Take me out to the ballgame! While football may have surpassed baseball as the nation’s most watched sport, there’s still something special about enjoying a bag of peanuts and a chili cheese dog on a breezy spring day while watching what was long considered “America’s favorite pastime.” But whether you’re planning on heading to the ballpark this weekend or in the process of renewing your season football tickets for the fall, there’s a chance you’ll be walking across Belgard pavers to get to your favorite stadium this season. Belgard is proud to have installations at multiple ballparks and stadiums across the country. Here are just a few.
Modern pool design has become somewhat of an artform. There was a time when all backyard pools looked basically the same, but that time is gone. Today’s pools incorporate a variety of materials and design techniques to make each creation as unique as each homeowner. If you’re planning to build a pool, here are some inspirational ideas based on some of this year’s most popular pool and patio design trends.
Vanishing edge: The latest craze in pool design is the vanishing edge (sometimes called an infinity edge or negative edge), which produces the visual effect of water extending to the horizon.
Fire features: There’s just something ethereal about combining the elements of fire and water that appeals to many people on a deep level. Fire bowls, fireplaces and fire pits make an excellent addition to a poolscape, both from visual and practical standpoints, as a fire feature provides a way to enjoy your pool deck during months when it’s too cold to swim.
Water features: Water features come in a variety of styles, including waterfalls, fountains, spillways and more. The image below incorporates two different types of waterfalls: a natural stone waterfall and a spa waterfall.
Back to nature: Many homeowners choose a design that looks like it was carved out of nature. This can be achieved by incorporating natural stone, or as in the design below, concrete pavers that emulate the look at natural stone. There are a number of added benefits to choosing pavers over natural stone, including decreased materials costs, decreased installation costs and non-slip surfacing.
“Green” options: Eco-friendly design strategies are one of the top-growing trends in outdoor living. With a pool design, this can be achieve through the use of a geothermal or solar heater, as well as permeable paver decking. Permeable pavers allow rainwater to filter through the joints instead of running off into ditches and storm drains. A permeable system can even be designed to harvest and recycle rainwater.
Mixed materials: Eclectic designs are quite popular, achieved by mixing a variety of materials and styles together. The design below incorporates multiple styles of pavers, tiles and natural stone. Wood grained porcelain pavers also add the look of natural wood to the design, but offer added benefits that can’t be achieved with natural wood: durability, slip-resistance, fade-resistance and stain-resistance.
Multiple elevations: Retaining walls can help control erosion, convert sloped terrain into usable space, and in the case of poolscape design below, build multi-level terraces for seating, gardens, dining areas, water features and more.
Decorative edging: There was a time when your choices were limited to brick or bullnose coping. Keep in mind that both of those options are still popular choices. But now, creative designs and alternate edging materials are becoming increasingly popular, as well.
Extended outdoor living areas: Modern poolscape design tends to expand beyond the water’s edge and into extended outdoor living areas, which are often designed and decorated to look like an outdoor version of an indoor space.
Less is more: While some are drawn to expansive poolscapes, others are opting for a contemporary minimalist look. The design below evokes the timeless look of a classic pool with the contemporary twist of an additional modular stepping stone patio.
Lighting: One simple way to add ambiance of a pool design is to incorporate interesting lighting. This can be done throughout the landscaping and in the interior of pools and spas.
Mother Nature can be cruel. If you have chosen Belgard for your hardscape projects, you’ve already taken measures to increase resistance against weathering and corrosion. Still, seasonal hardscape maintenance is encouraged to preserve the beauty and integrity of your installation. Here are a few Spring paver care tips.
- Clean your pavers each Spring with a coarse-bristle “stable” broom and a routine maintenance paver cleaner to keep them looking like new.
- Some weeds, if left unaddressed, can shift pavers apart over time. Be sure to periodically apply a granular weed preventative between joints as a part of your paver maintenance routine.
- Be careful when cleaning your Belgard pavers with power washers as they can remove the paver finish and expose the aggregate on the paver’s surface.
- Before applying any paver cleaning solution to your hardscape, test a small inconspicuous area first to be sure you get the desired results.
- Be sure to read and follow the directions printed on container labels for cleaning solution use, application, precautions and first aid. Always rinse the solution off thoroughly after use.
- For tough stains, use a specialized cleaner to treat the specific stain. Techniseal offers specialty cleaners for organic stains (moss, mildew, dead leaves, blood, wine); greasy stains (motor oil, barbecue, oily foods); rust (caused by steel, rusty objects or fertilizer); and paint, tar or rubber (including gum). Each of these products are specifically formulated to clean pavers and masonry and should not affect the color or tone of your hardscapes. However, it is always a good idea to test a small area area first.
