Outdoor Fireplace Features

One of the many ways you can enjoy your outdoor entertaining spaces into the late evening is with an outdoor fireplace.

Creating a magnificent feature in the landscape the Fireplace becomes a focal point and gathering space to congregate. Able to be designed to match any home’s style tying the indoor out on another visual and functional level. While fir pits are low the fireplace can be built to any height creating privacy and an architectural feature, while also directing the smoke away from guests.

Landscapes: Aging Gracefully

We recently revisited one of landscape and out door BBQ installations we installed,. We were able to observe how the plants, structures and design have grown and matured; maintaining their integrity over the years. Not only providing years of enjoyment from the past home owners and increasing the home value but will continue to do the same for the future home owners. 

Warning: Contractor Scams

“Seven people were arrested in a sting operation aimed at curbing illegal contractors attempting to do business with Tea Fire victims.” Meagher, Chris, Tea Fire Rebuilding Sting, Santa Barbara Independent Feb 8, 2009.

It is unfortunate that with the recent tragedy it is likely we will see an increase in a wide range of Contractor scams, as we have experienced in the past. Informing yourself on what is illegal or suspicious behavior can be the best way to avoid the pit falls.

Before you hire a contractor or sign any documents for repairs, the California Contractors State License Board offers the following advice:

  • Avoid rushing into repairs, no matter how badly they are needed.
  • Get at least three bids, avoid hiring the first contractor who comes along.
  • Be cautious about door-to-door offers of repair services and fliers or business cards that are left at your property.
  • Ask friends, family, and associates for recommendations about contractors they have hired.
  • Avoid paying in cash, checks and credit cards provide a record of transactions.
  • Even for small jobs, get proof that the person you are dealing with has a contractor license for the type of work that needs to be done.
  • Get a written contract that details every aspect of the work plan.
  • California  law  requires  that  the  amount  of  the  down  payment  for  any  one  improvement  project, other than for construction of a swimming pool, may not  exceed  $1,000 .00  or  10%  of  the  contract  price,  excluding  finance  charges,  whichever  is  less . 
  • If excavation work is being performed, such as sewers or basement walls, make sure a building inspector inspects the work before it is hidden from view.
  • The contractor’s bid is far below the bids you have received from other contractors.  The old adage “if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is” applies here
  • Authorities also suggest using contractors recommended by the insurance company and getting multiple estimates.

Check the contractor license through the state's Department of Consumer Affairs website at www.cslb.gov

Hardscape to Landscape

This hardscape and landscape project consisted of front and back yard, both side yards and the driveway. Working with the owners and designer we removed existing yard and regraded the property. The design incorporated a variety of materials cement, stone, wood, metal and glass.  

Our masonry crews diligently formed medium sized concrete pavers surrounding the home including the driveway. While our carpenters installed wood paneling on a main feature wall and fencing. The metal shop was utilized in cutting and welding posts and frames for the fence and glass wall, creating secure and enduring foundation structures.  

As the landscape grows ls in it will continue to soften the hard edges of the hardscape, at the same time proved pleasing contrast throughout the yard. The Mexican pebbles used throughout the landscape provide long lasting soil protection and ensure high permeability of rain water.  The glass walls are a striking feature of the landscape, playing with sunlight and shadow.  

Pool Build: Part 2

Photo journal of pool build. 

Planing and review on site  meeting. 

Finishing hardscape features and landscape design/restoration.