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Pool Coping and Treads

When designing a new Residence or Commercial Property, consider these ideas to keep up with the trend toward more modern clean lines:

1. Squared off edges on Cast stone copings and caps with either 90 degree edges or a simple 45 degree chamfer.

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2. Choose either a Smooth, Light Texture or Acid Wash finish to enhance the the squared off edges and keep the focus on the shapes rather than the finish.

3. Stay with cooler colors such as Kerckhoffstone White, Marco, or Bristol or paired with our cool greys such as Tarpon, Dolphin, 5 Points Grey, or Charcoal.

4. Use Linear Pavers and running bond patterns in Veneer and panels.

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It’s an exciting thing as a homeowner to begin landscaping your backyard. Landscaping is like a blank canvas – the possibilities are endless. You can cultivate a massive vegetable garden with twenty different species of tomato; or you can pave over the whole area and build a basketball court. But one thing is certain: water features always add to the landscape of a home.

Whether you decide to add a fountain or build a koi pond, water is always a crowd-pleaser. Even your hypothetical basketball court would benefit from the addition of a fountain, just think of how much easier it will be to fill up your water bottle after a particularly tough game! But how do you begin choosing the best water feature for your backyard?

Here are a few ideas for you to consider when picking a water feature for your landscaping.

1. Tiered Fountains

As we’ve already mentioned, it’s pretty difficult to go wrong with a fountain. There are dozens of different styles and sizes you can choose if one particular variety doesn’t work for you. In choosing a fountain, it’s important to first decide what kind of style you are creating with your entire backyard landscaping. A neatly manicured yard wants for an equally neat and tidy fountain. Consider a three-tiered fountain to draw the eye as a focal point. It’s a graceful and stately construction without being gaudy. It’s up to you – but again, the possibilities are endless!
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2. Japanese Fountains

The Japanese are famous for their fountains and the gardens that house them. Japanese fountains are typically designed with a very simple and sleek style. They are usually built of wood, natural stone, and/or bamboo. Much smaller than a classic three-tiered fountain, a Japanese fountain is compact enough to occupy a corner of your yard.

The purpose of a Japanese fountain is to suffuse the space with the tranquil sound of running water, but not to distract from the natural beauty of the landscaping. Therefore, if you’re going for a “zen” vibe to your backyard haven, consider installing a little Japanese fountain. You can enjoy the pleasure of unwinding in your yard at the end of the day, with the musical sound of burbling water soothing your nerves.

3. Waterfall Ponds

Ponds add a natural beauty to any yard; and, in the same way that there are so many ways to design a fountain, there are dozens of different designs available to you in building your pond. It’s a simple task for a landscape designer to build a custom pond; but it’s also possible to buy a kit from any big box store for an inexpensive option.

One common variety is a waterfall pond. This is basically a more natural-seeming way to add a fountain to your backyard landscaping. A waterfall pond will certainly draw the eye and the admiration of any visitors you might have, so be sure when you’re building it that you want this pond to be the center of attention in your yard.

4. Natural Ponds or Streams

If you have one of those aforementioned Tropical yards, you may very well opt for the natural look with your pond. Although it’s manmade, this style of pond looks like the sort of little pond you’d stumble across in a forest or a meadow. If you’re feeling very ambitious, you can also invest in some native water plants and some fish to add color and character to your pond.
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5. Spa

This is probably the most popular water feature you can possibly utilize in your backyard; Relax after a long day or with friends on the weekend. A spa can become a true sanctuary.
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These are only a few ideas for backyard water features; a cursory look at any garden supply shop or consultation with a landscape architect will reveal dozens of fantastic ideas for your home. Take a look around to find the fountain, pond or spa that is best for your yard!

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Ahh, hardscaping. The more obstinate and frustrating brother to landscaping. Many new homeowners get excited about the prospect of planting flowers and vegetable gardens in their new backyard, but they falter at the thought of building a patio, a Cast stone pathway, or a garden wall. But even if you decide to keep your yard completely au natural, you should at least consider hardscapes such as patios, fences, pathways, or fire pits, as these elements can often enhance – rather than detract from – the natural beauty of your landscaped garden.

Here are some hardscaping ideas you may want to consider for your home!

