Landscape Compliments Hardscape, and Vice Versa

Greenery and slab, leaves and rock, roots and texture. There are many ways to compare landscape and hardscape, and yet each absolutely compliments the other in ways you can only recognize when you see it.

Stone veneer wall in frontyard adjacent to paver driveway remodel in Northern Orange County, CA

 

When landscaping meets hardscape the two instantly upgrade the look and feel of any home. You really can’t have one without the other. At the same time, living in Orange County means finding the most drought-friendly plant life available without sacrificing on landscape aesthetics. Fortunately, our designers are trained to find the best approach when it comes to incorporating greens, stone, and conservation efforts.

 

Landscape/Hardscape Design Frontyard Remodel in Anaheim, CA

 

Your home project ideas have never been more real with 3D hardscape/landscape design. We can take those magazine clippings, pencil sketches on a napkin, or any other creative record and turn your dream into the most accurate representation available. And all before construction even begins. But don’t take our word for it, let us put our design work where our mouth is and show you a presentation in our brand new design center located in beautiful Anaheim, CA

 

3490 E. ORANGETHORPE AVE. ANAHEIM, CA 92806

714-388-5878

What We Do For Your Home Project in Orange County, CA!

 

You want your backyard remodel done right the first time without hassle or haggling, all with your overall budget in mind. No problem, because we are the first and only construction integration company in Orange County, CA

This means we help with every step of your home project: from beginning to end! We bring outdoor designers, masonry and paver contractors, and local material suppliers all under one convenient roof for the homeowner. No more guesswork needed from any party involved because this is your outdoor remodel we’re talking about.

 

Some of the tools we use to measure your outdoor living space!

 

In our new design center in Anaheim, CA we have it all…from the latest in 3D design and project cost analysis, to local contractor bidding and best material selection. This ensures you save time, money, and convenience every time.

But come check it out for yourself! Visit our new design center and see what all the fuss is about.

 

3490 E. ORANGETHORPE AVE. ANAHEIM, CA 92806

714-388-5878

Home Project Highlight: Paver Patio Remodel with Outdoor BBQ in Signal Hill, CA

Just look at these comparisons between our 3D renderings and the finished home project!

Simple Outdoor Living saved this homeowner time and money by connecting them to both an outdoor living designer and several high-rated masonry contractors to bid on their home project for them. And the results are simply beautiful to say the least.

Home Project: Paver Patio Remodel and Stone BBQ with Landscaping and Outdoor Lighting

Location: Signal Hill, CA

Designer: Enrique

Contractor: West Hills Masonry in Anaheim, CA

Suppliers/Materials:

  • Duracool Aluminum Patio Covers,
  • Belgard Outdoor Living,
  • Site One Supply,
  • Hunter Industries,
  • Eldorado Stone and Belgard Pavers from Thompson Building Materials

 

First and Only Construction Integration Company in Orange County, CA

So, you’ve decided that it’s finally time to remodel the yard. Ok, so where do you start?

  • Maybe talking to contractors about your project?
  • Or possibly consult with a designer?
  • Which type of material products should you use?
  • How much should you budget for the project?
  • Do you really need to have a design?
  • Will my contractor even be qualified!?

Remodeling can be frustrating, expensive, and can take an incredible amount of your time to prepare (even before getting started) . . . Why have we tolerated this confusing and broken process, and couldn’t, no…SHOULDN’T, something be done to help homeowners and contractors work more efficiently together?

 

Simple Outdoor Living was specifically formed to solve these problems. We created a new process that gives our clients complete convenience, choice and control over their project design and budget. This saves you both time and money, and also saves you from a lot of unnecessary headaches.

 

 

Step 1 – Consultation – First, we meet with you at your house to discuss your home project goals. We take measurements and pictures, and make design suggestions to match your vision.

Step 2 – Presentation – You then visit us at our new design center located in beautiful Anaheim, CA to review your design, make changes (if necessary), as well as look over different materials we have displayed throughout the store.

