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Winter-Friendly Durable Construction Products

Our winters on Long Island don’t always come with a lot of snow, but we do face extended cold streaks. For this reason alone, Deck and Patio values durable construction products that also look good.

 

Techo-Bloc Construction Paver Materials

 

Snow Removal:

Snow Removal:

Techo-Bloc products are engineered in Canada where they require extra strength due to our neighboring country’s extreme weather changes. Their pavers handle very well the freeze/thaw that occurs in our own corner of the Northeast.

“The stones will remain adaptable, even, and stable for years, as long as they are installed properly,” says our own Dave Stockwell.

Techo-Bloc pavers are nearly three times stronger than poured concrete, And when it comes to snow, these pavers can be plowed and shoveled. 

Actually, the edges and joints around the pavers assist in melting snow and ice, says the manufacturer. And that using de-icing salt (sodium chloride or calcium chloride) to remove snow and ice will not harm these paving stones.

Deck and Patio Project Using Techo-Bloc

Deck and Patio Project Using Techo-Bloc

 

This photo shows how natural Techo-Bloc pavers look. Instead of one-sized bricks placed throughout your entire patio or retaining wall or driveway, their kits provide “random” instead of straight lines for a handsome outcome.

“These products are available in pavers, slabs, walls, for facing outdoor features such as fire pits, edging, and include permeable materials,” says Dave.

 

 

 

Fiberon Capped Composite Decking

 

Photo Courtesy of Fiberon

Photo Courtesy of Fiberon

Fiberon offers capped composite decking boards, like the ones shown here. They are made of materials and a cap that resist moisture. Fiberon boards include a “cover” that provide added protection against the elements and everyday living.

Most wood decking materials face challenges in holding up to such weather.  Even moisture-resistant woods require regular sealing and parts of the underside can’t help but trap moisture.

“While most reputable capped composite manufacturers produce superb products that are stain, insect, mold and splinter resistant,” says Dave Stockwell, “Fiberon’s special warranty can also be a factor. Not only do clients get the usual 25-year warranty on materials, with Fiberon they also get a five-year warranty on labor.”

That said, the most important aspect to ongoing outdoor winter enjoyment is to remove any existing snow.

“Whether you have a wood or capped-composite deck, we recommend not using metal shovels for this, but plastic ones. If you feel it necessary to use de-icing materials, rock salt is the best choice for any deck surface.  Be sure to choose rock salt that is labeled safe for flagstone or concrete and will not kill grass.”

 

Award-winning Deck and Patio Fiberon Project

Award-winning Deck and Patio Fiberon Project

The Director of Marketing Communications at Fiberon, Edie Kelly does not recommend using sand to remove ice and snow because that can mar a deck’s surface.

“If the snow is light, a broom is a good choice or, again, a plastic shovel, Kello recommends sweeping the used rock salt into the trash, then rinsing the deck off to remove any residue. This is especially important if you have pets.

“You can use a pressure washer if you like, but we recommend not going beyond 3,000 PSI (pounds per square inch). Also, keep the nozzle about 10” above the deck. This applies to both wood and composite decking.“

Fiberon also says it is important to shovel parallel to the boards and not horizontally.

 

 

Snowy, Icy Landscape

Snowy, Icy Landscape

 

Backyard Upgrades: As you learn the best ways to enjoy your deck and patio during winter, it’s a great time to ponder what changes you’d like to make for spring.

And it’s okay if you have no idea how to look through snow and plan for spring. The key is: design/build experts like Deck and patio do know. And we can help you see through winter to spring.

 

 

 

A Custom Outdoor Kitchen For the Holidays

 

Baked or Grilled Apples

Baked or Grilled Apples

Do you want to smoke your turkey this year? Could you use another oven for all those side dishes? How about a spot for cocktails to keep guests out of your way while you’re prepping the meal? 

And did you know you can grill an apple pie? Or a pumpkin one? Or how about stuffed and grilled apples?

With Thanksgiving not that far away and several festive celebrations in December, it’s not too late to install or upgrade your outdoor cooking area.

In the following Deck and Patio project, our clients asked that a smoker be added to their new custom outdoor kitchen. 

 

 

Deck Outdoor Activity Center

Deck Outdoor Activity Center:

 

Deck and Patio designed it as part of a custom activity area. We fitted it on the mid-level of a new 3-level deck. Just steps from the top-level’s large seating area, the custom outdoor kitchen/dining area includes a new grill, refrigerator, a small bar to enjoy the water views, and that special smoker/cooker. 