A Space for Outdoor Entertaining

Call it a patio if you want, but many homeowners are getting so much more creative with this combination barbecue-sitting area -outdoor-dining space. Patios are becoming increasingly more elaborate and exciting, with fire pits or fire places, tiered seating areas, and beautiful outdoor furniture that could just as easily belong inside the house. Think of building your patio as an outdoor living room, instead of just a concrete slab where you can put your grill.
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A Space for Tranquility

If you’ve never before considered hardscaping for fear of taking away from your yard’s natural beauty, think about the benefits of creating space for a small pond and sitting area. This is a fantastic way to incorporate hardscaping into your land, while at the same time enhancing what is already beautiful about the place. Ponds not only look beautiful, they help to attract wildlife to your yard, and they provide a pleasant place to relax and unwind at the end of a long day. It’s like bringing a piece of the forest into your home.

A Space for Cooking

Have you thought about the excitement of being able to step outside your back door and have a separate kitchen space available to you? Okay, so maybe a full kitchen is a little outside of your budget, or you just don’t have the space for such a large setup. Even so, think about building a wood-fired pizza oven, or a smoker for creating delicious smoked salmon or pork. We are instinctively drawn to the outdoors when it comes to eating and cooking; there’s something primal about preparing your food over an open fire. Why not channel some of the raw instinct when you’re thinking about hardscaping your yard? Take a survey from among your friends and family – I’m sure they’d be thrilled with the idea of sharing some of your fresh smoked salmon.
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So you’re ready to landscape your garden! And of course, like any discriminating homeowner, you want to use the highest quality materials you can find. Thus, you’re certainly leaning toward Kerckhoffstone Cast stone to beautify your backyard.

But although Cast stone is a beautiful material, there are just so many options when it comes to using it in and around your home. How do you decide what kind of Cast stone to use? And how much is too much? What features of your yard and garden do you want to highlight, and how?

Here are a few design tips for using Cast stone features in your home landscaping.

Pavestones

There’s nothing more beautiful than a pathway paved with gorgeous and durable Cast stone flagstones. Whether you are creating a footpath from your back porch to your garden, or whether you want to create a lovely path to encircle a pond, flagstones can help to beautify any backyard.

Cast Stone Veneer

You’ve been glaring at the ugly garden wall for ages, without knowing how to fix it up. It’s made of weather-stained concrete blocks, and you experience physical pain every time you see it. If only there was a way to make that wall more attractive without completely tearing it down and starting over.

Lucky for you, there is! Cast stone veneer allows you to adhere thin pieces of Cast stone to that unsightly garden wall. This makes it look as though the whole wall is built of beautiful granite or limestone, when in reality it is an outer shell of Cast stone. Much less expensive, but still perfectly gorgeous!

Fire Pit

This sounds so much more difficult than it is! A cast stone fire pit is simple to build and it immediately adds an attractive and functional piece to any backyard! Creating your own fire pit is an easy three-step process. First, dig out your firepit; second, order a kit from DC Kerckhoff Co or simply purchase your own cast stone wedges, and finally arrange them in a two-layer circular rings. There are plenty of DIY articles and videos available on line. Once you see other beginners give it a try, you will feel much more confident and ready to start building.

Cast Stone Treads

This is even easier than the fire pit. Slabs of staggered simulated limestone or slate can be arranged against a hillside so as to create steps leading to a porch, backyard, or garden. This is a beautiful and simple way to create outdoor stairs – so much simpler than building a staircase out of wood! Although you may spend a little more money on quality cast stone than a porch steps built of two-by-fours, the cast stone steps will last longer and retain their beauty for years to come.

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Whether you’ve decided to tackle a DIY project by installing your own patio or you’ve hired a contractor or landscape designer to do it for you, you’re going to have to select the materials you prefer. There are many choices to consider.

Between Cast stone pavers, concrete, gravel, and even wooden decking, it can be difficult to determine the materials that are most suitable for your patio. How can you make the right decision? There are several factors to consider when making your choice.

Usage

Above all, you need a product that’s going to meet your practical needs. Sure you might like the look of wooden decking, but does it have the same longevity as Cast stone?

Naturally, your personal taste and the style of your home will play some role in your decision, but first and foremost you need patio materials that suit a functional purpose. For example, if you plan to place furniture on your patio, you might prefer a smooth surface like concrete or Cast stone pavers instead of, say, gravel or uneven rock surfaces, so that your furniture doesn’t tip every time it’s touched.

Do you want your patio to double as a sport surface where your kids can shoot hoops? In this case a concrete surface might be your best bet. Before you even start looking at patio materials, take the time to consider planned usage to ensure the end product meets your needs.

Climate

Materials designed for use in patio surfaces should have features that allow them to hold up under a variety of weather conditions. After all, they’re meant for outdoor use. That said, certain materials are bound to be more durable than others when faced with extreme weather conditions.
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Wooden decking can be lovely, but even with weather protection in place, it’s only a matter of time before exposure to the elements takes its toll. Over time you could be dealing with rot, mold, warping, and a variety of other issues that make your patio surface unusable and even dangerous.

