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Landscaping Tips: Be Prepared for Snow This Winter

Even though we’ve not been hit with much winter weather yet, if you believe the Almanac, their forecasts suggest a colder than usual winter and a snowfall above normal. December being a possibility they say, as are January and February. 

 

Acrobatics Required

Acrobatics Required

 

 

Even if snow is light, if it’s followed by sleet, and/or warming, then freezing, the driveway or walkway can become so slick that getting the family from the front door to the car can require the skills of a Cirque de Soleil acrobat.

 

 

 

 

 

So it’s a good idea to ‘be prepared. And here’s some winter snow tips — whether or not you are handling your own snow removal:

 

— Ensure your snow blower, roof rake, deicers etc. are readily at hand;

— If you have a generator, have it checked out to be sure it’s operating properly;

— Put some fresh batteries in your carbon monoxide monitor.

 

Snow Removal:

Snow Removal:

Speaking of snow blowers. Even an inexpensive one is better than using a shovel.

 If you’re going to shovel, coat the scoop part with non-stick cooking spray. 

And lastly, whether you are using a snow blower or shoveling, remove the snow in small increments — don’t try to do it all at once.

 

Now. The real fun begins. 

Pre-Storm Driveway Preparation

 

Plow Stakes

Plow Stakes

 

No matter who will be doing the plowing of your property — a firm like our own Dix Hills Snowplowing, or on your own — even before word that a storm is approaching, “prep” your property (or have it prepped) by installing fiberglass stakes (sometimes called “plow stakes” or “snow stakes”).

Note: wood plow/snow stakes aren’t as strong as fiberglass and can be easily damaged.

The idea is to highlight where any costly Belgium Block or other edging is located, keeping it from being damaged by snow plows. For more on this, click here.

 

 

Roof Prep

 

Gutters in Winter

Gutters in Winter

 

 

Snow can cause a lot of pressure on your roof. 

One of the best ways to remove it is with a roof rake, so it’s good to have it readily on hand.

Also take a look at your gutters to make sure ice doesn’t dam them up and cause leaking into your home or attic. 

Some experts recommend stringing heat cables through them, or on the roof just above the gutters.

This should be done, of course, before major snowstorms to avoid any Clark Griswald-like ice rockets from a frozen gutter fail.

 

 

 

 

Professional Snow Removal

 

Dix Hills Snowplowing

Dix Hills Snowplowing

Of course, the easiest way to handle some of this is to contact professionals like Deck and Patio’s Dix Hills Snowplowing.

In speaking with our own Office Manager, Linda LaRose, if you live in our corner of Suffolk County (Huntington/Dix Hills) and wish to have us take care of your snow removal, you can contact us with no obligation (631-549-8100).

Once we hear from you, Linda will email a contract to review and you can always call her with questions before signing on, or incurring any expense. When you make this initial contact, this would be the right time to let us know if you have any special requirements: e.g., early service, service at 1-inch (ours usually begins at 2”), sand service, if garage doors need to shoveled, mail box cleared, etc.

We can also stake the driveway for you, if you ask for it. (Note: For snow removal from roofs, you should contact a roof contractor for their specialized service.)

 

 

By |2022-12-08T14:12:45-05:00December 8th, 2022|Backyard Maintenance, Bullfrog Spas, Deck and Patios, Driveways, Landscaping, outdoor maintenance, Patios & Decks, paving stones, Seasonal Landscapes, Snow Removal, Techo-Bloc|Comments Off on Landscaping Tips: Be Prepared for Snow This Winter

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.

 

 

 

Celebrate Community Spirit at Long Island’s Fall Festival: Oct 7 – 10!

Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce’s Fall Festival Logo

Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce’s Fall Festival Logo

 

The weather promises to be spectacular for living it up this Columbus Weekend at the largest fall festival of its kind in the Northeast — the Long Island Fall Festival at Heckscher Park in Huntington.

The Town of Huntington and the Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce are putting together a truly special community event. World Class Carnival, three stages of Live Entertainment, Beer & Wine Pavilion, 300 vendors overall. 

