Fall is a terrific time to do outdoor upgrades like a new deck or patio. Simple, ground-level expansions can be done by anyone. But if your property’s terrain is challenging, or your outdoor living dreams call for more artistically designed spaces, the advantages of choosing a “design-build” firm is worth consideration.
What Is Design-Build Construction?
Design-build contractors provide the architectural design for a project as well as its construction. This is also true for “outdoor living” contractors like Deck and Patio.
“Choosing one firm to do the design as well as the construction doesn’t mean the project’s costs will be more expensive than hiring two groups of experts,” says our own Dave Stockwell. “Nor will clients lose all control either.”
On the contrary, adds Dave. Clients find they develop a closer relationship with their design-build project manager, who knows all that’s going on and can easily accommodate their changing needs/ideas as the project develops.
As you’ll see from the examples of some of our work that we’ve included today, when it comes to outdoor living projects, having a singular vision — which might include plantings, waterscapes, and hardscape — results in beautifully harmonious backyard escapes.
For this handsome free-form pool, Deck and Patio designed a surrounding patio using a design kit from Cambridge Pavingstones with AmorTec.
“The kit allowed us to create a very attractive random pattern, with gradations of tones,” says Dave.
“Also, our several in-depth consultations with the clients helped us know their needs and tastes, resulting in its multi-level patio design, with designated spaces for all their priorities — dining, lounging, etc.”
Plus, adding a water feature on one side of the pool, along with a pool slide, not only was alluring, adds Dave, but the moss rock boulder placements and landscaping were conceived to do double-duty as a natural-looking retaining area for the pool.
Backyard Water Features
Designing and building a backyard water feature takes time, especially if you want a man-made feature appear as if Mother Nature designed it herself.
This requires ordering and installing the perfect-sized rocks and boulders that cause the water to flow in natural spills into either a pond or even a pondless-water feature like the one shown here.
Designing/Building for Privacy
Sometimes privacy is an issue when designing for comfortable outdoor living. This property, for example, was open on three sides and in full view of four homes.
“The clients wanted a ‘spool’ — or a cross between a small pool and a spa — but the best spot for it was in a very exposed area,” says Dave.
Deck and Patio’s landscaping design team used Skip Laurels, Leyland Cypress, and Cedars to create an attractive natural privacy screen around the spool. In addition, texture and color were brought in to the buffering divider by incorporating flowering deciduous shrubs.
“We also incorporated creeping evergreen ground covers to cascade and wind over and between the rocks we used,” says Dave. “Plus a careful selection of plants provided the area with color from April through October. The whole design flows beautifully into the back property.
For this project, privacy was not an issue for the clients. In fact, they wanted it as open as possible to take in the property’s wonderful views.
“We designed a 2-level TimberTech XLM PVC deck for them, with one level just for the outdoor dining table, and the other places for deep seating outdoor furniture like chaise lounges and the barbecue,” says Dave.
”We also recommended the black railing for a strong contrasting tone to the decking materials. The design also included 45-degree angles in order to orient the outdoor furniture toward the views.”
So, as you plan for any fall or spring backyard upgrades, an outdoor living design-build firm may be just be the way to go.