Holiday Escapes: Beautiful Driveway and Backyard Designs

Estate style driveway with matching pilasters by Genesis Stoneworks.

Long weekends like the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday take people outside. I like to think of them as an exodus from office chairs and television screens, to sunshine and BBQ chicken with friends.

However, the view may be startling for some.  Un-kept lawns, cracking driveways, and cluttered patios can easily put a damper on high spirits.  Rather than spend yet another long weekend watching home remodeling shows, why not take action!?

Consider a change.  Winter is an excellent time for remodeling.  Social events gravitate towards warmer months of the year, and Southern California winters are dry.  These factors make for great opportunities to make big changes during these “slow” months.

With start to finish times as fast as two days, Genesis could transform your home into an enviable paradise faster than your Amazon book arrives.  Let Genesis turn a cluttered patio into a resort style escape! How about transforming that embarrassing driveway into an elegant approach!?

New research in permeable paving stones and heat island effects show that interlocking paving can even benefit Mother Earth.  Excess run-off from landscape irrigation or seasonal rain storms can cause erosion and water contamination. Permeable paving counteracts this by filtering excess water through sand and gravel sub-grade, which removes contaminants and limits run-off volume.  Choosing light colored stone helps to battle the heat island effect on a micro scale.  By choosing interlocking paving over asphalt, the property stays cooler.  This is because dark-colored materials absorb more solar energy, getting hot, and stay hot long into the evening.  Light colored interlocking paving reflects that solar energy and keeps the property cooler.

Genesis Stoneworks specializes in outdoor remodels for driveways, patios, and even landscaping.  With 10,000 satisfied clients and counting, you’ll be working with someone who knows how to create the most beautiful version of your home.

To schedule a free estimate, call Genesis toll free at 888.389.5533, or visit our free estimate page.  Don’t settle for another weekend inside, make the exodus into a more beautiful life today.

Grand Theft Paver: Deputies Arrest Alleged Hardscape Theif

On Tuesday December 11 2012, Rachel L. McCarty of Reddick, FL arrived home from work and hit a big bump in her driveway. She got out of her car and discovered approximately 300 square feet of her driveway gone. She had not authorized anyone to remove the driveway, and didn’t know who would have targeted her for such a crime. She called the police and reported the crime immediately, but the ordeal didn’t stop there. Continue reading “Grand Theft Paver: Deputies Arrest Alleged Hardscape Theif”

Rainwater Collection Systems for Driveways

Image via Juni, from Kyoto Japan on Wikimedia Commons.

Rain purifies the air, and cleanses the ground. It can be polite, or a terrible force of nature to be feared. New hardscape designs always include a drainage plan, and installers meticulously carry out those plans.

On a driveway, rain combined with improper drainage leads to erosion and possibly even wash outs. These unacceptable safety hazards drive the meticulous nature of designers and installers when it comes to drainage plans. I consider this to be a reactive behavior in construction. Continue reading “Rainwater Collection Systems for Driveways”

Natural Stone Patios and Driveways: Thoughts on Design and Installation for Homeowners

As a design and installation company, Genesis sees a lot of driveways. We recently just hit our 10,000th job! Most of those hardscape projects incorporate manufactured concrete pavers, but every once in a while we meet a customer who wants something different, natural stone paving.

Man-made concrete paving stones offer thousands of color combinations, 8000 psi pressure ratings, and nearly a dozen local manufacturers. However, natural stone can offer a different aesthetic than man-made stone, to dramatically change the feel of a property.

Here are several factors to consider when choosing natural stone for outdoor use:

Load Strength

Depending on the type of traffic in the paved area, different kinds of base must be used to protect the stone from cracking in the future. High load areas, such as a front driveway where cars are frequently parked, should be installed with a concrete slab under the natural stone. This slab protects the brittle natural stone from pressure by vehicle tires. Light load areas like a back walkway can be sand-set. The time saved in sand-setting shows up in the final cost of the project. Continue reading “Natural Stone Patios and Driveways: Thoughts on Design and Installation for Homeowners”

San Diego Outdoor BBQ & Backyard Remodel

The image featured in the previous post, Outdoor BBQ: Living Out of Doors, was taken at a San Diego project Genesis recently completed. Pleased with project, we decided to make a video showcasing the project. I hope this is the first of many “Design Portfolio” slideshows which we feature in our online media.

Enjoy the video below and feel free to check out the project page on houzz.com.

http://www.houzz.com/projects/123688/San-Diego-Backyard-Pool-Remodel

Request a free estimate on your outdoor remodeling and design project by calling us toll free at 888.389.5533, or visiting our free estimate page.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3AAkMQVdtQ]

Outdoor BBQ: Living Out of Doors

 

Outdoor BBQ and Patio Design by Genesis

Ever feel like there’s an old friend you keep forgetting to call? Someone you would visit often as a child? I’m here to tell you you’re not crazy. It’s the sun. And he misses you.

