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

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Makeover Your Old Pool With a Hardscape Transformation

Does the ugly concrete around your pool take away from the beauty of your once enjoyable oasis? Well give it an updated facelift that will make a 20 year old pool look like new! You might even say “Well I don’t like the look of the concrete, but it’s still in good shape and it would be a shame to crack it all out”. No problem. If your concrete is still in good shape meaning it’s sloped properly for runoff and the concrete has no cracks or minimal cracks then sand can be applied right over top and pavers laid on top. Having an existing concrete base can reduce up to 40% off your hardscape cost! After adding a new updated paver appearance around your pool, other factors like adding some landscaping (a nice variation of color and shape), and even enclosed outdoor spaces like decks, pool houses, and pergolas are always an option to compliment your new outdoor entertainment area.

Picture 1: Existing concrete patio

Picture 2: Finished Paver Patio

Material: Omni Vintage
Color: Allegheny Blend
Pattern: 45 degree herringbone

Picture: 3 (Same as picture 2)

Picture 4: Enclosed Outdoor Living Space

Material: Cedar Wood

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Patio, Sitting Wall, Formal Water feature, and Fireplace

This project was started May 1, 2009 and completed in one week. It was an outdoor living space created for a family residence located in Peters Township.

The first picture illustrates the home before construction.

The second picture illustrates new pipe work that we had to install. These pipes were down spout drain lines for the gutters for the house. Schedule 40 4 inch pipe must always
be run underneath a paved surface to keep from being crushed or damaged.

The Third picture illustrates the finished project which included

A paver patio:
Material: Omni Vintage
Color: Allegheny Blend
Pattern: Random
Border: Desert Blend

Three 2’ sitting walls with pillars:
Material: Country Stone
Color: Desert Blend
Pattern: Running Bond

A 6’ x 4’ formal water feature with a color falls spillway:
Material: Country Stone
Color: Dessert Blend

Pattern: Random

Fourth Picture shows an 8'x6'x4' wood burning fireplace.
Material: Country Stone
Color: Desert Blend
Pattern: Random
Inlays: Castle Mist, Artiste

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bringing your hillside to life

Many homeowners in Pennsylvania are faced with the same dilemma concerning their backyard space, and steep hillsides. There are several options homeowners have with dealing with unsightly hillsides.

  1. Retaining walls
  2. Grading
  3. Ignore it
  4. Add a water feature and boulder scape. This concept has become very popular for homeowners who want to bring their backyard to life and utilize unused yard space. By incorporating rock, water, and plant life your once unsightly hillside becomes your own private sanctuary. The pictures below show a once unusable piece of yard space transformed into a backyard oasis.

Picture 1: Hillside Before

Picutre 2: Finished pond, waterfall, landscape

Pond Material: Aquascape
Waterfall Size: 18'x2'
Pond Size: 15'x10'

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Investing in a permanent vacation

The current difficult economic time we live in today makes it difficult for one to relax. Every time you turn the T.V. on you hear the media telling consumers to “tighten their belts and spend wisely”. With an uncertain economic future ahead of us, what are people to do when they get fried from work and need a place to retreat to? Can’t go on that expensive vacation that only lasts a week. What about bringing the vacation to you ? How nice would it be to come home to your own backyard sanctuary ? To be greeted by the sound of water cascading from rocks, the foliage of colored perennials swaying in the wind as you lean back in your favorite patio chair and take yourself away from the stress of the day and into your private place of serenity. This could be a place you go to lose yourself and get relaxed and focus or an entertainment area for family and friends. These outdoor living spaces have replaced the living rooms, and game rooms of the past and have moved us outside to utilize that back yard space and soke up the sun and fresh air. The options for these areas are limitless and can accommodate any size yard. Features can include paver patios, sitting walls, outdoor kitchens, fire places, hot tubs, pools, waterfalls, and much more.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Finally! Pittsburgh homeowners are safe from fraudulant contractors

In 2008 Pa. legislature passed the home Improvement Consumer Protection Act. The law requires that all contractors who perform at least $5,000 worth of home improvements per year must register with the Attorney Generals office. This Act was passed because due to the hundreds of fraudulent contractors that were ripping off thousands of hard working Pa. homeowners yearly.

As of July 1, 2009 consumers in Pa. will be able to verify legitimate contractors by visiting the website (www.attorneygeneral.gov/hiccon.aspx) or call 1-800-520-6680. Our company Pittsburgh Stone and Waterscapes HIC # is PA 030554.

In order for a contractor to be registered they must submit the following information and it must be accepted by the Attorney Generals office.

1. Information on any prior home improvement business operated by the applicant.

2. Information on other contractor licenses and registrations held by applicant.

3. ackground disclosures, including information on prior bankruptcies, criminal pleas, and convictions

4. Insurance policy information showing at least $50,000 of personal injury liability coverage and $50,000 of property damage coverage.

By going to the above website, clicking on list of registered contractors you can find registered contractors by entering their PA # or the name of their company.

By taking five minutes to do this crucial research you at least know about your contractors history, and may save you from a poor installation that may cost you thousands more to have a qualified contractor do a second time. Just like the unfortunate homeowners below.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Who We Are

Pittsburgh Stone & Waterscapes was created and has been family run since 1982.

We have earned the reputation as Pittsburgh’s premier landscape and hardscape company due to our service, quality, experience, and customer satisfaction.

As a Licensed Pittsburgh Landscaper our services include: landscaping design, retaining wall construction, paver installation, water features, outdoor kitchens, and many more, to suit any customer’s home exterior needs, from small scale projects like a sidewalk or patio, to new large scale construction like a paver driveway complete with a block retaining wall system or a full service outdoor kitchen!

Our goal is to design and custom build projects that best suit the customer’s needs. The correct balance of Landscape, Hardscape, and lawn space is imperative for a well proportioned design. As you will see in our photo galleries no two of our designs are alike.

Please visit us at www.pghsw.com