moss rock waterfalls

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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.

 

 

Outdated Pool Transformed into Updated Beauty

This Deck and Patio project is not a newly completed one. But it is a project that continues to be regularly saved by visitors to our social media pages. So much so, that we thought it was time to blog about it again.

Backstory

At the time, the clients’ 22-year-old gunite pool needed a facelift. Along with the pool, they had a very uncomfortable concrete spa, and only grass for a patio.

The terrain had a slope behind the pool and they had a dated wood retaining wall holding it back. In addition, their backyard was set in a natural woodland area, so any new patio material would have to harmonize with this natural setting. In addition, Deck and Patio was commissioned to create a colorful landscape within this mostly shady area and repair an existing old waterfall.

The Upgrade

The first step was to demolish the uncomfortable existing spa, the old waterfall area, the retaining wall and pool’s old boulder coping.

Next, a new comfortable acrylic spa with molded seats was added. It was faced with interlocking Techo-Bloc concrete blocks that echoed the new Techo-Bloc patio and the moss rock boulders used to create a new natural-looking retaining wall.

Three handsome supporting walls made with Techo-Bloc Walls stones were used  directly behind the new spa to help hold back the grade. Plus, the renovated seven-foot-high moss rock waterfall, ending in new boulder pool coping, added peaceful serenity while also serving to retain the woodland behind the pool.

Next, the old grassy area that surrounded the pool was transformed into a beautiful multi-level patio made of Techo-Bloc tumbled paving stones. The patio paver colors were a blend of tan and natural gray to complement the boulders and moss rock. These Techo-Bloc paving stones boast a lifetime of easy-to-care-for surfaces that hold up very well in the freeze/thaw conditions of the Northeast where this project is located. Another bonus: these pavers stay cool in summer heat…perfect for bare feet.

Lastly, lots of seasonal colorful plants, that did not require too much direct sunlight, were added as part of the landscaping.

 

Updated Pool/Spa (Huntington/NY):

Updated Pool/Spa (Huntington/NY):

A 22-year-old pool needed refurbishing. Using handsome Techo-Bloc Walls stones for three wall structures, moss rocks and boulder coping, the natural woodland is beautifully retained behind the pool.

 

Techo-Bloc Wall Concrete Blocks (Huntington/NY):

Techo-Bloc Wall Concrete Blocks (Huntington/NY):

Facing the new acrylic spa with concrete blocks is the perfect choice for a natural setting. The spa was designed with a spillover to offer a second waterfall into the pool.

 

 

Pool/Spa Upgrade (Huntington/NY):

Pool/Spa Upgrade (Huntington/NY):

The refurbished natural free-form gunite swimming pool with a new spillover spa, delightful moss rock waterfall, tumbled stone Techo-Bloc patio and robust landscaping together feel like a natural lagoon created by Mother Nature.

 

New Acrylic Spa (Huntington/NY):

New Acrylic Spa (Huntington/NY):

The new Techo-Bloc wall-stone-spa replaces an old concrete spa; it was constructed with a small patio/lounge area and stone steps. The matching retaining walls can act as seating walls when entertaining.

 

Pool/Spa Landscaping (Huntington/NY):

Pool/Spa Landscaping (Huntington/NY):

When working on this upgrade, Deck and Patio was careful to keep some of the existing landscaping, e.g. the gorgeous Japanese lace-leaf maple that shades the waterfall.

 

Patio Landscaping (Huntington/NY):

Patio Landscaping (Huntington/NY):

Deck and Patio designed the Techo-Bloc patio with cutouts to plant attractive flower beds.

 

 

Labor Day Weekend: Blissful Leisure Enjoyed in Busy New York City

Whether it’s a long holiday weekend created for workers, or simply the few scattered hours you squeeze out of a relentless workweek, it’s nice to enjoy some free time in blissful leisure at home.

Location, Location, Location

However, what if your property isn’t located in a pastoral area that allows for quiet time? What if your locality is all hustle-bustle? Such was the case for these Deck and Patio clients. Their home is tightly surrounded by apartment buildings, traffic and noise — in the very heart of a borough of New York City.

In this atmosphere, even adding a pool and patio wouldn’t provide the escape they desired. To create for them a real backyard oasis, we had to block out the noise and oppressive atmosphere.

Solutions, Solutions, Solutions

One of the best ways to screen out noise is a sizable waterfall and the clients opted for one to provide splashing sounds into their new pool. In addition, our clients asked us to build a 12-foot-high concrete block wall. While useful as a noise and environs barrier, a wall can be a bit oppressive in itself.

So the next challenge was to soften the wall’s appearance. First, we planted bamboo around its perimeter. Bamboo can be invasive and we encased the woody grass with concrete blocks to limit its spreading.

