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Raised Bluestone Patio

See why a raised bluestone patio was selected to replace an aging redwood deck.

A video transcript featuring Joseph Huettl, Huettl Landscape Architecture

On this project, there used to be a rather tall redwood deck that was aging and falling apart, and it had railings on it and it created a nice, level change except that it was just not very open to the rest of the yard. So part of the program was to blow that out and then, using a laser level during the measurement phase, we dialed in all the spot elevations in different parts of the yard, which allowed us to design this terrace.

Terrace designThe terrace design was determined by the grades and what we could achieve without getting into an engineered wall, trying to keep the walls more in that 30-inch range so they wouldn't feel too boxed in. And that more or less determined the height and the placement of this terrace as well as aesthetic and spatial considerations. One of the things we also wanted to do was make this space very inviting, both visually and from an ergonomic standpoint, so we did a very wide step here. The steps are 10 or 12 feet wide, which allows somebody to come from either side of the pool. Since the concrete around the pool was fairly narrow, we wanted to sort of make up for that and allow flow from either direction without feeling that you're bottled into an area.

We only have three steps up - we really didn't want to go to four steps up. Three steps is a nice, fairly easy number. People utilize it without feeling that it's a big effort to get into this space. Other spaces in the yard have more of an enclosed feeling, and this gave us an opportunity to celebrate the sun and have more of an open space.

Patio materialsWorking with this existing beige-colored concrete, we wanted to do a nice change that would tie with the rest of the yard, and we chose a full-range bluestone flagstone that would work and we incorporated that on this side of the yard as well as the dining area on the other side of the yard. And here we use a random-pattern flagstone for a less architectural feel, more earthy ground plane. Whereas on the other side in certain areas, we use a square-cut multicolored flagstone; that same material, just a different cut.

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