Friday, February 9, 2018

We always say that we’re different, but really – HOW are we different?

We always say that we’re different, but really – HOW are we different?

It’s our vision and approach towards our customer and their overall experience.

We provide our customers with the best options and resources available to create beautiful outdoor spaces that enhance their family’s lives, all while creating relationships that last. The technical part of our services is certainly an area in which we excel, but it’s our personal connection with our customer that makes all the difference. Sure, you get to know any professional you work with, but we’ve taken steps to provide you with the most customized, straight-forward information and resources possible so you can make educated, budget-wise decisions from the very start. Together, we bring your dream back yard to life in a process that works best for your unique needs.

In most cases with renovations and construction, there is at least some level of a guessing game. You describe what you want and hope for the best. With PGHSW, you have options that provide you an inside look that virtually no others do.



1. We have bridged the toughest barrier between customer and contractor. Introducing our budgeting slideshows.
“What is your budget?” – Contractor
 “What is your cost for my project” – Customer. 
With some contractors, this simple dialog can take weeks of back-and-forth interaction to resolve.

How do we combat that? We’ve developed the right tools for a customer to answer both of these questions, almost instantly and from the privacy of their home, without the contractor present.

Yes, it will help to have a general idea of what you would like to spend, but our budget-based slideshows will give you an initial idea of how to begin creating a budget for your goals. We have compiled several slideshows, categorized by style of project: Patio, Pool, Patio roof, etc. Within each of these categories, we have approximately 10 – 20 past projects with design images, before and after pictures of the project, and perhaps most importantly, the itemized components on the job with the associated costs. This gives the customer the opportunity to view various projects, ranging in style and size, and begin crafting an itemized budget to begin planning their project.

2. Once you meet with one of our designers, the sales portfolio we present in person is a per item menu of various components.

It works similar to that of an ala carte dinner menu.

Example: You’re interested in an outdoor fireplace.
We have 10 different models of fireplaces that can be built 10 different ways and at 10 different cost points. Considering any specific and unique needs, the customer now works with a PGHSW design specialist to begin designing your project with real costs associated.

And then what? How do you really KNOW this will work for you and your back yard?

3. Our 3D renderings allow you to see the project, drawn to scale, from the very beginning. 



Because of these drawings, you feel comfortable and confident with the final project before construction begins. In fact, you can even check the view from inside the house, if you would like! Worry not about being able to see the kids playing in the backyard from the kitchen window. Thanks to these renderings, you’ll see the exact area from the real viewpoint and can plan accordingly. What about planning for night-time and safety? We have that covered as well. These renderings can also show lighting aspects, allowing you to plan for those darker walkways and other travel areas.



Make changes and adjustments as you see fit to create the perfect, dream backyard for your family.


Contact us to get started. We’ll send you the slideshows and once you have some ideas together, we’ll work with you to bring it all to life!



www.pghsw.com

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Make 2018 the year for your dream backyard!

Now, more than ever, people are utilizing their backyard space for relaxing and entertaining family and friends.

The question is - who do you hire to handle your project?

Most times, trying to get a larger scale project done usually requires dealing with a separate company for each feature; a separate landscaper, a separate pool installer, a separate carpenter, it can drive you crazy.

At Pittsburgh Stone and Waterscapes, LLC we provide a one stop shop turnkey service, utilizing some of the best resources in the industry to make every project spectacular.


We have developed tools and systems to streamline your project, relieving the hassle of dealing with multiple companies. From beginning to end, you work with us every step of the way, making sure the final product meets your needs and budget.


Friday, January 12, 2018

Stressing about a backyard project? Cross these off your "worry list!"


