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Backyard Makeovers: No Need to Break the Bank

Transforming a backyard within clients’ budget

 

Project Showcase: This family wanted an entirely new makeover for their mid-1980s backyard pool and surroundings. They had big dreams for this upgrade but initial estimates from other companies were way beyond their budget. To their delight, we were able to offer creative ways to give them all they wanted for a price they could live with.

The key element to stay within budget was to keep the existing pool but upgrade it with all new plumbing, main drain, returns and skimmers, new pool equipment, and a new finish on the pool interior.

The addition of accent boulders along the backside of the updated geometric pool contributed to a warm natural pool setting. In addition, because the backyard was very overgrown and the pool couldn’t be seen from the house, the surroundings had become like two separate backyards. That had to be addressed in order to create a unified backyard retreat that was inviting, particularly when entertaining.

 

To stay within budget, we kept the existing pool but upgraded it with all new plumbing, main drain, returns and skimmers, new pool equipment, and a new finish on the pool interior.

To stay within budget, we kept the existing pool but upgraded it with all new plumbing, main drain, returns and skimmers, new pool equipment, and a new finish on the pool interior.

 

Other than the pool, everything else in the backyard was removed to make room for a new upper patio with a fire pit, hot tub/spa, barbecue, outdoor kitchen and dining area, as well as a new lower patio with custom cabana-pavilion. Connecting it all would be a spectacular multi-faceted backyard water feature.

The homeowners were also delighted that during the construction process we retained and transplanted most of their property’s original mature growth trees. They now have a beautiful pool and wonderful places to entertain, like the cabana, that are set in lush surroundings.

Our outdoor living expert retained and transplanted most of property’s original mature growth trees to create a lush setting for pool and cabana area. Resort-style mood of backyard retreat is at its romantic best at sunset.

Our outdoor living expert retained and transplanted most of property’s original mature growth trees to create a lush setting for pool and cabana area. Resort-style mood of backyard retreat is at its romantic best at sunset.

 

Pavilion floor was created by our outdoor living expert as an extension of pool area's patio pavers, creating one continuous surface.

Pavilion floor was created by our outdoor living expert as an extension of pool area’s patio pavers, creating one continuous surface.

 

 

Tying the whole project together is the backyard’s spectacular water feature which creates a natural look, in an eco-friendly way, while turning needed retaining areas into exquisite settings.

The original property’s sloping backyard needed retaining in several areas. Our team did something called “cut and fill.” This process cut into the hill and used the cut out fill in lower areas to create the level space needed for entertaining.

Fill was also needed around the backside of the pool because of the grade. However, you can’t take loose soil and put it behind a pool. It has to be compacted properly so things don’t shift and move.

At Deck and Patio, we have a terrific way of cutting costs and increasing the aesthetic value by using large moss rock boulders instead of expensive and unattractive retaining walls.

In this case, we integrated these boulders into the staircases that surround the water feature. A machine puts them in rather than needing a skilled mason. And it creates a very natural look. In addition to retaining the grade level of the sloping property, these natural moss rock boulders create the ideal surroundings for streams and waterfalls.

We have a terrific way of cutting costs and increasing the aesthetic value of graded property by using large moss rock boulders instead of expensive and unattractive retaining walls.

We have a terrific way of cutting costs and increasing the aesthetic value of graded property by using large moss rock boulders instead of expensive and unattractive retaining walls.

 

 

Indeed, it is this backyard makeover’s water feature, with multiple falls and streams, that is the heart of the transformation. The waterfall offers 360-degree viewing in the backyard, say the homeowners. They love the soothing sounds of all the water areas.

We installed one side of a waterfall to spill toward the house, just outside their backdoor. It can be enjoyed even during the months when the pool is closed down. From there, this upper-level waterfall gets split into two streams that flow downward along the property grade, into two separate waterfalls that can be enjoyed from the swimming pool area.

Collecting the water at the lower level is a pondless reservoir designed to seemingly disappear into the gravel instead of being collected. The reservoir acts as a ‘green’ maintenance-free source for the water feature that can run from March through December, 24-7. City water is not used. The water is harvested from rainfall on the roof of the house and gravity alone collects it into pipes.

Deck and Patio created the upper-patio source-waterfall to spill away from pool so it can be enjoyed from the house and upper patio including during the months when the pool area is closed down.

