sheet waterfalls

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Time to Update Your Backyard Pool Area?

Design/Build Showcase: Deck and Patio transforms cramped backyard into perfect landscape for parties and entertaining

 

 

Old Unattractive Retaining Wall.

Old Unattractive Retaining Wall.

 New Natural Looking Retaining Wall

New Natural Looking Retaining Wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

When this Dix Hills family decided to update their dated backyard pool area, their main problems were that their old wood deck and red brick patios (above left photo) beside the pool were too small and unusable for parties and entertaining.

In addition, the old retaining wall took away from the attractiveness of the pool area.

Our creative team introduced a unique concept to deal with this area: re-grade the slope, turning it into a “natural” retaining wall (above right photo) including a dramatic waterfall, stream, and woodland garden in its place.

For the seven-foot-high “sheet” waterfall and stream, we used Aquascape Inc.’ pondless waterfall system, which allows for a good deal of water volume to create the dramatic effect.

“We particularly value Aquascape’s waterfall systems because they focus, like we do, on an ecosystem approach to water features,” says Dave Stockwell, owner of Deck and Patio. “For this project, the pondless system relies on a natural balance of circulation, filtration, plants, rocks and gravel to ensure sustainability.”

Deck and Patio creates natural looking waterfalls

Deck and Patio creates natural looking waterfalls

Another reason our waterfall retaining wall system looks so natural is our waterfall installation team understands how water flows over rock and how it releases from the rock in order to create a natural look and feel.

We avoid the look of steps in the waterfall by making the water change directions in the waterfalls and streams.

Once the stream and waterfall was complete, we pressed boulders into the surrounding slope. After that, we addressed the landscaping. Our crew installed natural woodland plantings to tie in with the tall oaks that exist on the property’s perimeter and added evergreen shrubs to ensure year-round color.

 

Refurbished Pool and Patio

Refurbished Pool and Patio

With the slope stabilized, our team addressed pool renovation. After draining the pool and removing the original liner, a poorly built concrete block wall was uncovered.

The solution was to straighten the wall and fill the block in with concrete and steel rebars for strength. New vinyl covered stairs were then added, as well as new pipes, returns, skimmers, pump, filter and new liner was installed.

After this, the pool was carefully backfilled and tamped. We compacted the soil back around the pool in three-inch lifts to allow for the immediate installation of new pavers around the pool.

This compacting process is not done by many contractors. The idea is that using compacted soil the base will not settle, so you don’t have to wait to install a patio around a new pool. Many contractors still install concrete slabs under their patio. In our experience we find this does not work well. Settling still occurs under the slab allowing the patio to crack or settle.

After the base materials were finished, we installed chestnut-hued durable pavers from Cambridge (Sahara). These particular pavers have little or no color fade and the random design pattern adds interest to the patio. The pavers’ protective coating means these clients will have a clean-lined modern look. Even after being subjected to snow plowing, de-icing salts and normal wear, they will keep their color and beautiful appearance.

 

Close up of Installed Patio

Close up of Installed Patio

The clients chose elegant clean-lined pavers in a random pattern for the new patio areas surrounding the pool.

The clients love their new patio and pondless waterfall. Not only do they find themselves outside more often enjoying nature’s sights and sounds, they have room for parties and entertaining.

In fact, their perfect backyard was there all along — it just needed a vision to bring it out.

 

 

Trends in Backyard Design: Water Features Are Enjoying a Rippling Effect

 

In a recent online post on what’s new in outdoor design, hgtv.com (House & Garden/TV) set water-feature-loving hearts a pumping. They have found that one of today’s top outdoor trends in backyard design is the backyard water feature.

In our experience at Deck and Patio, there are many reasons for this popularity. In addition to water features providing an attractive focal point all year through — be it a simple easy-to-install single portable fountain, or a gorgeous deep natural swimming pond complete with waterfalls and streams — the sound and sight of moving water is instantly soothing. And when created on a large-enough scale, such a feature can even block out unwanted noise.

Another major factor in their popularity are the many options available. Whatever one’s taste, there’s a feature to match it — from historic rustic to contemporary and sleek.

That brings us to perhaps the biggest reason for the growth in this backyard trend:

                      Any budget can absorb it!

 

Bubbling Fountains

Relatively inexpensive, bubbling rocks, single urns, and multiple rock fountains bring the sounds and sight of moving water to your backyard effortlessly.

 

Garden Fountain (Long Island/NY)

Garden Fountain (Long Island/NY)

When Deck and Patio’s designer was completing this garden, he noticed that “something was missing.” The clients agreed that a modest water fountain would add more life and provide a focal point in the garden. The “stacked stone urn” design they chose is the smallest kit available from Aquascape Inc. (32” tall), which suited their style and was the perfect scale for the garden.

 

 

Bubbling Rock Water Features (Brooklyn/NY):

Bubbling Rock Water Features (Brooklyn/NY):

While this bubbling rock is part of a larger rainwater harvesting/pond project (Brooklyn/NY), it can be installed on its own to provide the sight and sounds of moving water. When sitting out on their patio, the fountain offers the homeowners a serene focal point that also helps irrigate the garden.

 

Sheet Waterfalls

Sheet waterfalls are a popular choice for people who enjoy a sleek modern look. Also called Sheer Descent, these waterfalls provide a particular soothing sound unique to their design.

Outdoor Bar with Waterfalls (Long Island/NY):

Outdoor Bar with Waterfalls (Long Island/NY):

Space was at a premium in this yard and the usual type of large water feature (e.g., pond fed by streams with waterfalls etc.) wouldn’t have fit. The Deck and Patio designer suggested adding two sheer descent waterfalls flowing out of the new stone bar we were constructing for them. The flowing water is collected underground and re-circulated, eliminating the usual above-ground presence of a pond.

