The “Blair Project” is the project we have selected to enter for the Award of Excellence in the Category of Hardscaping up to$20,000. This project is set apart from all others in this category because, of its historic design and feel. The client’s expectation was to create and provide an outdoor entertainment oasis to a previously unusable space. This space would be able to accommodate 10-15 people at one time, while matching the historic beauty of their district.

We decided that determining a color scheme would be the best place to start. To keep with the historic feel we went with creams, tans, and browns. Once arriving on site we realized that we would have to remove a very large Maple tree that was growing between the property line of our clients and their neighbor’s property. The heart of this trees root system inconveniently ran through the middle of the property where we were to build. Dealing with this tree was a bit problematic being access was limited and we could not get a bucket truck onto the property to remove the limbs of the tree, and we did not want to destroy the fence the lined the property. Once the tree was removed we could begin understanding the drainage on the property, this also proved to be a challenge as well. The fence area, house and yard were much higher then the existing patio. Multiple grade changes had to be made to control and direct the water runoff. During this time the electrical lines and drainage system were installed. There would be pier lights, cap lights, and power outlets. Once all of the utility lines were installed and placed the footer was poured to help support the weight of the fireplace.

The fireplace was positioned perfectly so that the homeowner could enjoy and see it from inside the house. Once the fireplace was constructed we worked on the seat wall, which was a double-sided wall. Each saw cut had to be precise as to keep the wall looking smooth. A decorative wall was also installed to help retain grade. Every wall in the project was curved as to make the space feel multi-dimensional. All the blocks had to be cut perfectly and seamlessly to continue the neat clean look. The pier columns were then constructed and topped off with low voltage lighting and capped. The caps were a brown color playing off of the walls and fireplace. They pulled the design color scheme together. Finally the paver patio was installed which ran through the majority of the back yard helping to define the pattern of movement through the space.

This outdoor entertainment area feels inviting and easy to move through encompassing all the important elements the homeowner was seeking to find. The addition of this space has allowed for a useable and enjoyable backyard oasis, where previously the homeowner avoided the space due to the overpowering root system from the Poplar tree. By fulfilling all of the needs of the homeowner and incorporating the historic feel, we feel our attention to detail within this project; has made this the award winner for excellence in hardscaping for jobs up to $20,000.