Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

NOV 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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November 2017 19 Below Built out of cultured stone and boulders by Paradise Restored Landscaping, this pit was designed to mirror shapes found in nature. It is 8' long by 5.5' wide by 14" inches deep. PHOTO: MICAH DENNIS Right After a customer ap- proached Micah Dennis, president of Paradise Restored Landscaping, with a request for an outdoor element that displayed both fire and water, he and his team did just that, starting with an enclosure made with CMUs and veneered with cultured stone that houses a fire pit with fire glass and a water feature with gazing balls; one of which was plumbed to allow water to flow over it onto a bed of river rock. In addition, a reflection wall was constructed from COR-TEN metal behind the enclosure. The wall directs the heat of the blaze toward the people sitting on the other side and reflects an orange glow from the fire pit and a blue glow from a light shining on it from behind the fountain. PHOTO: MICAH DENNIS Multiple Elements Company: Paradise Restored Landscaping There is something significant about taking things back to the basics. Dennis did just that when he created a piece that incorporated the elements of fire and water, based on a custom - er's request. "We took their idea and made it happen in one piece," Dennis said. "This piece highlights fire, water, metal and wood and is symbolic of the elements of life." On one side, the fire sits nestled in a bed of fire glass to emphasize the sparkle of the flame. On the other, wa - ter gurgles out of a gazing ball onto a bed of river rock. Cultured stone is fitted neatly around the perimeter of the pit. It measures 6 feet long by 4 feet wide by 18 inches tall. Combining the seemingly contradictory elements did not come without challenges. "You have to be able to con - trol the water and not make it too intense so it doesn't splash onto the fire," Dennis said. "Likewise, you have to control the fire so the heat doesn't melt the elements of the water." Through trial and error Den - nis worked out an optimum spacing between the two fea - tures and inserted a small wall in between them. The stark contrast between the wet and the dry is beautiful. Dennis believes the piece creates a purpose in his customer's backyard. "It extends their indoor living to the out - doors," he said. Dennis encourages fellow contractors to think of the outdoors as a living room. "Always include a fire pit. I don't think there should be an outdoor spot without one," he said. Custom Shapes Company: Cutting Edge Landscape Inc. Nick Williams of Cutting Edge Landscape Inc. was approached by a pair of customers who had a picture in hand and a dream in their heads. "They sent us a picture off of Pinterest and asked, 'Can you build this?'" Williams said. Excited by the design challenge, Williams embarked on creating the envisioned mas - terpiece for his customers. It was specifically built at seat height in order to be a gathering spot in the backyard. "You can never have enough outdoor seat - ing," Williams said. He suggested factoring multi-use into the de - sign if that's what's important to your customer. "The shape was free formed out of concrete and built from scratch out of custom stone," Williams said. A minor challenge Williams encountered due to its custom shape was finding the right size pan to sit inside the pit that could hold fire glass. "We had to design and fabricate a custom pan for the fire glass to be installed into. This took some time, but wasn't difficult," Williams explained.

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