So many individuals spend the majority of their weeks indoors. They get ready for work inside, drive inside their cars to work, then sit at a desk all day, to come home and watch TV inside on the couch at night. Some people only see the sun long enough to walk to and from their cars between places where they sit inside.

The solution is transitioning into an outdoor lifestyle. The beginning of this is eating outside. In this blogger’s opinion, the spaces where we eat define our lives. Some people choose to eat in front of their televisions, while other eat by their computers. Few families gather for nightly meals around the dinner table, and still other people eat in their cars and are constantly on the run.

While “inside” is safe and comfortable, the fresh air and adventure exists out of doors. Choosing to eat one meal a week outside can change the tone of that entire week, making work more productive and television more entertaining. Outdoor barbecues are a great way to start this outdoor lifestyle. Break the weekly routine with an outdoor dinner party with friends and family!

Check out this backyard we renovated in San Diego, featuring a natural stone theme. It includes a swimming pool remodel, retaining walls, and fully paved deck and yard. This customized outdoor living space shows how a yard can become a resort. With this level of outdoor amenities, transitioning into an active outdoor lifestyle will be a breeze.

The natural stone theme of this home gives the feeling of nature with all the comforts of home. The crystal blue pool compliments the raised BBQ/ kitchen area and tells a story of many wonderful Summers to come. So, what are you waiting for? The sun is waiting.

Request a free in-home estimate today by calling Genesis toll free at 888.389.5533, or visiting our free estimate page.

 

Custom Pool Designs

Who wants to be a copy cat?

Pool Design by Genesis

When you choose to install or remodel a swimming pool, you’ve decided you want something different. It’s different than the existing yard, but also different from the other yards in your community. You’ve got a vision, and want someone to bring it to life (and possibly even spice it up a bit).

You’ve come to the right blog! Genesis has been an outdoor-remodel design company since 1993, including both pool installs and remodels. Not only does Genesis provide professional designs, but also the construction experience and knowledge to execute the design. Inexperienced designers can overlook pivotal, yet small, issues in the design process. Some of these issues include the heat island effect, traction of the deck surface, and planning for future landscaping or construction additions.

Dark pavement gets hot quickly, and radiates heat into the yard. Called the “heat island” effect, a surplus of paved areas can raise the temperature of the home by 5-7 degrees F. The scientific reason for this phenomenon includes the albedo rating of the paving material. Albedo means solar-reflectivity, and lighter paving material is more reflective. You can read more about albedo and solar-reflectivity on this article: Environmental Benefit Of Interlocking Pavers. With interlocking pavers, the home owner can choose a beautiful blend of light colored stones, getting the full benefit of high albedo ratings without sacrificing on aesthetic beauty.

Pool Design and Installation by Genesis

Interlocking concrete stones also offer superior traction, even when wet. Because of their modular nature, the edges of the stones provide a great textural rhythm for maintaining grip.

Paving stones also lend themselves to future construction and additions unlike any other paving material. When a utility line below the pavement surface must be accessed in order to lay new plumbing for landscaping, the stones can simply be “unzipped”. Concrete must be cut with a saw or jackhammer, creating an awful mess and noise. Also, paving stones can be seamed with future paved areas or additions, such as a pergola or hot tub. If you have big plans and small budget, consider creating one portion of your vision at a time. This allows you to make headway on the design, and increase the value of the property. By choosing Genesis for this work, you’re building a relationship with professional who understands this crucial investment for your home.

To schedule a free in-home estimate, call Genesis at 888.389.5533 toll free, or visit our free estimate page.

Driveway Pavers Installation

The difference between a professional construction team, and an amateur ‘weekend warrior’ is obvious. Detail.

Consider the photo depicted in figure 1. When there’s limited access to install a back patio or walkway, sometimes the only solution is a straight line. The straight line can lead right through the front and rear exits of the home.

When Genesis consults on a project, access represents a key concern. Pricing and the time-table of the project depend heavily on the distance between crew vehicles and supplies and the paved area. Our goal is to get your home back to 110% as soon as possible, and sometimes this means unconventional measures.

Special Access Project
[Figure 1] This project required special access through the home to reach a back patio.

In figure 1 left, the crew’s only access leads right through the home. To protect against damage and dirt, Genesis developed a specific technique for through-the-home access. In figure 1, notice the tarp covering the floor, nearby cabinets, and furniture. This ensures not dirt, dust, or pebbles touch the residence. Temporary plywood flooring above the tarp further protects from grime and scratches.

Upon project completion, the crew rolls up the tarp and reveals the spotless condition of the pathway. It’s like Genesis was never even there, except for the beautiful new outdoor feature that neighbors will envy for years to come. This writer recommends inviting the neighbors over to gloat, I mean dinner.

