” Pavers:

Techo-Bloc “Hammered” Pavers:

We gave a fresh style to the patio surrounding the pool by replacing the old tan Chanford brick pavers with the more modern and elegant look of Techo-Bloc’s “Hammered” tan pavers.

Front Driveway/Steps

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.

Light Piers

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.

 

Techo-Bloc Driveway:

Techo-Bloc Driveway:

In the front yard, our 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.

 

Steps and Landings:

Steps and Landings:

The beauty of the newly installed step and landing were subtly accented by a decorative circle kit giving a charming and aesthetically pleasing finish.

Gardening and Water Features

Finally, 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.

 

Great Curb Appeal:

Great Curb Appeal:

 

 Beautiful Water Features:

Beautiful Water Features:

We also created a second lovely water feature area that appeals to the homeowner’s sense of sound as well as sight.

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.

 

 

3 Award-Winning Hardscapes

Deck and Patio’s ability to use proper materials for desired effect garners awards

 

The design ability and competence of our installation team has gained us a good deal of recognition. We believe this stems from our using the proper materials for the effect intended. The 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.

1. Our first design/build patio project (below two photos) showcases five different patio levels around a pool where we integrated moss rock stone with the pavers. We chose pavers which look like natural stone. This particular manufacturer offers many different sizes and shapes and a broad range of colors, which makes designing the right hardscape for a particular project easier. Once down, hey look both natural and eye-catching. Instead of simply one brick that repeats throughout the entire patio or retaining wall, you get an attractive random-looking design, instead of just straight lines and flat images. For this project, we were able to design/build matching patios, retaining walls, steps, and risers for a cohesive and attractive whole. It captured for us the #1 ranking in the North American Decorative and Durable Pavement Awards.

 

Multi-level Patios:

Multi-level Patios:

For this design/build project, we created five different patio levels around a pool where we integrated moss rock stone with the pavers.

 

Raised Spill-over Spa:

Raised Spill-over Spa:

We used a special “Creta” wall stone to create the face between the raised acrylic spillover spa and swimming pool.

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 a manufactured stone, which offers the same hand-chiseled and handcrafted look of actual quarried stone, into a retaining wall, conforming to a compaction ration of up to 99.9 percent — at a 36” depth with recycled concrete aggregate. More than 5,000 square feet of tumbled pavers cover the patios and 3,000 pounds of moss rock boulders and a 20 step system we installed. Two bars, faced with cultured stones and topped with granite are also 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.”

 

Tumbled Pavers:

Tumbled Pavers:

More than 5,000 square feet of Sandalwood tumbled pavers were used to cover the patios, 3,000 pounds of moss rock boulders and a 20 step system were also used.

 

Pool-side Bars:

Pool-side Bars:

We designed and built two bars faced with cultured stones and topped with granite for this project: one is a swim-up bar, the other U-shaped bar integrates a number of modern appliances.

Our next award-winner also garnered a Gold Award from APSP in the 1,000-5,000 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 was 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 tumbled pavers, combined with a 20”-high manufactured 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 with bright colors and long bloom periods, spillover spas, cascading water, hot water fall into spas, waterfalls, streams, ponds, and natural. We often recommend 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. www.deckandpatio.com

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.