The entire kitchen area is all set within curved custom cabinetry with a raised bar that mimics the decking in style and design.

 

 

 

 

Outdoor Kitchen on Lower Patio

Outdoor Kitchen on Lower Patio

 

This time of year, it’s also great if your outdoor kitchen has a heat source nearby like the custom fire put Deck and Patio created for this family.

We contracted the kitchen’s amenities on a lower of two new Deck and Patio patios. The outdoor kitchen includes a built-in stainless steel grill, expansive work area, sink, refrigerator and eating/drinking bar with stools.

 

 

 

 

Outdoor Kitchen with Ronda insulated drawers

Outdoor Kitchen with Ronda insulated drawers

 

Unless the property has a destination pool area etc., Deck and Patio frequently locates outdoor kitchens fairly close to the inside of the house. 

As for the particular amenities shown here, one trend we’re seeing in outdoor kitchens are warming/cooling drawers made by companies like Ronda. These insulated drawers are sealed and work without electricity. Your drinks stay cool or your food stays warm depending on what you put in its lower drawer.

They have a magnetic seal, which along with being waterproof will also keep away bugs and dust. Indeed, you can choose a single drawer just for keeping dishes and cutlery completely clean.

 

 

An Upgraded Outdoor Kitchen

Can be Cost-Effective

 

Indoor Kitchen Remodel

Indoor Kitchen Remodel

 

“We find sometimes that clients opt for a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen as a more cost-effective way to extend their indoor cooking area — without having to remodel the whole kitchen,” says our own Dave Stockwell. “This is especially true when the home is on the smaller side.”

Of course, adds Dave, even those who already have large modern indoor kitchens love the convenience of an outdoor center that can become the heart of outdoor parties and gatherings.”

 

 

 

Outdoor Kitchens:

Outdoor Kitchens:

 

 

For more ideas on custom outdoor kitchens by Deck and Patio you can simply search our website.  

 

 

 

 

Should I Add a Deck, Patio, or Driveway in Fall?

Fall is a great time to add or refurbish a deck, patio, pool surround, or driveway. First there are the immediate advantages to extend the outdoor season. Perhaps you’ll include a seat wall and/or fire pit with your new patio. Or a handsome deck bench beside a fire feature. 

“Building in fall not only makes you ready for next year,” says our own Dave Stockwell, “but you can enjoy these amenities well into late fall.”

So, fall is the perfect time to do construction in your yard. For one thing, there will be less damage to plants while digging up your property. Also, there’s less rainfall in autumn, thus shortening the time it takes to build.

 

Decks

 

In addition to choosing the right design like the right height for the deck, the most important thing is choosing the deck material you want to use, i.e., natural wood, capped composite and pressure-treated wood.

Here’s some of the most commonly used deck materials:

 

 

Determining Height of Deck

Determining Height of Deck

— cedar

— mahogany,

— Ipe

— TimberTech

— Trex

— Fiberon

 

 

Of course, there are advantages and limitations to each of these. And our team is happy to help you choose the best product for your needs.

 

Patios, Driveways, Pool Surrounds

 

Fall Weather

Fall Weather

When it comes to these hardscapes, digging up your property in fall is less of a hassle after the outdoor season is mostly over and you’re not outside as much.

Also, just like with building a deck, there’s less damage to the landscape when plants are dormant. 

Not to mention you’ll find that design/build firms like Deck and Patio have more time open on their schedules in autumn so they can provide quicker service as opposed to our busiest months.

 

Types of Hardscape Materials

Choosing the right hardscape materials is important in the northeast’s freeze/thaw climate. The wrong products trap heat in the summer which can be tough on bare feet. And who wants to wear shoes or sandals around a pool or hot tub?

 That said, it’s equally important that the paving material you choose can stand up to the freezing weather that occurs in our cold seasons. 

“Helping our clients choose the right product is part of our service,” says Dave. 

“And whether the choice ends up being brick, natural stone, pavers or other landscaping materials, at Deck and Patio we know how to install them correctly. We have earned many HNA awards from the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute which signify the superior design ability and competence of installation by our construction experts.”

