How to Use Walls in an Outdoor Space

Hardscapes aren’t just pavers underfoot. Hardscape walls can be used in outdoor spaces in many ways, from decorative walls to seating walls, retaining walls and garden walls. Plus, many times a wall can serve as more than just one of these functions.

Decorative Walls
Wall block can be used in a number of decorative ways to enhance the appeal of your outdoor space. Ask your Belgard Authorized Contractor how you can use wall block to create a custom fireplace or fire pit, a custom piece built to fit your grill, or how walls can help define a space.

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Seating Walls
Seating walls are a great way to add additional seating for your outdoor space. We love curved seating walls around the fire pit – perfect for large groups and entertaining. Outdoor pillows can add a cozy, decorative element.

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Retaining Walls
Retaining walls are an attractive solution for hilly landscapes and can provide added curb appeal when used in the front of the home.

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Garden Walls
Wall block can also be used to create garden areas. Garden walls using Belgard block give your garden structure and style.

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Privacy Walls
For homeowners looking for some extra privacy in their outdoor space, consider adding a privacy wall to rebuff inquisitive eyes and traveling noise.

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Visit Belgard.biz/request to order a complimentary Idea Book to help you get started.

Contractor’s Corner: New Products for 2013

Contractors play a pivotal role in helping homeowners bring their outdoor living visions to life. Each month, we’ll offer a Contractor’s Corner post to share tips to help our contractor partners offer even more to homeowners and their landscapes.

A new year brings new beginnings, new inspirations and new Belgard products, of course! We are excited to introduce new product offerings including Lafitt™ Grana Slab, Wellington Wall™ and Mega-Tandem™ Wall.

Lafitt™ Grana Slab
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Lafitt Grana Slab pairs sleek, contemporary style with modern durability and design innovation. This three piece modular slab features large scale units and a smooth finish, providing increased area coverage with fewer pieces and giving every outdoor space a grand appearance.

Lafitt Grana Slab, which was used in the 2012 House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year, is regionally available with plans to expand nationwide soon.

Wellington Wall™
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Wellington Wall system provides the rough-hewn appearance of hand-laid stone that will complement any hardscapes project. The versatile, multi-piece Wellington Wall system can be used to create attractive, curved or straight retaining and freestanding landscape walls and is great for use in a wide range of residential projects.

Wellington Wall can be used for either retaining or freestanding wall applications and requires no pattern for a random look. Wellington Wall is currently available in the Midwest.

Mega-Tandem™ Wall
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Belgard is launching the newest innovation in segmental retaining wall design with Mega-Tandem Wall. Mega-Tandem can be used for residential or commercial applications. Walls may be built up to 10-feet high without reinforcement and 25-feet high with reinforcement.

The face of Mega-Tandem has a texture reminiscent of natural stone. The front veneer panels are attached by connecting members to a back panel and the wall system is filled with net aggregates for structural integrity. Design versatility allows for radiuses and right angle corners with 2.5 degree setback. Mega-Tandem will be released in late spring of 2013.

Chip’s Tips: Chip Wade Answers Your Questions About Outdoor Living Areas

Belgard has partnered with home expert and TV host, Chip Wade. Throughout the year, we will be collecting your questions for Chip so he can answer your queries on your own outdoor projects.

Chip is excited to help our readers with their own projects. If you don’t see your question below, keep checking back as Chip continues to answer homeowner questions throughout the year. Here are his tips:

We have a one-story brick ranch home with a wooden deck, and we’ve always wanted to build a patio out from the deck to give us more outdoor living area and space for a Jacuzzi. I retired last month and finally have the time to enjoy this space, but I’m concerned about mixing brick with brick and the wooden deck. How do you think those two go together, and do you have any recommendations for what we should do to get started?
– Catherine W.

A wood deck can be nice, but it takes a lot of maintenance, especially if you are not using premium exotic hardwoods, which can be extremely expensive and still require maintenance.  You can stain the wood to match the deck, again that is that maintenance issue that will come up every year to protect your investment.  Putting in a hardscape with pavers might give you a little more peace of mind in the maintenance category.  Pavers outlast any decking, and Belgard offers a variety of natural tones to complement any existing color scheme, even brick.

We recently put an addition on our house to expand our kitchen. In order to free up space for that, we pulled up the old patio. Now we are going to lay a new patio. I’d like to reuse the bricks from the old one if we can. Is that a good idea? If so, is there anything we can do to keep the grass and weeds from growing up between the bricks like they did in our old patio?
– Kara W.

