What started as a landscape project a decade ago for a local firm has evolved into three significant hardscape projects and regional recognition from the product manufacturer.
The award comes following the replacement of the clients’ driveway with Belgard’s mega-arbel pavers, but the head of Mountain View’s hardscape crew, Ricky Hansen, says the story really begins in 2008.
“We’ve known the people quite awhile,” he says. “We started making over their landscape. Then, in 2008, we got into doing pavers. They had plans for a patio with a fireplace they wanted us to do, and we did that a couple years later.”
What helped set the clients apart from some of Mountain View Nursery’s other clientele is that the husband is an engineer, while the wife is an interior designer, so they provided their own blueprints for the work.
After the patio was installed, using mega-arbel pavers, country manor walls and a general shale fireplace kit, one of the things that caught the clients’ eyes was that the snow melted off the pavers a little faster, which led to their decision to redo the entire driveway.
“But, first, they wanted what they call a party barn on the property, along with another patio,” says Hansen. “We’ve built this over time, but the driveway was a huge one for them.”
Hansen says the biggest challenge of the project was the terrain on which it was built, particularly the area of the party barn, which Mountain View was responsible for leveling.
“We went in first and built a wall behind the party barn and then leveled it up,” he says. “There was another contractor who came in and poured the footer for the barn on top of what we had leveled and built the barn. Then, we came back and laid the pavers (this time mega-laffit pavers) and installed the wall around it.”
The uneven terrain also required an adjustment by Hansen and his crew that he says the average person isn’t going to notice, but of which he’s proudest. It involves the slope from the driveway down to the location of the party barn.
“There’s a dry creek bed coming down, and I installed a small section of permeable pavers to catch any runoff from the driveway and keep it out of the building,” Hansen explains. “You don’t really see it, but it’s done the job and the water doesn’t even come close to the barn. That was a big concern.”
Hansen’s boss, Mountain View Nursery owner Harvey Burniston Jr., believes the main reason Belgard chose to recognize this project is the company doesn’t see too many driveways done in mega-arbel, “and this one turned out fantastic.”
Hansen says he’s definitely thinking of entering it in this year’s Hardscape North America competition. The original patio was entered earlier, but didn’t win a prize.
In the meantime, it’s proving its worth as a sales tool for the company. Hansen says the clients enjoy having Mountain View show it off. There is one drawback, however. Many don’t have quite that much money to spend—approximately $65,000 to $70,000.
“They also like to see smaller jobs,” Hansen concludes. “However, it helps them think if we can do this size job, surely we can do smaller jobs as well.”