 

Waterfalls/Ponds and Water Gardens

Cascading water in our backyards offer more than beauty. They can help eliminate noise problems.

Waterfalls (Long Island/NY):

Waterfalls (Long Island/NY):

These clients had a backyard noise problem. Their home is located close to a very busy street and the solution we came up with is for this lovely pondless waterfall. The noise is completely eliminated by the flowing water cascading over imported moss rock boulders. It’s beautiful to look at whether you are lounging on the patio or taking a swim in the pool — and when outdoors, the family feels like they are far away from the hubbub of daily life.

 

Ponds and Water Gardens (Long Island/NY):

Ponds and Water Gardens (Long Island/NY):

Backyard ponds and water gardens have been growing in popularity for some time; recent trends are for adding aquatic plants. These plants are not just beautiful to look at. Carefully chosen, they absorb nutrients an pollutants and help purify the pond. Along with the water, these plants become a magnet for local birds who come to bathe and rest on or near the plants. In this project, we added ornamental grasses and lily pads inside the pond surrounded by flowering perennials for color and charm.

 

Water Features are for All Seasons

When our clients ask our experts if they should close down their ponds or fountains for the winter, our answer is frequently, No! Most ponds — even stocked with koi — can operate during winter.

Fountainscapes (Long Island/NY):

Fountainscapes (Long Island/NY):

Crafted in delightful old-world charm, this fountainscape is part of a fountain/miniature pond feature that is as peaceful in winter months as it is in summer. Note how the small stream of water becomes a jeweled thread of ice during winter’s icy blasts.

 

Natural Swimming Ponds

Being able to swim in your own backyard pristine natural pond is perhaps the ultimate in backyard water features. The best natural swimming ponds are built big and deep enough to allow for snorkeling and provide ample room to swim.

 

Natural Swimming Ponds (Long Island/NY):

Natural Swimming Ponds (Long Island/NY):

It requires expertise to create a natural swimming  environment and be able to enjoy it much like we did swimming holes in years past. It takes, for example, the correct underlayment, liner, Biofalls (Aquascape Inc.), bog filtration, as well as the ideal water plants etc. Photo: Courtesy of Aquascape Inc.

 

 

How to Unearth Perfection from the Backyard You Already Have

Design/Build Showcase: The Deck and Patio Company transforms cramped backyard into perfect landscape for parties and entertaining

 

When this Dix Hills family decided to update their 1980s backyard pool area, they called on Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert. The problem with their yard was their old wood deck and red brick patios were too small and unusable for parties and entertaining. In addition, a large wood retaining wall beside the pool took away from the attractiveness of the pool area.

Our creative team introduced a unique concept to deal with the large retaining wall: re-grade the slope and create a large natural waterfall, stream, and woodland garden in its place. Our outdoor living expert chose Aquascape Designs’ pondless waterfall system to create a seven-foot-high “sheet” waterfall and stream, which requires a good deal of water volume to create a dramatic waterfall such as this.

 

Unattractive Retaining Walls:

Unattractive Retaining Walls:

(Before photo) A key problem in the pool area was a large wood retaining wall away from the attractiveness of the pool area.

 

Beautiful Retaining Walls:

Beautiful Retaining Walls:

After Photo: To beautify the area, we-graded the slope and created a large natural waterfall, stream, and woodland garden in its place.

We chose Aquascape’s waterfall system because their focus, like ours, is on an ecosystem approach to water features — in this case relying on the most natural balance of circulation, filtration, plants, rocks and gravel to ensure sustainability.

Another reason our waterfall retaining wall system looks so natural is our talented waterfall team understands how water flows over rock, how it releases from the rock in order to create a natural look and feel. We avoid the look of steps in the waterfall by making the water change directions in the waterfalls and streams.

Once the stream and waterfall was complete, we pressed boulders into the surrounding slope. After that, we addressed the landscaping. Our crew installed natural woodland plantings to tie in with the tall oaks that exist on the property’s perimeter and added evergreen shrubs to ensure year-round color.

 

Natural woodland landscape:

Natural woodland landscape:

Our crew installed natural woodland plantings that tie in with the tall oaks on the property’s perimeter and also added evergreen shrubs to ensure year-round color.

With the slope stabilized, our team addressed pool renovation. After draining the pool and removing the original liner, a poorly built concrete block wall was uncovered. The solution was to straighten the wall and fill the block in with concrete and steel rebars for strength. New vinyl covered stairs were then added, as well as new pipes, returns, skimmers, pump, filter and new liner was installed.

After this, the pool was carefully backfilled and tamped. We compacted the soil back around the pool in three-inch lifts to allow for the immediate installation of new pavers around the pool.

This compacting process is not done by many contractors. We, however, have been doing it successfully for over 15 years with little or no soil movement. The idea is that using compacted soil the base will not settle, so you don’t have to wait to install a patio around a new pool. Many contractors still install concrete slabs under their patio. In our experience we find this does not work well. Settling still occurs under the slab allowing the patio to crack or settle.

After the base materials were finished, we installed chestnut-hued durable pavers. These particular pavers have little or no color fade and the random design pattern adds interest to the patio. The pavers’ protective coating means these clients will have a clean-lined modern look. Even after being subjected to snow plowing, de-icing salts and normal wear, they will keep their color and beautiful appearance.

 

Elegant Patio Pavers design/build:

Elegant Patio Pavers design/build:

The clients chose elegant clean-lined pavers in a random pattern for the new patio areas surrounding the pool.

The clients love their new patio and pondless waterfall. Not only do they find themselves outside more often enjoying nature’s sights and sounds, they have room for parties and entertaining. In fact, their perfect backyard was there all along — it just needed some expertise to bring it out.