Step 3 – Completed Design – Lastly, we’ll email you your 3D design to show you exactly what your home project will look like before construction even begins. We’ll also provide a 2D plan with exact specifications for contractors to work off of so there’s no surprises throughout the construction process.

 

3D rendering of patio and pool remodel in Anaheim Hills, CA

 

We’ll even have several of the best-rated contractors in your area bid on your project for you (all fully licensed, bonded, and certified of course) — this ensures you get the fairest price without compromising on the quality of their work.

 

Here at Simple Outdoor Living, we get it. We were previously contractors with 25+ years of experience, and we developed practical design experience along the way. This gives us a very unique advantage, a completely unbiased perspective when planning your design within your budget.

Our mission is simple: we help integrate the construction of your project by referring you to qualified and vetted contractors so you can receive estimates, and select the best contractor to award your project.

5 Ways to Build a Better Outdoor Living Space in Orange County, CA

Your outdoor space can either add beauty to your home and bring people together, or simply be an area of burden and upkeep. If you’re keen to building the former, there are many creative ideas that can help make your outdoor living space a more pleasant and enjoyable atmosphere, and without spending a fortune. Below we share five of those ideas to help you create a better outdoor living space.

 

Outdoor BBQ Built in North Orange County, CA

 

Outdoor patios are the perfect gathering space positioned just outside your home. Not only can patios be built using a wide variety of materials, ranging from wood to stone brick pavers, but patios can also help make your house appear bigger than it actually is. They offer many uses ranging from relaxation areas to hosting spaces. If you add the right furniture to the patio, you can create a second living room that caters to hosting gatherings, parties, and even outdoor picnics.

Outdoor Fireplaces & Fire Pits

Like indoor fireplaces, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits come available in different varieties ranging from gas to wood fired and coral limestone to bonfire pit designs. You can choose either style depending on the type of your house and the type of fuel you prefer. For those with large patio spaces, outdoor fireplaces add a layer of elegance and inviting warmth. Fire pits, however, are typically better for backyards and open spaces that call the homestead to join around the fire.

 

3D Design of Outdoor Living Space in North Orange County, CA

 

Other than adding beauty, outdoor fire pits and fireplaces are great at keeping you warm when it gets chilly. Not only do such improvements inspire conversations and gathers, but you can keep your guests warm when sitting on the patio. In addition, you can choose a multipurpose fireplace such as one that doubles as a grill to get more functionalities and add value to your investment. Or for something simple, consider outdoor fire pit kits that can be easily built and enjoyed in the same day.

Read more

Outdoor Kitchen Trends in Orange County, CA

Just as the kitchen has always been the heart of the home, the outdoor kitchen is quickly becoming the heart of the backyard outdoor living space.  According to the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association (HPBA), more than 75 percent of all U.S. households currently include an outdoor grill or smoker. However, that’s only part of the story. More and more homeowners are converting patio grilling areas into fully functioning outdoor kitchens that become the central gathering place for family and guests. Check out some of the latest trends.

Bar-style Seating

Bar-style seating has become very popular in outdoor kitchen design for the same reason it’s popular in indoor kitchen design…it creates a communal atmosphere where family members and guests can all interact during the prep and cooking process. It also provides additional dining space, and with the addition of a television, becomes the perfect spot for outdoor tailgating.

Outdoor Kitchen with Bar-style Seating
Kitchen: Weston Stone® Bar Foot Rail: Bullnose Coping.  Pavers: Bergerac® with Old York™ border.

Multiple Cooking Surfaces

Today’s outdoor chef isn’t happy with just a standard grill. Modern outdoor kitchen design quite often includes multiple cooking surfaces — including gas burners, gas or charcoal grills, ceramic smokers,  and wood-burning or gas ovens.

Outdoor Kitchen with Multiple Surfaces
Kitchen: Tandem® Modular Grid.  PaversLafitt® Rustic Slab.

Read more

Outdoor Fireplace Design Ideas in Orange County, CA

Over the last decade, outdoor fireplaces have continued to be a rising trend in outdoor living design. A fireplace provides an elegant focal point that visually transforms a patio into an outdoor living room, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. When planning an outdoor fireplace, there are a number of options to consider.

