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”
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:
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”
Looking to create a beautiful outdoor space for your home and family? Don’t want to settle for a simple potted plant? Great! Genesis is here to help. We’ve been designing outdoor spaces since 1993, and we love creating outdoor patios.
A back patio carries a huge amount of potential for a home. This space can be accessorized to become an extension of the home as an “outdoor room”, or a stand-alone space with specific uses. To achieve the “outdoor room” consider a design which links the visual style and space with the adjoining rooms inside the house. A simple solution is a ‘glass wall’ without curtains or blinds and a large sliding glass door. A pergola can be constructed around the patio to guard against sun in the Summer and rain in the Winter season. It’s also important to match color, texture, and architecture style; varnished wood to varnished wood, blue accents, and even furniture styles can connect two spaces. Continue reading “Outdoor Patio Designs: The Devil is in the Details”
The Rumford Fireplace was invented in 1796 by Count Rumford. He designed them to be the most efficient residential wood burning fireplace in the world, and for 200 years the record still stands.
Count Rumford’s success in this fireplace design, along with several other inventions including a new naval signalling strategy, earned him a knighthood and position as a Count of the Holy Roman Empire.
These beautiful wood burning fireplaces live either inside the home, or as an element of an outdoor entertainment area. Heavily depending on masonry skill for assemblage, Genesis loves installing these fireplaces. Take a look at some of the photos below to see why. It’s a classic style, colonial ingenuity, and expert craftsmanship in a trinity of wood heating.
What makes the fireplace “work” is the idea of increased airflow through the chimney. Conventional fireplaces leave wide open space above the flame, allowing cold air to mix with the hot air from the flame. This creates turbulence and back-flow, and smoke begins to leak from the chimney into the room or living area.
A Rumford fireplace solves this problem by reducing the space above the fire to a narrow opening, which does not open until the top of the chimney. The hot air from the fire heats the clay chimney bricks, creating even more air flow. The shallow base brings the back wall closer to the fireplace, and the radiant heat from the flames disperse into the room more easily. Not only do Rumford fireplaces burn cleaner, they also burn hotter.
Gas burning Rumford’s also work like a charm, capitalizing on the style of the masonry and efficiency of natural gas. The principles behind the wood burning stoves hold true with natural gas, fumes from the fire stream through the efficient chimney system, while heat radiates throughout the space. The only question left is which stone patterns and colors to choose!
Pre-manufactured hearths guarantee that quality standards are met, while also cutting installation costs. Genesis takes pride in the outdoor entertainment area’s we’ve created over the years, and highly recommend the use of pre-manufactured Rumford fireplaces for outdoor heating. Allow us to create a Rumford stove and surprise you with its efficiency and style.
To view more examples of beautiful Rumford fireplaces, visit rumford.com. Jim Buckley is an expert in these stoves. Then come on back and get your free estimate on installation and design by Genesis!
Call us today for a free in-home consultation at 888.389.5533, fill out our free estimate form online, or email us at info at genesisstoneworks.com. We’d love to design your outdoor paradise.
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.
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.
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.
We searched our image database to bring you some of the most interesting patio designs that incorporate natural stone designs. Natural stone, while very beautiful, can also be more expensive than manufactured stone. To provide the best service to our customers, we often suggest natural appearing stone or using natural stone as an accent to concrete pavers.
Take a look at these photos and let us know what you think in the comments section below. Hope you enjoy!
Genesis is a home remodeling specialist serving Southern California since 1993. For a free in-home consultation call us at 888.389.5533, or visit our free estimate page.
For decades the American Dream demanded white picket fences, green lawns, and gentle rays of sunshine behind dripping glasses of icy lemonade. That’s day number one. On day number two, a neighborhood kid runs a bicycle into the fence and scratches it. Day number three, termites move into the exposed wood under the scratch. Day number four finds you out in the scorching Summer sun replacing segments of wooden fence just to wait for the next repair. Dreams become nightmares far too easily. That’s why Genesis recommends Vinyl Fencing for high traffic areas.
