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Extending Outdoor Season with a Pool House

Happily, as of this writing, there’s lots of summer left to enjoy. But as August rolls closer to September, school children aren’t the only ones dreading the end of summer. Adults and kids alike do not want the carefree feelings of outdoor living to end.

One way to ensure outdoor living continues long into fall (and begins again in early spring) is with a well-appointed pool house. Indeed, when the owners of a very large property on Long Island’s North Shore asked The Deck and Patio Company to plan a new destination pool area, one key element they wanted was a comfortable space for family and entertaining activities.

Also, the pool area was to be a distance from their main house, so, in addition to wanting a place to relax ‘bug-free,’ they wanted the ability to cook by the pool.

To be certain our team at Deck and Patio gave them everything they wanted in the pool house design, our team consulted with an architect familiar to us. This collaborative effort inspired a building that is in keeping with their main home’s overall elegance. In fact, it was their home which inspired the pool house’s reverse gable.

 

The pool house boasts:

two 20-by-20-rooms: one great room with sofa, flat screen television, refrigerator, washer/dryer, and storage closet is a cozy haven when nights become cooler — comfortably extending the outdoor season.;

the other is a 20-by-20 room with screens on two sides where they can enjoy warmer nights by the pool without pesky insects.

Deck and Patio also worked with a reputable lighting firm to create the stunning nighttime scenes.

 

The complete plan included:

•800-square-foot pool house with a 20-by-20 screened room and bathroom

•elegant Travertine patio

•50-foot-long and 26-foot-wide pool (approximate),

•spillover spa, waterfalls,

•outdoor kitchen with natural stone facade,

•outdoor shower.

 

Initially, this comprehensive plan came in way over budget for the clients. They declined our bid and sought estimates elsewhere. We were thrilled when they came back to us, because, in the end, they loved our ideas.

Their judgment must have been right, since the completed project won an International Silver Pool Award from the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) the very next year after winning a 2009 Bronze Pool Award from the Northeast Spa & Pool Association (NESPA).

 

Pool House Ceiling (Long Island/NY):

Pool House Ceiling (Long Island/NY):

An expanse of cedar planks allows for drama and a clean natural look inside the pool house.

 

Vinyl Pool (Long Island/NY):

Vinyl Pool (Long Island/NY):

With concrete wall and a vinyl liner, the approximately 50’-long-and-26’-wide pool offers a spillover spa, tanning shelf, volleyball court, diving rock and moss rock waterfall. The free-form pool is surrounded by an elegant Travertine patio.

 

Pool House Outdoor Kitchen (Long Island/NY):

Pool House Outdoor Kitchen (Long Island/NY):

The pool house’s outdoor kitchen (and indoor bathroom) required a second septic system to support such amenities as a kitchen sink, built-in barbecue, storage, and small refrigerator. A real stone veneer adds natural elegance.

 

Destination Pool and Pool House (Long Island/NY):

Destination Pool and Pool House (Long Island/NY):

At night, the destination pool area is as romantic as it is serene. It is an idyllic spot for parties that begin in the day and continue long into the night.

 

 

How A Landscaping Plan Solved Backyard Noise Problem

Rendering of Ancient Rome

Rendering of Ancient Rome (320 AD)

Complaints about outdoor noise date back to ancient Rome. And while no one today has to deal with the teaming hoards of Rome’s cart-traffic and congestion, many do live in modern sprawling cities, or perhaps simply near a busy intersection.

In the case of this project showcase, the homeowners’ longed for a restful backyard, but their property was located close to a highly-trafficked four-lane road. How could they enjoy a pool and spa amid disturbing noise?

“We were happy to reassure them that they could have an undisturbed backyard oasis,” says Deck and Patio’s owner, Dave Stockwell. “The key was including in the landscaping design a substantial rushing waterfall near the pool. It would not only be beautiful to look at, but it’s relaxing sounds would mask the more unpleasant street sounds.” (A short video that captures the sounds of their waterfall is posted below the first two photos.)

The project’s waterfall flows over a 19-foot sound barrier of natural moss rock boulders. “It includes a 4-foot-by-eight-foot ‘pondless’ waterfall between the wall and their new pool,” adds Dave. “The barrier with its rushing waterfall not only blocks out noise, but it also gives the impression one is vacationing on some south sea isle — away from everyday life.”