For all your outdoor remodeling visions, contact Genesis today. Many members of our design team have been with us for 15 years or more, so we have the experience needed to raise your expectations of your property. Allow us to surprise you. For a free estimate, call toll free 888.389.5533 or visit our free estimate page.

Showcase: Bishop’s Hat Paving Pattern

Bishop's Hat Paving Stone
[Figure 1] Bishop’s Hat Paving Stone
In today’s product showcase, we focus on Bishop’s hat stone. A unique block with five sides, the angular stones create striking patterns and brilliant contrasts. This versatile stone posses an integral part of the designer’s handbook. The asymmetrical stone opens design possibilities, is readily available from most major manufacturers, and offers a long history of design and installation use. This article outlines why bishop’s hat pavers will be around for years to come.

In Figure 2 below, we see several alternate patterns for bishop’s hat stone. Often combined with an 8″x8″ square block, the asymmetrical symmetry of this stone stands apart from other rectangular bricks. The running bond pattern on the far right doesn’t utilize 8×8 stones to complete the pattern, but the two patterns on the left are only 2 of the options available when subsidizing with differently shaped stones.

Bishop's Hat Patterns Graphic
[Figure 2] Bishop’s Hat Pattern samples

Each manufacturer offers alternate installations specs and patterns for bishop’s hat stone. For designers and home owners, this opens a wide range of highly unique patterns. Rather than reinvent the wheel, designers can pick a pattern which meets their guidelines and client taste. There’s a reason why manufacturers offer pattern schematics, because they work.

[Figure 3] Bishop’s Hat Stone on Pool Deck

The many pattern combinations of bishop’s stone exceed the options provided in Figure 2 above. Unique color combinations further extend the options of this diverse product. When designing with 8×8 squares, consider accenting with alternate high contrast colors for the squares. Figure 3 below demonstrates one possible combination for a beautifully designed pool deck. Many manufacturers offer unique color blends and finishes for bishop’s hat stone, just another benefit of high competition in the concrete block manufacturing game.

Bishop’s hat pavers prove time and again a crux for hardscape designers everywhere. With wide support from the manufacturing community, replacement stones will be readily available in the unlikely event of cracking or stains. Give us a call and see how we can use bishop’s hat to beautify your property. Remodeling outdoor spaces since 1993, Genesis excels in bringing visions to life. Call 888.389.5533 for a free in-home consultation, or visit our free estimate page.

Paving a Steep Driveway

Steep Driveway Paving Graphic
[Figure 1]
Steep Driveway Paving Graphic

Steep hillsides pose some of the most difficult challenges to driveway paving installers.

If not installed correctly, natural forces and seasonal weather could cause the driveway to fail. These failures not only damage the driveway, but also any structures or vehicles down-slope of the failure.

Several construction techniques ensure the driveway lasts for years to come. Figure 1 above outlines several of the features including reinforced concrete headers, geo-textile, and drainage mats to protect against erosion from seasonal rains.

Reinforced concrete headers hold up-hill pavers in place, while reducing forces on downhill soil and pavers. The entire driveway is set on a layer of compacted subsoil and class two base, but these concrete headers extend below both these foundations. An independent layer of base supports this rebar-enforced header. This crushed granite foundation ensures water or moister won’t affect the header, and also protect against soil movement.

On the uphill side of this header is a drainage mat to protect against erosion from seasonal rains. A combination of geo-textile and plastic matting. This feature directs water away from the driveway towards a drainage gutter. If water is NOT directed off the driveway, the flow can accelerate and wash joint sand from driveway stones. Once the joint sand is washed away and water begins flowing under stones, driveway failure is eminent. Drainage mats, along with a few installation trade secrets, protects the driveway from destructive water flow. Furthermore, this water runoff can be collected and used for landscaping in the future. Some technologies that collect this runoff are rain barrels and detention basins with water safe plants.

Geo-textile materials also increase the endurance and lifespan of steeply sloped driveway installations. While air and moisture pass freely through the material, soil, roots, and pests have difficulty passing through this barrier. This ensures the pavers remain level years after installation. The geo-textile also helps prevent soil movement and keeps silt out of the crushed granite base.

[Figure 2] Steeply sloped driveway installation by Genesis
Genesis prides itself in displaying it’s technical success in steeply graded paving projects. Licensed heavily enough to build cities (see list below), Genesis is more than prepared to take on challenging projects like the driveway in Figure 2. With the experience, man power, and certifications to serve, we’d love to bid on your project! For a free in-home consultation call us at 888.389.5533, or visit our free estimate page.

Lic# 758056:  A-General Engineering, B-General Building, C29-Masonry, C27-Landscaping, C53-Swimming Pools, C61-Interlocking Paving, C1-Electrical, D06-Concrete Related Services.