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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.

Different Level Patios, Flower Beds and Raised Waterfall Make Backyard Appear Larger

The homeowners of this property had an existing small koi pond. They dreamed of also having a pool, with landscaping and a waterfall, but felt they didn’t have the space for it all.

When viewing the property, Deck and Patio’s Outdoor Living Expert, Bill Renter, saw the the main drawback was how flat the grade was. Through 3-D renditions, he showed the homeowners how different patio levels would make the yard appear bigger.

Bill designed the new pool, waterfall, patios and plant beds to fit perfectly with their pond. The new landscaping boasts hydrangeas, roses, ornamental grasses, and flowering perennials.

The homeowners children were about 9 or 10. After the project was finished, the clients say they no longer had to go to family and friends to enjoy the outdoors, but their children could love growing up in their own home.

Our clients added that bringing in a special lighting scheme allows them to enjoy the backyard retreat from the day on into night. The lighting transforms their backyard into a completely different, yet still beautiful, atmosphere.

 

 

Gorgeous Patio Areas:

Gorgeous Patio Areas:

Beautiful plantings, punctuated by accent boulders and moss rocks, paint a natural setting around the multi-tiered tumbled stone patio. Adding crepe myrtles to the landscaping offers an extended picture-perfect landscape season — they bloom from August through October.

 

 

 

Backyard Al Fresco Dining:

Backyard Al Fresco Dining:

Waterfalls cascading over natural rock creates the perfect mood for meditation or romantic al fresco dining. A sound system was added that pumps music, and with waterfall running, together is perfect for entertaining or more intimate family fun.

 

 

 

Landscape Design:

Landscape Design:

By creating the multi level patio, waterfall and different levels and colors of plant beds, new dimensions were added. For example, the new bold apricot-pink roses attract attention, causing the landscape to recede behind them, making the overall area appear larger.

 

 

 

Stepping Stone Paths:

Stepping Stone Paths:

The homeowners wanted a path to the tool shed. But with extensive multi-level pavers being used, in such a small back yard, it was natural the homeowners didn’t want more swaths of brick. The stepping stone path offers a more natural feel and sofens the landscape.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Why Choose A Design/Build Firm For Your Backyard Retreat?

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What if you could have a vacation resort of your own in your backyard? Knowing how to do it and who to call is an important first step. www.deckandpatio.com

Ready For Your Own Vacation Resort?

If you are considering a vacation resort in your own backyard, to get the most out of your time and money, you should be looking for a contractor that offers both design and build services. That is because design/build firms not only think about the way the project will be constructed, but also about other factors, such as sufficient functional family space in the yard, the sun’s location from different yard locations, viewing angles of water features and other focal points, elevation changes, drainage considerations and colorful landscapes.

 

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Our outdoor living expert says a design/build firm will consider such factors as sufficient functional family space for children to play as well as sun location and viewing angles of focal points.

Where to Begin:

A swimming pool or spa is usually the main part of creating a personal paradise. That means you will need to make a big decision: do you want a gunite/shotcrete, or vinyl-lined pool? At Deck and Patio we build them all but some pool companies sell what is referred to as “kit pools” which limit what can be done. A custom design lets you have more freedom when it comes to the planning stage. In fact, when using a design/build firm, you can customize your entire project.

We always begin by asking customers about their plans for a pool, their lifestyles and their children’s needs. Then we come up with a unique concept to fulfill every desire. At Deck and Patio we use CAD drawings, digital imaging and a 3D animation video on a flat screen television to show clients how the pool will look with the existing home and environment.

 

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A design/build firm helps you decide what kind of pool you want and which amenities. Will you want swim up bar stools in the pool, for example?

 

What to Watch Out for in a Design/Build Firm:

When looking for someone to build your swimming pool make sure you are comfortable with them. The design process can take anywhere between several days to several months and you and your builder may see a great deal of each other. Remember that you will be interacting with your contractor in good times and in bad so it is important they be responsible and reliable. When choosing a design/build firm look for a company that has an office and/or showroom so that you know where they are. Be wary of people who will not provide you with an address or give you just a P.O. Box and look for one that will give you their cell phone numbers.

 

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When choosing a design/build firm look for a company that has an office and/or showroom so that you know where they are.

