Category Archives: Patios and hardscapes

How to transform your outdoor space from zero to fabulous courtesy of Archadeck of Northern VA

Stunning hardscape retaining wall in Oakton, VA

Stunning hardscape retaining wall in Oakton, VA.

Many homeowners have that one certain spot in their landscape that is a constant source of headache. Whether you have a shady spot that stays wet all the time due to lack of sunlight, poor soil conditions and underlying drainage issues or a spot that is too cumbersome to mow and maintain, these obstacles are a cause for concern. Having an area within your landscape that is non-functional does not have to be tolerated. Archadeck of Northern Virginia is the area’s premier outdoor living structure designer and builder. Through our expertise and experience, we have been able to resolve many issues for homeowners here in the NoVa area  by transforming their non-functional backyard into an area they can utilize and be proud of.

Archadeck of Northern Virginia can turn the table by transforming your high-maintenance, low aesthetic space into a low-maintenance, high aesthetic space. As an example of this type of transformation, we travel to Oakton, VA where we recently transformed this…

Archadeck of NoVa can turn this

Into this…

Into this

These Oakton, Va., homeowners were faced with a double-dilemma. Not only did a portion of their backyard space remain wet during most of the year, they previously had a landscaper install a natural stack stone wall that was weathering. The combination of mud and grass made the area difficult to mow, an eyesore for the homeowners and a space that lacked function. As with any possible drainage issue present in your landscape, it is extremely important to consult with an expert prior to addressing water issues. In this particular case, Archadeck was able to manage the moisture concerns in this backyard by installing an underground drain, three catch basins and a channel drain along the fence line to resolve the drainage issue. In addition to overcoming the drainage problems, we were also able to transform this once non-functioning space into an area the homeowners now enjoy.

Oakton before

These photos show what the space looked like prior to the beginning of the project.

The hardscape addition marks one phase in this total backyard transformation project which included fixing the drainage problem and adding an open porch and deck addition as well. Archadeck of Northern Virginia began the hardscape portion of the project by replacing the existing retaining wall with a curved Belgard hardscape wall. Since the design is curved, and tiered, it follows the same gentle transition as the grade of the property as well as serving as a functional work of art to the backyard. The retaining wall is functional too, in that it adds space for the homeowners to add additional plantings and flowers within the raised portion without having to worry about maintenance. By adding new plants into the wall, there is no worry of edging or having to de-weed these areas in the future. To add to the allure of the wall, we also integrated outdoor lighting into the stone ledges of the wall to enhance function when traveling the hardscape path during the evening.

Oakton VA hardscape wall and retaining wall
The new porch and deck combination, patio, pathway and retaining wall now create harmony in this outdoor living oasis!

Fabulous outdoor living combination in Oakton, VA.

Fabulous outdoor living combination in Oakton, VA.

The second portion of the hardscape project includes the addition of natural river rock and beautiful curved stepping stones down the once problematic path. The curve of the stepping stones compliments the curve of the retaining wall and creates a low-maintenance path way surrounding the new covered porch and deck space. We finished up the project by adding a small Belgard paver patio located off the deck. The homeowners can use the outdoor living space the patio provides for grilling, entertaining and other extended recreational activities.

If you have an area within your landscape that is a constant source of concern and lack-luster in appearance and function, contact Archadeck of Northern Virginia to transform it into an area you will cherish. Our low maintenance outdoor living space designs will give new meaning to the old saying “a thing of beauty is a joy forever!” (703) 746 – 8169

Lew Privon, Owner of Archadeck of Northern Virginia

Lew Privon, Owner of Archadeck of Northern Virginia


See more backyard transformations by visiting our patio and hardscapes photo gallery located on our website.


Archadeck of Northern VA discusses why a hardscape gets the best supporting role nomination in your outdoor living combination space

Archadeck of Northern Virginia patio hardscapes

Hardscape materials such as pavers offer low-maintenance qualities when used in patio and outdoor space designs.

We often talk about the benefits of adding an outdoor living combination to your backyard. Take a look into the pages of any upscale home and garden magazine and you will see that combining two, or in some cases even three outdoor living structures is high on the top of many homeowners’ backyard wish list. Choosing a combination outdoor living space rather than a singular outdoor structure can provide more aesthetics and versatility to the equation and allow you to use your backyard like a vignette of outdoor rooms. Among the most popular structure used in combination with decks, porches and even 3 and 4 season rooms is the hardscape patio.

The term hardscape refers to any solid material used in outdoor pavements or landscaping. These can include concrete, which can be stained or stamped to gain a more decorative effect, pavers, brick, synthetic stone and natural stone. Hardscape patio spaces continue to increase in popularity because they add value and durability to your outdoor space and are low-maintenance. Adding a hardscape will enhance your outdoor living space and will pay for itself in the long run. By adding a hardscape space such as a patio to your outdoor living area you can add depth, texture and rustic appeal. This is accomplished by mingling the natural elements hardscapes provide which create a tactile feature that you can see and feel. Take a look at just a few of the patio and outdoor living space combinations possible in this video created by Archadeck of Northern VA…

Combining structures that work in unison will give you the freedom to designate a separate function for each space. A hardscape patio is considered part of your landscape  whereas decks and porches are generally connected in some way to your existing home, this feature also makes the patio the perfect structure to descend into from a deck, porch or 3-season room and add additional functional outdoor living space. Patios are also considered low-maintenance which is often an overlooked benefit of owning a hardscape. Patios are easy to maintain and only require a quick sweep of leaves or debris to clean. If something happens to one paver, it can be removed and replaced without disrupting the structure around it.

