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A Lakeside Patio
Natures Elite Landscaping in Gilford, N.H.

A Lakeside Patio

Steve Mitchell, of Natures Elite Landscaping, built this patio in Laconia, N.H., after demolishing the existing dilapidated patio. Located on the shore of Meredith Bay, in Lake Winnipesaukee, the patio and wall include Belgard pavers and blocks and were designed by Mitchell using a design studio. The entire project took roughly 60 days to complete with a four-person crew.

A Lakeside Patio

The patio wall and steps were built with varying-sized Celtik Blocks in a Victorian color. Both the stairs and the wall were capped with Bluestone slabs in a rough finish in order to tie the project together. For the plants chosen, Mitchell used daylilies, upright phlox, Black-eyed Susans, Bloody Crane's-bill and one Japanese Threadleaf Maple tree. Sprinklers for the lawn above the patio provide watering for these plants. The client chose the patio furniture.v

When Steve Mitchell, owner of Natures Elite Landscaping in Gilford, N.H., first laid eyes on the 30'x 50' patio overlooking Meredith Bay, he knew that simply resurfacing it would not do.

"The patio was a disaster when we first met with the homeowner. Previously, [the homeowner] had met with other contractors that all wanted to do an overlay of the existing patio - but that simply wouldn't do."

Mitchell knew that if he added an overlay to the existing dilapidated patio, the client would probably get upwards of four to five more years of use out of it before the patio needed repairs again. So, he discussed this with the client and together they decided that it was more advantageous and cost effective for the long-term to have a completely renovated patio that was built from the ground up.

One interesting note about the project is that because the work was renovating an existing patio, rather than creating an entirely new one, permeable pavers were not required by the building codes. In order to prevent water from pooling, the entire patio is on a slope of about a quarter inch per foot.

Because Mitchell is an authorized installer of their products, Belgard pavers, site furnishings and design software were utilized for this project.

A Lakeside Patio

A Lakeside Patio

The project was slightly difficult for Mitchell and his team because the area was difficult to work in, due to the proximity of the water's edge, and also because some of the project was done over a 4th of July weekend. Mitchell expressed that it was hard to move large equipment to and from the project because of the sheer amount of tourists and traffic during that time.

The Process
For Mitchell and his team, the process of constructing an entirely new patio began on the computer. First, they used a landscape design software to create a rendering of the patio, which Mitchell then presented to the client.

"We use the design service for our customers so we are able to show them how spectacular the patio would look when we were finished," said Mitchell. He relates that the design software might have appeased some of the worry the client initially had regarding building an entirely new patio.

Once the design was approved by the client, Mitchell, along with his four-man crew, used a 315F L excavator by Cat to demolish the existing patio and dig down 2'. Once excavated, stabilization fabric, or filter fabric, was laid down and covered with one foot of processed gravel as a subbase. The gravel was then compacted with a Bomag 40/45 reverse-running plate compactor on a 6" lift to ensure stability.

The process was repeated once more, with fabric being laid down and another foot of subbase being compacted on top. Instead of a third layer of fabric, one inch of sand was added to the top of this second layer of subbase and then screeded with a rake.

A Lakeside Patio

The inlay pavers used are Mega Arbel in a Danville blend, which are bordered by 6"x 6" and 6"x 9" London Cobble pavers in charcoal grey. The inlay pavers come in that pattern and Mitchell simply cut the outer edges for the border. For the rest of the pavers found on the patio, Mega-Urbana in a Silex Blend coloration were used.

After the sand was nice and flat, the pavers were placed directly on top. For the last step, several passes of TechniSeal joint sand was swept in and compacted.

Finishing Touches
The fireplace, hearth and accompanying wood boxes are from the Bristol Series of prebuilt fireplaces and are constructed with Weston Stone retaining wall blocks and accented by Arbel and Urbana pavers.

The fireplace stands 9'3" tall and is accompanied by two 3'3" wood boxes on either side. The hearth has a total height of 11" and is 5' wide. All three products were prebuilt, shipped to the project location and quickly installed with a forklift, after the patio was completed.

Likewise, following the completion of the primary patio area, a 2' base of crushed stone was installed, in the same manner as the patio, and used for the stairs. The risers were constructed of Belgard Celtik Blocks and were capped with rock-faced Bluestone slabs to tie the entire project together.

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August 25, 2019, 5:46 am PDT

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