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Create Your Ideal Outdoor Space

It is natural that what is considered an ideal space varies from client to client. Sometimes it’s making room for a pet run, or a deck or patio for dining; other times lush landscaping is wanted to entice the family outdoors; or the sounds of falling water is strongly desired; often it’s comfortable spaces for entertaining that is key. And, sometimes, it’s all of the above.

“One feature many of our clients love,” says Dave Stockwell, “is an outdoor room. These come in all shapes and sizes — from an enclosed pool house to pavilions, and even outdoor rooms without walls.”

 

Pergolas Define Outdoor Space

Pergolas Define Outdoor Space

But as you can see from our feature photo today, sometimes all that needs adding is a handsome pergola, comfortable furniture, and a patio to provide the perfect level of contented breathing room.

The elegance and size of this Travertine patio, for example, gave our clients the perfect floor for a comfortable outdoor living room.

Note how the pergola’s overhead slats create a shadow carpet that helps define the sense of an outdoor living room.

Along with the adjacent dining area, it is only steps from an outdoor kitchen/bar/barbecue, veneered in natural stone.

 

 

 

Lighting for Outdoor Spaces

Lighting for Outdoor Spaces

 

 

When it comes to enjoying your ideal outdoor space into the evening hours, you also have to think about lighting.

One way to handle this is with a closed roof. This shingle-roof pergola/pavilion with fireplace project was installed at the edge of a patio.

Note the handsome lighted columns set on stone pillars that match the fireplace. The lighting on the pillars and inside the roof contribute to a perfect evening ambience.

 

 

 

 

 

Outdoor Room on Deck:

Outdoor Room on Deck:

 

Of course, your ideal outdoor space doesn’t require a roof, let alone walls. Along with a hot tub set into a new multi-level deck (we sell CAL Spas at our showroom!), all the homeowners needed to carve out their own ideal space was a fire pit and a television.

Note: Today’s LED televisions can be properly encased to be theft-free.

Encasing the television carefully will also ensure the proper internal temperature control/circulation to protect it.

There are also televisions designed for outside use which resist rain, dust and other elements.

 

 

 

Landscaping Can Define Space

Landscaping Can Define Space

And, of course, your ideal space can be designed with no fixed structure at all. Landscaping can beautifully define the perfect outdoor spot. 

Along with lush plantings, these Deck and Patio clients opted to shade a self-supporting hammock with a tilt umbrella. 

They positioned the two next to their pool’s waterfall — creating a dreamy relaxing spot to enjoy leisurely time outdoors. And when the purple Allium is in bloom, (forefront), the space is all the more enticing.

 

 

“You don’t need a pool or waterfalls to create an ideal space,” says Dave. “A simple container garden can be grouped with seasonal flowers and you have the perfect place to relax outdoors.”

 

 

Backyard Upgrades: Two Different Ways To Cope with a Slope

There’s no denying that, even for design/build experts, sloped properties can be a challenge. In the end, as with much of life’s problems — creativity ends up being the key.

“The creative process begins when as we discover who our clients are and what their hopes are for their yard,” says Dave Stockwell, owner of Deck and Patio. “Devoting enough time to the interviewing process is an important first step.”

Today we’re highlighting two very different ways to ‘cope with a slope,’ The first project was for Long Island, NY, clients whose yard had a seven-foot elevation rising up from one end of their yard to the other, says Dave.

 

Project # 1

“The clients’ hopes for a full outdoor retreat — pool, spa, patio, waterfall, custom fire pit — all on a tight budget and created in a tighter space — added to the challenges of dealing with their yard’s slope.”

 

Full Outdoor Retreat on Sloped Property

Full Outdoor Retreat on Sloped Property

“Our biggest problem to solve was how to make everything appear like it fit in naturally without it all looking like a giant hill.”

Our design/build staff approached the project by taking on the grade in small bites — working out from an existing lower level patio to a new raised patio and then up to a pool. 

Note: By surrounding the hot tub with natural stone boulders with colorful plantings, the hot tub has a custom set-in-garden appeal. It was also positioned close to their back door so they can enjoy easy access year-long. (Note: You can ask our team about the portable CAL Spas we sell.)

 

Pool Moss Rock Waterfalls (Huntington/NY):

Pool Moss Rock Waterfalls (Huntington/NY):

Here you see the completed moss rock waterfall with the sweet potato vine we added. Landscaping helps bring a setting to life and softens the hardscape.

For more details about this project, click here.

 

Project # 2

Our second project earned The Deck and Patio Company a Silver Award from the Northeast Spa and Pool Association (NESPA). These homeowners are nature lovers. And their property had an unused slope near their patio. 

