We specialize in designing and installing custom patios and hardscapes. Hardscapes are elements that are hard paved surfaces, such as patios, walkways, and driveways. There are also other hardscaping elements such as sitting walls, retaining walls, fire pits, outdoor kitchens, and chimneys. We specialize in installing concrete paving systems such as Nicolock paving stones, CST paving stones, and Cambridge paving stones.
Concrete pavers are individual concrete blocks that are installed in patterns to create a patio or driveway. Concrete pavers are a flexible paving system, that move with the freezing and thawing of the ground. One of greatest qualities of a flexible paving system is the ease of repair. If a paver or two settle, the pavers are picked up and repaired with more sand or gravel. After the repair there are no cracks or traces of the repair! If a concrete driveway or walkway crack, there isn't an easy fix.
All of our patios, walkways, and driveways are installed using ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Paving Institute) standards. The institute has created standards and also educates designers, contractors, and installers on the best methods to install concrete pavers. For more information click on the link the ICPI website, click here.
Take a few minutes to look at the different examples of patios and other hardscaping elements.
Segmental retaining walls can create usable space on an otherwise unusable piece of property. Retaining walls can be multi-functional and also be used as a sitting wall or a planting area. When designed and installed properly a segmental retaining wall can last a lifetime and increase your home value.
Segmental retaining walls are concrete block walls that are secured with either a pin, lug, or a lip on a block. We prefer to install walls with pins because the technology allows for geogrid, which acts a deadman behind the wall. Lug and lip behind technology do not work well with geogrid, because when geogrid is laid between courses it will raise the back of the out of level. This creates a wall that is leaning forward, which is a wall in failure. We also build very small walls that are secured with a concrete adhesive. We do not like to build these walls much over 4' tall, because without pins the wall isn't as strong.
In the paragraph above we mentioned geogrid. Geogrid is a plastic grid material that is laid down horizontally in between block courses back into the hillside. Geogrid acts as a deadman and helps to keep the wall from pushing out or failing. Each wall is different and the length and amount of geogrid will vary depending on the design.
Drainage is a very important factor when designing and building a retaining wall. It is very important to keep the water away from the back of the wall and away from the footer. If water isn't properly removed from the back of the wall it will most likely fail. Proper drainage can be achieved with drainage grade gravel, geotextile fabric, and perforated pipe. By installing drainage gravel behind the wall it allows water to drain through the gravel and down to a perforated pipe that will carry the water away from the footer and the wall.
If you are planning to build a retaining wall, call a professional that knows the proper methods and techniques. Retaining walls are one of the most difficult landscape elements to build properly without failure. Unless the person or contractor has training and experience in proper wall construction, you may be at risk to problems down the road.
A fire pit or chimney is a great focal point that can be added on to a patio. They are great for roasting marshmallows or warming up on a cold night. Our fire pits are constructed of retaining wall block that matches the paver patio. The blocks are secured together with heavy duty construction adhesive. The outdoor chimneys can be customized to a client's taste. They can be constructed out of retaining wall block to match the patio or they can be veneered with a thin stone. The chimney's can be fueled with firewood, natural gas, or propane.
Every griller's dream, an outdoor kitchen is a great compliment to your backyard. Complete with a stainless steel grill, sink, cabinets, and fridge. The granite counter tops provide a smooth, clean surface to prepare your meals. Each kitchen is customized to the clients needs.
Outdoor kitchens are becoming more popular and are a great addition to a patio. Every outdoor kitchen that we install is custom built to fit your individual cooking and entertaining needs. Many elements can be incorporated into a kitchen. Pergolas are a great feature to install over a kitchen or sitting area to help create shade and protection from the sun. Many kitchens are used after the sun goes down, so low voltage lighting is a great add-on when designing your kitchen. Outdoor speakers are also a great addition to an outdoor eating area and kitchen.