Even in a relatively temperate climate this might still be an issue as even rain and sun can wear down certain materials.

Maintenance

Every patio surface is going to need some kind of maintenance to avoid damage and keep it looking good for years. The question is how much. What will it cost you in time, effort, and money?

When considering materials, it’s best to ask about appropriate maintenance so that you have an understanding of the relative difficulty and cost of upkeep.

Cost

The cost of materials and installation is always relevant when it comes to home upgrades. Your patio isn’t likely to show much return on investment, but attractive outdoor spaces can definitely make your home more appealing.

Regardless, you likely have at least some idea of a budget going in and you’ll need to find materials that meet functional needs, suit your aesthetic, and come in under budget.

Expert Advice

Most people don’t know the first thing about patio materials. But purveyors of pavers and other patio surfaces can offer a wealth of knowledge and experience. Come prepared with questions and you’re sure to get the expert advice you need to make an informed decision.

Add a wow factor to your landscaping project by adding hardscaping components to complement and enhance living elements.

Posted by & filed under Cast stone Hardscape, Customized Concrete.

Pavers Rico Color

In case you haven’t heard the term before, hardscaping is any part of your outdoor landscaping that is manmade, including items made from Cast stone, brick, concrete, metal, or wood. This is as opposed to living plantscape, which generally consists of the flora in your yard.

A modern outdoor design project will incorporate both hard and soft elements working together to create a beautiful and functional outdoor space that acts as an extension of your home for your family and friends to enjoy. If you do it right, your hardscaping could even transform your outdoor space from a traditional yard with pretty flowers and plants to an exciting and unique living space.

Here are a few helpful hardscaping tips that will allow any homeowner to make the most of available outdoor space.

1. Measure Your Space

You can’t really get started planning your hardscaping project until you know what kind of space you’re working with. This knowledge can help you to put together a design and create a budget before starting your project.

2. Plan Ahead

There are two things to consider in the planning process: budget and design. You don’t want to start any hardscaping project if you’re missing one or both of these elements.

If your budget allows, consider hiring a professional to put together a design for you. There are programs you can use to dream up your outdoor spaces on your own, but without a background in design you might end up with a major disaster in your yard.

3. Comparison Shop

Even with a design in place that sketches out the basic layout of your yard, you might not have a firm handle on the hardscape materials and elements you want to include.

Your best bet is to comparison shop, learning about the differences in cost, construction, durability, and aesthetic appeal associated with a variety of materials. Even though you might like the price point of concrete, the look may not appeal to you as much as, say, natural stone. So shop around before making any decisions.

4. Functionality

In design, form follows function. Before you start perusing planter boxes and pavers, you need to make sure that you have considered how you want your yard to function, as well as the role that your intended usage, regional weather, and other environmental factors will play.

5. Aesthetics

Finally, it’s time to think about the element of beauty in your yard. Hardscaping, when done right, can transform your yard into an attractive retreat.

Think about how every paver, planter, and piece of furniture will work together to create a cohesive whole and provide visual appeal, in addition to functional value. You’ll end up with a hardscape that perfectly compliments your living landscape and makes your home more attractive overall.

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Here at DC Kerckhoff Company we have been a leader in the manufacture of cast stone concrete products since 1972. We provide the highest quality stone for everything from pool copings, planters, and balustrades all the way to grand columns, hardscapes, and pavers. In this article we are going to talk about some of the things you will need to consider while picking out a pool for your back yard.

Concrete Pools

Installing a beautiful in-ground pool is a great way to increase the aesthetics, functionality, and fun of your back yard. The first step of getting your perfect pool is to decide what kind of pool you want. There are three main types of pools available today. The most popular of these three are concrete pools.

Concrete pools are truly custom built. There is no cookie-cutter template for concrete pools available today. The installation consists of putting solid, steel-reinforced walls down into the earth and then shooting concrete out of a gun like apparatus onto these walls. This system is why you will sometimes here concrete pools referred to as Shotcrete or Gunite pools. As the concrete finishes curing it can be plastered smooth, painted, tiled, etc.

Concrete pools generally take longer to install than any other type of pool (usually between 3 and 12 weeks). With this added time comes a stronger and more durable pool however. In fact, many of these pools last for well over 50 years. This is also the only type in-ground pool which can be expanded, updated, or remodeled. This is one of the huge benefits to having a concrete pool.

