Creativity is key when it comes to creating the perfect patio. Wayne Long, president of Albemarle Walls & Pavers, demonstrated how pushing the boundaries of color, style, design, and function can lead to award-winning results. From installing a false wall to support a custom-built chimney to using three different colors of the same Eagle Bay paver to create a beautiful pattern, this project is a testament to ingenuity.

“The homeowners wanted to replace their existing deck with a patio, and that’s when we got involved,” says Long. He and his team arrived on site to find an elevated deck attached to the house. “We demolished the deck and worked with the homeowner to create a plan for the patio. They knew they wanted it to be a little bigger than the deck and include an outdoor kitchen,” explains Long.

After developing the plans for the new outdoor living space, Long and the homeowner dug into the details of the patio. “They wanted a varied floor, something unique to separate their home from everyone else’s,” he says.

Long’s solution was to create a customized pattern using three different colors of GrandCay Textured. The result was a beautiful and colorful base for the patio. Long also proposed a two-toned inlay border around the patio, enhancing the look of the outdoor room even more.

“The fireplace was tough. It’s a standard Dublin Traditional Fireplace Kit, but the owner wanted the chimney to extend above the pergola,” says Long.

Long extended the fireplace’s chimney nearly four feet after installing the columns and base beam for the pergola. However, he had to get creative to compensate for the extra weight of the pergola’s support beam and the extended chimney on the fireplace.

“We installed a false gray block wall inside of the patio’s retaining wall with everything stacked upon a solid base of poured concrete and aggregate,” he says. The false wall inside the patio allowed Long to compensate for the extra weight without compromising the patio’s integrity.

The team at Albemarle Walls & Pavers had one final obstacle to tackle during the installation. “Since we were going from a deck to a patio, we had to find a way to allow a cross-breeze underneath the house to help with ventilation and heating and cooling,” says Long.

As they were installing the false wall for the chimney, Long’s team also installed 6” PVC pipes under the house at varied intervals. “The pipes run from under the house all the way to the face of the retaining wall, where I custom-cut and faced the pavers to accommodate the pipes. This allows for plenty of cross-ventilation under the house while letting the patio’s design remain the same,” he says.

With two custom-cut granite cooking surfaces and an integrated fireplace and grill, Long’s winning project is a perfect example of how a little ingenuity can go a long way.

This winning project was completed using GrandCay TexturedDublin Freestanding Wall, Brisa Retaining Wall, CottageStone Textured, a Dublin Traditional Fireplace Kit, and a Dublin Woodbox Kit.

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