Updated: Dec 19, 2023
We are rounding third base and ready to bring this project home! Once the design was finalized and the product selections were complete, it was time to start the install!
Up until now, it was fun to tweak the design and flip through Belgard catalogs, but it was at this point that we really began to feel the pressure of bringing all these different elements together. Luckily, Belgard and Oldcastle APG were with us every step of the way and provided the expertise and guidance we needed.
Putting down the base
Of course to make putting down this base possible, we had to first put up the retaining wall. We opted for the Diamond Pro retaining wall system, both for style and functionality. Without the durability of these blocks to handle larger-scale projects, we would not have been able to expand and create more than 2X the space of our previous yard—and the rough-hewn face style added that extra dimension we were looking for.
Once our wall was up, the first section we had to get right was the main layer of pavers that would provide the base for everything else; and to get that right, the grading underneath had to be spot on (don’t overlook this step or you might end up with major drainage issues)! We were very surprised to see how quickly the pavers went down—once the perimeter was laid, the crew had huge sections completed in no time.
The Dimensions 12 paver (part of Belgard’s Metropolitan collection) delivered the crisp, clean lines and smooth, linear surface that our contemporary design called for and allowed us to create various patterns in keeping with that unique look. The uniform dimensions made it seamlessly compatible with other Dimensions pavers, such as the Origins line.
After the paver installation, it was time to start building vertically! This was one specific part of the process where we were a bit concerned with how these different components would all fit together. As the pallets began to show up and multiply, it was overwhelming to see all the products, but again, we realized that this isn’t Belgard’s first rodeo. We had to trust the process and that everything would come together!
Another element of the Metropolitan collection is the Melville line—the modular fireplace, wall, and wall coping. The Melville fireplace comes standard as wood-burning fireplace but can be retrofitted for gas. And although it looks like it was hand crafted onsite, it ships fully assembled on just four pallets—you could be enjoying a cozy fire in less than an hour after it arrives!
Pairing well and complementing the fireplace is the Melville Wall, producing a modern design and providing the flexibility to be installed in a variety of different patterns for a more custom look. We opted for a more linear and matching cap for our wall, but the Melville wall coping offers other options that can accent and create a more custom appearance.
And to some texture and depth to the space above, we accented the area with the volcanic-look Basalt paver, perfectly blending with the Origins and Dimensions pavers.
Since we have multiple levels in this backyard, we used Belgard’s Landings Step, which is a perfect standalone feature, but also integrates well and is versatile enough for any hardscapes project. The consistent sizing and even bottom allows this product to be installed quickly and stably, and the smooth sides allow the steps to be laid side-by-side, while having a subtle live-edge profile for the faces.
And as we’ve mentioned before, working with the Artforms product line was a breeze. The modular design, coupled with the versatility of adapting them to any space you have, really sets this product apart.
Because we were able to cut Artforms to our specifications on site, the outdoor kitchen, shower area, and wall cladding took less than a day to install. Belgard has taken the guesswork out of this process, giving the install crew more efficiency and flexibility.
The Finishing Touches from Oldcastle APG
After the hardscapes were complete, it was time to bring in Belgard’s sister companies to complement the space. Products from PebbleTec, MoistureShield and Barrette Outdoor Living would add even more color and texture to bring this project together.
A Beautiful Pool from PebbleTec
The application of the PebbleTec pool finish was very interesting to watch! We imagined that creating a smooth pool finish would take days as the applicators meticulously troweled the corners, steps, and curves. But they were done before lunch! PebbleTec only works with authorized applicators to install their aggregate pool finishes – so they are well-trained and get the job done quickly and correctly!
The Onyx Lightstreams handcrafted glass tiles were the perfect accent to the Blue Surf Pebblesheen finish! All PebbleTec products are designed for maximum beauty – what you see on display is exactly what you get. They really made this pool shine!
The Best Decking from MoistureShield
For the composite decking, MoistureShield provided the perfect transition from pavers to deck. Their Cathedral Stone and Smokey Gray finishes blended seamlessly with our Belgard pavers. MoistureShield's composite decking was perfect for us in Texas, as it uses CoolDeck technology – which reduces heat by up to 35%! It also has a diamond defense coating to prevent scratches and impact.
We used MoistureShield’s composite decking not just for the deck, but also cladding around the outdoor kitchen. This product is so easy to work with, especially with the user-friendly MoistureShield groove and hidden fastener system. We also love that MoistureShield products are made from 95% recycled content.
Bringing It In with Barrette Outdoor Living
Finally, Barrette Outdoor Living was able to provide some much-needed closure on this project—the fence and gates (see what I did there… Sorry, I’m a dad now, and as such, I have legal rights to deliver as many dad jokes as I can muster).
Back to Barrette Outdoor Living. They provided more than just fencing and gates —they also supplied decorative panels, cable railing, a pergola and other elements that helped to fill the space and bring a sense of unity. And even though I sound like a broken record, the install process for these items was surprisingly simple, especially considering how unique these products looked. We kept waiting for the process to get harder, but it was really a matter of following a few simple steps!
All that was left was to add a little bit of turf, install the accent lighting, and stage the space with soft goods. We certainly could not have gotten this far without the support of all the Oldcastle APG companies involved, as they really helped bring this entire space to life.
We couldn’t help feeling a sense of pride and accomplishment as we looked out over our new backyard. Stay tuned for our next blog post where we show off the final reveal!