Join Belgard at the Nation’s Largest Horticulture Event

Philadelphia Flower Show

Calling all garden enthusiasts! If you’ve never had the opportunity to attend the Philadelphia Flower Show, you’re missing out on incredible displays from the nation’s premier floral and landscape designers. Belgard is once again excited to partner with the largest horticultural event in the nation as the official hardscapes sponsor of the show, to be held March 3 – 11, 2018, in the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

This year’s show, “Wonders of Water,” will celebrate the beauty and life-sustaining interplay of horticulture and water by showcasing stunning displays that emulate tropical jungles, temperate forests, native woodlands and arid landscapes, featuring the astounding plants that thrive in each environment. As the official hardscape sponsor of the show, Belgard patio pavers and retaining walls will be used exclusively throughout the show in exhibitor displays, garden areas, stage construction and anywhere hardscapes are needed.

One lucky booth visitor will win a Bordeaux Elements™ Grill Island!

Belgard will also have a feature exhibit, designed by the Belgard Design Studio, where visitors will have an opportunity to register for a chance to win a Bordeaux Elements™ Grill Island.

The expansive Belgard display will include an outdoor kitchen and living room and a patio with multiple fire features and water features. The exhibit will showcase installations of more than a dozen Belgard products including a fireplace and grill island from the Bordeaux™ Series of the Belgard Elements™ Collection of outdoor fireplaces and kitchen units. To tie in with the “Wonders of Water” theme, the Belgard display will also include contemporary fountains and an outdoor shower.

The renderings below offer a sneak peek at the exterior and interior of the Belgard exhibit.  Click on any image for a larger view.

Belgard will also sponsor a Virtual Reality experience in The Backyard area of the Grand Hall, where visitors can view 3-D designs from the Belgard Design Studio using the studio’s new VR platform.

Click on the image to view a sample 360-degree VR design. Use your mouse or finger to drag and navigate. When viewing on a mobile device, gyroscope mode will enable you to navigate your phone around the image.

The Philadelphia Flower Show is hosted by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and benefits a variety of year-round programs in the Philadelphia area that have become national models of urban greening. For more information on the show, visit theflowershow.com or read the blog post: Sights from the 2017 Philadelphia Flower Show.

Introducing New Lamina Tandem™ Wall: Stacked Stone Look with Incredible Design Flexibility

Belgard is excited to announce the launch of a new face style to the revolutionary Tandem Wall® System. The new Lamina Tandem™ Wall features the look and feel of chiseled stacked stone and can be used to build a variety of outdoor living and landscaping structures.

The new Lamina Tandem™ face style can be used with all elements of the unique Tandem®  Wall System to build complete outdoor living designs. The Tandem® system offers more versatility than any other landscape wall product, allowing you to create distinctive outdoor living spaces that all coordinate and flow together as one cohesive design.

Lamina Tandem WallLamina Tandem™ Wall

Use Lamina Tandem™ Wall to build curved and straight freestanding and retaining walls ideal for a variety of outdoor projects.

  • Control the slope of a yard.
  • Construct a terrace.
  • Build raised gardens.
  • Define the perimeter of an outdoor living space.
  • Create visual separation between outdoor rooms.

Lamina Tandem Column KitLamina Tandem™ Column Kit

The easy-to-install Lamina Tandem™ Column Kit quickly creates columns for a variety of design uses.

  • Wrap around existing posts to enhance a porch or pavilion.
  • Build a mailbox.
  • Augment a freestanding wall with intermittent posts or end-caps.
  • Use freestanding columns to add visual interest or create a grand entrance.

Lamina Tandem Modular GridLamina Tandem™ Modular Grid

Because Lamina  Tandem™ Modular Grid can attach to virtually any wooden frame or surface, it can be used to construct just about any outdoor living structure up to 6 feet in height.

  • Skirt a deck or porch.
  • Build aesthetic walls for hiding utilities and garbage cans.
  • Build a variety of outdoor living structures including outdoor kitchens, fire features, built-in seating, planters and more.

The new Lamina Tandem™ Wall System is currently available throughout most of the Midwest, South and Central Plains regions. Distribution is expected to expand throughout the year.