Deck and Patio created the upper-patio source-waterfall to spill away from pool so it can be enjoyed from the house and upper patio including during the months when the pool area is closed down.

 

 

For the new custom pavilion-pool house, the homeowners wanted it to be a gathering area around the pool that was protected and private. The finished pool-pavilion includes a shower, and a sitting area where they can watch television or entertain.

Half of the pavilion’s space is for seating and there is an outdoor flat-screen television with a ceiling fan overhead. There is also a two-level bar — one level for sitting at the bar and another set at counter height for cooking and bar-tending.

The finished pool-pavilion includes a shower, and a sitting area with an outdoor flat-screen television where they can watch television or entertain; a ceiling fan is overhead.

The finished pool-pavilion includes a shower, and a sitting area with an outdoor flat-screen television where they can watch television or entertain; a ceiling fan is overhead.

 

Bright delicate impatiens, moss rock boulders and large mature trees beautifully naturalize original geometric pool area.

Bright delicate impatiens, moss rock boulders and large mature trees beautifully naturalize original geometric pool area.

 

How To Choose the Perfect Pond for Your Property

Whether your property is large and expansive — or no bigger than a postage stamp — most yards can accommodate some type of pond. As you’ll see from examples we’re highlighting today, ponds come in many sizes, shapes, and depths, and sometimes these water features may not be classified as ponds at all.

“When it comes to the pond’s location on the property, we recommend locating it where it can be enjoyed from a patio or deck, bedroom, or kitchen,” says Dave Stockwell, owner of Deck and Patio.”

 

Ponds, Decks, and Landscaping

Ponds, Decks, and Landscaping

This deck, for example, was designed with a viewing platform from where the clients can enjoy the pond and the robust landscaping — rich with aquatic and other plantings. Also note that we  installed large stepping stones for walking across the pond to other areas of the water feature.

“However, if the clients are hoping for a more private escape for relaxing and meditating, the ideal spot for a pond may be farther away from the house,” says Dave.

 

Ponds With Additional Waterfalls

Ponds With Additional Waterfalls

In this case (above), the homeowners wanted the best of both worlds: a glorious private pond-escape further away on the property, and an additional waterfall located near the house. Deck and Patio set the extra waterfall at the top of a slope facing the clients’ indoor kitchen.

“From inside their home the family can enjoy the sights and sounds of this waterfall. A stream on its right flows down through five separate cascades into the lower, and more private pond area — a beautiful oasis for stillness and quiet,” says Dave.

 

 

Fitting Ponds Into Tight Spaces

Fitting Ponds Into Tight Spaces

When space is at a premium (and even when it’s not), Deck and Patio can help clients find ways  to creatively add a pond. The above photo showcases a Trex deck with two handsome “platform” staircases; we installed a beautiful micro pond and waterfall in and around the staircases in what was a former planting bed. “Every time they enter or leave the house they enjoy the sounds and sights of a delightful pond,” says Dave.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Aquascape Inc.

Photo courtesy of Aquascape Inc.

 

 

When children are very young, clients often opt for a “pondless” waterfall, in lieu of a pond. With these water features river rock allows flowing water from a waterfall to seep down into the ground where a reservoir captures the water and recirculates it.

 

 

 

 

Natural Playscape with Pond

Natural Playscape with Pond

In the case of these clients, their children were not toddlers. However, they thought them still young enough that some safety precautions should be taken. So Deck and Patio designed/built their city oasis (above) with a temporary 8” shallow pond.

The pond was constructed to “grow” with them. It is actually a deeper pond with boulders that are covered with fabric and gravel which, when they are older, can be removed, exposing a full-sized pond they can stock with koi — offering an entirely different experience for more mature children.

 

Perfectly Placed Pond

Perfectly Placed Pond

Deck and Patio located this pond in view of the home’s back patio and pool area, as well as from the house. Part of what makes a pond spectacular to look at is its landscaping. This requires knowledge of not just soil and sun but how each planting is affected by water and moisture. Here (above) we included Cone flowers, Spirea Anthony Waters and Coreopsis for pops of bright color along with deep green ground cover and tall grasses.

 

“Whatever the size or shape of your yard, there is a perfect pond for your property,” says Dave.

 

 

When Should Your Landscaper and Architect Begin Working Together?

The simple answer to ‘when should your landscaper and architect begin working together’ is: from the start.