 

Examples of Deck and Patio Hardscape Projects

 

Patio Techo-Bloc Pavers

 

Outdoor Kitchen on Lower Patio

Outdoor Kitchen on Lower Patio

This photo (above) shows a two-level patio we built for our clients in Tech-Bloc’s Borealis’ modular slabs. On the lower of two new Deck and Patio patios, we added an outdoor kitchen with built-in stainless steel grill, expansive work area, sink, refrigerator and eating/drinking bar with stools. 

The upper level is a lovely dining area with custom fire pit and nearby is a hot tub with stream and waterfalls.

 

Driveway Tumbled Pavers

 

Paving Stone Driveway:

Paving Stone Driveway:

Deck and Patio’s design team was brought in during the early stages of planning and construction of this home and its many hardscapes. 

Working with the architect and homeowners, in front, our design team created a driveway in earth-tone concrete tumbled pavers that appear as an extension of the geometric patters and hues of the home’s Glen Gary brick.

 

Pool Surrounds

 

Deck and Patio Travertine Patio/Pool Surround:

Deck and Patio Travertine Patio/Pool Surround:

Here is a lovely example of natural stone. Travertine is a gorgeous natural stone that can make a beautiful patio. Here the Travertine surrounds a 50-foot-long pool, 800-square-foot pool house, an outdoor kitchen with natural stone facade, and an outdoor shower. 

Note: Although Travertine has traditionally been used indoors in colder climates, more and more it is being used outdoors. Be careful, however, from where the stone is quarried. You want Travertine from Italy, Mexico or Turkey, not China, which doesn’t hold up in the freeze/thaw conditions of the Northeast.

 

Cambridge Pool Surround:

Cambridge Pool Surround:

Handsome Cambridge Ledgestone XL “Toffee Onyx Light” pavers (Sherwood Collection) were chosen as a patio/pool surround for this yard. The pavers come in 3-piece design kits for a beautiful random design. 

The color of the pavers nicely pick up both the pool water while simultaneously suggesting beach sand for a beautiful natural appearance.

 

To learn more about different materials and design/build opportunities, contact Deck and Patio during regular business hours at 613-549-8100.

 

 

 

Avoid Travel Hassles: Vacation On Your Deck Instead

Air Travel Can Be Challenging

Air Travel Can Be Challenging

Recently, air travel has become one nightmare story after another. And gasoline costs are still very high. However, if you have a deck, or are thinking of having one built or updated, you could go camping — or even glamping – right on your own back step.

Camping on a deck you ask? Well, it meets the first rule of camping to locate your tent on level ground. Your deck certainly provides that.

Plus, you can even go fancy, like the deck tent set up in our feature photo at the top of this page. You can even leave it there through the summer-early-fall months. So it’s ready when you feel the need to get away. 

Should you require a deck built or an existing one remodeled, you can visit our design center or call our office to set up an appointment for someone to visit your property. 

“When you visit our design center,” says our own Dave Stockwell, “you can see actual samples of materials – various types of natural wood and composite materials in many varieties of textures and colors. We will help you select the right type for your installation, based on the design of the project, the surroundings and landscaping.”

 

The Joys of Camping!

If camping is a new experience for you, either on your deck or at a campsite, consider what it’ll be like falling asleep to the sound of crickets and waking to a symphony of birds.

Deck Railing Planter

Deck Railing Planter

And you don’t need to live in a natural wilderness to experience getting away. It’s easy to “naturalize” your deck with a few containers of plants to add to the adventure.

But, first, you must begin with a tent. Putting up a tent isn’t that hard as you’ll see from the video immediately below. This was put together by an Aussie who shares the types of tents you can choose as well as how to open and close them down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Deck Camping Tips

  • folding chairs allow you to leave the tent from time to time.

  • String a few lights

  • Set up some citronella candles

  • Sleeping bags (unless you want to “clamp: it up — see below

  • Kids favorite blankets and sleep items

  • No worry about snacks – your kitchen is just steps away!

 

 

Glamp It Up!

Glamping takes a bit more work than pitching a tent. For some creative ideas on what goes into have a luxurious camping experience, we found a lot of ideas at the website of glamping holiday resorts.

For example, our feature photo at the top of our blog is from Daylesford Holiday Park (Victoria Australia). And their website offers some great comfort amenities to get you thinking about what you could include in and around your tent.

 

Hudson Valley Luxury Camping

Hudson Valley Luxury Camping

 

Closer to home, the Collective Hudson Valley has some very sophisticated ideas for true glamping.

Their retreat at Liberty Farms is inspiring. Their setups may be a bit of work if you plan to only camp out for a night or two. But if you want to have your own summer-long glamp-site, their website is not to be missed for ideas.