Introducing the New & Improved Belgard.com

We’re excited to announce that after many months of strategic planning, design and testing, we have launched the new Belgard.com site. The site was redesigned to be a better tool for serving both homeowners and outdoor living professionals. After all, Belgard is not only a portfolio of high-quality products, but a partner and a resource for your outdoor projects. With that in mind, our new site offers easier navigation with personalized images of products available in your area, plus more of everything you need to plan and create amazing outdoor living spaces. Below are some of the features you can expect from the new site.

Getting Started

Embarking upon an outdoor living project can be a daunting task. Our GETTING STARTED section offers answers to frequently asked questions, as well as sections on RESEARCH to consider before you begin planning, INSPIRATION galleries of photos and videos, PLANNING basics and considerations, and BUILDING and maintenance considerations.

Comprehensive project planning guide

The new Belgard Project Guide walks you through the process of completing an outdoor living project, from gathering inspiration to choosing materials and finding a contractor. This handy tool will help you to know exactly what to expect before you get started. Download it today or order a printed copy.

Online Project Visualizer

Get ready to visualize the possibilities with our interactive Project Visualizer, which offers both a library of project ideas, as well as the ability to upload photos of your home and yard. Easy-to-use tools allow you to experiment with different paver styles and colors, and then save or share your creations.

Contractor & dealer locator

Sometimes, one of the most difficult aspects of completing an outdoor living project is finding a qualified contractor you can trust to bring your vision to life. Our Contractor & Dealer Locator can help you find Belgard Authorized Contractors near you who are certified by industry organizations in proper installation techniques and adhere to our rigorous standards of professionalism.

EXPLORE OUR NEW WEBSITE

NEXT WEEK:  Come back to the Outdoor Living by Belgard blog next week for an exciting new product announcement.

Why Permeable Pavers are a Growing Trend in Outdoor Design

The HGTV® Dream Home 2018 is outfitted with Urbana® Stone permeable pavers on the walkways, fire pit patio and driveway to help protect neighboring Henderson Bay from potential pollution from stormwater runoff. (Photo: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography)

Words like “sustainable” and “responsible” continue to grow in importance with today’s consumers as we collectively become more conscientious about how our actions affect the world around us and the legacy we leave behind. However, we still wish to enjoy our time on this planet.

Enter the permeable paver. Permeable pavers give homeowners the opportunity to create eye-catching, livable outdoor spaces that actually improve the environment and allow us to leave the world better and more beautiful than we found it.

The technology is ingeniously simple. Permeable pavers are laid on multiple layers of crushed stone, and the joints between each paver are filled with smaller aggregate. This design allows water to instantly drain through the joints and percolate through the layers of aggregate below, where any impurities are trapped before water seeps into the ground and returns to local waterways. To create the ultimate sustainable patio, driveway or walkway, the system can be designed to collect and recycle rainwater for irrigation and other purposes.

And here’s the best part…in many states and municipalities with water conservation and stormwater management initiatives, there are often grants or tax incentives available for installing permeable pavers or a water harvesting system, which makes the idea of installing a permeable patio, walkway or driveway all the more attractive.

permeable patio design ideas
permeable walkway design ideas
permeable driveway design ideas

For more permeable paver design ideas, visit the Belgard Permeable Paver Pinterest board.

Tips for Planning a Pool Installation

Don’t let the frigid temperatures across the country fool you! If you’re planning to install a pool and want it to be ready in time for that first day of swimming season, it’s time to start the planning process. Planning and installing a pool can take a considerable amount of time, and there are a lot of different aspects to consider. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Do your homework

Do some research on the different types of pools and the pros and cons of each. Keep in mind that the specific pros and can often depend upon your location and the local environment. In-ground pools can be made with different materials including fiberglass, concrete (gunite) and vinyl. There are also different types of filtration and cleaning systems. It helps if you’ve done a little research before you start talking to contractors, so you can speak the same language and make a more informed decision.

Talk it up

Put the word out with friends and family that you are planning to install a pool and are looking for advice. Anyone who has ever owned a pool will help you navigate the waters in ways you would never have expected. Learn from the mistakes of others and pay particular attention to sentences that begin with, “I wish I had thought to….”

