In this blog, we're answering some common questions about using pavers or concrete for your next backyard project, including:
If you’re thinking about replacing a driveway or installing a new patio for your outdoor space, you’re probably looking at all of the options and wondering which choice is going to be best for you. In this post we teamed up with our friend Adam from Commercial Concrete to talk about six important differences for you to consider when comparing concrete versus pavers.
What if we told you that you don't have to leave your home in order to have the outdoor experience of your dreams? What if you could create that sense of adventure, natural beauty, and relaxation right in your own backyard?
That is exactly what we did for this space in York County, Virginia.
One of my favorite things about this property is how it is set right on the water, but this setup also posed one of the biggest challenges for the job.
Properties like this one in Poquoson, Virginia, that are set right on the water have one main issue: they are often sitting on an RPA, or a Resource Protected Area. The RPA in Poquoson is a 50-foot buffer area that helps to protect the natural environment near a body of water from being disturbed. The main concern with hardscape projects like this one is the runoff that can occur as a result of installing pavers. We always want to preserve the natural beauty of any space that we’re working in, so we came up with a plan that would allow these homeowners to have the outdoor space they wanted, while also protecting the natural beauty of Poquoson.
Once we had approval from the Board of Zoning Appeals to get started on the job, we still had a few obstacles to face. While the backyard as a whole is not small, the area that we had to work in was pretty compact. After accounting for the boundary lines set by the RPA, we had to fit an outdoor kitchen and bar, a patio, and a full-sized pool inside 700 square feet of space.
When we first stepped into this backyard in Hampton, there was nothing in the space. Before the transformation, the homeowners were never really out here. The yard was basically just the place where they came to walk their dogs, and that was it! There was nowhere to sit, nothing to do, and there since there wasn't a fence in place the dogs couldn’t even run around. Well, they decided it was time for a change!
When we got the call about working on this job, we found out that this homeowner already had a pond installed not once, but TWICE in his backyard. We would be the third contractor to try and get this pond moved and situated, and we wanted to make sure that we would be the last!
Today we’re going to talk about how to pick a good contractor for your next outdoor home project and what possible red flags you should look for before hiring someone to fill that role.
To make sure we didn’t miss anything, we sat down with our supplier, Jacob, from Yorktown Materials. Jacob works closely with contractors and homeowners alike, so he has a unique view of the industry and had a lot of great information to share!
Our goal is to educate others about what to look out for and what questions you should ask before hiring a contractor for your outdoor space. After all, you’re about to invest your hard earned money into a space that YOU have to live in, so you need to choose the right person to get the job done!
Have you ever had that feeling that something was missing, but you just didn’t know what it was? That was definitely the case for this homeowner, Ray.
You see, we had already completed phase one of a backyard transformation for this homeowner. We started in his barebones backyard, I used my trusty can of spray paint, and we made a plan that we thought would bring all of Ray’s wishes and hopes for this space to life.
The inspiration for this driveway update came about because this homeowner was tired of dealing with gravel. As you can see, this driveway is long and for years he’s been out here blowing gravel, trying to maintain it. Every time he did this, gravel would end up going into the woods... These homeowners decided it was time for a change!
Back in 2018, my business was struggling a bit. I still needed to learn how to actually operate and run a business. Enter: The Contractor Fight. The funny thing about The Contractor Fight was that this group was made up largely of a bunch of pond builders, and suddenly I got to be a part of that world.
While we had already built a bunch of water features at that point, we definitely weren’t doing it at the same caliber as these people. I immediately loved the camaraderie that this group had, and the tribe that The Contractor Fight had built. I started getting introduced to different builders around the country, and ended up at Aquascapes Pondemonium event, where I met April (aka “Queen of the Lady Pond Builders”) from American Waterscapes.
This backyard was a blank canvas. As you can see from the before shots below, it was more or less nothing but dirt. While it wasn’t much to start with, the lack of pre-existing elements gave the homeowner freedom to dream up and create his ideal outdoor space with us, and that’s just what we did.
This backyard makeover was truly one for the record books, but in the midst of all that we did, our biggest challenge by far was moving a 22,000-lb. plunge pool from the street into the backyard. With limited driveway space, houses surrounding the one we were working on, and lots of power lines in the mix, we were all a little nervous.
It took two trucks and a giant crane to try and attempt this incredible feat and get it done in time for Christmas to surprise the homeowners...
This homeowner had one simple request: to make his backyard better than his neighbor's yard that we had finished before! We started brainstorming exactly how to do this. First we started out with different paver textures that creates a subtle visual appeal to the whole space. The landscaping is filled with plants of different heights that bloom at different times so the foliage and shrubbery will look good all year long. Finally we added on a water feature with low-voltage lighting to complete the back.