- The joints between paving stones are the most vulnerable areas of any installation. Keep these joints topped off with jointing sand to prevent the sand-bedding layer below from deteriorating, causing the pavers to shift.
- Every three years, apply a sealer to keep your pavers looking their best. Depending upon your preference, sealer options can offer a natural matte finish, a color-boosted matte finish, a clear semi-gloss look, or a wet-look gloss finish. Sealers should not be applied more than once in three years. Too many applications will create a film on the surface which may discolor in sunlight. You can easily test whether your pavers are ready to resealed by dripping some water on your pavers. If the water initially beads, your pavers are still protected. If the water immediately soaks in, it’s probably time.
- For older pavers that have suffered from weathering and neglect, bring back the original shade of pavers or give them new color with NuLook Tinted Sealant, which is a semi-transparent semi-gloss sealer designed to rejuvenate faded pavers. NuLook comes in four different shades to bring new life to pavers or create interesting designs. Watch the amazing transformation in the video below.
In the annual national survey conducted by the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), landscape design professionals are polled regarding the outdoor living project types and individual design elements that have the highest demand. The results of this year’s survey are in, and for the third consecutive year, eco-friendly projects dominate the top 10 project list. And although it’s no surprise, internet connectivity made its way into the must-have list this year. In terms of individual design elements, the overwhelming majority of the design items have to do with making outdoor areas more livable. For the third consecutive year, fire pits and fireplaces top the list of most popular design elements.
|RANKING||PROJECT TYPES||DESIGN ELEMENTS|
|1||Drought-tolerant plants||Fire pits and fireplaces|
|2||Native plants||Wireless/internet connectivity|
|4||Edible gardens||Outdoor furniture|
|6||Reduced lawn areas||Built-in grills|
|7||Fire pits and fireplaces||Planters, sculptures, garden accessories|
|8||Water-efficient irrigation||Counter space|
|9||Wireless/internet connectivity||Outdoor heaters|
|10||Rainwater/graywater harvesting||Stereo systems|
The ideal outdoor living space should reflect your creativity. When it comes to putting that special place together, you won’t find a better partner than Belgard to help you dream, design and develop your vision. With that in mind, the new 2017 Belgard Idea Book is now ready to help inspire you to create your dream outdoor living space. Each Idea Book is regionally tailored by zip code to include products that are available in your area, which ensures that the designs you fall in love with can be recreated in your backyard.
Order your free copy of the 2017 Belgard Idea Book for over 50 pages of vibrant outdoor living design ideas. The Idea Book walks you though all the emerging trends in outdoor living design and includes tips on planning your space and choosing a contractor. >> ORDER IT NOW
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INTERACTIVE DIGITAL VERSION
If you’re ready to start dreaming now, check out the interactive digital version, which includes videos on design trends and other interactive elements on every page. Watch the project visualizer in action, or click on web addresses or a blinking “i” for more information on any topic or product. If you want to save the book for reference, simply click the download button to save a PDF copy. >>GO TO THE INTERACTIVE DIGITAL BOOK
When you’re ready to take the next step, visit our Contractor Locator Gallery to find a Belgard Authorized Contractor near you.
As the largest hardscapes manufacturer in the nation, Belgard is once again proud to partner with the largest horticultural event in the nation as the 2017 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show’s official hardscapes sponsor, happening now through March 19, 2017, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
This year’s show, “Holland: Flowering the World,” showcases the talents of our nation’s top horticulturalists and designers along with award-winning landscape and floral designers from the Netherlands. From towering windmills, wooden shoes and delectable cheeses, to the whimsical bicycles, canals and vibrant tulip fields of the iconic Dutch landscape, this year’s show shares the diverse stories of horticulture, innovative eco-design, and the modern urban greening and sustainability efforts of the Netherlands.
The show includes impressive floral and landscape design displays and also includes live head-to-head competitions and how-to demonstrations in the Designer’s Studio, master classes with top Dutch floral designers, presentations by leading experts on a variety of topics in the Gardner’s Studio, an interactive attraction of over 1,000 butterflies, and more.
The Belgard display has been an extremely popular spot for event-goers at this year’s show as they pose for group photos, relax in the outdoor kitchen and living room, and learn about the outdoor living design possibilities of Belgard paver and garden wall products.