Tag Archive for: Patio

Backyard Renovation Feels Like a Vacation at Home

This backyard renovation was a bittersweet one for our New Berlin, Wisconsin clients.  While they had long dreamed of creating a beautiful backyard oasis where they could entertain, the project was put off for years due to the unexpected passing of their teenage son.  And, standing in the way of the renovation was their late son’s playset.  

This design needed a creative, yet mindful touch.  The clients entertain often and also enjoy traveling.  On their wish list was to create a space that gave them the feel of being on vacation right in their own backyard. To that end, the features they requested included a hot tub, a fire pit, and a large area to entertain friends and family. Of utmost importance was to also provide privacy from the neighbors in the back, as well as around the hot tub area. 

Thoughtful Design for an Expansive Patio and Multi-Purpose Fire Pit

Backyard Renovation

For both the patio and fire pit, we used wet cast pavers to accent and complement the house. The patio also has a double border detail to highlight the curves and corners of the space.  It makes for a spacious and appealing gathering space with plenty of room for multiple tables and chairs. The fire pit is a showstopper, with a full seat wall enclosure to provide a comfortable area to sit by the fire, while doubling as a bar on the backside for bigger parties.  Firewood storage pillars were added with large Lannon stone caps to keep wood dry and readily accessible.

Plantings Lend Privacy for Backyard Oasis

Plantings to Screen Hot Tub Area

The hot tub anchors one corner of the backyard, abutting a neighbor’s yard on the side. To give necessary screening, we surrounded it with juniper and fine line buckthorn. Adding to the ambiance are new garden beds, edged with Lannon cobbles and populated with hydrangeas and ninebark. Large 12-foot arborvitae were installed on the back-property line to instantly provide the privacy needed for this beautiful retreat. 

Finishing Touches


Lighting for Backyard Transformation

To ensure their enjoyment of their backyard oasis extends into the evening hours, we included lighting carefully placed throughout the backyard.

Planting for Backyard Renovation

Lastly, with their late son’s playset gone, we wanted to honor their late son with a memorial magnolia. This colorful focal point will bloom every spring as a memorial. 

Our customers now have a beautiful Backyard Oasis where they can entertain, enjoy the ambiance of the fire with a Brewer game on TV, or enjoy the sounds of live music echoing from down the block while relaxing in the hot tub.  

 Are you ready to create your dream backyard? Let one of our expert designers help you realize your vision for your backyard.  Get in touch! Contact us here or call 262-252-4260 today.


A Guide to Permeable Pavers

An Environmentally-Friendly Option for Your Hardscape Project

Whether you’re required to use them or you just want to know more about what they are, permeable pavers are a hot topic these days. Local requirements are often the driver of these conversations, but many homeowners are also becoming more aware of the benefits of adding a permeable paver patio or using permeable pavers for a walkway and/or driveway.

As more municipalities are becoming concerned with the problems storm water runoff create, there have been increasing restrictions placed on the amount of impervious surface allowed on a property. For example, lakefront property owners are often limited as to how many square feet of impervious material can be used in their landscape. It is not without good reason that these restrictions exist. Storm water runoff can overwhelm sewer systems and/or increase the number of pollutants the end up in area lakes and rivers.

According to the MMSD, permeable pavers have several benefits:

  • Helps protect our streams and lakes from pollution by reducing storm water runoff
  • Reduces erosion and flooding risks associated with high runoff volumes
  • Needs less salt for de-icing in the winter
  • Manages a lot of run off in a small space
  • Absorbs less heat than asphalt in the summer because of its lighter colors, thus cooling and humidifying the ambient air

What are Permeable Pavers?

Permeable pavers replicate the natural process that occurs on the ground’s surface. The permeable pavement system allows water to pass through the joints and seep into the ground naturally rather than turning into runoff headed directly into the sewer system. Permeable pavers also filter out pollutants such as contaminants from vehicles, de-icing salt and chemical products, keeping them from polluting waterways.

Aesthetics of Permeable Pavers

A range of styles are available for permeable pavers, which means you will not sacrifice the aesthetics of your hardscape project. Our trusted suppliers, like Techo-Bloc, Unilock and Belgard have a wide range of styles and colors to ensure your permeable paver project complements the look of your property.

Permeable Paver System Installation

The process of installing permeable pavers is a bit different from traditional paver installation. Permeable pavers are just one part of a complete system—with various layers and sizes of crushed stone to make the system permeable.

For this reason, permeable pavers are installed using layers of varying-sized stone or aggregate underneath to filter and direct storm water to underground aquifers. Proper base preparation is necessary to accommodate all of the water that is going to be percolating into the gravel beneath the pavers. It’s the installation of the base that is critical to the success of your permeable paver patio, walkway, or driveway.

We invested in equipment recently to help streamline the installation of a permeable paver parking lot for a commercial customer. Rather than requiring human labor to individually place pavers one by one, this equipment allows a pallet of pavers to be placed – saving time and preserving the health of our employees. You can see it in action below:


If you are interested in learning more about leveraging permeable pavers on your property, feel free to contact one of our experts today. We can help you design, select materials, and ensure proper installation of your hardscape project. Call 262-252-4260 or visit www.amerlandscape.com to learn more.