Our idea was to design/build a 35-foot-stream, with two stepping stone paths on either side, that gently moves along the grade solely with the help of Mother Nature’s gravity. 

We also positioned natural moss rock boulders and plantings, as well as river stones along its banks to make a perfect area for strolling, bird-watching, etc. The water flows down into a lovely free-form pond near the patio.

 

Nature-Loving Family (Long Island/NY):

Nature-Loving Family (Long Island/NY):

This stunning free-form pond is a huge hit with the clients’ entire nature-loving family. Everyone enjoys feeding and watching the vibrant koi as they swim about in it. “We even get to enjoy it all at night,” says the wife. “And we can see it from our home and offices, too.”

 

Picture-Perfect Waterfalls (Long Island/NY):

Picture-Perfect Waterfalls (Long Island/NY):

It takes expertise and experience to position rocks in such a way as to coax water into waterfalls just like it happens in nature. Members of Deck and Patio’s team enjoy the woods and hillsides of upstate New York — frequently stopping and studying how water flows over rock, how plants crop up alongside of such water trails, etc.

“The whole area attracts so much wildlife — like frogs and birds,” says the homeowner. “This is really one of our favorite things about having a stream and pond.”

The homeowners say they also enjoy the sounds of the waterfalls and the serenity they feel watching the fish swimming in the pond. “It’s something we look forward to at the end of a long day.”

To learn more about this backyard stream and pond, click here.

 

 

Backyard Shade Ideas: Casting the Right Shadows

Since pre-Revolutionary times, Long Island has been a summer playground. Our beautiful shorelines, rivers and lakes and endless summer sun make it a truly enviable locale.

But even those who are sun worshipers require a little shade now and then. And in our own backyards, the key is casting the shade.

There are many forms of shade structures — pavilions, trellises, gazebos to name a few. But today we’re focusing just on a truly popular shade thrower: Pergolas.

What Exactly Defines a Pergola?

“A pergola is constructed with open rafters at the top and is supported by posts,” says our own Dave Stockwell. “It’s usually of simple, durable construction and is free standing.”

Deck and Patio clients also love the pergola’s open design, adds Dave. “Whether it’s made of vinyl, cedar, or fiberglass, etc., the structure allows for refreshing cross currents of air, yet is elegant enough to frame a picture-perfect outdoor sitting/gathering area. Plus, because of their simple design, you can expand them to fit pretty much any size space.”

Consider the following pergola which is also shown above as our feature photo today. It is a nice example of how creative one can get when designing this shade structure.

 

Pergola Shade

Pergola Shade

This Deck and Patio pergola crowns a handsome bar with stone facade with openings for two sheer descent waterfalls. It also defines the space elegantly, and most importantly, it provides lots of shade when positioned well like here. So along with the relaxing sounds of falling water — it’s the perfect shady spot for a summer drink.

 

Outdoor U-Shaped Bar with Pergola:

Outdoor U-Shaped Bar with Pergola:

With striking white columns this Deck and Patio pergola offers architectural drama as well as sufficient shade amid the day’s bright sunshine.

We designed it to provide shade for a dramatic outdoor bar area we designed/built which also claims a swim-up bar with in-pool bar stools. The U shape bar turns into a patio-bar nestled underneath the handsome pergola.

 

Pillared Pergola:

Pillared Pergola:

This pergola was built long and wide to shade a comfortable outdoor sitting area that includes a fire pit. It was positioned adjacent to a dining area shaded by a large umbrella. At the right time of day, the shade cast by the pergola’s rafters looks almost like a carpet — perfect for an outdoor sitting area.

 

Custom Pergolas:

Custom Pergolas:

Stepping out of the pool house we created, a 25-foot-wide shade pergola was built to shade guests from the hot summer sun. Underneath, there is also a stunning bar area, complete with sink and all components necessary to keep everyone supplied with fresh beverages. 

The bar and raised spa are faced with matching cultured stone, which ties the areas together from a design standpoint.

 

To Sum Up: Pergolas (and trellises) make attractive architectural statements. They require less materials than a gazebo (or 4-season room) to construct, and provide limited shade with just support beams and rafters.

Taking the time to grow vines on a trellis/pergola, however, will eventually increase the amount of shade. In the meantime, one can always add a canopy overhead if needed — a good idea if the space underneath is used frequently when the sun is high.