When you look at your backyard, what do you see? Does your family’s ideal outdoor space come to life, complete with kitchen, living area, fireplace, and more…or do you only see potential renovation challenges? At Pittsburgh Stone and Waterscapes, we don’t want anyone to waste time and energy making mountains out of molehills… or any other kind of hill. In most cases, the potential problem you think you see isn’t an issue at all. Here are some worries you can cross off your list: Whatever went wrong with your neighbor’s backyard renovation. Some clients are afraid to invest in backyard amenities like waterfalls or patio pavers because they know someone who had a bad experience with that kind of project. In reality, these issues almost always relate to the contractor. Choosing contractors based on the quality of their work rather than the price they charge means you don’t need to worry about problems with installation or maintenance. Feeling like you can’t envision the final product…or final cost. It’s normal to feel discouraged if you can’t visualize how your yard will look once it’s been transformed. Remember that a good landscape design firm will always produce layout images, product pictures, an itemized proposal, and a complete cost breakdown of the project. This will help you to clearly identify the finished project and ensure you know exactly what you are paying for. The Pittsburgh Stone and Waterscapes Team works with 3-D renderings so clients can really visualize and experience their project from the outset.
  You live in Western Pennsylvania, so your yard is hilly. People sometimes see rolling hillsides on their property and think there’s no chance a backyard project could work. We get it—we live with hilly yards, too. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about those hills because they’re actually an asset! An experienced landscape designer will utilize hillsides to create elevation changes or backdrops that enhance your project. Now that these non-issues aren’t keeping you up at night, you’re ready to start planning for that dream outdoor living space. Here are three potential problems that can be solved ahead of time, paving the way for a smooth project.
  A few potential problems and solutions: Potential Problem: Your property plan Solution: Review your property plan first, before you tackle any other steps in the project. Your home’s property plan was issued by the builder or seller, and you should have received a copy at your closing. It discloses all setback, easement, and property restrictions you need to know about your property. Not reviewing this at the outset could mean you have to alter or even eliminate your project later. Potential Problem: Staging and accessibility Solution: Ensure you have at least an 8’ wide pathway to get a truck or skid steer to the project area. You’ll also need ample space to stage bulk materials as they are delivered. Without these in place, your contractor will have to do additional work and costs will climb. Potential Problem: Existing drainage issues Solution: Water is the #1 culprit of projects failing, so proper drainage solutions for the project area have to come first. Without this, the project has no chance of survival over time. Creating a complete outdoor living space is well worth the time, effort, and money you’ll put into it. But there’s no need to worry when you don’t have to. Contact Pittsburgh Stone and Waterscapes to get started, and let us take the stress off of your shoulders!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Landscape design options give homeowners new perspective

The actual landscape design is the corner stone to any landscape project. Professional landscape designers have portrayed their designs in forms of hand sketched renderings, topographic, and computer aided CADD designs in the past and currently. These designs give the customer a sense of scale which plant materials are being used, yard space, and the location of other components. The problem is that customers, who usually are not in the landscape industry, lack vision. This is expected especially when it comes to larger design. After experimenting over the years with doing different designs, power point presentations, trips to past projects, and many others we feel that through the addition of 3D landscape design to our services we can finally give customers the perspective they are looking for. These designs offer everything the past designs offer but much more. It gives the customer to view the design at any angle, shows how the landscape design works with the existing exterior features (including the home), and gives you the ability to move features in the design around during your presentations with the click of your mouse.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Pittsburgh landscapers selected to showcase project project on HGTV

This was a waterfeature designed and built by Pittsburgh Stone and Waterscapes for a residential client in the Pittsburgh area. The water feature consists of 3 ponds, 5 waterfalls, 100' of stream area, 20,000 gallons of water, 6 versa lok retaining walls, a large variety of aquatic plants, dozens of assorted goldfish in the top pond and dozens of koi in the bottom. This project was built in 3 months. An aquascape biological filtration system was used in this design using 3 biofilter, 4 skimmers, and 4 - 1 HSP pumps. It was showcased on HGTV in Spring of 08'

Before Construction













Pond 1 and Waterfalls


Pond 2 and Waterfalls

Stream Area

Pond 3 Before Construction

Pond 3 Waterfall

Koi Pond

Overall Waterfeature

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Pittsburgh Outdoor kitchens take home entertainment to another level

With today’s hardscape and landscape materials skilled contractors are able to bring gourmet cooking and dining outdoors with style. The Landscape design industry has been introduced to an endless supply of stainless steel kitchen appliances that are produced for outdoor use too work in conjunction with hardscape materials. Here are a few of the options that can be added to your outdoor kicthen design:

- Sinks
- Refrigerators
- Ice makers
- Grills
- Keg misters
- Storage areas

The list of hardscape materials such as pavers, retaining wall stone, and various coping also has a widespread of variety to give your outdoor kitchen a unique look while complimenting your existing landscape design or home exterior.

The following pictures are a few outdoor kitchens, and outdoor dining areas completed by Pittsburgh Stone and Waterscapes.