This Deck and Patio backyard oasis is a good example of that wisdom. Having garnered two prestigious awards for our firm, we believe such accolades are partially due to our early collaboration with the architect and builder in the planning stages. Working hand-in-hand with them, and with the owners, both the home’s architecture and the outdoor landscape became one seamless integration.

Our outdoor living expert, Bill Renter, supervised and helped plan and execute the project which included the landscape’s seven-foot-high cascading waterfall, meandering stream with three-foot-high “sheetfalling” waterfall, and two-foot-high spillway from the spa into the pool. Initial plans by the project’s architect for the house’s turret inspired our team to create curves in the backyard’s multi-level terracing design, as well as in the backyard’s centerpiece: a glorious freeform pool and spa.

In fact, the architect changed his own plans for the home’s turret so that views from inside the turret of our planned pool area oasis could be fully appreciated. In reference to this, the architect said, “Deck and Patio’s landscaping plan was so beautiful that the windows had to be larger to fully appreciate the view. Now, when you stand inside the bay of the turret, it is just like standing in the backyard.”

 

 

Design/Build Collaboration:

Design/Build Collaboration:

Our collaboration with the architect and builder resulted in a seamless integration of landscape and nature with the architecture of the new house.

 

 

 

Design/Build Creativity:

Design/Build Creativity:

Our design and planning team also took into account what the view would be from inside the house as well as outside. For example, the eight-foot-high pondless waterfall can also be seen from inside. It is not just a beautiful focal point; it hides the pool equipment that local regulations require be put in the middle of the backyard.

 

 

Harmony in Landscaping and Architecture:

Harmony in Landscaping and Architecture:

The project’s patios and driveway, made of stunning natural earth-tone concrete tumbled pavers, were created by Bill Renter to appear as extensions of the geometric patterns and hues of the home’s Glen Gary brick.

 

 

 

Backyard Waterfalls:

Backyard Waterfalls:

The waterfall is powered by a 10,000 GPH pump and is center-lined on the main axis of the house. It creates an enjoyable audio-visual impact which runs virtually year-round and can be enjoyed both day and night.

 

 

 

Design/Build Town Permits:

Design/Build Town Permits:

Being able to use our 3-D animation program before the Town’s architectural review board was an enormous help in explaining our detailed plans.The Town board was in awe of what we showed them. This aided in getting the permit granted, and is one of the reasons all our permits were approved in a fairly timely fashion.

 

 

 

 

 

Backyard Retreat In Keeping With Natural Surroundings

The Deck and Patio Company won major awards for this beautiful backyard retreat

 

This property’s residence was carefully designed and built amongst mature oaks, maples and pines. Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert, Bill Renter, and his team, also took great care to preserve as much of this as possible when we added the various water features: a concrete, vinyl-lined pool, raised spa, stream, waterfalls, and koi pond.

To accomplish this, many site-related factors had to be considered: topography, solar exposure, soil conditions, existing trees, property size, active and passive use areas, as well as the style of architecture.

We have found, in fact, that recreating water and nature is an art form that takes a trained eye, many years of field experience, extensive knowledge of hydraulics and plant material, a true passion for nature, and, most importantly, an understanding of how to balance the relationship between architecture with its natural surroundings.

In recognition for all we accomplished in the design and installation of the pool, spa and water features, this back yard retreat garnered two prestigious awards from NESPA and APSP in 2007.

 

Freeform Concrete Pool:

Freeform Concrete Pool:

Vinly-lined pool was nestled into landscape with careful consideration for existing trees and mature shrub root systems. From spa, clients can view koi pond and waterfalls while relaxing. (Note: Waterfall spilling into the spa acts as a delightful massage.)

 

 

 

Multi-tiered Waterfall/Stream:

Multi-tiered Waterfall/Stream:

5’-high multi-tiered waterfall and 35’ meandering stream discharge into 10’ x 15’ freeform Koi pond. The surrounding moss rock and plantings help create a natural look.

 

 

 

Koi Pond:

Koi Pond:

Pond was built with much consideration for the fish since natural predators exist in and around the locale. The pond’s small cave provides a hiding place where koi can lay dormant during winter months. Plus the pond is fed fresh water continuously from the waterfall/stream.

 

 

 

Pool and Spa Design:

Pool and Spa Design:

This beautiful lagoon-like free-form pool and spa were designed to be “organic” with natural surroundings; they capture very essence of clients’ desire for harmonious body of water in keeping with residence, patio, outdoor kitchen, and new waterfall, stream and pond.

