outdoor living spaces
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In a matter of a few days, what started as grass, weed-infested gravel walkways, and a tree stump were beautifully transformed into what you see in the photo above.
After discussion with the homeowner our project plan was as follows:
1. Remove the problematic walkways.
2. Remove the tree stump.
3. Build a patio, fire pit, seating wall, steps, and walkways (where walkways and stump had been).
4. Build a wall enclosing the bottom of the gazebo.
About halfway through the job, our project manager was reviewing the project's progress with the homeowner. In the course of that conversation, the project manager couldn't help but mention that he felt like something was missing - the sound of water.
The homeowner loved the idea and was very grateful for the suggestion. Later, they drove up to Tussey Mountain Mulch Landscape Center where we have a number of water feature displays. They decided on the Appalachian Run, which is our Premiere Collection 10' Pondless Waterfall.
Project Photo Gallery
At the end of the project, the homeowners were thanking us profusely for the suggestion and for adding the water feature to the project. It is their favorite aspect of all the work that we did. The waterfall is the centerpiece of their backyard. They mentioned later how they love to sit on the patio in the evenings and listen to the relaxing sound of the water.
This space wasn't big, but we were able to gracefully accommodate a patio, firepit, waterfall, landscaping, seating wall, steps, retaining wall, and walkways. This project is a testament to the fact that it doesn't take a massive budget to create a very inviting outdoor living space that you'll love.
Check out the project video below!
This old backyard koi pond had several issues. After discussion options with the homeowners, we came to the conclusion that the simplest solution was to replace it with a new pond.
We needed to address several major issues in this re-build:
1. Small boulders along the side were shifting and falling into the pond.
2. The filtration system was set up poorly.
3. The pond leaked due to improper construction.
4. The waterfall feature was not visible from the home's deck because of how the pond was designed.
We set out to solve all of these issues and started by removing the old koi pond. Once removed, we packed in topsoil so that we could carve out the shape and design of the new pond the way we wanted. Through detailed discussions and planning with the homeowners, we were able to solve all of the issues that were preventing them from truly enjoying their koi pond.
With a koi pond, what matters is not about how much money you spend. What matters is who you choose to plan and build it for you.
Unfortunately, every year we tear out water features that were built using the same products we use, but were installed improperly. In most cases, there is no easy fix. The takeaway is to be intentional about who you choose to build your dream koi pond and hire a Certified Aquascape Contractor (CAC).
Graystone Apartments is a locally-owned luxury apartment chain in Central PA.
To date, Graystone has hired us to install large koi ponds at 7 of their apartment complexes.
Commercial projects often involve working in confined spaces, which often requires a unique design. In this case, the entrance had ponds on either side, which were connected underneath the entrance walkway. The water flowed out of the wetland bog filter, into the first pond, through a pipe that went under the walkway and into the second pond.
To create a dramatic effect for visitors and residents arriving at the front entrance, we made the pond 3 feet deep and with abrupt vertical edges, which allows viewers to see the full depth from the edge of the pond. We used large weathered mossy boulders from the Ozark mountains of Missouri to give the pond an aged look. Then, we then added a few copper bowls for an ornamental twist, to match the rest of the building which is quite ornamental and elegant.
Graystone residents are now greeted by friendly koi when they come home.
This business was remodeling its entrance to create a more beautiful, upscale appearance.
The remodel involved replacing the front doors and adding a roof over the exterior entryway. For our part of the project, we added a fountain with stacked slate urns, copper bowls, a few bubbling boulders, and a stump to create a rustic, natural fountain (on the left).
On the entrance's right side, we added a trio of copper bowls. We then added outdoor lighting, landscaping, and trees to complete the look.
The business owners were pleased with the outcome because it gives all their visitors a pleasant and welcoming experience when visiting the business.
When we started on this property, it had little more than grass, fence, and a trampoline. This young family wanted to entertain friends outdoors and create an atmosphere that got their kids out of the house more often. To accomplish that, we planned two specific features: a firepit to gather around and a koi pond, to give the kids fish to feed, frogs to chase, and to bring them closer to nature.
We began with the patio area. We built an elaborate seating wall with wide benches and a back. The seating wall is so wide and comfortable you could take a nap on it. Next we tackled the fire ring, patio pavers, and walkways.
After the hardscape components were completed, we built the 8' x 11' koi pond with 8' stream. The pond is tucked against the patio's edge, so the owners could enjoy watching the fish swimming and enjoy the aquatic plants that bloom beautifully in the summer - all from the comfort of the patio seating area. Lastly, we graded and landscaped the entire property and seeded a new lawn.
This project completely transformed this home. It turned the backyard from boring to an inviting outdoor room ideal for family BBQs and inviting friends over to hang out.
The homeowners first contacted us to ask about building a patio for their home. During the site visit, the homeowners showed us the previous work that had been completed around the back of the house. Upon inspection, we identified a number of issues that needed to be addressed.
Issues To Correct
To solve the drainage problem, we re-designed the outdoor space that would give the family enough room move around comfortably, while also being visually appealing.
All of the old plantings, the patio, and walkways had to be removed. Once the old work was removed, we started building a retaining wall to support the side of the patio. This wall also allowed us to create the patio on one level, making the space much more usable. The retaining walls continue out of the ground to create a enclosure affect around the edge of the patio providing safety and more of an outdoor room feel.
