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.
Summer is the perfect time to transform your backyard into a relaxing oasis, and what better way to do that than by building your own patio? However, the idea of a DIY patio may seem daunting, especially with the horror stories of uneven surfaces and weed-infested cracks. But don’t worry, with a few practical tips, you can create a beautiful and functional patio that will enhance your outdoor space and make your summer dreams come true.
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.
We’re taking a look at our top five favorite backyard transformations and sharing some of the coolest features from each design. We’ve got everything from a tropical paradise with a poolside waterfall, to a modern oasis with lots of clean lines and an epic plunge pool. Keep reading to find out more about our favorite backyard makeovers.
If the American flags around our office don’t give it away, we’re patriots here at Easton Outdoors.
When we got the call about helping a disabled veteran by building a patio and outdoor space for his new home, a place where he could get outside with his family and just enjoy being out in nature, we jumped at the chance.
This opportunity came from the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, who is partnering with Wayne Harbin Builders to build a brand new smart home for a disabled veteran right here in the Toano, Virginia, area. Not only did we get to be a part of the undertaking, but there were actually several local businesses and partners who pitched in to make this project happen, which we’ll talk more about later on!
The centerpiece for this modern backyard transformation on the Southside in Virginia Beach was a pergola. Our clients wanted a space where they could get out and enjoy their yard all year long, so we did some research and decided to try a new brand of pergola that was beautiful, sleek, modern… and also MISSING for several months!
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!
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.
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.
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...
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'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 are working with Wayne Harbin Builders in Williamsburg, a company that builds beautiful custom homes in the area. We work with them to provide landscaping, install water features, and making the outside look as incredible as the inside will when the homeowners step into their new house. In this Ford's Colony home, we did a pathway and landscaping in front with lighting as well as a patio and steps in the back.
We stepped into this Yorktown home with a backyard where we've already built a few extras, including a pergola, columns, and pavers. However, along with the good there was the not-so-good, including an old deck that had to be torn out and replaced with something much better. The deck fell apart when the grading itself fell back towards the house, causing water issues and damage beyond repair. Luckily, we got the call and stepped out to get it fixed and looking good again!
We covered some of these details in Part 1, but this is a project that we have been involved with for much longer than we anticipated! Long story short, when the wetland buffer behind the Cypress Creek neighborhood in Smithfield got moved, the possibilities opened up for these clients, and we all got right to planning what we would add to a beautiful backyard pool.
One big change we started with was the actual pave color. Instead of having to apply new stain themselves, we suggested these homeowners opt for a new, chocolate border around the pool to make the space pop. At the same time, though, we needed to make sure Phase 1 and 2 were cohesive. Nobody wants to look at a backyard and see exactly where one project ended and another one began! Plus, there was one more key element to add...
Working with budgets is a big part of our project design, and we understand that projects have to fit within your means and budget, even if we have to get a little creative to make everything happen! This homeowner in Chesapeake set a budget of $15,000 and emphasized the need to stay at that number - so, along with creating a beautiful outdoor space for her, that was at the top of our minds!
Here's how it turned out.
We love building big, beautiful spaces, but sometimes it's the simple, cozy ones that meet a homeowner's needs exactly. This smaller project in the Eagle Harbor neighborhood of Carrollton is just that - a quiet space to entertain a few friends or just enjoy as the evenings get cooler and the backyard blooms continue to grow.
As with any project, no matter the size, there was a challenge: with no door, how would they enjoy their space?
Sometimes our projects involve a lot of installation, and sometimes we're connecting the dots with what is already in the backyard. This fun job in Yorktown is the latter! We always love working with a good River Pools installation, and this one is no exception. The backyard pool features 57 gravel and creates the perfect setup for what we're going to add.
You already saw part 1 of this project when we began to create a backyard paradise at this Williamsburg home, and now we're thrilled to show you the final results. This little slice of heaven is tucked away amidst already-beautiful landscaping, and our goal was to create a space where the homeowners could truly enjoy what was already growing right in their backyard.
The basic outline of the area was to add pavers with a stair landing, water feature, fire pit, and - of course - a small but beautiful water feature. The curved staircase leads down from the new landing straight to a grill, perfect for backyard cookouts. The fire pit, centered among the pavers, has some added features - a wood grain look and smokeless insert - that will make this space perfect for those outdoor summer evenings spent with friends.
And that's not all...
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!