Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

AUG 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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August 2017 43 compacted road base below a 1-1/2 inch layer of sand. "Once we're done leveling and com - pacting it, it's permeable, but it's really hard, just like concrete," he said. Poly - meric sand fills in the gaps between the Belgard 'Mega-Lafitte' pavers. Next to this area is an entry to the house that just had a stoop with a few steps leading up to it. "We created a porch instead so it would have an East Coast, Cape Cod feeling," Kalamian said. Waterproofing the side of the house that was now covered by the porch was a critical step in the preparation of this area. "We cut out the siding and installed the waterproofing materials to make sure that no moisture got between our new patio and the house," he explained. Once done, they could build right up next to the house. All Hands On Deck The third hardscape texture used for this backyard was a wooden deck. "In this space, I wanted to create something that felt a little bit different and had its own out - door room," Kalamian said. The deck backs up to one of the home's two chimneys and has a bar and a large fire pit, which was built from CMU blocks veneered with stone and stucco. A stone wall bisects the feature, giving it a surface to create artful shadows. "I wanted a fire pit that felt like it was the right scale from anywhere in the yard," he explained. "Even when you're all the way up close to the house looking out at the fire pit, it's the right scale. It doesn't feel puny in a big yard." The 15,000 square foot backyard took just shy of 5 months to complete, with a full crew of 8-10 workers every day for that time. "Demolition took a solid 3-4 weeks," he said. That encompassed re - moving the outdated kidney shaped pool, filling the hole where it had been, gutting Above The pool was meant to be the focal point of the yard, and as the largest element, was the first to be con- structed after demolition and leveling of the existing yard. Kalamian spray-painted its outline on the ground before using a backhoe to dig out the hole. "We ended up bumping the pool a little bit further out from where it was initially planned for," he said. "I always like to keep modifying the plan to create something that's even better." Above The main hardscape used in the backyard consists of poured con- crete with 6"-wide bands of artificial turf separating each pad. The con- crete is all connected with coated steel rebar. The grass was installed over compacted road base with sand. A concrete band edges the planter. Because artificial grass doesn't curve, a straight strip was cut to fit the arc. "There ends up being a lot of waste, but that's really the only way to do it," said Kalamian. "You have to have the minimal amount of seams possible when doing artificial turf like this." Right Both the spa and the infinity edge of the pool have a stone veneer. Kalamian cautions that anytime stone is in contact with water like this, the subsurface must be waterproofed. "Otherwise, water gets behind the stone and it might pop off," he explained. "These projects are very, very complex." Left When building steps such as the ones seen to the right of this photo, the two most important factors to consider are the rise and the tread. The rise, or height, should be approximately 6" – any shorter and it's a tripping hazard, while taller steps are uncom- fortable. The tread, or depth, should be at least 14" to allow for a natural stride.

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