Vinyl Pools

Another type of pool is made of vinyl. These are made from a preformed flexible liner that fits into a hole and attaches to a reinforced frame. This frame is normally made of steel, aluminum, or non-corrosive polymer. A majority of vinyl pools are rectangular, but there are other shapes which can be found. These flexible liners come in a multitude of colors and visual textures for your viewing pleasure.

One major drawback to vinyl pools is that they can be punctured by some tools, toys or other sharp implements. If you choose a vinyl pool make sure you get it at least 1 inch thick and treat it with some degree of care.

The typical installation time for a vinyl pool is 1-3 weeks.

Fiberglass Pools

The last type of pool you will want to look into is a fiberglass pool. These are usually bowl shaped and can be dropped into a hole in your yard using a crane. Fiberglass pools have a lot less variety in shape and size than their vinyl and concrete counterparts, but they are very smooth to touch and considerably more durable than vinyl pools.

Fiberglass pools can take a long time to have delivered. This is due to the driving routes that truck drivers must take with such an oversized load.

Summary

All three of these pools are quite popular in the USA. You will want to look at what qualities are important to you. Do you want the pool up and running in as little time as possible? Well then vinyl might be a good option for you. Do you want a custom pool that will last for years? Well then you should look into concrete. Do you want a smooth and simply shaped pool? In that case, you may want to check out your fiberglass options.

Learn more about DC Kerckhoff Company

Visit our website today to learn more about our products and services.

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While smooth stone is certainly the standard for architectural concrete, many people don’t realize the wide array of textured options available to them. At D.C. Kerckhoff, we offer outstanding products for our commercial clientele, helping them build beautiful hotels, residences, and more. Our trademarked Stone Cast™ products are exceptionally high quality, durable, and aesthetic. We aim to inspire our customers to create beautiful balustrades, bases, bowls, buildings, and more. One of the ways we capture our clientele’s imagination is by offering a wide range of finishes for our stone. If you want something more than a smooth finish, read on to learn more about our textured options.

Why Choose Textured?

Smooth architectural elements have their merits, but there are many benefits to textured finishes. The advantages include:

  • Adding accents to pools copings, trims, hardscape, and more.
  • Providing greater depth and complexity to the color and style of stone products. Texture can be an important design decision.
  • Offering more choices for customization. You can decide exactly what kind of texture you would like to create and implement, especially since we engineer a variety of types.
  • Allowing for a greater diversity of design styles.
  • Making your architectural plan unique. Finishes add the final polish to your particular project.

Our Options

Stone is one of the most versatile building materials, in large part due to its texture. D.C. Kerckhoff provides an array of Stone Cast™ finishes to help our clients take advantage of everything this substance has to offer. When you work with our company, you can choose from any of the following for your architectural project:

  • Acid Wash Texture. This is one of our most popular finishes. In his book, Architectural Stone: Fabrication, Installation, and Selection, Mark A. Chacon describes this technique: “acid washed finishes are produced by applying acid to the surface of a stone to create a rustic texture…acid washed finishes will appear different from stone to stone, however, the color generally darkens and a satin sheen is produced.” Acid washing can often creates a shiny, smooth texture with a smattering of small indentations. This treatment can also give the stone a spotted appearance. No two acid washes are exactly alike.
  • ChiselStone Texture. As its name suggests, ChiselStone texture is achieved by using a manual tool to modify various slabs, bricks, or sections. Like acid wash texture, ChiselStone can provide a more classic, antiquated appearance. Since it often has a dark, rough appearance, chisel stone can be reminiscent of castle exteriors.
  • CoralStone Texture. Some of the most beautiful natural stones are those that were once underwater and therefore home to various coral creatures. We mimic the appearance of these ancient materials with our CoralStone texture, manufactured by stamping the slab with subtle patterns and creating slight variations in depth. This finish often includes small pockmarks, streaks, and shell designs.
  • Light Texture. We understand that some clients may want a simpler, less stylistic texture. Our light texture is generally smooth with some depressions, rough patches, and splotches of color variation.
  • Regular Texture. This type of finish is most like organic stone. It is quite rough, with numerous depressions, pockmarks, and streaks. Regular texture is very versatile and provides a natural look.
  • ShellCast Champion Color. Many natural stones were formed beneath the ocean, embedded with and indented by tiny shells. ShellCast Champion Color is relatively smooth, but with small shell pieces, holes, and streaks. This finish may be especially appropriate for seaside structures.
  • ShellCast Polished. This texture is very similar to ShellCast Champion Color, but it is generally darker, smoother, and with larger shell pieces. Like its counterpart, it may be a good choice for oceanfront hotels or buildings in tropical locales.