 

 

 

Pool Landscaping:

Pool Landscaping:

Vibration flowers and fragrance — known to bring out the peace within —  are represented here in many varieties of perennials, evergreen and deciduous plantings that also offer robust successional color throughout pool season.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Award-Winning Project Showcase: Backyard Paradise

Creating a seamless integration of landscape, nature with architecture of house

 

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Our design for this special outdoor retreat included seven-foot-high cascading waterfall into pool, a meandering stream with three-foot-high “sheetfalling” waterfall into spa, and two-foot-high spillway from spa into pool.

 

This backyard oasis garnered our firm two prestigious awards (Northeast Spa and Pool Association (NESPA) Gold Metal “Freeform Pools” and First Place for “Residential Concrete Pavers of more than 5,000 square feet” from Hardscape North America (HNA). We believe such accolades are partially due to our early collaboration with the architect and builder in the planning stages. Working hand-in-hand with them and the owners, both the home’s architecture and the outdoor landscape became one seamless integration. www.deckandpatio.com

As a design/build firm, we planned and executed the landscape’s seven-foot-high cascading waterfall, meandering stream with three-foot-high “sheetfalling” waterfall and two-foot-high spillway from a spa into the pool. In addition, the project’s patios and driveway, made of stunning natural earth-tone concrete tumbled pavers, were created by our outdoor living expert to appear as extensions of the geometric patterns and hues of the home’s Glen Gary brick; initial plans by the project’s architect for the house’s turret inspired us to create curves in the backyard’s multi-level terracing design as well as in the backyard’s centerpiece: a glorious freeform pool and spa.

In fact, the architect changed his own plans for the home’s turret so that views from inside the turret of our planned pool area oasis would be fully appreciated. In reference to this, the architect said, “Deck and Patio’s landscaping plan was so beautiful that the windows had to be larger to fully appreciate the view. Now, when you stand inside the bay of the turret, it is just like standing in the backyard.”

 

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Our collaboration with the architect and builder resulted in a the seamless integration of landscape and nature with the architecture of the new house.

Our design and planning team also took into account what the view would be from inside the house. The ease of the back and forth collaboration between the parties was aided by Deck and Patio’s 3-D computer animation program “Pool Studio” which allows viewers to literally fly over and walk through a landscaping project as it is developing.

This 3-D program was also key in getting through some difficult permit processes. The Town involved has strict set back restrictions – meaning one can only build within a certain area of property or otherwise seek a variance  — a very lengthy process. These restrictions limit the amount of impervious surfaces such as driveways, patios, etc. that will retain water and cause run off.

This resulted in our creating 13 dry wells, some exceeding 70 feet in depth. This complicated our work as we dug beneath heavy clay soil in order to reach sandy soil that would allow the drainage. Being able to use our 3-D animation program before the Town’s architectural review board was an enormous help in explaining these detailed plans.

Our outdoor living expert noted that the Town board was in awe of what we showed them. It aided in getting the permit granted and is one of the reasons all our permits were approved in a fairly timely fashion. In the end, heavy equipment handled over 3,500 cubic yards of soil generated from excavating, grading, backfilling and contouring the site.

Other Town requirements forced the placing of the pool equipment in the middle of the backyard, which was directly in the line of sight when viewed from inside the front door and foyer. Because of our design, however, all this was hidden by an eight-foot-high pondless waterfall.

 

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Our design includes an eight-foot-high pondless waterfall which hides pool equipment that local regulations required be put in the middle of the backyard.

The waterfall is powered by a 10,000 GPH pump and is center-lined on the main axis of the house, says Deck and Patio’s outdoor living expert. It creates an enjoyable audio-visual impact which runs virtually year-round.

More than half of the pool and spa beam is supported by over 30 tons of moss rock boulders. The spa and boulder work was specifically carved into the hillside to enhance a sense of enclosure and deal with the severity of the gradient change.

The project’s mature woodland setting has been surrounded by lush plantings in bright colors with long bloom periods. The landscape design also left ample lawn space for the homeowners’ children to play.

 

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Mature woodland setting has been surrounded by lush plantings in bright colors with long bloom periods.

It was also noted by the publisher of the awards we garnered that our backyard design “makes the landscaping appear as though it is yielding to the concrete paver patios, pools and retaining walls” and that it “presents nature as in charge of the design, rather than the concrete.”