Get Inspired

Browse through inspirational photos of pools to get ideas on shapes, colors, trim accessories, pool deck materials and various other design elements. Keep in mind that although standard concrete decking may be a more economical option in terms of the initial construction costs, it may not be the most economical choice in the long run. Concrete slabs will crack as they settle, and concrete coatings will crack and chip off over time. Pavers, however, will last the life of your pool. For inspirational ideas of paver pool decks, visit the Belgard Pool Deck Ideas Pinterest board.

Get Multiple quotes & references

A good rule of thumb is to get three quotes from contractors who come highly recommended. Check out their references and ask if you can see photos and possibly visit the sites of pools they have built. Don’t be afraid to talk to their former clients and ask tough questions, like “What were the best and worst things about working with this contractor?” Also, realize that it’s not always the wisest to go with the lowest quote. Sometimes, you do indeed get what you pay for. That fact will likely become evident once you start checking references.  For help finding a qualified contractor in your area, visitor our Contractor Locator page.

Prioritize your “must haves”

After the initial design is planned and quoted, you’ll more than likely think of new elements you want to add on to the plan, so factor about 5-10% of contingency into your budget. Upgrades will add up quickly, so prioritize in terms of what you will get the most use out of, what you will most regret not doing, and what is harder to change or add at a later date.

For more information on trends in pool design, visit our blog on “Pool Deck & Patio Trends.”

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COMING UP NEXT:  Permeable pavers are one of the hottest trends in sustainable outdoor design. Come back to the Outdoor Living by Belgard blog to see what’s trending in permeable paver walkways and patios.

Home is Where the Hearth Is

Products: Belair Wall® (fireplace and seat wall) and Mega-Lafitt® pavers.

The outdoor living room has been one of the fastest growing trends in outdoor design over the last few years. When considering the popularity of this trend, the question arises: What’s the difference between a patio and an outdoor living room? The answer is simple: Livability.

Products: Bristol Elements™ fireplace and Lafitt® Rustic Slab pavers.

An outdoor living room is more than just a grouping of chairs with a coffee table. It’s a cozy and inviting space that evokes a sense of relaxation, a space where people want to spend time both alone and enjoying the company of others. To achieve this effect, it’s important to apply interior design techniques to creating your outdoor space.

With that in mind, what tends to be the centerpiece of most interior living rooms? The answer, of course, is a fireplace. The reason for this is multifaceted. Historically, a fireplace would be added to the living room to heat the home. But as this need diminished in necessity over the years, the popularity of an interior fireplace did not. That is because the warmth that exudes from a fireplace is not only physical in nature, but emotional, as well. Spending time in front of a fire with a loved one often creates a deeper connection with that person on an instinctual or primal level. Fire, good.

That’s why one of the easiest ways to create an emotional sense of warmth in an outdoor living room is to add a fire feature, which has the added benefit of physical warmth during the colder months, allowing you to use your outdoor living room year round. Another benefit to fire features — like fireplaces, fire pits and fire tables — is that they appeal to people of all ages. When multiple generations gather around a fire pit, the generation gap disappears, and they can all relate to one another on a purely human level. It’s no wonder that fire pits have been on the top of the “must haves” list in outdoor design for the last several years.

A fire feature, like this welcoming fire pit at the HGTV® Dream Home 2018, instantly converts a simple patio into an outdoor living room. Products: Belair Wall® 2.0 (fire pit) and Urbana Stone® permeable pavers. (photo: Robert Peterson, Rustic White Photography)

When adding a fire feature to an outdoor living room, be sure to leave ample space for seating and traffic because it will instantly become everyone’s favorite gathering spot. If it’s a wood-burning fire feature, it will also need to be an adequate distance from any structures, as a safety precaution. In fact, some municipalities and HOA’s have specific regulations about this, so be sure and do your homework.

To complete your outdoor living room, add other interior design touches — such as tables, accent lighting, pillows, throws and other accessories. But be warned, once you create an inviting outdoor living room, get ready for company!

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For fire feature design ideas, read our blogs on Fire Pit Design Ideas and  Outdoor Fireplace Design Ideas For more design inspiration, visit the Belgard Pinterest boards.

NEXT WEEK:  Don’t let the frigid temperatures fool you. If you want your new pool to be ready for swimming season, it’s time to start planning now.