 

By |2022-04-21T14:02:19-05:00April 21st, 2022|Backyard Escapes, Backyard Refurbishments, Backyard Upgrades, Creative Design, Deck and Patios, Outdoor Living, Patios & Decks, Pergola, Trellises|Comments Off on Backyard Shade Ideas: Casting the Right Shadows

Pondside: Relaxing and Dining ’Al Fresco’

Even before COVID, dining and relaxing ‘al fresco’ has long been part of the outdoor experience for those with a backyard pond. 

With weather warming, and Memorial Weekend not all that far off, now is a great time to plan a backyard upgrade with a view to enjoying delightful pondside dining and relaxation right at home.

As Certified Contractors of Aquascape Inc. — one of the country’s leading manufacturers of pond and water feature products — Deck and Patio continually stays informed and trained on all the latest techniques and technologies for ideal waterscapes.

Each year, our expert teams can be found installing ponds, water gardens and other water features across Long Island and her environs. And because of our breadth of expertise, we can design/build a complete oasis, including decks and patios, pools, custom and portable hot tubs to complement any waterscape.

We also specialize in eco-friendly ponds sustained through rainwater harvesting. “We also specialize in landscaping waterscapes with gorgeous water plants, stocked with healthy pond fish, and aerated with naturally-looking waterfalls,” says our own Dave Stockwell.

The one thing our ponds all have in common, adds Dave, is how much a backyard pond adds to each family’s outdoor experience. Having such a water feature — with the sounds of moving water and natural beauty this provides — makes outdoor living and dining an exceptional experience.

 

Pond-side Living:

Pond-side Living:

Deck and Patio designed/built a new deck with a viewing platform pondside where the family can dine and relax outdoors. You’ve heard of Xanadu, well how about Zen-adu. Imagine. After dinner they can walk across a set of large stepping stones to view the pond from another vantage point.

 

Al Fresco Drinks/Dining by a Pond:

Al Fresco Drinks/Dining by a Pond:

This feature photo (see also top of page), was shared with us by Aquascape Inc. Here a group of family and friends — and even someone’s favorite pet —- enjoy a meal beside an exquisite pond stocked with koi. Soothing sounds from the waterfall help everyone relax and be at ease.

 

Backyard Sanctuary Perfect for Dining Al Fresco:

Backyard Sanctuary Perfect for Dining Al Fresco:

Deck and Patio created this natural backyard retreat complete with a large deck and pond that comes up to it. Our design formed different settings and focal points; our team planted over 4,000 bulbs, 300 species of deciduous woody plants, evergreens, and perennials, including 150 different varieties of these species. 

Imagine having the option of dine on your deck or in a backyard glass conservatory. (Note: Deck and Patio did not build the conservatory but worked with the contractors the family hired to bring this beautiful project together harmoniously.)

 

“Deck” Pond Perfect for Dining Al Fresco:

“Deck” Pond Perfect for Dining Al Fresco:

Aquascape Inc. also provided us with this photo of a charming dining area set on a deck with pond. Note how the wall mural picks up where the real plants leave off, giving a smallish water garden area the sense of natural expanse. The homeowner also chose blue cushions to go with the mural’s water scenes, which helps to tie it all together.

 

A big thank you to Aquascape for sharing some of today’s photos with us.

 

How Can I Improve My Pool Area?

Long frustrated by a dated backyard pool area, this Dix Hills family was particularly focused on the old wood deck and red brick patios around their pool which were to small for parties and entertaining.

Another issue was an old retaining wall which spoiled the look of the pool area.

Deck and Patio’s creative team inspired these clients with this suggestion: re-grade the slope area and replace it with a “natural” retaining wall with a dramatic waterfall, stream, and woodland garden.

Rather than create a pond to capture the water from the planned seven-foot-high “sheet” waterfall, a pondless waterfall system from Aquascape was recommended. 

 

 

Old Unattractive Retaining Wall.

Old Unattractive Retaining Wall.

New Natural Looking Retaining Wall

New Natural Looking Retaining Wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“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

 

To achieve a natural looking waterfall, the design/build team needs to understand how water flows over and releases from rock in nature in order to re-create the feeling you’re hiking or strolling along some natural pathway. 

We avoid a man-made water feature appearance by designing it so the water changes directions in the waterfalls and streams.

Once this project’s 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.

We straightened the wall and filled 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.

 

 

Note: 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.

 

 

How Can I Keep My Pond Fish Safe from Predators?

According to retailers, the pond and water garden industry has enjoyed a leap is sales during the pandemic. This jump has appeared in both water feature installations and maintenance services. 

“Ponds are a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors without having to leave home. And they can be built in any size,” says Dave Stockwell. “But those who want a pond large enough for koi often worry if they will be able to keep their pond fish safe from predators.”