Springfield VA hardscape patio

Notice how the hue of the paver blends perfectly with the gray infused within the homes existing masonry- design unity is another benefit of adding a hardscape to your outdoor living combination.

Many patios are set at grade level and have no step down to the yard. This concept opens up a plethora of options for many backyards that otherwise could not facilitate the addition of a deck or porch. A quality hardscape outdoor space can enable homeowners to open the back door and enter directly into their outdoor space with little or no transition. Patios additions are a wonderful way to take advantage of outdoor living when other structures aren’t applicable and will also add versatility as part of an outdoor living combination structure where homeowners can get the best of both worlds.

Hardscape and patio additions go together beautifully with decks, porches, three and four-season rooms and even sunroom additions. No matter which type of outdoor living combination you have in mind, a hardscape will add a layer of function, beauty and style like no other. Contact Archadeck of Northern VA to learn more about hardscape patios and our versatile outdoor living combination designs. Call us today for a free quote • (703) 746 – 8169 • email:

Lew Privon, Owner of Archadeck of Northern Virginia

Lew Privon, Owner of Archadeck of Northern Virginia

You can see more inspiring outdoor living combinations that include hardscapes by visiting our patio and hardscape photo gallery and our outdoor rooms photo gallery located on our website.

This Springfield, VA paver patio is part of an outdoor living combination that provides the best of both worlds

Springfield VA paver patio and tiered retaining wall

This paver patio is loaded with old world style and craftsmanship by the careful attention to every detail.

This stunning paver patio in Springfield, VA is part of an outdoor living combination that includes a versatile four season room. The two spaces combined provide ample room for outdoor and indoor function and tons of aesthetic appeal. Since the homeowners have such a beautifully wooded backyard, they are now able to enjoy their backyard from both angles. The patio provides a space to entertain, dine and grill and be at one with Mother Nature.  The 4-season room also provides an indoor space at their disposal when they want protection from the elements and insects but still allows them take advantage of the great view. The combination truly gives them the best of both worlds.

Paver patio Springfield, VA

This versatile and beautiful outdoor living combination in Springfield, VA includes a paver patio and 4-season room.

Since theses Springfield, VA homeowners loved the outdoors but hated the upkeep of lawns and landscaping the decision to add a paver patio to their outdoor space made sense. Not only does the patio require very little maintenance it also adds valuable outdoor living space to the backyard. In this particular scenario adding the patio alleviated a drainage problem within the yard as well. We were able to grade it in preparation for the patio construction to get rid of any standing water issues within the backyard.

Springfield VA paver patio details

The design includes a seating wall for added versatility.

The customer’s decision to move forward on the paver project (at the same time as building the four season room) was due to the efficiencies involved  with grading the backyard, pouring the new basement stairs at the same time as excavating and pouring the foundation for the 4 season room.

Springfield VA hardscape patio

Notice how the hue of the paver blends perfectly with the gray infused within the homes existing masonry.

We used Belgard Dublin Cobble pavers for the graduated paver patio design. The pavers were installed using polymeric sand which delivers a durable interlock of the pavers. Using polymeric sand also prevents washouts, inhibits weed growth and ant infestations which are common when using regular sand.  These pavers offer a vintage, tumbled look that works great with the homes ranch-style architecture. By choosing a gray hue the homeowners were able to blend the gray bricks used in their masonry with the patio. The design also includes a Belgard Celtik wall with a flat top and beveled edge making it perfect for a seating wall. This seating wall adds even more function and aesthetics to the project. Along with the patio we also built a paver walkway that leads around to the driveway from the rear of the home, and we added pavers to the concrete steps which we repoured. As part of adding to the cohesive beauty of the project we also applied stucco to one wall facing inward towards the patio. The homeowners are ecstatic with the new space and all the diversity it adds to their lifestyle.

Springfield VA combination outdoor living

By choosing a graduated patio design the patio has two separate outdoor living levels.

Archadeck of Northern Virginia can provide the same outdoor living dream come true for your backyard. Whether you are ready to refurbish an existing deck or take on an outdoor structure combination such as this,Our design process can involve staged building, which is completed in phases to accommodate your lifestyle and budget.Whatever you imagine your outdoor space to become; we can make it a reality. Contact us today for a free consultation (703) 746 – 8169

Lew Privon, Owner of Archadeck of Northern Virginia

Lew Privon, Owner of Archadeck of Northern Virginia

See more inspiring examples of outdoor living ideas by visiting our 3 and 4-season room gallery and our patio and hardscapes gallery located on our website.