 

 

However, if you want to upgrade a camping experience from just plain sleeping bags to something a bit more refined, Pinterest has a wealth of ideas for easy glamping. Here’s just one helpful post we found:

 

 

“Setting Up Camp ..With so many options available, finding a pop-up weatherproof tent has never been easier. Choose one that best meets your needs in terms of size and portability. This one from Ikea works well because it has a solid structure, movable drapes and is large enough to fit two cots.”

“Setting Up Camp
..With so many options available, finding a pop-up weatherproof tent has never been easier. Choose one that best meets your needs in terms of size and portability. This one from Ikea works well because it has a solid structure, movable drapes and is large enough to fit two cots.”

 

 

By |2022-07-21T23:06:52-05:00July 21st, 2022|Backyard Escapes, Composite Decking, Deck and Patios, Design and Build Experts, Family Fun, Fiberon, Landscape Planning, Outdoor Living, Patios & Decks, TimberTech, Trex Decking, Unique Ideas, Wood Decks|Comments Off on Avoid Travel Hassles: Vacation On Your Deck Instead

Caring for Your Deck From July 4th and Beyond

Once July 4th kicks off summer entertaining, and fun in the sun, your deck gets a lot of use. Indeed, for many of us, decks and summer are the heart of the outdoor living season.

 

Deck Structure/Deck and Patio Fiberon Deck

Deck Structure/Deck and Patio Fiberon Deck

 

So how can you take good care of your deck during all this activity? A while ago, we spoke with Edie Kello from Viance — the company that makes the preservatives for pressure-treated lumber.

Kello answered some of the most common questions homeowners have regarding maintaining their decks:

 

 

Question: When it comes to decks, what’s your advice on maintaining them.

Answer: “A deck should last for years. Keep it looking its best with the right deck cleaners sealers and stains to ensure its long-term beauty. Here’s some tips:

 

For New ‘Wood’ Decks:

• Allow the wood 6-8 weeks to dry prior to applying any sealer or stain.

• Apply a high-quality oil or water-based finish with UV protection to slow down the process of the wood turning gray from exposure to the sun.

• Apply a water repellent sealer at least every two years.

• And always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for new and re-applications.

• To provide long term aesthetic appeal, maintain a deck that is dry and clean.

• Keep your deck free from dirt and debris.

• Liquid detergents, water and a stiff bristle brush will remove most mildew and dirt.

• For hard to clean wood surfaces, use a deck brightener containing Oxalic acid to retain the wood’s natural beauty.

• Always follow the manufacturer’s mixing and application instructions.

• Never use household chloride bleaches on decks as it can cause damage to the wood fibers and fasteners.

• Care should be taken if a pressure-washer is used for cleaning decks, as excessive pressure may cause damage to your deck’s surface.

  • Make sure water can drain away from the deck and there is adequate ventilation so water can evaporate to lessen mold and mildew growth.”

— Edie Kello, Viance Company

 

Of course not all decks are natural wood. What about composite materials? 

Well, all decks benefit from a bit of care and cleaning — even durable capped composite decks. Depending on the type of composite you have or choose, the cleaning materials may vary. So Deck and Patio went right to the manufacturer’s mouth, so to speak and have included links where helpful:

 

Popular Composite Decking

 

Deck and Patio Trex Pool Surround & Deck

Deck and Patio Trex Pool Surround & Deck

 

 

Trex Decking

This deck and pool surround was designed and built by Deck and Patio using Trex Decking. For details on maintaining your Trex deck, check out the information at their website.

 

 

 

 

Award-winning Deck and Patio Fiberon Project

Award-winning Deck and Patio Fiberon Project

 

 

Fiberon Decking

This multi-level deck with pool surround included a level devoted to the family’s new portable hot tub. Here’s how to care and maintain your Fiberon deck from the manufacturer’s website’s blog.

 

 

 

 

TimberTech Deck by Deck and Patio

TimberTech Deck by Deck and Patio

 

 

TimberTech Decking

Here Deck and Patio built another raised multi-level deck with spaces devoted to different outdoor living spaces — from dining, lounging, and barbecuing. And as for TimberTech, you can download a PDF on how to care for your TimberTech Capped Composite Decking.

 

 

 

 

Backyard Design Ideas That Double as Man Caves

After you huddle inside to watch the Super Bowl this coming Sunday, and treat your best love to a happy Valentine’s Day, you can begin planning a backyard upgrade that doubles as a man cave. 