Beyond such official recognition, however, according the home’s owner, the public is speaking, too. When everything is blooming in front, the beautiful curb appeal continually causes people to stop – even on what is a fairly busy street. Stopping to enjoy what we did to the front yard, which we designed in a more formal way, they always ask if they can see the whole property. After they see the backyard retreat, we are told they are in awe of its beauty.

 

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Boulder work, reflected so beautifully in the pool’s still water, enhances sense of enclosure while dealing with severity of property’s gradient change.

 

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Artful lighting of homeowners’ pool area paints nightfall with languid romantic hues.

 

 

Project Showcase: Recreating Water and Nature As An Art Form

Design/Build Deck and Patio Company balances relationship between architecture and natural surroundings

At Deck and Patio, we are passionate about recreating water and nature in the “built” environment. We sees it as an art form; we also understand that it takes a trained eye, many years of field experience, extensive knowledge of hydraulics and plant material, a true passion for nature, and most importantly, an understanding of how to balance the relationship between architecture with its natural surroundings.

Our outdoor living expert says this is especially true when integrating water with the “built” environment, because many site-related factors must be considered: topography, solar exposure, soil conditions, existing trees, property size, active and passive use areas as well as style of architecture. www.deckandpatio.com

In order to preserve as much of the natural surrounding landscape as possible, for this beautiful project showcase, rather than clear-cutting the half-acre property, the residence was designed and built amongst the property’s mature oaks, maples and pines.

In developing our landscaping plans, taking into consideration the size of the property and overall dimensions of the house became an important aspect for Deck and Patio’s design/build team. We also left space for, and access to, where the pool and spa would be constructed the following year. Our plan also ensured that future construction would not disturb anything already in place.

 

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Our design plan left space for, and access to, where the pool and spa would be constructed the following year; we also ensured that anything already in place would not be disturbed during this process.

The client wanted our design/build team to consider visual and audio impact as key elements, taking into account viewing angles from inside the house and when entering the back yard, as well as interaction with the water feature when sitting outside.

 

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Our design/build team took into account the viewing angles from inside the house, when entering the back yard, and interaction with the water feature when sitting outside.

To make this water feature successful, the installation process was very detailed and relied upon our design team’s keen eye for rock placement which includes comprehensive knowledge of its direct correlation with the ‘architectural’ elements of form, texture, shape and height, including the finishing touches that plant material and gravel provide when recreating nature.

 

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Our design team’s keen eye for rock placement includes comprehensive knowledge of its direct correlation with the ‘architectural’ elements of form, texture, shape and height, including the finishing touches that plant material provide when recreating nature.

So as to minimize the impact of this feature against the much needed lawn area for the clients’ active children, we designed the stream and waterfall to transverse the rear property line; we utilized the existing topography to create multiple spills and changes in water direction so it could be easily seen, as well as heard, from the rear patio and from inside the residence.

Low-lying evergreens and groundcover perennials were used in and around the rock outcroppings and stream for color and texture and to soften these large boulders which would otherwise stand out and detract from the overall intent of looking “natural.” Larger flowering plantings were installed behind the water feature to provide accenting and screening as well as to blend with other mature plantings that existed on the site. On lower portions of the slope, the water feature was planted with flowers for cutting and small beds for annuals so the client could interact with the stream garden throughout the season.

 

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Deck and Patio designed the stream and waterfall to transverse the rear property line and utilized the existing topography to create multiple spills and changes to water direction so it could be easily seen, as well as heard, from the rear patio and from inside the residence.

After a year of enjoying their water feature, the clients decided it was time to install the pool and spa and complete the back yard renovation. The swimming pool had similar design constraints being that the depth of the property was minimal at best; it would take up the majority of the left side of the rear yard once installed. The pool was designed with the intent to be “organic” with its natural surroundings. The 24’ x 42’ freeform concrete wall, vinyl lined swimming pool and raised 8’ diameter spa with spillway captured the very essence of the clients desire to have a body of water that would be harmonious with the residence’s existing patio, outdoor kitchen area, waterfall, stream and koi pond.

The pool was nestled into the landscape with careful consideration for existing trees and mature shrub root systems so that minimal impact would occur during excavation and construction.

The spa was built 12” above the pool water line, providing a picturesque spillway intermingling with the surrounding landscape. From certain vantage points you could see the spa itself, but the client wanted the spa to be unique and provide some seclusion from the main patio and other viewing angles. A 2’ high cascading waterfall was incorporated into the spa design which provided not only a gentle massage should you sit under it, but it also added to the overall theme of visual and audio effects of moving water in the rear yard.

