Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

MAR 2017

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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42 LC DBM masonry units on the thickened edge of the concrete patio, finished with stucco and capped with flagstone. The water feature was a design Stringer wanted to implement for some time. The main feature piece is constructed out of a select STK 6" nominal cedar set with 5/8" gaps between the boards. Four main cedar posts were embedded into the concrete patio to support the horizontal boards on the face and on the sides. The basin for the water feature was constructed with a sleeve just under the cap at the back for the water connections leading from the pump within the basin up to the spillway. These connections are hidden by the screening fence detail. Stacked CMU block supports a clear poly sheet, which the polished beach pebbles sit on. This reduces the splash of the wa - ter feature and protects the pump. Above A drainage system with internal grades was installed under the concrete. Linear drains were placed in front of the water feature and under the transition zone. Sewer and drainage pipe was purchased from DBC Irrigation Supply of Longmont, Colo. Above The water feature element required the integration of a water line below frost level lead- ing to the garage where it could be shielded from freezing, allowing it to be used during winter months. A diffuser at the back of the spillway allows the water to spread out and flow evenly over the spillway. An LED light strip highlights the spillway and is plugged into a GFCI outdoor outlet behind the water feature that also sup - ports the pump electrical power. The water line zone is set to run daily for 15 minutes but will only run if the float is open. Challenges Implementation of the design was chal - lenging because the space had limited access. Due to the narrow area between the main structure and garage, as well as the changes in elevation, smaller equipment for excavat - ing, grading and hauling had to be brought in to do the job. The crew relied on a compact walk-behind front-end loader to do most of the heavy digging and lifting. The drainage installation had to be very pre - cise, posing another challenge for Stringer and her team. The crew had less than 3" of fall to work with. The pipes had to be installed dead on level (they have internal grades) to account for the finish concrete heights to achieve prop - er drainage of the patio surface. "Even though we took up space creating the courtyard, it felt bigger than it did before," said Stringer, "a hallmark of good design." LC DBM

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