Special Feature

One thing great about interior and exterior walls is they make an ideal canvas. Taking full advantage of the wall, Deck and Patio’s Director of Sales and Landscape Construction, Marc Wiener, designed and supervised the layout of a “living wall” that can hold multiple-sized pots for plants. When completed, the living wall became living art — changing in color and shape almost daily. (For details on living wall, see photos 5, 6, & 7 below.)

The result: the clients may live in a busy part of New York City, but this Labor Day — and every spare moment they can muster— is spent in blissful leisure right in their own backyard.

 

Backyard Noise Barriers:

Backyard Noise Barriers:

Water cascading over rock into another water pool is a natural sound barrier that is peaceful and soothing to the soul.

 

 Backyard Refuge:

Backyard Refuge:

The sounds of the waterfalls, the colorful landscaping and the dramatic concrete block wall together give a sense of refuge in this bustling part of one of America’s five largest cities.

 

Pool Waterfalls:

Pool Waterfalls:

The free-form vinyl-liner pool includes boulder coping, and a moss rock waterfall with robust plantings that help beautify the wall.

 

Techo-Bloc Patios:

Techo-Bloc Patios:

The pool’s surrounding patio is made from Techo-Bloc pavers that handsomely complement the 12-foot-high wall and smaller concrete encasement for the bamboo.

 

Plug n Play Living Walls

Plug n Play Living Walls

‘Plug n Play’ Living Walls: “There are many type of Living Walls; interior and exterior, permanent or seasonal walls, and then there is the ‘Plug n Play’ (manufactured and trademarked by Green Living Technologies, International  or GLTi).” — M.Wiener.

 

'Plug n Play' Wall

‘Plug n Play’ Wall

“The Plug n Play is very versatile and can be manufactured to accept multiple-sized pots (3” to 12″). Drip irrigation is set up on alternating rows and trickles down to each row below; excess water is either captured or drains. Plants are set on an angle with their holes faced downward so the roots/soil can sap up water via wicking effect.” — M. Wiener.

 

Outdoor Living Walls:

Outdoor Living Walls:

“The

[living] walls are manufactured in both aluminum and stainless steel. Aluminum walls are extremely light weight and do not require heavy anchor bolts to fasten to walls. Speaking of walls, these units can be fastened to any type of wall; using the right type of fastener for each respective wall type.”  — M. Wiener.

 

 

 

 

 

Living Landscapes: Water Features You Can Add to Your Pool

Perhaps you already have a pool, or you are considering one. Certainly, swimming pools are gems in and of themselves. But when you upgrade your pool by adding a water feature, you turn an otherwise static pool environment into a living landscape.

Indeed, moving water is delightful to listen to — one of Mother Nature’s most enjoyable songs. Its splashes and laps can come out in force to be stimulating, they can gently flow to encourage serenity and relaxation, they can splash and spray to delight and refresh, and they can drop over us like a shower and thrill and invigorate.

Whatever choice of water feature you make, it will add beauty, make your pool area more of a prized retreat, and add that splash of drama.

What Types of Water Features Go With a Pool?

One option when building or remodeling your pool is a “scupper” waterfall — a simple or ornate opening through which water flows out from pool walls into the pool. Scuppers bring in movement and soothing sounds and require little or no maintenance. They can be narrow water flows or broadened into a sheer descent waterfall  (sheet falling) design.

Unlike scuppers, “spillway” water features do not come out from pool walls, but flow into your pool from a second structure. Often that structure is a custom spa, which is usually built at the same time as the pool. But the good news is, it doesn’t have to be.

There’s also “gushers and jets,” as well as what many feel are the most prized of all — “stream-fed waterfalls.” Here’s some examples of living landscapes we installed:

 

Sheer Descent Waterfalls

Sheer Descent Waterfalls

When we remodeled this previously vinyl-lined pool into a larger Gunite (cement) pool, we included three sheer descent waterfalls. Many feel sheer descents are like moving pieces of art — elegant and captivating.

 

 

Spillway Water Features:

Spillway Water Features:

This custom spa was built as the same time as the pool and with the careful placement of rocks underneath creates a double waterfall as it flows into the pool.

 

 

Spillway Water Feature:

Spillway Water Feature:

Not all spillways need to be installed when building your pool. This was a remodel we did for clients who had a pool. The spa is a portable hot tub we set in a cultured stone surround. A sheer descent spillway comes out from it; above a fire bowl drops water into the hot tub.

 

 

Sprays and Waterfalls:

Sprays and Waterfalls:

Here we added both sprays and waterfalls. Swimmers love the refreshing splashes from the sprays which add a delightful sense of fun as well as beauty.

 

 

Swimming Pool Waterfalls:

Swimming Pool Waterfalls:

There’s nothing quite like swimming under and beside falling water.

 

 

Gentle Sounds of Multiple Waterfalls:

Gentle Sounds of Multiple Waterfalls:

Here, the source of one waterfall — the spa — gets its own waterfall from a stream set into the landscape.