Pond fish are worth protecting. They are not just lovely to look at; koi help balance the entire ecosystem of a pond.

 

Safety Begins with Good Pond Design

Herons Don’t Like Deep Water

Herons Don’t Like Deep Water

 

“If your koi pond was designed and built well, it was designed and built deep,” says Dave.

A water feature with sufficient water depth will dissuade, for example,  raccoons and cats from going after your fish, since neither species enjoy swimming to get their dinner.

Plus deeper water at the edges (more than 18” deep) discourages the most challenging predator, the heron, from wading into your pond. Herons enjoy walking around in slightly shallow water.

Deep water really puts them off.

So a pond designed with high rock ledges and no easy wading entrance discourages a heron from hunting your fish.

 

 

 

Pond Water Features:

Pond Water Features:

Another helpful idea is adding a waterfall feature. The continuous movement of bubble rocks, waterfalls, or even water from nearby sprinklers will put off many predators. 

Also, unlike still water which offers a glass-like surface, bubbling water from a waterfall etc. disturbs that serene surface, making it harder for predators to see the fish underneath.

 “In addition, when we construct a pond, we frequently include underwater koi castles,” says Dave.. “When the koi sense danger, they can hid in there until the creature has given up.”

 

1. Statues: Some swear by scarecrows like owl statues. Others recommend a decoy-heron. Indeed, being territorial, herons will usually avoid conflict with what they perceive as another heron. Be sure the decoy is large enough to appear as a reasonable threat, however. And it is also important to move the decoy every few days. Herons are clever and will soon figure out a decoy that never moves isn’t a danger.

Motion-Activated Sprinklers

Motion-Activated Sprinklers

 

2. Another effective deterrent is installing a motion-activated sprinkler. We found, for example, one gardening expert, the Laidback Gardener, who says that after testing just about every animal repellent conceivable: “…the only simple deterrent that keeps most animals away in the long run is the motion-activated sprinkler.”

The motion-activated sprinkler is just one of several deterrents that should be used, adds Dave. “It can be effective, but works best in combination with some of the other suggestions we’ve given here today.”

3. Pond Netting/Fish Wire: “The most effective guarantee for safeguarding pond fish is pond netting,” says Dave. “But, because they spoil the look of the pond, most people prefer to use netting only during fall foliage. However, another suggestion which you’ll see in the following video seems a better alternative. Fish wire can be strung around pond areas where predators can get close enough to grab your fish.

 

 

The following YouTube video is by Foisy Aquatics who has a YouTube channel devoted just to fish.

 

 

 

Final Note: Koi are a healthy part of this Deck and Patio pond’s natural ecosystem. We construct ponds so they have lots of room to hide as well as swim. We also ensure the pond is sufficiently deep, including around the edges. We add plenty of high rock overhangs to discourage predators. A motion-activated sprinkler and a koi castle offer the final bits of security.

 

 

‘Pool Shell’ Change Is Perfect Time for Other Backyard Upgrades

If you’re planning to change the shell of your pool from, say, vinyl to gunite, or from gunite to vinyl, this is the perfect time to add other wonderful outdoor features. 

When an Oyster Bay family wanted to change their existing vinyl-lined pool to gunite, they knew there would be so much tearing up going on anyway in their yard, why not upgrade the area.

In discussions with Deck and Patio, it became clear they also wanted to change the shape/design of their pool to better match the architecture of their home. 

“We were able to create a more unified look for them by upgrading their existing pool into a geometric shape,” says our own Dave Stockwell. 

This required expanding the size of their pool, which meant extending it very close to their property’s sharp hillside. 

“For the pool’s retaining walls, we tracked down the same brick used on their home’s exterior. We also had to shore up the slope with boulders, creating various small retaining walls to hold back the grade,” adds Dave. “The trick was to bring in machinery and put the boulders in place before we dug the pool and area out.”

To give the clients the natural look they wanted, we surrounded the pool with beautiful bluestone. “The shape of these stones also mimic the overall geometric design we were going for.”

 

Other design elements: 

— steps at the base of the retaining wall lead to a peaceful woodland path — at the end of which we hid all the pool equipment, 

— sheer descent waterfalls along the inside of the pool add extra contemporary elegance,  

—and landscape lighting created a beautiful romantic scene at night.

 

When the whole transformation was complete, not only was the family ecstatic, but their pet turtles seemed to love the transformation as well. With more room to swim in, they took to the new pool like, well, turtles. 

 

Geometric Gunite Pool (Oyster Bay Cove/NY):

Geometric Gunite Pool (Oyster Bay Cove/NY):

Deck and Patio remodeled an existing vinyl pool into a larger, geometric gunite, with elegant sheet falling waterfalls. The new design handsomely complements the home’s architecture.  

