Today we’re taking you on a journey through a remarkable transformation in Newport News, Virginia. In this detailed account, we will walk you through the entire process, from the challenges we faced to the stunning features we incorporated. Prepare to be amazed as we unveil the captivating hardscape and water features that have turned this once mundane space into a backyard paradise for the whole family.
The Road to the Backyard:
First things first: let's talk logistics. Navigating the limited width of the access point presented quite a challenge. We even had to remove a gutter to make room for our large truck. (Can you imagine?) We actually contemplated using a crane to lift the pool over the house, but the homeowner nixed that idea (probably a good call). Ultimately, we found a company from Bel Air, Maryland, that specializes in transporting Soake pools. With careful planning and only a few scuffs on the truck, we successfully positioned the pool behind the house, setting it up for installation.
Before we showcase the breathtaking backyard, let's take a moment to appreciate the paver driveway that stood up to the test of a monster truck. Seriously, this thing is a beast! It didn't flinch or show any signs of distress. We're incredibly proud of its durability. Check out this post for more details about how we built this strong, 5,500 square foot driveway!
Revamping the Walkway:
To maintain a consistent theme throughout the property, we replaced the dilapidated brick walkway on the side of the house that no longer fit the vision we had for the space. By incorporating additional materials matching the front yard's walkway, we seamlessly blended the two areas. This transition not only enhanced the aesthetics but also created a unique courtyard space visible from inside the house, which we’ll talk more about down below!
The Enchanting Backyard:
Now let's explore the true gem of this project—the backyard. Designed with the idea of fostering shared experiences between grandparents and grandchildren, the raised plunge pool plays a central role. By elevating the pool to the height of a standard chair or stool, we created a space where grandparents can sit alongside the pool and be part of the kids' fun. It's all about shared experiences and building lasting memories! With its remarkable features reminiscent of a hot tub or swim spa, this Soake pool offers all the perks of a regular pool in a compact size.
Plunge Pool Details:
The impressive 22,000-pound plunge pool features an incredibly robust fit and finish. The pool's exceptional craftsmanship features double insulation, concrete, and tiled interior, which ensures longevity and temperature retention. This means that the pool only loses one degree per day! As if that weren’t enough, we surrounded the pool with a wide granite finish, giving the space a really structured and elegant look. The inside of the pool features a bench with stairs for easy access. The pool's plumbing is cleverly concealed in a chaise to the side, maintaining a clean and elegant aesthetic. Additionally, the pool stands at a comfortable 18 inches tall, and underneath the ledge, there are nine lights that create a warm and inviting ambiance.
Auto Cover and Drainage:
For added convenience and protection, the pool is equipped with an auto cover housed within the pool's edge. This cover ensures that any water or debris on top of it drains into the pool through a built-in drain system. Moreover, the pool has a separate drainage system that channels excess water away from the pool's vicinity, preventing any hydrostatic pressure issues.
A Symphony of Water Features:
To create a captivating atmosphere, we carefully orchestrated a series of water features. The stacked slate spheres and the captivating water wall, comprised of multiple stacked segments and a front spiller, create a dynamic and unique experience. Natural stones and plants adorn the space, while strategically placed lighting adds a nice cozy touch, making the whole area twinkle at night.
The main water feature is split up into two sections. It starts with two medium stacked slate spheres placed on the sides, with a larger sphere positioned in the center. These spheres have 22 AquaBlox beneath them. Then you come to a striking water wall with 12 segments, stacked up in two’s, and 6 toppers stretched along an 18-foot wall. This feature incorporates approximately 18,000 pounds of rocks, adding texture and depth to the overall design.
Rearranging and Re-imagining:
Throughout the project, we encountered some unexpected twists and turns. One such instance involved relocating a 96,000-pound shed twice, which initially disrupted the water feature dynamics. However, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it pushed the water feature further into the space, enhancing the overall visual appeal and making it visible from inside the house.
Additional Technical Details:
Speaking of the shed, the electrical system was rewired onto the side of the shed to accommodate the auto cover, with the electricity connecting to the pool's panel. Then over on the side of the house we’ve got lines for all of the sensors that connect to the pool, the gas line with emergency shutoff, and all of the larger equipment sitting on top of the pavers. The panel on the side of the house contains the Wi-Fi controlled smart system from Aqualink. This intelligent system allows for seamless control and monitoring of the pool equipment.
Gathering Around the Fire Pit:
The patio leading to the fire pit sets the stage for a seamless transition into a new space. The fire pit, situated on an 18 x 18 feet raised paver patio, invites guests to gather around and enjoy the warmth. With a spacious seating wall and a 5-foot fire pit boasting a 422,000 BTU burner, this cozy spot offers the perfect ambiance for gathering around the flames. Surrounded by water features, pavers, and a picturesque view of the river, it becomes an idyllic spot for relaxation.
Pavers and Walkways:
The pavers used in this project are of various types and colors, adding visual interest and defining different areas. We used Techo-Bloc Blu 60 pavers for the main portion of the patio, while the landing and fire pit area have the larger Techo-Bloc Blu Grande pavers. For the curving walkway, a combination of Techo-Bloc Antika pavers with a Villagio border in Onyx was used. And of course, we can’t forget to mention the sand filling the joints which is a special resin-based nitro sand, making the pavers permeable.
Courtyard and Lighting:
Lastly, let’s revisit the charming courtyard area, bordered by Techo-Bloc Villagio pavers. Here, you'll find another large stacked slate sphere sitting atop an AquaBasin 45. To enhance the ambiance, path lights were strategically placed in the corners. In total, this backyard oasis boasts an impressive 96 lights, including cap lights, lights within the panels, and hidden lights around the landscaping and water features.
Exciting Future Plans:
Believe it or not, this backyard transformation is only phase one! The homeowners have ambitious plans to construct a building that will house an outdoor kitchen and more. We can't wait to integrate these spaces seamlessly into the existing design, taking this backyard oasis to the next level.
Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to checkout our YouTube channel for more behind the scenes videos and backyard transformations. Get outside my friends!
About Easton Outdoors
We started out as the neighborhood lawn boys – a group of high school friends trying to make some pocket change. It soon became more. We realized how much we enjoyed landscaping. Over the years, we've transformed hundreds of properties, beautified countless landscapes, and made many homeowners proud. This has become our passion!