Recently I was hanging out with Fred, our trusty mannequin friend, and we stumbled upon a conversation about Shaq's pond. Now, let me tell you, it was a bit one-sided and honestly a tad boring. But then we had an idea! We thought, maybe you guys haven't seen the full glory of Shaq's pond and its surroundings. So, we decided to take you on a little adventure to show you what went into constructing this magnificent pond and some of the headaches the team faced along the way.
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.
In the heart of Georgia, legendary basketball player and philanthropist Shaquille O'Neal found himself in need of major help. After an unsuccessful attempt by Shaq's team to build a second pond on their own, Aquascape answered the call for help. The project, completed in just ten days, required a massive workforce to meet Shaq's tight schedule. The dedicated team of Certified Aquascape Contractors set out to create an epic recreational pond in time to surprise Shaq for Father’s Day, but heavy rains and erosion threatened to ruin all of their hard work...
With a ticking clock and the pressure to impress, this is the story of how we came together with Aquascape to build a monumental pond fit for the big man himself—a Shaq-sized pond.
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!
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...
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!