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!
A few years ago, we had the pleasure of installing a patio in this backyard in the Running Man neighborhood of Yorktown, and we were thrilled to come back to add some beauty and excitement to their outdoor space. Being environmentally conscious is important to these homeowners, and they wanted our new installation to line up with their values that were already reflected in their backyard setup.
So how did we make sure their new water feature and pond was environmentally friendly? Keep reading to find out!
Pond has a few unique features: downspout that will constantly replenish the pond. Excess water will flow into a rain garden to re-use all of our natural resources.
This is one of our shortest project recaps so far - but that doesn't take away from how cool this project is! We set about matching the homeowner's modern, contemporary style with a new backyard addition, and the results didn't disappoint.
Starting out with a Techo-Bloc 16x16 square, we added a black fire pit at the very center for an edgy look. A few additions came here and there, with a smokeless insert as well as - of course! - some lighting to accent the space.
This backyard may be simple, but as you can see it's anything but boring! Enjoy the finished work in our video and final photos of this cool space in Hampton below.
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.
As much as we love how our projects look, one often-overlooked component is that sound that a water feature can create in a backyard. Just close your eyes and listen to the sound of flowing water, then imagine what it would be like to hear that every time you open your back door. It's one big component of our desire to allow people to live life outdoors!
For this Williamsburg home, we were working to create two separate spaces for enjoyment. There was already a fire pit with a seating wall, but the flow of the yard wasn't quite right, and we had to add a water feature as well. Here's how we made the transformation.
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...
The pool in this Yorktown home started out as a mess - between rain, mud, and all the elements, there was a lot of cleanup to do! Luckily we got to work with River Pools for this project. They laid down some 57 gravel to mitigate the mud, making sure there was a sump pump and plenty of drainage to prevent any future issues with excess water beside or underneath the pool.
At that point we stepped in to add some curves and lines to the space along with a simple pool deck and patio. Since there is a koi pond already in their backyard, we extended the pavers from the pool right to the edge of the pond for a continuous backyard flow.
Watch the video and scroll through the pictures to see this messy transformation!
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've finished this pool update in Hampton, and added on a lot of character in the meantime! This house's smaller backyard already had a pool installed, but started showing some major wear and tear. With concrete and drainage issues, plus the homeowner's desire to add a little pizzazz, we were called in to provide some upgrades and fix what was broken...and add a little fun on top of that with a mini putting green!
So what were the major changes?
What is a wetland filter and why is it so important?
One of the main elements in our Virginia Zoo project is the wetland filter, which allows all of the life in this ecosystem to exist. From how we built biomimicry into the design to how we use Aqua-Blocs and our methods of making all the construction have as minimal of an impact as possible, this video sums it all up.
Find out all about the wetland filter and see it in action at the Virginia Zoo!
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?
The space at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk is starting to look green - and that's for a good reason! We're using all kinds of greenery, from crab apple trees and more, to make this a welcoming home for our turtle friends, and the space is quickly coming together.
Watch to see how we're using trees, shrubs, greenery, and even crab apple trees to facilitate this new turtle habitat.
Big projects require a lot of material, and this one is no exception. In fact, we are using over one MILLION pounds of material to create the new turtle habitat at the Virginia Zoo, including:
100 tons of gravel
820,000 pounds soil
60,000 pounds of gravel used for bedding
153,000 pounds of boulders...
As we build out the turtle habitat at the Virginia Zoo, we wanted to introduce you to the turtles that will live here! First up is a construction update, and then we get to the main point. Because I don't know that much about turtles, I decided to interview one of the zoo keepers, a turtle specialist, about exactly what we'll need to make this the perfect turtle haven.
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.
Believe it or not, the apron is the most critical part of a driveway. It absorbs the shock from cars that drive in and out, stop and wait, and bump off the curb. Because of this, it also needs to be the sturdiest part of the structure, so we pay extra attention to making it perfect and long-lasting. We talked about this and more in Part 1, so jump over and watch it if you haven't already!
After solving the driveway issues, we knew we need to add a little something more...
In Phase 2 of our Virginia Zoo project in Norfolk, we're working on the intake bay that ultimately becomes the center of this turtle habitat. First, we had to fill up the tank with gravel and soil to make the filtration system work. This gravel - and the wood we installed - will create a more realistic habitat for the turtles.
After the initial clean-out was completed, we started on the next big task: installing the wetland filter with four ponds that lead to an intake bay. This intake bay will be vital, since any debris from the trees and wildlife surrounding the habitat will flow into it, allowing for easy clean-up so the area does not quickly become a mess. The base of this pond area is two different kinds of soil with fabric to help keep everything in place.
Next up, we'll finish the pier and allow the gate to open. Part 3 coming soon, so stay tuned! Watch the video to see our progress and what's coming next.
When we originally wrapped up this backyard pool project in the Cypress Creek neighborhood of Smithfield, we thought we were done. We had built as much as was allowed by the environmental approvals we obtained, and the homeowners loved their space. But we were pleasantly surprised when we got a call...
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...
We're building a 3,500 square foot paver driveway! It's a tall order, especially in Yorktown, which often features groundwater issues among a host of other things. We had to approach this one knowing we could find a solution, even if we weren't sure exactly what it would be at first.
To solve the groundwater problem we decided to utilize geogrid, a material that can be used to reinforce soil and other materials like it. We used open grade construction with a combination of woven fabric, different sizes of round gravel, geogrid, and pavers laid on top for a solid base. Along the way we had to remove an aggregate walkway and add a condensation line with plenty of drainage.
But we couldn't stop there, because we knew this driveway needed a little flair...
What's going on at the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk? Well, there's always a lot happening...and this time, we have something to do with it! This current space we are working on is the old entrance to the Sea Lion exhibit, which no longer exists. Clearly, the area is overgrown and needs some work, which is where we're stepping in!
Working at the Virginia Zoo is different than in a traditional backyard. We set out to employ a technique called bio mimicry...
The beginning of a project often looks like a lot of demolition, but envisioning how the final project will look when it's done keeps us motivated to work hard! This little spot of paradise in Williamsburg already has beautiful landscaping throughout the backyard, so we wanted to add to what was already there by making the space even more welcoming.
We wanted to create a backyard paradise at this home in Yorktown, but with 1200 square feet of pavers, we had a lot to do - and a lot to work with! The first step was to add some additional privacy with a fence and landscaping that includes green giant arbor trees to create a little separation from the neighbors.
The main event is the River Pools swimming pool, where we added some curves, colors, and textures to make the space pop. Since kids will be visiting this backyard a lot, we added a water wall both for beauty and to create a 'natural' diving board - we can promise it will be used over and over again! On the side for the adults is a hot tub surrounded by a stone wall, so the grown ups can relax while the kids play.
And believe it or not, this is only phase 1...
This backyard design in Yorktown is going to feature almost everything: columns, walls, outdoor lights, and a fire pit, all in about a 450 sq foot space. The key with smaller spaces like these is making sure that the elements are both cohesive and unique, so we set about making that happen within the constraints we had.
One day we did this was by laying the pavers at different angles to highlight the fire pit, which you can see below in the video and slideshow. We added a few other touches as well...
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!