Patios & Outdoor Living Spaces
We have installed hundreds of patios all over the Northern Virginia area, ranging in size from 150 square feet to over 1500 square feet. These patios and outdoor living spaces bring to life and reality what the homeowner had barely imagined. This reflection of a client’s ideal is realized only after a thorough consultation in which we gather information about their habits, lifestyle, level and type of entertaining, sense of style and personality. The resulting design will always be within budget, with a multitude of options for whatever direction they want to go. We are skilled with many types of materials such as paver brick, soapstone, flagstone, etc. There are numerous feature options also.
We take special pride in our breathtaking outdoor kitchens, fire pits, sitting walls, fireplaces, etc. During the planning and design process, there are many important matters to keep in mind. Carefully consider such things as drainage, wind, sun direction, shade from trees, housing codes, privacy, and respect for neighbors concerns (to name a few). The client should be kept involved at every stage. Another common concern worth addressing is ingress and egress on and around the patio (and surroundings). Any guests should be relaxed – not cramped and restricted as a result of the patio design. There are many different price points when it comes to patios and outdoor living spaces, but we feel confident that we can meet the needs and budget, as well as exceed the imaginations of any client.
Simply put, the addition of landscape lighting to a home is the single most impactful thing you can do to extend the enjoyment of a patio and garden. The soft glow of a well designed landscape lighting system will allow entertainment outdoors well past sunset. Well positioned landscape lights create an ambiance that makes a mere porch light pale in comparison. Lights illuminate the navigation of pathways, furniture, and landscaping features, thereby reducing the possibility of unseen hazards. “Moonlights” are type of lighting that is especially useful where there is a need for a soft non-artificial looking light source. In addition utilizing landscape lighting properly around a home serves as a powerful and effective enhancement of security measures. It can illuminate what is captured on unseen cameras, clarify what a neighbor might witness, give the appearance of habitation, and sometimes just serve as a helpful scare tactic.
Landscape Design Done with Landscape Lighting
Our clients love the added hours of pleasure gained by installing landscape lighting on their patios and outdoor living space. When we are able to integrate the design of both the patio and the lighting together, an ideal setting is the result. The client has the satisfaction of having two worlds that complement each other. When the design is done simultaneously, it better allows for the hiding of certain lighting features. Lighting, when properly done, can be seen and felt by even the most casual observer. Feedback and referrals from our landscape lighting has been nothing short of phenomenal. Besides increasing the property value, it’s almost as if you are given the gift of extra hours in your day!
The design phase can be tricky. There are multiple factors that have to be taken into consideration. From the type of fixtures to their exact placement, direction, and purpose – all careful choices. Neighbors’ preferences and proximity must also be taken into consideration – you want to be envied and admired, not detested! There is also a fine line between the balance of just right and too much, believe it or not. The word subtle should be what comes to mind when viewing the perfect lighting design. It should seek to enhance both the landscaping features and the focal points of the house exterior. You will be gratified for years to come by taking the extra step.
IMPROPER YARD DRAINANGE?
Wet yard areas are not only a nuisance – they can also lead to permanent damage and health issues if not treated correctly. Standing water issues left unresolved can have consequences that are extensive and expensive. Water should never pool on grass for longer than 24 hours. Standing water can ruin trees and shrubs by causing root rot (when a plant sits in water for an extended period of time without drainage). West Nile Virus is another major problem that can occur. This happens during the warmer months and can lead to health issues.
Improper drainage and ponding can also prematurely rot out fence posts or shed foundations. The other very costly consequence of poor drainage is home foundation damage and leaking. The cost of repairing a home’s foundation can run into the tens of thousands, and possibly more. Additional dilemmas would be disruption of lifestyle and activities, as well as creating problems in neighboring properties.
Quick, affordable solutions are readily available and far less expensive than the cost and inconvenience associated with leaving the issues unresolved. In most instances, there is also more than one option in terms of fixing the problem.
EXTENDING DOWNSPOUT DRAINS
Connect a flexible black drain pipe to the end of the downspout. This pipe would be approximately 4” in diameter and would be buried out away from the house in a positive grade. The end of the pipe would be day-lited to allow for proper water flow exiting the pipe.
INSTALLING A FRENCH DRAIN SYSTEM
A French Drain System starts with digging a trench approx 12” – 16” wide and deep. The length would vary based on circumstances. The trench would be lined with high grade filter fabric. Next, apply 1” gravel approximately 2” – 3” deep on top of the fabric in the bottom of the trench. Then, a perforated 4” flexible pipe would be installed. After the pipe is in place, install enough additional 1” gravel so as to completely cover and surround the pipe. There will be approximately 2” – 3” of gravel atop the pipe. Then wrap the filter fabric over top of the gravel. Complete the job by covering the fabric with 3” – 4” of well draining soil and sod.
DRY-WELL/ RAINWATER HARVESTING
If larger amounts of water need to be alleviated, then a dry-well could be the answer. The process of installing a dry-well starts with digging a pit. The size of the pit would be determined based on how much excess water is in question. On average, approximately 5’ deep and 10’ x 10’ wide. Next, install filter fabric on all dirt surfaces. Then, install square plastic hollow crates. These will allow water to fill up the pit, but provide strength at the same time. The fabric is then wrapped around the crates and soil is added on all surrounding sides. Either well draining soil or decorative gravel over the top provides the finishing touch. The downspouts and other drain pipes can be directed toward the dry-well for drainage as well.
This dry-well configuration can also be used to water flowers and such.