This can be a good idea if the bricks are in good shape, if there are enough of them, and if they are thick enough. I would recommend using the bricks potentially as an accent, and use another material that is more suited to last in a paver form that is more cost effective to install. If you properly prepare your grade and pavers with the right base, there are only a few types of plants that can successfully root in the sand. These plants are easily kept at bay with the bimonthly spray of weed killer.

Three years ago we bought a home on Florida’s west coast. It had a concrete lanai with a small concrete patio outside, and we added large concrete pavers to make the patio area larger. The concrete lanai has a design in it and there are several cracks, so it needs a facelift. What we’d like to do is put smaller pavers over the entire area. Can we do this, even though there are two different bases? And, can we use an adhesive instead of sand? I don’t want sand inside my lanai, and I’d like the interior and exterior living spaces to be the same.
– Elaine S.

As long as the concrete is not displaced, meaning it has big cracks with the concrete being left very uneven, you can go right over the top.  You can do a crush and sand base over the concrete or you can clean the concrete thoroughly and add a bonding catalyst, then you can mortar the pavers right down to the surface. This can be a very effective way of using what is already there.

How accurate is the Belair retaining wall stone in height when you mix the three inch and the six inch block together? I am assuming the two threes match the six inch brick in height otherwise you would have a wave in the wall, correct?
– David K.

Great question. The 6” and the 3” Belair are compatible to work in combination with each other as a multi height retaining or free standing wall structure. Belair is designed to be easy-to-use and to give design flexibility. Belair Wall can be used for free standing walls or columns as well as retaining walls and even sweeping curves. It’s also a great product for terraces, raised patios and steps. Belgard has some good information and laying patterns for combination Belair Wall on their website, http://belgard.biz/belairwall.htm.

Give Your Neighbors Curb-Appeal Envy

The New Year is the perfect time to begin planning projects that will give your neighbors curb-appeal envy. Remodeling projects that improve the aesthetic of the front of your home not only raise your home’s value, but also attract the interest of potential buyers. If you’re not looking to sell anytime soon, remember that Belgard® pavers are manufactured to last a lifetime and will continue to look like new for however long you decided to stay – and in the meantime, you’ll love arriving home every day to a beautiful front yard. Here are some areas where pavers can enhance your landscape:

Driveways
Nothing makes an entrance like a driveway crafted with the distinctive elegance of pavers. Mix and match colors to “paint” your driveway, or choose one color and keep it classic and clean.

Walkways
A walkway can be designed to add atmosphere and shape while providing a clear path to visitors protecting your lawn. A walkway or path featuring a thoughtfully designed mix of paver laying patterns creates visual interest, leading the way while captivating the senses.

Steps
For extra impact, incorporate steps – a seamless match to walkways. Belgard offers a variety of natural, smooth-step pavers that provide another dimension to your scenery. Welcome your guests with an entrance they can adore while they wait for you to answer the door!

Retaining Walls
Retaining walls add variety and create interest in your home landscape. Retaining walls are also the perfect complement to colorful gardens. Walls give your landscape structure and allow you to be creative with textures and colors.

Contact your local Belgard dealer to start planning your project today.

Warming Cool Nights: Add A Belgard Fire Feature

Pure beauty: Belgard Elements fire pit & water feature

As summer starts to dwindle down, kids go back to school and football starts up, that can only mean Fall is right around the corner. Homeowners may think being outside in the  cooler temperatures isn’t thrilling; it’s chilling. However, Belgard fire features are now becoming one of the popular trends for your outdoor living area. They extend the outdoor experience into the winter in the North, and all year long in the cooler Southern states.

Belgard fire pit

Belgard gives homeowners a variety of fire features from which to choose with their fire pit and fireplace options. Using Belgard products and an Authorized Belgard Contractor, your custom possibilites are limitless. Yet, Belgard is pleased to offer pre-made fireplace units through the Elements Collection. This collection makes it easier than ever to have a fire feature (plus coordinationg pieces – read out blog) installed on any budget – in less time. Both gas and wood burning options are available.

As for the increasingly popular fire pit, Belgard offers the highly affordable standard Weston Wall. Fire pits are easy to maintain and create a natural space for friends to congregate. Imagine the crackling of the fire, the taste of roasted marshmellows and s’mores, plus the company of friends: create special memories for years to come.

With fireplaces, each collection uses Belgard pavers and wall products so that you can create an entire space with a seamless look. The Bristol Collection combines the Arbel and Urbana pavers, providing elegance and good looks great with any landscape. The Nottingham Collection integrates BelAir Wall and tumbled paver accents. This natural appearance will have you feeling right at home. The Wexford Collection incorporates tumbled block featuring the Old World accents, which provides a rugged yet defined look to your home. See the catalog for more photos and ideas.