As some projects go, the design began to evolve as we continued building the project. We added a few different elements, moved a maple tree, and lit it up in a big way. As we incorporated a lot of different elements, the front yard began to stand out - tastefully, of course - in their neighborhood.
To cap it all off, we had one final thought...
There's not much that hasn't changed about this backyard! When the wetland buffer was moved the possibilities opened up, and we've made quite the transformation at this home in the Cypress Creek neighborhood of Smithfield.
First up is the Forno Bravo pizza oven, which required some interesting modifications to keep the inside as hot as possible and insulated well.
Supply chain delays are a dreaded part of our post-2020 world that continue to impact us today and while we try to finish projects as quickly as possible, sometimes the situation is out of our control. That was the case for this Yorktown home, but our main focus was to make the backyard one worth waiting for...and thankfully we were able to deliver!
Some of our projects are in big, wide-open spaces...and then some are like this one in Newport News, Virginia, which boasts a grand total of 750 square feet in the backyard. We knew it would be challenging to create a full design in a tiny space, but we also had some big ideas and a lot of experience making seemingly impossible dreams come true.
Catalytic converter thefts have been rising steadily over the years, and we got hit for the second time recently. The thief took our converter along with four boxes of equipment. This time, though, we used an Apple AirTag to track down its location and catch the thief. Here's how it all played out...
Break out the tissues, because this is by far our most emotional video yet...
This couple was just like you and I - living their lives, trying to save money, and enjoying their marriage when an unexpected cancer diagnosis took them by complete surprise. They started to re-evaluate how they were spending their time and money, and realized that their outside space was creating stress instead of enjoyment. It's exactly the kind of transformation we love to take on.
What started as an afterthought or a luxury - a backyard they could love - became a high priority, and that's where we stepped in...
This homeowner was, quite simply, tired of staring at the same old giant plot of grass in his backyard day after day, month after month. He's in the same situation a lot of people find themselves currently: working from home full-time. While there are some awesome perks of working from the home office, there are some definite drawbacks. After all, who wants to get tired of being in their own house?
The good news is that we had a massive plot of land and a built-in beautiful water view at this space in Lanexa to create something spectacular. We began to hatch a plan...
When we started working on the outdoor set for the Hampton Roads Show at WAVY TV 10, we knew there were three critical elements: the fire pit, an outdoor kitchen, and of course some lighting and landscaping to complete the look. After talking with the producers, though, we decided to surprise them with one more addition...
We're incredibly excited for this next project, because we get to build outdoor TV set for WAVY10! They will use this new space to host the Hampton Roads show, present weather in real-time, and report the news outside when possible. So what's in this exciting new area? Let's take a look...
Does the sloped yard and water run-off problems ruin our project?!
We faced some pretty big obstacles at this house in the heart of the Ford's Colony Williamsburg neighborhood, and we had to come up with answers. Here's what we did...
When the heavy rains come to Virginia, they can really wreak havoc on the backyard! Fortunately we had a lot of grading to do anyways, so all the extra mud will be cleaned out and we can leave everything back in its perfect condition.
This was a very complete project so it took some time to make everything not only look good but flow smoothly throughout the space, and we actually finished with a walkway leading to the backyard from the front of the house so there would be an easy way to get to the good stuff. And if you're wondering, there was a LOT of good stuff to get to...
We started out with our favorite kind of yard: one with absolutely NOTHING in it from the start! It's a blank slate for us, and we were excited to get to work.
The first thing we're adding is a pavilion, patio, and fire table with a burner in the center. Next to it will be a large circular seating area, and behind that is going to be one incredible hot tub covered with a pergola and curtains for a little privacy. On the other side we're installing a large outdoor kitchen, which is going to be pretty incredible for a few reasons...
We started out with nothing but a hole in the yard, and now we have a complete backyard ecosystem nestled away in the Running Man neighborhood of Yorktown. It's incredible what is tucked away back here, and we want to walk you through the whole space.
It all begins with a rain barrel, where water falls into an Aquascape skimmer box then enters a rain garden filled with perennials that will soon become a spot of beauty when the plants begin to bloom. Any excess water overflows into a dry well and eventually drains out to the street in case of excess water. And that's just the beginning...
We're so excited to start work at this brand new neighborhood in Newport News that's not even listed on Google Maps yet! Right now we're in the process of unloading material to begin construction on this backyard, which needs some work and a lot of additions to make it friendly for outdoor living! Luckily that's our specialty, so here's what we did...
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!