The spa was situated not for ease of access from the pool; rather it was so the client could view the koi pond and waterfalls while relaxing in the spa. Since the client did not wish to remove the entire existing brick patio, nor have a walkway around the entire pool, a random bluestone coping was incorporated which brought the lawn area up to the pool. This also aided in creating an “organic” relationship between landscape and hardscape. With minimal space, such inventive ideas must come into play in order to conserve on cost and impact to the surrounding setting.

 

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A 2’ high cascading waterfall was incorporated into the spa design which provided not only a gentle massage should you sit under it, but it also added to the overall theme of visual and audio effects of moving water in the rear yard.

 

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The spa was situated by Deck and Patio’s design/build team so the client could view the koi pond and waterfalls while relaxing in the spa.

The pool and spa is fully automated with state of the art technology salt chlorine generator, mineral purifiers, pumps and filtration system. All of which can be accessed from inside the house, by the spa or by remote. With rising fuel and energy costs, many of the pool functions are energy efficient and can be programmed to perform minimal tasks to keep the pool water clear and circulating and, when needed, the functions of the pool and spa power the waterfalls, spa jets and filtration system.

The pool was also constructed with a moss rock boulder coping which brings the landscape right up to the beam of the pool and created a natural setting. Vibration flowers and fragrance provided by many varieties of perennials, evergreen and deciduous plantings creates successional color throughout the pool season.

In recognition for the design and installation of the pool, spa and water features, this back yard won two prestigious awards from NESPA and APSP in 2007.

 

Which Type of Pond Works Best For Your Yard?

We feel pretty much any yard can accommodate a pond water feature. Whether you have an expansive lawn or what you jokingly call a backyard postage-stamp, this type of water feature can range from a modest koi pond to one with a glorious vanishing edge.

So prepare to open up your outdoor chaise lounge, pour yourself something cool, and take in some gentle sounds and beauty along with that cool drink.

 

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As design and build experts, we always advise installing your pond where you can enjoy it from a deck, patio, bedroom, or kitchen. It’s important to note that not just humans appreciate a pond water feature. In addition to the family pooch being endlessly fascinated, birds and butterflies will be attracted. Birds, in particular, love gently moving water.

Just provide a place for them to land, such as rock platforms, or design a shallow end as part of the feature. And by keeping the water circulating, this will also help prevent mosquito larvae from hatching.

 

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We used stepping stones as a way to cross this pond. Stones provide a more natural aged look and create an exhilarating way to go from one spot to another.

In addition to increasing the natural appearance of the pond, stabilizing boulders and creeping plant material helped reduce the need for a costly retaining wall.

 

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A helpful tip: Because ponds do not have too much water action, water lilies are ideal plants. Not only do they produce fragrant flowers that are beautiful to look at, they add shade which helps keep the water temperature down during the heat of summer.

This also reduces algae growth and when koi or other fish are present, water lilies provide great shelter for the fish and help keep the water clear and clean-looking.

 

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We tucked a pond and waterfall into the corner of the driveway for these clients. By adding beautiful creeping ground cover and boulders, even the property’s challenging raised grades were turned into benefits.

Also, by installing enough retaining boulders and plant materials, we coaxed Mother Nature’s own gravity into pumping water naturally into a pond.

 

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Here, we were brought in to create an extraordinary outdoor oasis with several water features. One part of the project was to restore an existing 40-foot koi pond which we did by expanding it and giving it a face lift.

It now includes a waterfall, bridge, moss rock cave, a Savio Pond Skimmer and Aquascape Biofalls. The entire plan includes a vanishing edge pool, restored and expanded koi pond, 3,000 square feet of Techo Bloc tumbled stone patio, two natural gas campfires, and large evergreen trees that flank the left and right side for privacy.

 

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We think ponds can reach their zenith when given a vanishing edge. Although these are more commonly done for pools, if local regulations limit the addition of a pool, a pond might be the answer.

That was the case for this multi-part water feature which captures in its stillness the glorious sunsets over Long Island Sound and appears to connect right out to the Sound. The project includes a stream, waterfalls, and second lower pond. Under the feature’s beauty, an extremely high tech and complex natural biological filtration system is continuously maintaining the feature’s crystal clear water.