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