After all, the end of this month our favorite baseball teams head south to Florida to get in shape. As they practice, you, too, can get in shape by design/building an outdoor retreat perfect for watching baseball’s early games. 

“The heart of any man cave is, of course, a large TV,” says Dave Stockwell. “Today’s LED televisions can be properly encased to be theft-free. We are expert at encasing the TV carefully to ensure the proper internal temperature control/circulation needed to protect it.”

An example of a Deck and Patio project that doubles as a man cave boasts just such a protected TV — and — a hot tub set into their new multi-level deck. An added fire pit means our client can enjoy the space well before and after the summer months. 

While ideal as a man cave, there’s no denying the rest of the family enjoys time out there, too. So let’s say, when it comes to game nights, this retreat doubles as a man cave!

 

Family Area Doubles as a Man Cave for Game Nights:

Family Area Doubles as a Man Cave for Game Nights:

Televisions available for outside use resist rain, dust and other elements. So even in very bad weather, these Deck and Patio clients can turn on their fire pit, relax in their hot tub, and even watch TV.

 

Man Cave with Walls and Roof

When building the following pool house, these Deck and Patio clients asked us for “two” separate outdoor rooms. One of the spaces includes a 20-by-20 flat screen TV and refrigerator. It’s also adjacent to a new outdoor kitchen — which pretty much completes an ideal man cave.

 

 

Pool House with Man Cave Space:

Pool House with Man Cave Space:

Pool House with Man Cave Space: The property’s pool is located far from the house so they wanted plenty of amenities in the adjacent pool house. Along with a bathroom, washer/dryer and shower, and screened porch, there is a terrific space loaded with amenities for kicking back with friends to watch games. 

 

Four Seasons Room

Another project with walls and roof, and that doubles as a man cave, is the following fully-enclosed Four Seasons Room. With this special space, in addition to this year’s baseball season, you’ll even be able to watch next year’s Super Bowl outside.

The completed four seasons room not only harmonizes with their home, but as well as having screens, it boasts fully operating windows, automated Mitsubishi ductless heating and air conditioning, a flat screen television, and enough room for their young child to use his ride-on toys. No matter the season, this outdoor room’s large Anderson windows offer a 360-degree view of their lovely property.

 

Four Seasons Room Is Ideal Man Cave:

Four Seasons Room Is Ideal Man Cave:

Snow or rain, cold or heat, this man cave is always just the right temperature. And most importantly, it has a large screen TV. 

So game on, everybody! Enjoy the Super Bowl, and then get planning the perfect space to watch all sports events.

 

Photo Courtesy of Fiberon Decking

Photo Courtesy of Fiberon Decking

 

Today’s Feature Photo is courtesy of Fiberon Decking. It shows an expansive deck with covering in one area which houses a fireplace. Note there’s plenty of space for a large TV. Comfortable seating near the grill completes the perfect man cave space. (Okay, the family will want to spend time there, too.)

 

 

 

 

Backyard Upgrades: Now Is the Time to Spring Into Action

Plan Now for This Summer

Plan Now for This Summer

Don’t wait for the clocks to change. When it comes to planning backyard upgrades, now is the time to spring forward.

“Early February is a really good time to plan,” says our own Dave Stockwell. “Once robins are singing and trees are budding, the phones at Deck and Patio have been ringing for weeks with requests for projects.”

One reason, Dave explains, is there are so many different local codes and variances required for upgrades across Long Island. “And in order to secure permits, we need to get to that early.”

Special projects also require pulling together the right people for every aspect of the design plan. Again, starting early ensures each team will be available to work in a way that doesn’t slow the job down.

 

How to begin

 

The “A” Team: Deck and Patio at work with HGTV’s Pool Kings

The “A” Team: Deck and Patio at work with HGTV’s Pool Kings

 

Choosing the right design/builder is perhaps the most important decision you have to make when planning your outdoor retreat. Here are just a few of the questions you should consider:

—  Will your design/build firm be using subcontractors and if so, are they licensed and insured? Who will be responsible for any repairs during the warranty?

—  Will your design/builder obtain town codes and zoning information or will you be doing this? Some firms such as The Deck and Patio Company can introduce you to an expeditor to help in the permit process, if required.

—  Take the time necessary to verify the references of your designer/builder and how many workers will be on the site at any given time. Will there be a supervisor there, for example.