 

 

 

Here’s the when and where:

LIFALLFESTIVAL/Photo: Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce

LI FALL FESTIVAL/Photo: Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce

 

Heckscher Park, Huntington

Friday, October 7,  5-10pm

Saturday and Sunday, October 8 & 9, 11am – 9pm

Monday, October 10, 11am – 5pm

 

 

 

Deck and Patio’s Participation

Heckscher Park: Deck and Patio

Heckscher Park: Deck and Patio

 

 

Deck and Patio is thrilled to once again be one of the Festival’s vendors. At our installation, you can expect to see close up a handsome Cambridge Pavingstone patio, gorgeous fall landscaping plants, fire features, water feature, and, of course, CAL Spas. 

Note: For the Festival, we are offering CAL Spas on sale — so this is a great opportunity to look them over!

 

 

 

 

“The Fall Festival is a great opportunity for local businesses etc. to exhibit what we do in a relaxed, fun, atmosphere,” says Deck and Patio’s Dave Stockwell. “Visitors can stop and ask questions without feeling any pressure, not to mention being able to see up close things they might only see in photos on the web.”

Dave adds that Heckscher Park, with all its natural beauty, is an ideal place for a design/build firm like Deck and Patio — that specializes in outdoor living — to showcase some of what we do. 

 

Heckscher Park: Deck and Patio

Heckscher Park: Deck and Patio

“For example, ponds, waterfalls are just the kind of thing you’d run across in parks and woodlands when you’re out walking a trail,” says Dave. “So our exhibit which includes a water feature will look right at home.”

Our award-winning staff will be there and can talk to you about any of your outdoor living needs — from pools, patios, decks, water features, hot tubs, pavilions, fire features and, of course, landscaping. Or just stop by and relax as you enjoy all the Fall Festival has to offer.

You can find Deck and Patio’s display area easily as we’re located right in the center of the Festival, overlooking the Chapin Stage in the Chamber Circle. 

“It’s a prime spot,” adds Dave, “we’re right where live streaming is, next to the Festival’s organizers and just west of the wonderful Chapin Stage.

 

 

Heckscher Park: Deck and Patio

Heckscher Park: Deck and Patio

See up close handsome patio pavers by Cambridge Pavingstones With ArmorTec, CAL Spas, water features, landscaping plants.

 

LI Fall Festival

LI Fall Festival

 

 

All festival photos (not of Deck and Patio’s own installation), including our feature photo at the top of the page are courtesy of Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce.

 

 

 

 

“So come for a world-calls carnival, two international food courts, four stages of live entertainment — and also get to know local Long Island businesses like us,” says Dave. 

 

 

The Benefits of Exposure to Nature

When surfing social media, the posts that get most attention are beautiful landscaping photos. If catching a quick glimpse of nature online seems to refresh the spirit, imagine what time spent outdoors in a natural setting does.

The University of Washington wrote a piece on this very subject not too long ago. And after two years of study, while they remain baffled as to “how” nature heals more than the soul, they do know that exposure to a beautiful landscape is beneficial to one’s overall well being.

The study also indicated that some doctors in their areas were already suggesting “doses of nature to their adult patients to treat conditions ranging from heart disease to depression.” 

The researchers also discovered that spending time in nature can be a challenge, depending on one’s neighborhood, etc. But providing specific spots to “safely enjoy nature” is worth the effort both at home and in the local community.

We thought we’d share today some examples of Long Island homeowners who have employed Deck and Patio to create mini-natural havens in their own yards.

 

Creating Beautiful Backyard Escapes

Creating Beautiful Backyard Escapes

Deck and Patio carefully selected the boulders and stones, along with bright plantings to create this beautiful vista. And as many would agree, it would not have been an ideal outdoor refuge without some sort of water feature. A stream with waterfalls flowing under a charming wooden bridge, combined with the imported boulders and rocks we chose, created a natural walking trail like one would find in the mountains.

 

Mixing Softscapes with Hardscapes:

Mixing Softscapes with Hardscapes:

There’s no need to sacrifice a patio with spaces for entertaining for a natural vista that will nourish your soul. You can have both. Here we built multi-level patios and carefully spaced how each area was to be used. 

We set up one area for relaxing and taking in a section of the yard’s multi-faceted water feature. Another spot off to the side — in front of a thicket of trees — was designed as a private patio. Sections for sunning and being near their pool were also planned out.

 

Award-Winning Backyard Twin Ponds:

Award-Winning Backyard Twin Ponds:

This project is a great example of building a nature lover’s escape on a property that did not have a lot of slope. It is actually three bodies of water: twin ponds and a swimming pool. 

The lower pond was intended to be the fish pond, with the upper pond for aquatic plants. However, Mother Nature is always boss. For not long after this award-winning* project was complete, the pond fish began jumping over the waterfall stone that separated the ponds to swim upstream into the upper pond. 

