Hardscape Solutions: Final piece of the puzzle
Location: Great Falls, Va.
Company: McHale Landscape Design
Access to the project site was a significant hurdle, says Anthony Cusat, director of design and senior architect for McHale Landscape Design.
Crews had limited space to maneuver materials to the clients’ backyard due to both the location of the route and an existing walkway and water feature McHale had previously installed.
“There is a travertine walkway that we had installed, and the client didn’t want that damaged,” he says. “We had to use a lot of manpower to get to the backyard. Pretty much everything was done by hand and with wheelbarrows.”
Cusat says space difficulties continued into the backyard, where the rear property line sits 50 feet from the back of the house. A resource protection area to the left of the home also limited space for expansion of the client’s screened-in pavilion.
McHale expanded the pavilion’s interior by 2 feet in each direction and added new lighting fixtures. The contractor also replaced the previous deck with travertine stone to match the walkway it had installed years prior.
The clients are longtime patrons of the contractor. According to Cusat, the company has worked on the property for 16 years, including design/build work on the front of the home, as well as regular maintenance.
“We did some projects on both side yards and the front foundation as well,” he says. “This project was kind of a culmination, bringing everything we had done previously together.”
This project won McHale Landscape Design a Gold Award from the 2022 National Association of Landscape Professionals’ Awards of Excellence Program.
As longtime clients of McHale Landscape Design, the homeowners sought to tie in their backyard space with pathways and materials used throughout the rest of the property.
McHale Landscape had limited access to the backyard, with just one entrance that shared space with a water feature the company had previously installed.
Crews completely removed the existing synthetic deck before installing the new travertine stone.
Old meets new in the entrance to the backyard. McHale Landscape removed several previously laid stones and replaced them with new stonework to eliminate a straight line between the new and old stone.
McHale crews ran into a problem with the septic line during construction, requiring a septic engineer to relocate the system entirely.
McHale Landscape Design chose the new hardscapes to tie into an existing fireplace and seat wall.
An “after” photo shows how McHale tied the existing fireplace into the newly expanded pavilion and steps leading to a lower garden.
In addition to the new family terrace area, McHale crafted custom storage containers for the property.
Steps shifted to one side of the family terrace to allow more room for a small table and chairs.
McHale continued to work down to the lower levels of the backyard terrace, including room for more outdoor activities.
About the Author: Rob DiFranco
Rob DiFranco is Landscape Management’s associate editor. A 2018 graduate of Kent State University, DiFranco holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Prior to Landscape Management, DiFranco was a reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio.