Our “Featured Project” for 2015 is so awesome!
We designed this project to fulfill not only the customer’s wish list, but also fulfill the permitting requirements. The permitting required that we maintain the project at a certain distance from the house, not exceed too many square feet, and it needed a “rain garden”. We were also allowed a walkway to the lake. Everything these homeowners wanted was able to be achieved!
We started off with a plan. The plan was revised several times to have the layout “just right”. It was really convenient to communicate with these customers by sending PDF’s of our plan, have them review it, and so on. After the plan was finalized and approved of according to permitting, we were good to go. But first of all, we’ll describe how we started with the planning process.
Ok, for the wish list:
  • Patio area with good flow for foot traffic. SOLUTION: Patio is designed to the maximum allowed. Foot traffic easily flows from the door ways and to the walk as well as to the hot tub, the lawn to the front and the garage doors at the far end. In other words, traffic had to flow in many directions, but ample area is maintained for entertaining. The patio surface itself is Belgard ‘Arbel’ pavers which resemble the look of natural bluestone.
  • Fire pit, Stone sitting walls, Stone pillars. SOLUTION: All of these features are to be constructed out of “Penn-Thin” fieldstone which is finished on both sides and mortared on the inside with a dry-laid finished appearance. Then, in addition, all of these features (fire pit, walls, and pillars) are to be capped in natural bluestone. The bluestone was custom cut and maintained an overhang. The walls and pillars delineated the outer edge of the patio and designated clear foot traffic flow. The fire pit is located so that chairs will face the lake, and overflow seating will be on the sitting wall.
  • Hot tub to be moved into its new location. SOLUTION: This required moving the hot tub out of the way, then pouring a new concrete pad for it, and then placing the hot tub in its new position and hooking it up. The hot tub has its own “room”. It is outside of the walls that surround the fire pit area.
  • Night Lighting was requested. SOLUTION: At first, we were thinking of doing lights on top of each pillar. The electrician made a great suggestion of doing a ribbon type light under the caps of the walls and pillars. That worked out great! We also did some ‘onion’ style lights which are similar looking to other lights on the property.

Of course, there were other considerations as well. Here’s a breakdown of them:
There are some utilities in the corner which we decided to disguise from view by having a fence installed here – complete with a gate. The style of fence chosen matched other styles on the property.
  • Irrigation had to be modified to fit the new layout.
  • The lighting and irrigation required that we lay a bury a lot of conduit under the patio.
  • New sod was laid down due to the old sod being damaged during construction.
The permitting required that we create a “Rain Garden”. For those of you who are wondering what a ‘rain garden’ is… It is a garden that is made in a ‘bowl and berm’ type shape designed to catch surface rain water runoff. Typically, these have water-loving plants in them. These gardens are required as part of a way to protect the lake from runoff water.
We also installed some plantings around the new hardscaping. We didn’t do a whole lot of plantings. Just enough to soften the edges. We also used the same type of red broken flagstone in the beds that they already were using in all other parts of the property in order to maintain a consistent look to all of their landscaping.