How We Can Help

The D.C. Kerckhoff team can help you choose the right textured finishes for your project. We have helped numerous clients make the most of their stonework by choosing the right textures. Consider a few of our case studies:

  • We designed a 32-acre garden for the Four Seasons Orlando. To complete such a large undertaking, we needed to utilize and harmonize numerous textures. We created and shipped over 85,000 customized pieces in Light, Regular, and ChiselStone Textures.
  • Smithfield Foods in Virginia approached us to create Stone Cast™ accents for their classic brick building. We used an acid wash finish to highlight the aesthetic of this structure.
  • We manufactured more than 50,000 Light Medium Texture pieces for a gorgeous residence in Long Island, New York.
  • One of our most memorable projects was for Disney Polynesian. We used customized Form Texture to make stone pieces that looked like Sabal palm trunks for theme park planters.

Try Textured Today

Are you looking for something more than a smooth finish? Contact D.C. Kerckhoff today to learn more about our textured finishes or schedule a consultation.

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Concrete is the most widely used building material in the world. As Jay Merrick explained in his Independent piece on the subject: “[concrete is] usually the most banal of building materials…But when [it] is used by brilliant architects and engineers, the results are riveting. Even today, the world’s first iconic concrete structure…the Pantheon in Rome…seems breathtaking.” Many people undervalue the beauty of concrete precisely because this substance is so popular, but it can be molded into stunning creations. If you only shop for stock concrete pieces, you’re missing everything this versatile material has to offer. At D.C. Kerckhoff, we manufacture cast stone concrete items for contractors, architects, designers, and homeowners around the world, so we understand their true potential. In the following blog, we explain the top five reasons to choose custom concrete casting over stock pieces.

1. You can get exactly the look you want.

Our experienced team can make personalized pieces for you according to your specifications. You can choose the tone, style, texture, size, and design of your concrete creations. For example, we offer eight different finishes and more than a hundred standard colors for you to pick from. Fitting pre-made pieces into your plans can be quite a struggle, costing you valuable time and ultimately leaving you dissatisfied with your results. When you work with D.C. Kerckhoff, you can rest assured that your outcomes will meet or exceed your expectations.

2. We’ll help you refine your design.

When you opt for custom concrete casting, our team can also help you make the most of your design ideas. We’ll work closely with you every step of the way. D.C. Kerckhoff even uses advanced computer software to produce detailed shop drawings and digital takeoffs with our advanced computer software.

3. You can trust in the quality of your pieces.

If you purchase stock pieces, you can’t be fully sure how they were made or where they came from. Since it’s such a widely used material, concrete is often mass-produced as inexpensively as possible, which might not bode well for the longevity of your structures. D.C. Kerckhoff has been custom manufacturing concrete for more than four decades, so we know how to do it well. We’ve updated our stone casting techniques to reflect the latest advances and even trademarked our Stone Cast™ name so that customers don’t confuse our extraordinary products with our competitors’. In addition, we make every piece to go above and beyond the American Society for Testing of Materials’ strict standards. The D.C. Kerckhoff team prides itself on our outstanding craftsmanship and high quality. We’d be happy to discuss the manufacturing process with you in more detail so you can feel confident in your concrete pieces.

4. Your concrete pieces will suit their particular function better.

Buying stock pieces for a complicated design can feel a bit like trying to jam a square peg into a round hole. Rather than letting what’s available constrain your plans, you can improve the function of your products by choosing custom concrete casting. We’ll help you design and fabricate pieces that match your needs. D.C. Kerckhoff regularly works on bowls, planters, pool copings, hardscape, balustrades, columns, and more. We’ll make sure your pieces serve their intended purpose while contributing to the aesthetics of your space. To illustrate the functional power of custom casting, take a look at our project for Disney Polynesian. D.C. Kerckhoff used innovative techniques to create concrete pieces that looked like Sabal Palm tree trunks, creating a durable, attractive decorative element that would have been impossible to achieve with stock pieces.

5. You can express your unique personality.

Why would you want cookie cutter concrete when you can have custom casting? We can individualize your design to make it unique. Customized cladding could add unique flair to your exteriors, the right copings and caps could jazz up your gates, and beautiful bases could make your walls stand out. Custom concrete casting can make your home feel more like yours or enhance your business’s brand. For example, by casting over 85,000 distinctive pieces for the Four Seasons Orlando, we helped heighten the luxurious appeal of this landmark hotel.

Contact D.C. Kerckhoff Today for Custom Concrete Casting

Are you ready to experience the benefits of custom concrete casting for yourself? Contact us today to learn more about our services or schedule a consultation.

 

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