05-13-22 | Feature

Evergreen Company Hardscaping

Custom 4,000 square-foot outdoor living space
by Scott Berry, Evergreen

This 4,000-square-foot private home in Boothwyn, Pennsylvania, features a painted cedar pergola, waterfall, firepit, and pool deck hardscape and was designed by Evergreen Hardscaping of Wilmington, Delaware. Antiqued Bluestone from a quarry in upstate Pennsylvania was used on the pool coping, steps, caps, and fire pit capping.
The 3' diameter wood burning firepit is situated to allow space for maximum seating and comfort. Colors were selected to create a contemporary look. Two pool lights are set at opposite ends of the pool for optimal brightness. Fixtures change color with 12 different hues and combinations.
The private residence in Landenberg, Pennsylvania features an outdoor kitchen, a small pergola, a pool and spa. Completed in 2013, the original design had almost 3,000 square feet of decking space but ended up being just under 1,000 square feet due to strict surface rules set by the township.
The spa is constructed of Tennessee flagstone, pebbletech finish, and ceramic tile. The 7.5' diameter spa is set under the Walnut Travertine pool deck. There is a 6" band of 3" ceramic tile that runs the perimeter of the pool under the coping line, it then transitions to the stone line at the steps and raised spa.
Located between the pool and basement walkout, the 14' x 16' kitchen connects the retaining walls with reinforced concrete footings, CMUs, and stone veneers. For a cohesive design, a mahogany pergola was added over the kitchen. An aluminum fence surrounds the pool.
Standing at 16'x 18' tall, this mahogany pergola is a standalone accent piece over the equipment pad that serves as uniformity within the design.
A black Jerith aluminum fence encloses the pool area. The boulders lining the lower side of the fence were reclaimed from the pool build. The homeowner decided to repurpose the stones for two reasons, first it was aesthetically pleasing and would create a beautiful, natural backdrop to complete their project and the second reason was economical, instead of paying to haul all of this granite off the site, they decided to use that money to improve the existing installation. They also allowed for a better transition to the upper pool area and helped with drainage from adjacent yards.
The stone waterfall was inspired by another waterfall Evergreen Hardscaping had built but on a larger scale. There is a 3" deep footing (3,000 psi) to support the weight, and 2" PVC lines to allow water to flow through the waterfall. The stones were used in the raised beam of the pool, firepit, benches, and steps. There are also PA flagstone used to create the drops. The design team used some of the reclaimed granite that was blasted from the original pool dig and used it to build the retaining wall along the property line.

Homeowners Greg and Christie Downes contacted Evergreen Hardscaping to design and install their new custom 4,000 square-foot outdoor living space. After meeting with a representative from Evergreen Hardscaping, a Landscape Architecture firm based in Wilmington, Delaware, the Downes soon decided that they were the best option to create the outdoor living space of their dreams.

The vision included an in-ground swimming pool, but the challenge was getting outside of the proverbial box to create something unique. Evergreen Hardscaping needed to create an inclusive space that formed the perfect balance of separation for the homeowners and their guests. The design team created a small kitchenette, shaded seating area, and fire feature; all of which accented the saltwater swimming pool with a sun-shelf and custom water features along the raised beam of the pool.

Once the project passed through the design phase, things were underway. Almost immediately after pool construction began, the project came to a screeching halt. During the first day of excavation, a large granite deposit was hit which had everyone scrambling for solutions. The sheer size of the deposit was something rarely seen by the excavation crew. It didn't take long for them to realize that traditional chipping would not work, which prompted them to apply for blasting permits. Once all stone was blasted, excavation continued. Evergreen Hardscaping was then able to reclaim the granite removed during excavation and used it to not only build several retaining walls on the property, but they were able to incorporate the stone into the custom-built waterfall, raised beam, firepit, and surrounding masonry.

Black accents added a real statement to the overall aesthetics of the project. The full color antiqued flagstone, sourced through a stone yard in Avondale, Pennsylvania, was used to cope the pool, sitting walls, steps leading from the house, and firepit. The fieldstone was used for all vertical surfaces and with the reclaimed granite.


All patios and walkways were installed using paving stones with charcoal borders. The seating area was topped off with a custom-built pergola, which created the perfect amount of shade for those overbearing sunny afternoons.
All landscape materials were supplied by a nursery in Dover, Delaware. Black aluminum fence panels were added to enclose the yard and make it code compliant. Pennsylvania antique slabs created by the raised beam of the pool were used to navigate elevation changes through the landscape. The entire pool surround, and the landscape was brightened with low voltage lighting.

Nestled in the rolling hills of Landenberg, Pennsylvania, Mike and Lynn Zbranak were looking for a way to improve their family's way of life. What better way than incorporating a swimming pool with all the amenities? By doing so, they knew they would be able to maximize their property's potential with endless hours of fun, all while creating countless family memories. When the Zbranak's started their journey, they had reached out to several different companies to discuss their plans and long-term goals.
After the first few meetings, the family realized that their initial goal wasn't as simple to achieve as they once thought. Most companies that came through their door either understood swimming pool construction or hardscaping, but what they needed to find was a company that not only specialized in custom swimming pool construction but one that could create the perfect outdoor living space. At that point, the Zbranak's reached out to Evergreen Hardscaping, and they began work in 2013.

Their project presented a unique set of challenges. The first and most obvious challenge was how to navigate an almost 30-foot elevation change from the driveway to the pool, so a very intricate set of step systems and landings were installed to negate these elevation changes. The main steps that start the descent from the driveway to the basement walkout were created using Coventry Wall Stretchers in Harvest Blend, which connect the colors of the natural stones used around the pool. Once at the basement level, there was still another 8.5" to negate and reach the pool deck, which created the second challenge.

Evergreen Hardscaping installed retaining walls and steps that would hold the soil load from the house on the top side. 36" deep by 24" wide rebar reinforced footings were installed to support the structure. 8" CMU's were rebar reinforced and core filled to add the stability needed to prevent future failures. All this to create the transition which would define the pool and surrounding area.

The pool was built into the existing hillside, creating a beautiful view over the adjacent valley and tree line. The pool was coped using Tennessee Flagstone sourced from a stone yard in Avondale, Pennsylvania.

The Mahogany pergola that frames the outdoor kitchen creates a unique cooking experience for all. Boasting multiple grills, burners, a sink and beverage center, storage space, and 34 linear feet of counter space. The next challenge faced by Evergreen Hardscaping was the Township's translation of the codes written on impervious surface coverage. Even though the Zbranak property is just under three acres, the township had stringent impervious surface guidelines in place which changed the entire decking layout during construction. Since the township did not give 100 percent impervious coverage for the eco-friendly products available, changes were made to reduce the size of the decking while incorporating a more favorable product to complete the installation.

The decking was removed from the backside of the pool to reduce the footprint and be compliant with the municipality's impervious surface policies. The pool deck and surrounding patios were installed using Turkish Travertine. The travertine, in conjunction with the newly landscaped backside of the pool, created a very natural site line that enhanced the already spectacular view. Additional lighting was used to low light the entire space and create the perfect harmony between ambiance and safety. Black fencing was used not only to create an aesthetically pleasing enclosure and to meet all local pool codes. The Zbranaks opted for a dark blue pool finish, which combined with all of the natural stone elements used during construction, created their Landenberg Lagoon.

Evergreen Hardscaping Projects
Evergreen Hardscaping follows trends within the industry to develop useful and durable landscapes. The company works with clients to create their vision and builds off their 25 years of experience in the industry. The Downes and Landenberg residences are great examples of hardscaping that allows for practical outdoor living.


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