Creating Outdoor Living Rooms
In concert with your landscape plants, which are considered the softscape, are all of the inanimate elements in your landscape, which are collectively called the hardscape. Hardscaping is the art of designing and constructing outdoor living spaces that are compatible with the interior décor. Pools, decks, patios and terraces are just extensions of the interior rooms; materials must flow between, in both color and texture, to create a harmonious environment. We artfully and tastefully use combinations of elements such as concrete, stone, brick, travertine and wood in our hardscaping projects to construct patios, walkways, driveways, pool decks, retaining walls, fire pits, fences, arbors, gazebos and pergolas that tie in with the architecture of your home and the elegance of softscape design that is reputably Tommy Todd.
Patios & Walkways
We remove and dispose of existing sod, concrete and other ground covers, then cut the area down to provide for the depth of the specific product and the amount of base material needed. We spread a bedding course over base before laying product to be installed. After laying the chosen product, the edges are set in a concrete edge restraint and sand is swept into the spaces between to lock them into place.
Driveways are constructed according to your city/county permit requirements. Base material (crushed concrete) is laid out and tamped down to 6″ outside the setback line while the area within the setback has a crushed base depth of 8″. A thin layer of bedding sand is spread over the crushed concrete. Brick is laid in the specified pattern across the designated driveway area. The brick is tamped using a stamper which allows the bedding sand to infiltrate the bottom gaps of the brick and helps interlock the pieces. The border course is laid on a small concrete footing and the outside edge of the driveway border course is mortared into place. Sand is again applied over the driveway and brushed into the interlocking spaces. The whole interior pattern is again tamped at this time. Our driveways are constructed in accordance with the ICCP building standards. Various upgrades exist for interlocking materials such as polymeric sands which inhibit the growth of weeds yet still allow water to percolate through the joints.
Steps & Retaining Walls
Steps and retaining walls for patios and pool decks are usually built with concrete blocks, steel poured solid with concrete footers. They are usually faced with travertine or claybrick in thin-set with grout joints. Structural Anchor Wall Systems are an ideal way of creating beautiful garden retaining walls and don’t always require a concrete footer. Other materials like limerock capstones, ledgestone, flagstone and other natural products are dry stacked in layers to create differing moods and ambiance in your garden space.
Fire Pits & Outdoor Fireplaces
We custom build our fire pits and outdoor fireplaces to fit your outdoor living space and budget. We design and build from simple fire rings to raised gas fired clay brick or stone veneered fire pits which can serve as a bench or coffee table when not in use. An outdoor fireplace complete with hearth and mantle can really liven up your outdoor living area. Our beautiful weather in St. Petersburg, FL makes a fire pit/place the spot to gather with family and friends.
* Concrete Pavers and synthetic stone can make economic alternatives, but additional costs will be required to maintain them.
Outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and fire pits become the center of attention at any party. Everyone enjoys hanging around the cooking food and participating in lively conversation around a fire. Natural stone and clay brick make a wonderful combination of flat and facing materials for your Hardscape Design.