(Pic1) This picture illustrates the following:
- built in gas grill
- 8’ x 2.5’ dining area
- 6’ x 4’ preparation area
- stainless steel double doors for storage

(Pic2) This picture illustrates the following:
- built in gas grill
- Two 2’ x 2’ preparation areas
- 8’ x 2.5’ dining area

(Pic 3)

(Pic 4) This picture illustrates the following:
- built in gas grill
- 2’ x 2’ preparation area
- 4’ x 2’ preparation area
- Stainless steel doors with storage area

(Pic 5) This picture illustrates the following:
- built in gas grill
- Two 2’ x 2’ preparation areas
- Two sitting walls with pillars

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Big hillsides provide big possibilities By: Jeff Blunkosky

It is hard to even find a piece of property in Western Pennsylvania that doesn’t have some sort of hillside incorporated on it. Don’t let hillsides deter you away from involving a landscape project on your property. Don’t fight it work with it! Natural hillsides add beautiful proportion and symmetry that can highlight any landscape. These natural slopes are great for waterfalls, steps, boulders, and flowy landscape greenery.

The featured project was built in Burgettstown. Picture 1 illustrates the before picture of our project. This hillside is a major focal point from several areas of the home. We added two Retaining walls, landscape beds, boulders, natural stone steps, and a small pond and waterfall. These materials collaborated to turn a once unused piece of hillside to a beautiful landscape design which can seen at many areas of the house along with the waterfall which can be heard.

Picture 1: Before

Picture 2: Illustrates the finished landscape design
Wall material: Versa lok mosaic
Color: Allegheny blend

Picture 3: Illustrates the pond and waterfall
Waterfall size: 2’ x 10’
Pond size: 6’ x 8’
Pond components: Aquascape

Picture 4: Illustrates the natural stone walkway
Material: Sandstone rock

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Raised Patios raise the bar for back yard excellence

One of the big misconception consumers have about paver surfaces is that they have to be installed on grade. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. With the help of properly installed segmented retaining wall systems raised patio surfaces have become quite common for residential and commercial applications. One example is the job illustrated below which was done for a family in Moon Twp.

Picture 1 illustrates a traditional wood deck that has began to rot away and become an eye sore. The task of replacing this deck with a paved surface was a little tricky but definitely workable. The grade of the finished patio on one side of the house was 8’ above grade and the opposite side was 6” above grade. In order to deal with the rapid grade change a reinforced retaining wall needed to be built before the pavers could be started.

Picture 1: Existing Wooden Deck


Picture 2-3: Illustrates sections of the retaining wall that was built around the perimeter of the patio.

Picture 2

Wall product: Unilock Pisa 2
Color: Beech wood

Picture 3

Wall product: Unilock Pisa 2
Color: Beech wood

Picture 4: Illustrates the steps that lead from the paver surface to the existing grade.

Wall Product: Pisa 2
Color: Beechwood
Custom Railing: Steel

Picture 5: Illustrates the finished paver patio. Pillars with steel railing were installed for safety and to break up the large patio surface.

Paver Product: Unilock hollandstone
Color: Beechwood
Pattern: 45 degree herringbone

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Adding color and stability to steep hillsides

This project was conducted in Wexford Pa. The situation was we had a steep hillside that needed to be landscaped. But what is the best way to landscape a steep hillside that a strong rain won’t wash everything off of. The first thing that needed to be incorporated was stability to the hillside. So, the first thing we did was go throughout the hillside a place large boulders that would stabilize soils, mulch, and serve as footing for plant material. After the boulders were placed perennials were placed throughout the hillside which were low growing (which also stabilized mulch) and added a variety of color. Lastly, the beds were edged and mulch was applied. This was a commercial landscape application, but this method can also be applied at any residential hillside.

Picture 1: Takeuchi Excavation


Picture 2: Finished Landscape


Picture 3: Finished Landscape



Friday, December 11, 2009

Entertainment For All Ages

It can sometimes be difficult to buy on an item for your home that will not only add value to the home but also accommodate all members of the family. The options that the hardscape industry have provided to contractors makes it possible to establish an outdoor living space to accommodate all ages. This featured landscape design displays the following items:
  • A 1,000 sq. ft. paver patio

  • Built in Jacuzzi

  • A pondless waterfall

  • Sitting walls

  • A enclosed 400 sq. ft. paver patio

  • Colorful landscape beds

Whether Mom and Dad are having company over for dinner and drinks, or the teenagers are entertaining friends. This outdoor living space can cater to everybody’s needs.

Before Picture 1: This picture was taken at the begining of construction


Picture 2: This picture shows the finished waterfall and landscape bed

Pondless Waterfall
Size: 8'x2' waterfall
Material: Aquascape

After picture 3: This picture shows the main patio area

Material: Stratford Paver
Color: Allegheny Blend
Pattern: 45 degree Herringbone

Picture 4: This picture shows a raised patio with a recessed jacuzzi


Picture 5: This picture shows a seperate patio area located under a second story deck