Realizing Your Dream:

As you consider contacting a design/build firm, a picture perfect paradise that fits your dreams starts to beckon. In your mind, you can almost see the bright and colorful plants peeking from around the natural rock waterfalls, the cascading water spilling into a lagoon inspired pool. The stone patio beneath your feet is cool to the touch and exudes a warm ambiance that welcomes and entices. You imagine ordering a cocktail from the pool bar and bringing it back to the lounge chair beneath an umbrella. You can see yourself sitting back and thinking: “Life is good.”

Once you awaken from your daydream, reality hits you. It is a scorching hot day; the sun would have baked you and your family if you hadn’t retreated to the solace of the air conditioning. As this summer comes to an end, its lingering warm temperatures are a reminder that next year will be just as hot. Now may be the perfect time to start planning the backyard of your dreams.

 

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You can almost see the bright and colorful plants peeking from around the natural rock waterfalls, the cascading water spilling into a lagoon inspired pool.

 

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Your perfect outdoor retreat might offer the ability to get a cocktail from the pool bar and bring it back to the lounge chair beneath an umbrella where you sigh: “Life is good.”

Lastly, we suggest looking for a designer/builder that is certified by Association of Pool and Spa professional (APSP). These certified building professionals (CBP) are tested and certified every three years. A CBP can assist you in choosing the right equipment for your project as well as provide or recommend a service professional for your ongoing maintenance. Look for things such as awards from industry groups and certifications from other professional organizations.

A swimming pool project is a big task to take one. Pools are a long lasting investment that add enjoyment to your life and value to your home. When you decide that you want to stop daydreaming and start enjoying your own backyard paradise, remember three things: start early (that means start planning now to be ready for next year’s summer heat), do your homework and choose wisely.

 

 

When to Use Paving Stones

Whether it is for a patio, stepping stone path, driveway, or spa and pool surround, there we often recommend concrete pavers. In many cases, these are not only cost-effective, but because they come in so many designs, shapes, and colors, they are extremely flexible and adaptable to a large variety of jobs.

Also, we love them because they look so natural. Instead of one-sized brick being placed throughout an entire patio or retaining wall, some manufacturers’ kits — which include varying shapes — ensure an attractive design, for example, a random pattern in lieu of straight lines and flat images, or in a running block pattern. It also means that because of manufacturers often offer a wide list of product materials, matching stones are readily available for complementary retaining walls, steps, risers, coping, etc. The following is one example of an attractive random pattern.

 

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For this project, we helped our clients choose an attractive random pattern for their patio.

For another design and build project (below 2 photos), our outdoor living expert created five different patio levels around a pool and integrated moss rock stone with the pavers.

In addition to the patios, this overall project features cascading water, a hot water fall into a new spa, then a spillover from the spa five feet above the main pool. In total there are five waterfalls. From the highest waterfall to the lawn below is an elevation change of twelve feet — all with different grades.

 

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We created five different patio levels around the pool, all comprised of concrete pavers.

Five feet above the main pool, this backyard retreat renovation features cascading water into a new spa surrounded by spa patio made from concrete pavers.

We also believe that using pavers will not only provide a beautiful pool deck, but they offer a safer surface that prevents slipping.* In addition, they maintain a cooler walking area and can handle moisture better than concrete surfaces. And because the pavers we recommend to our clients are stronger than regular concrete, they are extremely durable for regular entertaining.

In another design and build project (below), we added a swim up bar in the main pool that features stunning granite countertops, as well as in-pool bar stools, swim out steps, a slide, and pergola.

 

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Durable and resilient, certain concrete pavers can create a pool surround that stands up to lots of foot traffic.

In addition to using our favorite paving stones for the following patio project, we recommended using one manufacturer’s “Rocka” steps, along with moss rock boulders and creeping plant material. This combination handsomely stabilized a hill area without the need of a retaining wall.

 

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The “Rocka” steps we recommended have a wide-walking slip-resistant surface* — key to any project that is part of a water feature. www.deckandpatio.com

*Note: Some pavers claim to surpass the slip resistance standards established by the American Disabilities Act. However, these manufacturers also say that some sealers on the market can decrease the friction coefficient of pavers under wet conditions. Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert therefore recommends speaking with a professional when considering sealing pavers where non-slip resistance is desired.