—  Review any contracts carefully before signing on. Ensure you have all the warranty information that was promised.

 

 

Landscape Planning Should Begin in Winter (Long Island/NY):

Landscape Planning Should Begin in Winter (Long Island/NY):

Even if there’s snow on the ground, a good design/build firm is able to see underneath it to plan an outdoor retreat. In fact, we built these dual ponds (immediately above) for a client during winter. 

“The ground was getting hard and it was brutally cold,” says Dave. “But, in one way, it was a good time of year for such a project because we had more time in our schedule than we usually do in spring. So it was cold, but stress-free.”

This water feature was designed as an ecosystem pond with a natural-looking moss rock waterfall. It includes a stone bridge. And the stream we added just behind the pond feeds the pond area and boasts an additional waterfall.

 

Backyard Water Features (Long Island/NY):

Backyard Water Features (Long Island/NY):

Planning glorious backyard water features takes time, especially if you want a man-made feature like this to appear as if Mother Nature designed it herself. This requires ordering and installing the perfect-sized rocks and boulders that urge the water to flow in natural spills into either a pond or pondless-reservoir.

 

Deck Design/Building:

Deck Design/Building:

The structure of a deck is most often attached to the house. It’s usually elevated, that is, designed to suit the “lay of the land.” The land’s topography also helps determine how high and how many levels it should be.

In addition to choosing the right design/build experts, the most important thing is choosing the deck material you want to use, i.e., natural wood, capped composite and pressure-treated wood.

You want to have all the materials you need when you are ready to start construction. Planning ahead is key.

 

 

Professional Tips for Enjoying Your Deck in Winter

‼️ Removing Snow – ‼️Keeping Warm on Your Deck – ‼️Trapping Your Heat – ‼️A Fun Deck Amenity (Hot Tub)

 

So far —  knock on wood — in our part of the Northeast, we’ve been experiencing quite the mild spell as the official winter season approaches. But even if and when it gets much colder, you’ll be surprised how much you can use your deck, even after it snows.

To provide some professional tips on doing just that, we spoke a while back with Edie Kello, Director of Marketing Communications at one of the top capped-composite decking manufacturers: Fiberon Decking. 

 

‼️ Removing Snow From Your Deck

 

Remove Snow from Your Deck/Photo Fiberon

Remove Snow from Your Deck/Photo Fiberon

 

It is key to remove any existing snow from your deck, says Kello. But he notes, 

whether you have a wood or capped-composite deck, he recommends not using metal shovels for this, but plastic ones. 

“And if you feel it necessary to use de-icing materials, rock salt is the best choice for any deck surface.  Be sure to choose rock salt that is labeled ‘safe for flagstone or concrete and will not kill grass,’” he says.

He suggests not using sand to remove ice and snow. Sand can mar a deck’s surface.

Protecting Your Pets

Protecting Your Pets

 

“If the snow is light, a broom is a good choice or, again, a plastic shovel. Also, sweeping the used rock salt into the trash, then rinsing the deck off to remove any residue is a very good idea. This is especially important if you have pets.

“You can use a pressure washer if you like, but we recommend not going beyond 3,000 PSI (pounds per square inch). Also, keep the nozzle about 10” above the deck. This applies to both wood and composite decking.“

 

 

‼️ Keeping Warm on Your Deck

 

Having a deck heater (or patio heater) will allow you to enjoy your winter wonderland and the fresh crisp air longer. 

“These heaters will throw heat down and around where you are sitting,” says Kello.

Not to mention you can make s’mores and keep hot cider and hot chocolate warm. Available in building supply stores, they come free standing, fit on a table top, and usually run on propane gas.

“However, fire pits and fireplaces are other very popular choices. If you are not using a natural gas heat source, we recommend putting a fiber-cement mat (made of a mix of wood pulp and cement) underneath a fire pit to catch any embers.

“It is also important to ensure heat doesn’t build up against the wood or composite decking, so keep any heat source up off the deck by at least a foot.”

 

Fire Pits/Fire Tables: A fire pit adds warmth and is the perfect place to roast a marshmallow for s’mores. Photo: Fiberon Decking and Railing

Fire Pits/Fire Tables:
A fire pit adds warmth and is the perfect place to roast a marshmallow for s’mores. Photo: Fiberon Decking and Railing

 

‼️ Trapping Your Heat

 

Deck Covering/Fiberon Decking and Railing

Deck Covering/Fiberon Decking and Railing

 

Since heat rises, Kello says you probably want some sort of deck covering that will help trap the heat. 