Deck and Patio surrounded the backyard retreat’s new freeform vinyl pool and raised spillover spa with handsome Cambridge Ledgestone patios and bright plantings. The raised spa has its own separate overhead waterfall as well as a spillover into the pool. All this adds to an undisturbed backyard experience.

 

Natural Moss Rock Backyard Noise Barrier:

Natural Moss Rock Backyard Noise Barrier:

Not far from the right edge of the pool, Deck and Patio built a 19-foot natural moss rock barrier with a “pondless” waterfall. A small upper patio sits between this attractively landscaped barrier and the project’s spillover spa with its own waterfall.

 

Backyard Waterfall Blocks Out Traffic Noise:

Backyard Waterfall Blocks Out Traffic Noise:

This is a close up of the Rosyln, NY main waterfall. Water flows down moss rocks in a natural-looking way, and seeps through river rock, where it is captured in an underground reservoir. The water is filtered and recirculated, making it very eco-friendly.

 

The following video lets you hear the delightful sounds of rushing water at this Rosyln, Long Island, NY, project.

 

 

Backyard Paradise That is Noise Free:

Backyard Paradise That is Noise Free:

Pleasant sounds are the very opposite of unpleasant noise. And this backyard Roslyn, NY, paradise retreat is blessed with delightful sounds. These sounds can be enjoyed in the pool, while sunbathing on a wide patio, when relaxing in a quiet upper patio, when rocking back and forth in the outdoor swing — not to mention when relaxing in the spillover spa.

 

 Vinyl Freeform Pool Retreat:

Vinyl Freeform Pool Retreat:

A diving rock and landscaping cutouts add to this pool area’s summer charms. In addition, the Cambridge Ledgestone IV Paving stones are tough when it comes to winter’s cold weather. The pavers seem to withstand abuse better than any poured and stenciled concrete.

 

Poolside Landscaping:

Poolside Landscaping:

Bright plantings with green ground cover, along with river stone gravel and delightful stepping stone path, add to the natural look and serenity of the barrier/pool area.

 

 

Water Features: Memorial Weekend Kicks Off Outdoor Entertaining Season

Deck and Patio’s design/build team is frequently asked what goes into creating a backyard that is ideal for entertaining, as well as outdoor fun.

Depending on what a budget permits and the size of the property, we usually recommend a water feature — be it a pool, pond, stream with waterfalls, or a simple portable hot tub — as a focal point of its surroundings.

“Any time a client wants a water feature in one of our projects, we know it will help make a home run,” says Deck and Patio’s Bill Renter. “Water is the one of the essential elements of life, and people are naturally drawn to it — which is what you are looking for when entertaining. So after determining all the needs of the client, we ask ourselves — how can water be part of it all.”

 

Infinity Pool

Infinity Pool

Pools  

Pools, of course, are the most popular water feature. According to Dave Stockwell, owner of Deck and Patio, what makes one pool appear awesome over another is usually its surroundings. “Choosing the right harmonizing elements is what makes something breathtaking. It’s how you blend water with its hardscape and landscaped environment.”

Pools vary in shape and complexity and homeowners can also choose between a vinyl pool and gunite, freeform and geometric. When budgets and property sizes are tight, rather than a full-sized regular pool, a smaller “spool” can function as both a small pool and spa.

SHINThe placement of swimming pools and patios is very important. “If you don’t use a landscape designer, you may find that some pool builders simply plop the pool where it’s most convenient for them,” says Deck and Patio’s Bill Renter. “We tend to push pools off to one side and leave lawn area for the children to play or just to have some “softscape.” That was the case for this award-winning pool (left), where we worked with True Blue Swimming Pools. The yard was small but they still got their pool — and enough lawn left for the kids to enjoy.

Surrounding Patio Areas   

Patio designed to harmonize with home architecture

“When it comes to ‘hardscape,’ we try to create truly functional spaces,” says Renter. “We often see a surrounding patio that is 10’ or 12’ feet wide all around the pool. Instead, we specialize in creating functional spaces of different sizes and shapes. We’ll ask if they have patio furniture and we measure it to ensure that there is ample room for that particular grouping, while allowing for easy circulation.”

Deck and Patio also looks to see how the sun comes across the yard. “The chaise lounging area should face the water feature and the afternoon sun. You and your guests wouldn’t want to sit by your pool and have the sun to your back.”

