When a local nonprofit in Newport News, Virginia asked us to create a space for their staff to reflect and find some peace and quiet, we didn't realize it was going to be quite a task. With a bus stop, cars honking nearby, along with a fire station, it was challenging to create a tranquil oasis. Our original plan was to build a 16-foot wide space on the side of the building with an 8-foot tall fence for privacy. However, just as we were finalizing the plans, we were informed by the city that it would not be allowed. Back to the drawing board!
Have you ever looked at your small backyard and thought, "There's just not enough space for anything"? Well, think again! In this backyard transformation project, we helped our client turn their tiny yard into a cozy oasis where they could work from home and unwind after a long day. With a combination of strategic planning, clever design choices, and a lot of hard work, we created a beautiful outdoor space that proved size doesn't matter when it comes to backyard dreams. So, let's dive into the step-by-step process of this remarkable transformation!
I hope you're ready for a blast from the past because today we're taking on a yard that's stuck in the 80s and giving it a major upgrade. Now, I wasn't around in the 80s, but I can definitely relate to those memories of seeing our loved ones rockin' those bright purple and yellow windbreakers with geometric shapes. Ahh, the fashion choices of yesteryear!
But let's get back to the task at hand, because I'm thrilled to share the journey of this amazing transformation with you. So, let's dive in and break down the process step by step.
Today, I want to share with you an exciting project that had us on the edge of our seats. It all started with a magnificent paver driveway we installed last year, boasting a whopping 5,500 square feet. Complete with a mesmerizing water feature, intricate inlays, and a picturesque walkway leading to the front porch, this driveway in the beautiful neighborhood of Hilton Village (Newport News, Virginia) was a true work of art. Little did we know that an even greater challenge awaited us - the installation of a 22,000 pound plunge pool. Join me as we dive (see what I did there?!) into all the details of this nerve-wracking endeavor.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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...
We've been waiting on this project for a long time, and it's finally ready for us to show off! When these homeowners first called us with their idea, we were excited, but house renovations - as they often do - went long on the timeline and the budget, so their back yard had to wait for awhile. Luckily, their beautiful view of the James River Bridge wasn't going anywhere, and we saw the potential of this incredible Hilton Village home from the first visit.
For obvious reasons, the homeowners wanted to maximize their sunset view while keeping the space kid-friendly, so we got to work with a few goals in mind.
This driveway was originally asphalt layered with gravel and it just wasn't working for these homeowners. We transformed the non-workable space into a 5500 square foot paver-style driveway complete with some extra flair.
Because we built this in Newport News, there were a few extra steps: permits, approvals, a reinforced apron, and more. We also dealt with some surprising angles to make this as friendly to driving in and out as possible and create a family-friendly space for the homeowners and their grandkids.
An outdoor kitchen can include tons of features, from a gas grill to stunning granite countertops to an ice maker built right into the design. Truly, the options are endless! For this project in the beautiful Hilton Village area of Newport News, we brainstormed with the homeowners to make sure we weren't missing anything, and in the process came up with two nice additions:
1) HD TV installed directly underneath the countertop so the homeowners and their guests can watch any station comfortably from their patio chairs.
2) Open-flame gas burner that lights easily, has multiple safety features to prevent any accidents, and adds some fire to any party.
They love the results and if we're honest, we are a little obsessed ourselves. Check out the finished product and leave a comment letting us know what YOU would add to an outdoor kitchen if you could. Dream big - the sky is the limit!
It wasn’t that long ago COVID happened. It was a bit rough. Travel was almost completely nixed. Consequently 2020 was coined The Year of the Home. Boy was it! As we entered 2021, the trend continued. We were asked many times to use the vacation budget to create a place where experiences, conversations, and life could happen steps from the living room. We happily accepted the challenge. We are honored to change the landscape around Hampton Roads, consequently changing the way our clients live outdoors.
Watch the video below to see some of our favorites, then click here for a brief review of our top 10 projects and take the opportunity to vote for YOUR favorite!
We already worked on this space near Lee Hall in Newport News last year, but then our client wanted something more. Originally, we put in...
...but if that wasn't enough, we are now adding a putting green to her backyard! Watch the video to see how we're maintaining proper drainage, installing color-changing lights for nighttime fun, different holes with different levels of difficulty, and more. We're thrilled to add a mini-golf course to her backyard...have you ever thought of doing something like that?!
At the end, you'll get a sneak peek of the finished project, along with some fun before-and-after shots.
Who knew what 2020 would bring?! It ended up being The Year of Home. I mused that since no one would be traveling to Paris or Venice this year, maybe people would put their vacation budget into their home, landscape, and outdoor spaces. While I may have meant that as a joke, it wasn't far from the truth, as few of our clients have told us.
Despite the challenges of finding supplies, manufacturers being shut down, wood prices skyrocketing, and material shortages, we had a lot of fun this year. We live to create. We enjoy the end result. We love seeing our clients live in their new space. We take pride knowing we had something to do with the memories they'll create enjoying the great outdoors.
Here are the Easton Outdoors top 10 projects for 2020!
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!