This is a display for Old Castle Coastal that Exterior Concepts participated in the design, as well as the construction of. Old Castle Coastal is now the largest and highest in quality manufacture of pavers in North America, and one of the top internationally. At one time or another we have used every manufacturer of pavers out there, at the request of a customer or contractor, usually to match existing pavers. We have enjoyed a great and working relationship with Old Castle and use them whenever possible. Old castle also has a beautiful new line of pavers called the Belgard line, as well as very personal and knowledgeable sales department in Doug and John, as well as others. Approximately a year and a half ago Doug and Kevin informed me they were looking to enlarge, refurbish, and redesign the existing outdoor show room to display, numeroust new products(the Belgard line and/or wall stone Weston wall, Highland stone, ETC.) The display contains a sample of almost every style and color scheme of pavers possible. They also display every style and color variation of various retainment as well as free standing walls manufactured by them.
After doing business with them as long as I have, I volunteered to design and supply the materials and labor for a good portion of the showplace. Besides the construction of wood or composite deck (which would not have made much sense installing at interlocking paver manufacture’s showroom), and a low voltage lighting system, we had used every medium, variable, and skill that we possess in our arsenal.
To begin we installed 3 water features. The first was a large Koi pond with waterfalls and ornamental arched paver bridge. The interlocking paver bridge is a concept that came to me maybe 15 years ago. I first had the chance to implement and construct the bridge approximately six or seven years ago, and since I have lost track of how many we have installed. It has been very popular addition to some of our more complex plans, or customers looking for something different. I do not know if there are other companies in the states using this in their designs, but it isn’t an idea that I have seen in any books or magazines or by any other hardscape company, but one that just came to me, the same way many of my most creative ideas have come about. During the 30 minute shower that I take every morning to meditate, plan my day out, and pray to stay in the moment. Usually I snap out of it when the hot water runs out. (makes me wonder what kind of creative ideas I could come up with if I invest in a larger hot water heater, I imagine it would be a business expense and tax write off.) The bridge is constructed using pressure treated lumber and plywood, then base and pavers for travertine depending on the theme of the project. Recently I have designed a modification of the original designed hardscape bridge that does not just arch, but curves right or left as well.
The koi pond is a relatively standard design of ours with a few twists. First we constructed a retainment wall to get the necessary height needed for the main waterfall; we were very limited in the space and depth needed to construct a waterfall due to the amount of paver patios and walkways. The main waterfall was built around a biological waterfall/ filter, and a secondary waterfall was constructed using the water output from the ultraviolet clarifier. One difference was that although natural field stone was used as our 6” – 8” in height rock ledge for the waterline walls (so no liner is exposed directly to sunlight let alone the naked eye) so the majority of the pond is outlined along the water line with Highland stone along with the Highland wall cap this was done not to only give the Koi pond a little more creativity, but also to show the variety of applications that Old Castle Coastal Highland stone can be used. Many ornamental concrete fire pits, benches, freestanding walls and retaining walls were constructed and interwoven in the display using the Weston wall or Highland stone. This pond was stocked with Japanese koi and aquatic plants, and along with the other two water features. A Hudson auto fill valve was installed to keep the pond at a set level keeping the waterfalls virtually maintenance free.
The other two water features were pondless water features the first was a 3 basalts (a tall slender ornamental stone, drilled through length wise). The Highland wall, lined with a 45 mil. U /V protected liner with padding and was constructed to serve as the pond reservoir. The pump was encased with an AquaScape manufactured snorkel and then the reservoir was filled with Mexican River pebbles.
The third water feature was a large pondless water feature approximately 10’x 10’ x 6’ – 7’ in height constructed entirely out of Highland stone. 5 spillways were formed using bluestone and were built into the Highland wall. The pond reservoir constructed in Highland stone was finally filled with Mexican River pebbles. The main retaining wall of the water feature was constructed using four courses above the highest spill way to give us enough space to build a raised landscape.
The next project was to construct 2 unique pergolas / shade structures. The first was an approximately 8’ wide by 40’ in length curved pergola to cover a natural Tennessee Crab Orchard flagstone walkway, 1”x 2” slats( 1“ o/c) were bent and attached above the Pergola to emulate the curved stone walkway.
The second was a very unique octagonal Pergola with an 8′ wide by 12′ in length arched appendage/ shade structure covering a matching paver patio and walkway.
At last the usual finishing visual elements were installed, including a full landscape that was installed among the hardscape. A lot of our customers seem to like the idea of hiring one company that will handle the entire design and install. Landscaping is an important element in our designs, bringing living space and softscape together where they complement each other, and most of our projects end up coming with a landscape plan as well as lighting or irrigation. With the raised bed above the waterfall we were able to landscape with a variety of shrubs including jasmine and other flowering vines that would eventually flow down interweaving with the water spillways, complimenting and emphasizing one another. Next we installed a full irrigation system to work with the landscape plan.
Various free standing ornamental block walls were constructed throughout the project for seating, as well as a Belgard outdoor kitchen and Belgard fireplace.
My thanks to all the employees of Exterior Concepts, each one( including myself) had a hand in the construction of this project. Most of all my many thanks to Doug, John and the rest of the sales team at Old Castle Coastal, as well as Rick, Tyler and the rest of the yard crew for their participation in bringing product when needed. As always it was a pleasure to work with the Old Castle team, and also have the peace of mind to know that I can send my customers there to pick a paver or retainment wall products and colors knowing that they will receive the best service and direction.