Nottingham Collection

Not only can you add fire features to your backyard, but why not coordinate furniture to highlight them. Think about adding Adorandock or lounge chairs for a relaxing experience. Maybe the sound of a nearby Belgard water feature will add to the mood. With Belgard, items can be added at a later time, so it’s best to discuss your full hopes and dreams with your contractor at the start of the project.

Country Manor

Fire table

With any one of these collections in your backyard, you and your family can enjoy an evening outside.  Create that intimate setting you’ve been looking for! Be Prepared for Company!

Remember when it comes to fire, think about safety first. Your contractor can help you decide the best location for installation.

Walls, pavers and fire pit by Belgard

Belgard at a Home Show Near You

Have you noticed signs about upcoming Home and Garden shows? Then you know Spring is here! Although the Northeast may have had a blistery April Fool’s Day, it is time to till the garden. Belgard has been the feature at many of the country’s largest shows. Below is a sample of the top of the line displays created for homeowners to be inspired. Double click on any photo to enlarge. Don’t forget to visit our website for inspiration.


Virginia Mid-Atlantic Show

Outdoor Kitchen Area

Garden Seat Wall

Lighting Adds Polish

Belgard’s Elements outdoor kitchen area was the main showcase. With a variety of Belgard pavers, including Old World and Arbel® Stone, plus Celtik® Wall and BelAir Wall® creating seating, and integrated lighting, you felt as though you were outdoors. You will see how Belgard pavers, plus an Elements Bristol Collection kitchen and fire place, work together. The complete look is fabulous.


Southern Spring Home & Garden Show, Charlotte, NC

Seat Walls

Contrasting Patterns

Lighting Adds Drama

The Southern Spring Home and Garden Show featured a stroll through “Belgard Gardens.” Within the Park Expo Center, a true romantic presence was felt. A circular path of Belgard’s Arbel Stone pavers and a seat wall from the double-sided Weston Collection invited you to linger. Lighting installed directly into the walls gave the beautiful landscaping a fairytale feel as well as its functional purpose, to light the path.

Mixing the paver products of Arbel and Lafitt pavers, allows two paths to come together in a carpet-like manner. One leads off through a castle gate towards a Belgard free standing Belair Wall®. Many design tips can be collected from this amazing display.


Southern Ideal Home Show, Greensboro, NC

Fire Pit, Column, Wall

Elements Kitchen

Mobile Show Room

Belgard’s Mobile Show Room parked outside the Southern Ideal Home Show. Visitors were welcomed by the Elements Bristol Collection and its unlimited possibilities of matching seat walls, cabinets, kitchens, and more.

Inside the show, Belgard Arbel® Stone pavers created a handsome flooring and Weston Wall™ created convenient seating, column and fire pit. Adding one (or more) of these features completes a backyard so the outdoor enjoyment continues throughout the year.


Rochester Home Show

Looking Great from the Back

Chicago Brick Oven

The Rochester Home Show set up a Chicago Brick Oven and Element Bristol Collection full kitchen display with seat walls.  The back of the kitchen and brick oven are as handsome as the front. You might consider planting a vegetable or herb garden. Pull off some fresh basil leaves and add to your homemade pizza!

This kitchen features a MediumRare grill, stainless steel cabinets, a cocktail station, bar, sink, and electricity – all part of Belgard’s Elements. The Bristol collection uses a granite counter top, edging of Dublin cobble, and Urbana banding. With Belgard, the attention to detail is impeccable. Using Elements, your outdoor kitchen planning is a snap, and it installs within a day or two.

Elements Brighton Fireplace, Water Features and Seat Wall

An Amazing Backyard Dream

The area also included an Elements Brighton fireplace with water features and matching seat walls. It coordinated with Arbel® Stone pavers in a circular fashion which delineates the outdoor living space. The dining area features Lafitt pavers and a Weston wall to add seating and separation.


Foot Bench Built-In

Milwaukee Realtor Show

This show took Belgard’s BelAir Wall™ and created a fabulous outdoor bedroom with built-in lighting! Notice the head and foot boards created from the Arbel® Stone Collection. The outdoor bath tub was a must-see. The look was completed with Belgard’s environmental line of permeable pavers from the Subterra® collection. Permeable pavers allow rainwater to be absorbed by the ground where nature filters the water, instead of becoming runoff.

Outdoor Bedroom Ideas

Bathtub!

Read our past post featuring Belgard’s Elements Collection.