Custom-Build versus Modular Fireplace Units

Custom outdoor fireplaces can be built using a variety of masonry products, including nearly any Belgard retaining wall product. The benefit to a custom-built fireplace is that you have the design flexibility to create any size or style that suits you. Belgard also offers the Belgard Elements™ line of modular fireplaces that are pre-built in a factory setting, shipped in sections and installed with a pallet loader. The benefits are lower installation costs and a shorter construction window.

Stone Fireplace Design Ideas
This custom-built fireplace, constructed with Celtik® Wall, features a raised hearth, symmetrical arched built-in wood boxes, and built-in low-voltage lighting for ambiance. A row of smooth-face block adds a contrasting element to the rough-hewn look of the design.
Belgard Elements™ fireplaces, such as this one from the Bristol™ Series, offer a custom-built look for a fraction of the cost. Custom-built elements, such as the landscape wall and water features in this design, can be added to enhance the custom-built look.

Use Interior Fireplace Design Principles

To enhance the “outdoor living room” feel, employ interior design techniques when designing your outdoor fireplace and surrounding patio. Examples include accessorizing the room or creating a faux rug in the paver design.

Outdoor Fireplace Design Principals
A semi-circular design of Mega-Arbel® pavers creates the look of an inlaid rug in front of this Brighton™ Elements fireplace and Bristol™ Elements wood boxes.

Research Local Building Codes

Codes will vary by municipality, but in general terms, gas-burning fireplaces have fewer restrictions and can typically be placed anywhere in a design, including directly against another structure. Wood-burning fireplaces typically need to be placed at least 10 feet from another structure. Some building codes require additional safety measures or restrict the use of wood-burning units altogether.

Outdoor Fireplace Design Elements
The chimney of this wood-burning fireplace from the Bordeaux™ Elements collection was extended upward to comply with local building codes, due to its proximity to another structure.

Built-in Outdoor Gas Fireplaces

An economical option that can typically be installed anywhere is a built-in gas fireplace, which can be built on the exterior of the home, on a porch or under a pavilion.

Rustic Fireplace Design
The built-in outdoor gas fireplace on the left was designed to emulate the look of an indoor fireplace using Tandem® Modular Grid. The same wall product was used to build out an adjacent outdoor kitchen. The design on the right used Weston Stone® retaining wall block with accents of Urbana® Stone and Mega-Arbel® pavers to emulate the look of a freestanding Bristol™ Elements fireplace. The same paver and wall products were used throughout the design to tie the look together.

Think Outside the Box

When creating a custom build, consider how you want to use the space and work with your contractor to come with with creative solutions and ideas.

Custom Outdoor Fireplace Design
This custom fire feature is both a fireplace and a brick oven. A built-in overhead light adds a dramatic look to the piece while providing ample light for operating the brick oven in the evenings.
Outdoor Kitchen Counter Design Brick Pavers
This outdoor living room incorporates dual open-sided European-style gas fireplaces, constructed using Tandem® Wall. The same wall product was used to build seat walls around the perimeter of the patio, as well as columns for the pavilion, tying all of the outdoor rooms together into one cohesive design.

Consider Built-in Seating

Built-in seating is one of the leading trends in outdoor design and makes an excellent addition to an outdoor fireplace, adding both form and function to an outdoor room.

Outdoor Fireplace Design Built-in Seating Arrangement
This custom natural stone fireplace is flanked with two seat walls, constructed with Celtik® Wall. The rough-hewn face of the Celtik® Wall adds a textural element to this eclectic design.

.   .   .

This post was originally written and published on Belgard.com

Tips for Planning a Pool Installation in Orange County, CA

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.

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.

 

This post was originally written and published on Belgard.com

2018 Landscape Architect Survey Results on Outdoor Living Design Trends in Orange County, CA

Belgard Outdoor Backyard Design Infographic ASLA Survey

 

This post was originally written and published on Belgard.com