Dining Areas and Outdoor Kitchens  

We generally locate outdoor kitchens fairly close to the inside of the house — unless it’s a destination pool. In the case where all the outdoor living areas are a distance from the house, this requires different planning. “But usually it’s key to be near to the home’s kitchen,” says Renter.

Outdoor Kitchen with Ronda insulated drawers

Outdoor Kitchen with Ronda insulated drawers

Extra Tip: One trend we’re seeing in outdoor kitchens are warming/cooling drawers made by companies like Ronda. These insulated drawers are sealed and work without electricity so your drinks stay cool or your food stays warm depending on what you put in its lower drawer.

“They have a magnetic seal, which along with being waterproof will also keep away bugs and dust. Indeed, you can choose a single drawer just for keeping dishes and cutlery completely clean,” says Renter.

 

 

Outdoor Bars and Dining Areas

 

Outdoor Bar/Dining Area

Outdoor Bar/Dining Area

Outdoor bar with waterfalls

Outdoor bar with waterfalls

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bar/dining area is a great place for guests and family to gather. You can even add waterfalls. Shown here (above right) are sheet waterfalls, which offer a sleek modern look as well as a very pleasant sound. This helps people de-stress while inviting easy conversation.

 

 

 

Wild-Ride-slide

Wild-Ride-slide

Fun for Kids and Adults 

Kids love water and action. Pool slides and diving rocks are two favorite pool amenities. “When we add a slide, we try build it safe for the kids by setting it in around boulders and plants so if they ever fall, it won’t be far and with a soft landing,” says Renter.

 

 

 

Tanning-Shelf

Tanning-Shelf

 

 

Other kid favorites: swim outs, deep end stairs and tanning shelves. We’ve found kids love to dive, swim out and dive or slide into the pool again, over and over. A tanning shelf or deep end stairs allow adults and other kids to watch them playing on the slide, etc. These are great places for young and old alike to gather.

 

Backyard Ponds

 

Natural Swimming Ponds:

Natural Swimming Ponds:

Deck and Patio specializes in building ponds so clear and pristine you can swim in  them (even if you don’t wish to). Remember, all bacteria isn’t bad, some good bacteria kill the bad guys. A healthy natural swimming pond is very possible and is worth all the care you give it. The goal, of course, is that any pond at a minimum be healthy for fish and aquatic plants. This kind of water feature is a joy to sit by, listen to; it’s also the perfect outdoor attraction for entertaining.

 

Pondless Waterfalls

Pondless Waterfalls

 

The simplest pond to have is pondless. It will take much less time to clean up a pond-less waterfall (left) than a pond basin each season and it is a safer environment when children are very young.

 

 

Hot Tubs Make Great Water Features

 

This pondless waterfall/stream was installed beside a portable Bullfrog Spas. The stream is a lovely, tranquil sight from the patio as well as the hot tub itself.

This pondless waterfall/stream was installed beside a portable Bullfrog Spas. The stream is a lovely, tranquil sight from the patio as well as the hot tub itself.

 

Keeping it Simple

 

 FirePits and Outdoor Furniture:

FirePits and Outdoor Furniture:

Sometimes all you need is need is a fire pit and some comfortable furniture on a handsome deck. It would be easy to add a simple water fountain on such a deck so as to not miss out on its tranquil sounds. The deck shown here is Fiberon. Photo: Courtesy of Fiberon Decking.

 

 

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

How To Solve Outdoor Noise Problems

Sometimes trying to solve a problem can be the spark for something magical. This property, for example, is located next to a busy four-lane road and the homeowners longed for a peaceful backyard, with a pool and spa — without all the traffic noise.

In addition to a beautiful freeform vinyl pool and spa, we built for them a 19-foot sound barrier of natural moss rock boulders, and installed a 4-foot x 8-foot pondless waterfall between the wall and their new pool. This stone barrier with rushing waterfall not only blocks noise, but suggests they are vacationing on some south sea isle — far and away from everyday problems.

Their finished multi-faceted outdoor oasis includes a vinyl pool with raised spillover spa, elegant Cambridge Ledgestone patios, a natural rock barrier with high waterfall, and lush plantings.

 

Vinyl Freeform Pool:

Vinyl Freeform Pool:

New pool has a deep end swim-out, swim-out stairs at opposite end, diving rock, natural boulder accents, handsome coping and a raised spill-over spa.