 

Steps to Woodland Path (Oyster Bay Cove/NY):

Steps to Woodland Path (Oyster Bay Cove/NY):

Steps faced with the same brick as used around the pool’s retaining wall, lead to a peaceful woodland path where the pool equipment has been hidden out of sight.

 

Bluestone Patio (Oyster Bay Cove/NY):

Bluestone Patio (Oyster Bay Cove/NY):

The pavers of the previous patio/pool surround had not been compacted properly and were separating. The family also wanted a more natural product. Bluestone was chosen and its hues blended nicely with that of the brick-faced retaining walls; in addition, the rectangular shapes of the stones echo the shape of the pool and house windows.

 

Sheet Falling Water Feature (Oyster Bay Cove/NY): 

Sheet Falling Water Feature (Oyster Bay Cove/NY):

Beautiful sheet falling waterfalls (often called ‘sheer descents’) perfectly harmonize with the overall more contemporary feel to their upgraded pool area.

 

Pool Lighting (Oyster Bay Cove/NY):

Pool Lighting (Oyster Bay Cove/NY):

It’s hard to decide which time of day presents the most beautiful picture; but nighttime has to be near the top!  

 

 

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.

 

 

New In-ground Pool: Bringing That Vacation Feeling Back Home

Vacation Blues with Icicles

Vacation Blues with Icicles

 

Sometimes we get the blues after we return home from a vacation. And with this weekend’s big snowstorm expected for Long Island, those blues will have icicles dripping off them. 

So how about some sunnier thoughts? Like the story of Deck and Patio clients who did something about those pesky post-vacation blues. 

 

 

The couple loved spending time in their vacation home in New York’s Adirondacks. They loved swimming in lakes, nature walks, etc. So when they bought a new home in Merrick, Long Island, they renovated the house and property in a way that captured the soul of their upstate second home.

The Backyard

“For the backyard, they wanted something special,” says our own Dave Stockwell. “Their idea was for a swimming pool that looked like a pond, or a pool made completely of rocks and not the usual concrete or steel. But they did, want the pool to still be filtered and treated chemically like a regular pool.”

Deck and Patio engineers verified the technical aspects throughout the designing and building of the pool. “Creating such an all-rock pool was like fitting puzzle pieces together,” adds Dave. “Only, instead of using pre-made shapes, we had to deal with 4-5 truckloads of randomly-sized Pennsylvania moss rock boulders.

Our team had to look over and measure each rock before it was fitted in place. After that, so as to ensure the soil pressure wouldn’t push them over or knock them down, we leaned each stone into the grade, tapered upward.

The bottom of the pool was a different story. Here we installed a one-piece black rubber liner to contain the pond (pool) water, which feels to the feet much like a vinyl pool.

Continuing the natural appearance, Deck and Patio used boulders to create the four steps leading into the pool as well as into their custom spa.

 

Unique Swimming Pools & Spas:

Unique Swimming Pools & Spas:

We positioned the pool to reflect their newly renovated shingled-style home in its water. Deck and Patio added bright colorful plants in between the boulders, in such a way that they cascade into the pool, like they would in nature. This contributed to a beautiful all-rock pool, filtered and treated chemically, but which looks like a natural pond.

 

Using Pool and Pond Equipment Together:

Using Pool and Pond Equipment Together:

Using a blend of pool and pond material, we created a unique pool and spa. The black liner, which reacts with the water created a stunning pond-like appearance. It is a 45-mil EPDM pond liner; we used Aquascape Inc.’s wide-mouth skimmers and bulkhead fittings to penetrate the liner.

 

Using Pool and Pond Equipment Together:

Using Pool and Pond Equipment Together:

While all you see is a beautiful pond-like pool, there is a good deal of technology involved. For pool equipment, we used vinyl pool returns, main drains, SAVI color-changing LED lights, all Jandy equipment (energy efficient pump and gas heater), DE filter, salt chlorine generator and iAqualink automation.

 

Harmony Between House and Landscaping:

Harmony Between House and Landscaping:

The exposed stones around the pool  complement the stone base of the home’s columns and stone foundation, suggesting one harmonious whole.

 

Picture-Perfect Swimming Pool:

Picture-Perfect Swimming Pool:

Deck and Patio’s design gives the vacation-style Adirondack feeling they wanted; they just step outside to a natural swimming pond where they can hang out with friends and use the hot tub when a chill comes on the evening.

 

So stay warm this weekend — and dream of warmer times.

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