“It’s great if you can add a roof, but if you have a pergola, you can put a tarp or outdoor fabric over it, or add an awning. These options help keep harsh elements off the deck as well, so there’s less shoveling.

 

 

 

‼️ Now, for A Fun Deck Amenity!

 

If we go through the effort of keeping our decks clear of snow and add a source of warmth, that means we get to use our outdoor grills much longer into the winter season.

Additionally, some people install a hot tub to take full advantage of winter outdoor living — even when there is a massive amount of snow. Just be sure any hot tub is properly supported within the sub-structure of the deck, says Kello.

Additionally, some people install a hot tub to take full advantage of winter outdoor living — even when there is a massive amount of snow. Just be sure any hot tub is properly supported within the sub-structure of the deck, says Kello.

 

She also suggests the addition of lights for a cozy winter atmosphere. “If you don’t have any deck lights built into the railing, just add Christmas/holiday lights, or snowflake lights along the railing, pergola, shrubs/planters, or even on a deck umbrella.”

She also suggests the addition of lights for a cozy winter atmosphere. “If you don’t have any deck lights built into the railing, just add Christmas/holiday lights, or snowflake lights along the railing, pergola, shrubs/planters, or even on a deck umbrella.”

 

Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and a general Happy Holidays to everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Landscape Planning: ‘Before’ and ‘After’ Projects (Part II)

As we promised in last week’s blog, today we’re sharing additional ‘Before’ and ‘After’ design/build projects. We hope they inspire your own backyard upgrade.

 

Pool and Retaining Wall Upgrade

“Before” (left) “After" (right)

“Before” (left) “After” (right)

These Dix Hills homeowners called on Deck and Patio when they decided to update their backyard pool area. Their old wood deck and red brick patios (above left) were small and unusable for parties and entertaining. They were looking for a complete plan to transform the space.

“We suggested a special idea to deal with the large wall behind the pool and small patio spaces,” says Dave Stockwell, owner of Deck and Patio. “The plan was to remove the wood retaining wall, re-grade the slope, and create a large natural waterfall, stream, and woodland garden (above right).”

Our design/build plan also called for draining the pool and removing the liner; a poorly built concrete block wall was uncovered and we straightened the wall and filled the block in with concrete and steal rebar for strength. New vinyl-covered stairs were added to the pool, plus new pipes, returns, skimmers, pump, filter and a new liner.

 

New Modern Deck

“Before” (left) “After" (right)

“Before/During Construction” (left) “After” (right)

These Centerport, NY, homeowners were both outdoor enthusiasts with a property that had a nice water view. Their wish list included: an attractive modern-looking deck from where they could best appreciate their view; a deck/railing that did not in any way obstruct the view; and a conveniently placed portable spa.

It was clear a two-story deck was needed. But we realized that the deck also needed to be large enough to allow designated areas for grilling, dining, lounging and hot tubbing. Plus, the railing would need special consideration.

An important choice for this Trex Deck project was the steel cable railing by Feeney does not obstruct the water views from any place on the deck. Deck and Patio built a custom spa “cradle” as a mount for their new hot tub. This positioned the spa so they could enjoy the views when inside the tub

 

New Backyard ‘Spool’

“Before” (left) “After" (right)

“Before” (left) “After” (right)

Deck and Patio built this backyard ‘spool” (a cross between a spa and pool) several years ago. The homeowners decided on a ‘spool” for their yard  because they didn’t have room for a full-sized pool.

A spool would also allow them to enjoy it year-round. They could opt to run cool water in it during warm months, and hot water during cold months and cool evenings.

In addition, the mechanics of a spa provides the benefits of hydrotherapy massage — not to mention the amazing experience of sitting under flowing water from an added waterfall. A new fence was added for contrast and a bit of drama; a rushing stream flows through the large moss rock boulders to become a waterfall flowing into the spa. Lush plantings and a new patio completed their new backyard retreat.

So let it blast cold — or even snow. With a backyard ‘spool’ you can stay indoors or even go out and still be warm.

 

 

Labor Day Is Not the End of the Grilling Season

Outdoor Grilling Season Continues Throughout Fall

Outdoor Grilling Season Continues Throughout Fall

It is by no means too late in the season to upgrade your charcoal or gas grill to a full outdoor kitchen. In our neck of the woods, the grilling season lasts all throughout fall.