Landscaping, Walkway, and Lighting
We incorporated some plantings to the inside of the walls to bring a little greenery into the patio space. Low-voltage lighting was installed in the walls and pillars to provide a comfortable light level for safety and beauty during evening hours. A wide walkway was the constructed to connect the patio to the driveway to create an easy access path to the patio. Landscape lights were also installed along the walkway.
In the end we were able to create a beautiful and functional outdoor space that added a lot of value to the home!
Project Features: Permeable Driveway Pavers, Koi Pond, Patio, Lighting, and Walkways
This was an amazing property makeover complete with permeable paver driveways, eco-friendly landscape design, and eco-system koi pond. This was a full property project that started with just a simple conversation on how to improve what they had. The homeowner's words were: "I just want to walk outside and say WOW!"
As you can see from the Before images, the property was nice, but upon closer inspection, it had many underlying issues – the pond was not built correctly by another contractor, and there were issues with the structural integrity of the installed hardscapes, drainage issues, and maintenance issues.
The driveway and walkway pavers were installed flat, preventing drainage, which left water pockets and ice patches in winter. The water feature had constant water quality issues, maintenance was difficult, and the rocks were not stable. In short, it wasn't built correctly with biological filtration.
The lesson here is to always thoroughly research and vet any contractor before hiring one. Fortunately, the homeowners were able to afford to correct all the issues their property was facing. But being able to re-do poorly installed projects is usually the exception in most cases that we see.
Everything had to come out. The old koi pond, the improperly installed hardscape walkways, patio, and the 2 driveways– everything. The Tussey team worked to re-install a new koi pond with wetland filtration and reverse bog, Techo-Bloc paver driveways, patios, and walkways correctly to certified standards, and then applied finishing touches with landscaping, and added a fireplace and LED landscape lighting.
The homeowners initially called us because they wanted more privacy from the street and asked for a quote to do a green barrier with shrubs and trees. The homeowner's comment about wanting a "wow-factor" led us to a discussion about redoing the pond correctly with wetland bog filtration and making it bigger. Then we talked about adding another patio along the pond edge, which led to a conversation about meshing the look of the new hardscape mesh with the existing hardscape.
While completing the initial work we had agreed upon, we discovered how bad the previous work had been done and the homeowners began entertaining the idea of starting over from scratch. We worked with the homeowners to re-design the entire property, add a new pond, a new patio, and landscaping and lighting. We were halfway through that project when the homeowner asked us to evaluate the paver driveways. Same story. The pavers weren’t draining properly because the installation was incorrect. In the end, we completely over-hauled everything on the property: driveways, front walk, landscaping, and lighting.
The result was a property where all elements flowed together seamlessly, and the features all complimented one another.
This landscape project was installed at a new home in Altoona PA. So when we showed up, there was virtually nothing. Just a brand new home. We had a clean slate. But... the property was large, and the homeowners had many ideas, beyond what their current budget supported. So, no problem, we simply worked together to create the design that they envisioned, and once the design was created and approved, we chose what elements to complete first, and what to hold off for future phases of the project. In this case, we decided to do the front of the home first, which included the front walkway with Techo-Bloc Blu 60 mm pavers, landscaping and trees, landscape lighting, and the water feature facing the driveway, greeting all who arrived at the home with a spectacular view.
Below are some BEFORE and AFTER images of the front, which we completed in Phase 1 of the project.
Above you can see what was accomplished in the Front Yard Phase of the project. The following summer we came back to install the first half of the backyard phase. Which included natural flagstone walkways, natural stone steps, some drainage work, and landscaping. Below are photo galleries of the before and after on that.
The next summer, (3rd time we were back) The 3rd and final phase consisted of a large entertaining patio and firepit, kind of set away from the rest of the backyard. Creating a destination point. Also included in this phase was more flagstone walkways and natural stone steps leading to the basement doors of the home. All of it was surrounded by landscaping and LED landscape lighting for nighttime enjoyment and beauty.
That completes this full property landscape design. This achieved many goals for this home. It beautified the front and gave a welcoming and inviting appearance. Next it provided a large entertaining area in the backyard and completed a full outdoor living space. Below you can watch the full project showcase video of this entire project happening.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments on this article! We'd love to hear what your thoughts are, or if you have any questions. We'll be happy to respond and help in any way we can. Cheers!
- Weston Zimmerman
This project had a thick overgrown section of brush and small saplings along the front yard. It kind of created an unkempt look, and the homeowners wanted to remove it and replace it with a nice landscape bed with mountain boulders embedded throughout the landscape, along with a barrier of yew bushes to create some privacy from the hiking trail just on the other side of their property line. Below are photos of what the property looked like upon our arrival.
Or if you are interested in scheduling a consultation to talk with one of our designers in person at your property, you can do so by clicking the button below:
This project started out as a home in Roaring Spring PA with virtually no landscaping, no patio, no nothing. We were contacted to design an outdoor living space for the backyard initially. There was some back and forth in the design process between Dave, the designer for this project, and the homeowners regarding how 'rustic' or how 'modern' to create this backyard project. They both liked both looks, so during the design process they arrived at a compromise that incorporated clean lines of a modern look, but still used natural stone, natural mountain boulders, which all assisted in merging the modern, clean look with the natural rustic textures of natural stone products. Below is a fly through video of the first draft of the 3D Design.
FINAL PROJECT VIDEO IS AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE!
8583 Woodbury Pike
Hollidaysburg, PA 16648
Call us: 814.696.3700