Tag Archives: lakeside landscape designs


When we first went to look at this site, the main thing that popped out was the existing stairs to the lake. They were built a long time ago with timbers as risers and had sand in the treads. They had served their purpose for many years, but have become dangerous. So, the first thing to do was to plan on a new set of steps that would be beautiful, safe, and durable. The customers also had a picnic table near the stairs that really needed a patio area in order to make the area more user-friendly.

wood framed steps need replacing

So, to start things off, we reviewed some choices in step materials, and patio surface materials. The patio needed to be a "permeable” surface because of the lake shore, so that much was easy to determine. The steps chosen were a cut granite with a ‘rock face’.

The design of the steps and patio required that the steps be layed out in a nice curve down to where the patio went off to the side at about half way down the steps. Then, the steps continued down towards the lake. We decided to repeat some permeable pavers at the bottom of the granite steps by creating a flared out landing of permeable pavers. The patio was edged in granite, and a long granite step came off of the patio onto the beach. Above the patio and along side the stairs we did a naturalized configuration of boulders, plants and mulch to complete the look. Quite a bit of aggregate was required under the upper portion of the steps, because they rose up faster than the original timber steps.

Access to the lake-side of this home was tricky, and required that we construct a ramp of sorts by placing fill in the only possible access spot to create a traversable slope. We had to put down plywood on top of the existing walk along the side of the home to protect it from our machinery, then drive our machines up and down this newly created slope; back and forth with all of the material we ended up using in the job. The newly created slope for machine access was left there after we completed the job, because it ended up being a nice access for anything else that might want to get to the lake-side of the home in the future.

paver patio with granite steps

The transformation was dramatic. Look at the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures. You can hardly tell that it’s the same property!

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For over 25 years, Landscapes by Tom, LLC, has been servicing New England and the Lakes Region area, offering complete landscaping and masonry services, both residential and commercial.
NAME: Tom Bryant
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