 

Pondless Waterfall:

Pondless Waterfall:

Pondless waterfall cascading over imported moss rock boulders beautifully eliminates noise; raised patio offers idyllic sitting area to enjoy pool and landscape.

 

Raised Spill-Over Spa:

Raised Spill-Over Spa:

Waterfall flows down into vinyl spill-over spa and, in turn, spills into the pool.

 

Cambridge Ledgeston IV Paving Stones:

Cambridge Ledgeston IV Paving Stones:

With summers getting hotter and winters colder, these pavers seem to withstand abuse better than any poured and stenciled concrete.

 

 Natural Looking Waterfall:

Natural Looking Waterfall:

Waterfall’s pristine clear water is collected in a pondless reservoir, which acts as a “green” maintenance-free source of fresh water for the water feature.

 

 

 

 

 

By | 2017-01-21T16:34:48+00:00 February 20th, 2014|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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):

 

 

What’s “Cool” in Pools

Deck and Patio’s Shares 8 Trendy Pool Amenities

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Award-winning vinyl pool by Deck and Patio showcases lots of what’s ‘cool’ in pools

  1. – Vinyl Pool Liners

The Deck and Patio Company designs and builds gunite (concrete), in addition to vinyl-lined pools. However, many of our clients prefer the padded, smooth, soft feel of vinyl, such as seen above.

In fact, according to reports, there are now more vinyl pools worldwide than any other combined group.

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. 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. For all these reasons, we feel we have to put vinyl’s soft cushion-y feel as #1 in what’s “cool” — especially since vinyl pools, designed and built by Deck and Patio Company, have become award winners.

 

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2. & 3. – Custom Raised Spa and Heated Waterfalls

If enjoying a heated waterfall spilling its therapy into a custom raised spa isn’t at the top of desirable pool amenities (pictured above), it may be time to fold our deck chairs and go inside. Imagine! You are seated in just such a spa; the pulsations from a raised heated waterfall are massaging your neck and shoulders, while you lean back in swirling warm water and delightful air bubbles. Add to all this hydrotherapy that there is a picturesque, natural look to it all — the result is you feel as if you are in a small lagoon, created by Mother Nature, in a distant south sea isle. Yup. It’s way up on the “cool” list.

 

Embedded Umbrellas

 

4.  Flexible Shade

Embedded umbrellas, and the flexible shade opportunities they provide, are also at the top of Deck and Patio’s favorite things. Positioned 9 feet apart, when open, they provide a bank of shade, perhaps 27 to 36 feet long, as pictured above. The umbrellas are a great substitute for pergolas; they are more flexible than such fixed shade amenities because various umbrellas can be open and closed at the same time. All open, and you have a perfect area to place a buffet lunch or relax in full shade; partially closed, and those who want shade can lounge next to those who want sun.

 

Tanning Shelf from Deck and Patio

 

5. Tanning Shelves and Custom Steps

Also called “sun shelves”

Tanning shelves (photo above) are a cool way to stay cool when you want to lay out in the sun, says Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert.

These shelves are set in several inches of water and are wide enough for parents to sun bathe while young children play beside them. Tanning shelves (photo above) are a cool way to stay cool when you want to lay out in the sun, says Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert.

Custom steps are additional cool amenities which make moving in and out of the pool natural and comfortable.

 

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6. Bar Stools and Swim Up Bars

Building a vinyl pool requires precise measurements, so plan ahead for such cool extras as tanning shelves, bar stools and swim up bars (see above). Note: Deck and Patio installs a quarter-inch padding between any vinyl liner and the concrete. This is what gives steps, walls, and other amenities their cushion-y feel.

 

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7. Natural Stone Paths

We have to thank the Japanese Tea Ceremony and that country’s love of simplicity and natural beauty for our #7  “cool pool” landscaping idea — the stepping stone path.  Breaking up expansive pool surrounds with a natural stone path allows for “softscape” in between stones to show through, as well as creating a focus to particular directions. They are also great do-it-yourself projects. Just remember: they are best laid down on flat areas around your pool. Wet stepping stones can be dangerous on slopping areas.

 

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8.  Natural Gas Campfires

Deck and Patio help create romantic outdoor mood with addition of bonfire-style fire pits.

You can almost hear the beating of steel drums when your “lagoon” pool has a bonfire-style fire pit — or several — lighting its surround at night (below). This style takes the fire pit from a simple campfire to a piece of art.