“Even better, outdoor kitchens can be installed fairly quickly,” says Dave Stockwell, owner of Deck and Patio.

“Planning for such an amenity isn’t too challenging. There’s the need to determine the kitchen’s best location for optimal outdoor living enjoyment, and also enabling a hook up to water and power sources. But these things usually aren’t difficult.”

Water and electricity are important because an outdoor kitchen encompasses much more than just a barbecue. In most cases they include a sink, refrigerator, a gleaming grill, cabinets for all kinds of storage and some sort of masonry construction.

We find sometimes that clients opt for a fully-equipped outdoor kitchen as a more cost-effective way to extending their indoor cooking area — without having to remodel the whole kitchen,” adds Dave. “This is especially true when the home is on the smaller side.”

Of course, says Dave, even those who already have large modern indoor kitchens love the convenience of an outdoor center that can become the heart of outdoor parties and gatherings.”

Let’s look at a sampling of the the various designs and sizes of outdoor kitchens Deck and Patio has built all across Long Island.

 

Outdoor Kitchen on Lower Patio

Outdoor Kitchen on Lower Patio

This outdoor kitchen’s amenities, built on the lower of two new Deck and Patio patios, include a built-in stainless steel grill, expansive work area, sink, refrigerator and eating/drinking bar with stools. 

Both patio areas were built with Borealis’ modular slabs from Techo-Bloc. Note how the colorful umbrellas behind the outdoor kitchen can be moved as needed in their yard, and offer such nice pops of color wherever they are positioned.

Their new custom fire pit is overlaid in a facade of natural stone that mimics that of their outdoor kitchen.

 

 

Outdoor Kitchen with Ronda insulated drawers

Outdoor Kitchen with Ronda insulated drawers

Deck and Patio frequently locates outdoor kitchens fairly close to the inside of the house — unless the property has a destination pool. In the case where all the outdoor living areas are a distance from the house, this requires different planning.

As for the particular amenities show here, one trend we’re seeing in outdoor kitchens are warming/cooling drawers made by companies like Ronda. These insulated drawers are sealed and work without electricity. Your drinks stay cool or your food stays warm depending on what you put in its lower drawer.

They have a magnetic seal, which along with being waterproof will also keep away bugs and dust. Indeed, you can choose a single drawer just for keeping dishes and cutlery completely clean.

 

 

Outdoor Kitchens:

Outdoor Kitchens:

Deck and Patio used a natural stone for the veneer of the bar/barbecue and constructed a seat wall made of the same veneer, with the same edge-restraint as the capstone for the seat wall. This created a unique contrast between the patio, bar area and the extensive back veneer used for the house.

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Deck Outdoor Activity Center:

Deck Outdoor Activity Center:

For this project, Deck and Patio constructed a custom activity area on the mid-level of a 3-level deck. Just steps from the top-level’s large seating area, the custom outdoor kitchen/dining area includes a new grill, refrigerator, a small bar to enjoy the water views, and even a smoker/cooker — all set within curved custom cabinetry with a raised bar that mimics the decking in style and design.

Wherever you locate your kitchen, just remember you don’t want to get burned up from intense sun during cooking or dining. A pergola is one answer. But another is to have moveable — yet sturdy — outdoor umbrellas for flexible shade.

 

 

Outdoor Bar/Dining Area:

Outdoor Bar/Dining Area:

A bar/dining area is a great place for guests and family to gather. In this case, it’s a truly peaceful spot since we installed a water feature with waterfalls next to their new portable hot tub. It creates a great atmosphere for conversation and enjoying an outdoor meal and drinks.

The bar and outdoor kitchen counter was constructed in a curved shape to mimic the patio design. It is granite topped and the base of the activity center is faced in natural stone. The lounging area’s outdoor umbrella is portable and can be used where needed, including at the bar/kitchen.

 

 

Outdoor Kitchen/Bar with Pergola:

Outdoor Kitchen/Bar with Pergola:

Of course, if you prefer permanent shade over your outdoor kitchen/dining area you can opt for a pergola like this custom one we built poolside. With a stainless grill, refrigerator, sink, storage areas, and a custom rock facade, the outdoor kitchen boasts a bar/dining area as well — a great escape after leaving the pool.

 

The Beatles?

The Beatles?

 

 

 

So! For great outdoor living all through fall, just remember what The Beatles used to sing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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