(*This project won an international silver medal for water features from the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP).

 

Backyard Nature Walk:

Backyard Nature Walk:

Because these clients had a lovely wooded yard, Deck and Patio had a beautiful backdrop to work our magic. We weaved stone steps, streams, and waterfalls in an around the property’s existing bridge and nature walks — all just below a park-style bench. We also lavished it all with robust plantings and green ground cover. To just about any eye, the completed nature walk appears as if Mother Nature put it all together herself.

 

Natural Stepping Stone Bridge:

Natural Stepping Stone Bridge:

Taking a walk in this backyard is as much meditation as exercise. In homage to Japanese Garden styles, Deck and Patio fitted large natural stones with smooth walking surfaces across a newly completed backyard pond. When doing the landscaping, we anchored each side of the pond with beautiful deep colors midst the lush green ground cover.

 

Feature Photo

Feature Photo

Feature Photo (Top of Page):

Since we can’t travel daily to natural habitats, how can we pause daily to rest our minds? The answer may be found right in our own backyard.

Did you know that since Deck and Patio began designing/building ponds and pondscapes, we have created over 300 such peaceful water features here on Long Island alone? Local nature lovers have found that their backyards don’t have to be just a patch of green with some flower beds. They can be glorious escapes that act as the perfect elixir.

Soften Your Property’s Hardscape With Soothing Colors

Lots of us are looking for ways to quiet down the atmosphere around us, including with lovely outdoor plants and gardens. However, another way is to choose hardscape materials in soothing soft colors.

Granted, one doesn’t usually think of pool surrounds, patios and driveways as soothing. However, in their many choices of styles, the pavers available today can greatly add to the serenity of one’s outdoor experience. 

“Hardscape areas often take up a quite a bit of a property,” says our own Dave Stockwell. “So choosing soft tones can greatly add to a peaceful atmosphere.”

 

Cambridge Pavingstones with ArmorTec

One particular paving stone company — Cambridge Pavers Inc. — offers a special soft-hued line of pavers in their South Beach Collection.

In soft pinks and blues, these pastel shades have names like “Pink Sands” and “Sky Blue” and it’s easy to imagine these tones offering a beach-y feeling to any backyard pool area or water view — or around any outdoor space you was to be soothing.

 

Vinyl Freeform Pool Retreat:

Vinyl Freeform Pool Retreat:

Deck and Patio surrounded the backyard retreat’s new freeform vinyl pool and raised spillover spa with handsome soft-hued Cambridge Ledgestone patios and bright plantings.

 

Techo-Bloc Pavers

Techo-Bloc’s Pavers

Techo-Bloc’s Pavers

 

Techo-Bloc, another company Deck and Patio uses a great deal, offers superb paving stones — or “artscapes” as they call them. Techo-Bloc’s popular “Monticello” pavers, for example, and their newest paver designs (left) provide pastel hues that are perfect for softening the landscape. 

Many of their outdoor slabs can be purchased in multiple colors. Two of our favorites are the Chocolate Brown with its slight rose hue and the Azzurro color with a blue underlining hue. Also, Techo-Bloc’s Mini-Creta collection, in Sandlewood, offers echoes of rose and blue from the gray.

 

How to Choose the Right Soothing Pavers for You

Sometimes the exact color (particularly its name) will not reflect how it will appear in sunlight, or shade, or at night once installed. Depending on these lighting factors, a sandy “earth tone” may appear pinkish depending on the conditions.

Now if you find comparing the colors of the many different landscaping materials daunting — viewing online photos can distort color and texture — Deck and Patio is happy to help you if you visit our design center or when we visit your property.

“If desired, our staff can explain the different benefits of each material — be it bluestone, brick, concrete pavers, permeable pavers, Travertine, etc.,” says Dave.

So Deck and Patio can confidently say: go yard-wide with soothing colors. Restful outdoor spaces are always in style.

 

Pool/Spa Surround in Techo-Bloc “Monticello”:

Pool/Spa Surround in Techo-Bloc “Monticello”:

 

 

Feature Photo Above: We used Techo-Bloc pavers to surround this pool upgrade and custom-installed portable spa Note: Deck and Patio has portable spas in stock and can provide custom design ideas to add it into your existing outdoor space.

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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.

 

 

‘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!  

 

 

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.

 

 

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