Alternative: set up a white picket fence, without ever worrying about maintenance. Scratches, fading, pests, and even water won’t destroy these panels.
This relatively young innovation, first created in the 1960s, preserves the classic American look so many people enjoy without problems of wood fencing. Options range between perimeter fencing, privacy fence, and even sophisticated gate segments. Each fence can be topped with lattice, post caps, and other decorative elements. The most prominent benefits of the synthetic fence panels are the material’s ability to resist fading and scratching. Through-color construction and UV resistance mean the panels retain their original colors even in the event of a deep cut or scratch.
Interlocking concrete pavers are beautiful and dynamic. Well designed outdoor spaces with good color and pattern selection can be absolutely stunning. This home, right, is a great example. Paving stones also endure the elements better than almost any other paving material applied today. They simply last.
However, there is one aspect of pavers that can change with time. As dust, routine traffic, and hard water work on the pavers the original colors can fade and tarnish. A quick power-washing often revitalizes the paving stones by removing embedded dust. What happens when the pavers are stained with oil or rubber? How do you keep dirt from the pavers in the first place?
Enter paver sealant.
A powerful product, solvent based sealant was used for years to protect driveways and patios. The coating enhances the color of the pavers, protects the stones from erosion, and also seals the stones from stains. Oil and rubber marks can simply be wiped away from sealed concrete stone. For years Genesis used this solvent based sealer with stunning results. Paved surfaces were left with a high gloss sheen that have stood the test of time.
However, recent EPA regulations have limited solvent based solutions in California. The VOC, volatile organic compound, rating for the solvent sealer was well above the new environmental standard. The only remaining product is a highly limited water-based sealant. The penetration of this water-based product is far less than the solvent-based sealer, with visibly inferior results. This caused Genesis to shy away from stone sealant altogether.
Developments in recent years, however, have allowed Genesis to offer stone sealant once again, this time water based. This new eco-friendly product reduces VOC, volatile organic compounds, in the air and penetrates deeply enough to bond well and protect the pavers.
Summary of benefits:
Enhance the color of the pavers.
Protect stones from erosion and wear.
Protect stones from stains.
Call us today to get a quote on interlocking paver sealant at 800.287.5400, or visit our contact page.
These vinyl products are engineered at the highest level of durability and beauty, giving your home the most bang for your buck. The experts at Duramax have designed these products specifically to withstand the ultraviolet rays of Southern California, one of the harshest environments for outdoor decorations. Not only do we now carry vinyl fencing, but walls, patio decks, sheds, trimming, and gazebos.
Aestheticaly pleasing, these new products can be ordered as straight vinyl, or foe wood and stone.
In addition to vinyl fencing’s incredible lightness, strength, and durability, it is also less costly than alternative products. Several qualities of vinyl products ease installation and maintenance:
First: of all no trenching is required; the products are engineered hollow to cut down on weight, but also with internal structural supports that increase strength.
Second: repairs to any damaged structures are only a fraction of the expense as to other decorative materials; the low weight decreases the need for bulky footings and supports.
Third: most walls are engineered with drainage systems, but vinyl has no need of this. The bulk of the structure does not rest on the ground, therefore water cannot build up and cause soil erosion. Vinyl products are simply easier to work with.
Give Genesis a toll free call at 888.389.5533 and we’d love to talk you through the new system. We will send a representative to your home to give you a consultation free of charge. No obligations and no regrets. It is your home and it deserves the best. Let us help you on the path to a richer life.
The recurring issue with purchasing a product is that you are never quite sure what you are really getting. There is always that element of risk. We here at Genesis are positive you will be pleased with our results, so we’ve done something novel; we provide an image of your finished product, before we even begin demolition.
Our photo editing software is very precise, able to match the colors and patterns you have envisioned. All you have to do is send us an image of the space, and we will generate an electronic composite. We will eliminate that element of risk and give proof that your home is worth investing in. Send us an image today and see what we can do! You will be impressed with the potential of your home…