A beautiful backyard will naturally draw people to the outdoors. Yet, once they are there, if there is no place to sit and relax, they may turn around and head back inside. The remedy? Outdoor seating. Even the most appealing backyards are incomplete without seating. Creating an permanent seating area will invitingly draw your guests to a particular spot in the garden or to an enjoyable backyard feature, such as a fire pit, fire place, or swimming pool.
Belgard’s diverse range of wall products makes your hardscape seating options practically limitless. For example, BelAir Wall™ is an ideal solution for residential and light commercial retaining and free-standing wall construction where pleasing aesthetics are a key consideration. The attractive multi-piece design (= endless pattern options) and blended colors offer an alternative look. The design of this easy-to-use product allows for straight lines, sweeping curves and right angles. Matching caps provide ideal seating areas.
Another excellent option is Celtik Wall™. Belgard’s twentieth-century interpretation of ancient wall stone, Celtik Wall offers timeless elegance combined with modern durability and ease-of-maintenance. Celtik Wall’s design flexibility makes it ideal for any number of uses — encircling greenery, partitioning property, accenting light posts, or simply creating accent walls with rugged, romantic appeal.
Ideas for Seating
- Retaining walls – build them to seating height. Belgard offers many cap toppers to create a matching, cohesive appearance.
- Around a feature – when adding a fire pit or water feature, use a topped wall to allow company to sit and enjoy the elements.
- Create a new space – use a wall to divide spaces and create a gathering area. The wall can serve double duty by providing seating for both areas.
- Garden borders – add a wall to border a garden, creating a relaxing seating area to enjoy the flowers.
- Tall walls – create surface areas that project from higher walls to create additional seating.
More Than Hardscapes
To create even more interest in your outdoor room, add a splash of color and texture by using pillows and cushions. There are many fabrics specially made for the outdoor elements. When selecting items, consider the color of both your hardscapes and surroundings.
Bright colors and lively motifs create fun in a space. Blues and greens can be soothing and coordinate with a pool and nature. Earth tones add a serene feeling when they blend with the surrounding vista. Be sure to coordinate your outdoor colors to compliment those inside if they are being seen through glass doors and windows.
Although outdoor fabrics are durable, you will want to make sure they receive adequate drainage and drying after a rain. Take them in during the freezing of the winter, especially if there is moisture present. If you see stains or mold, remove and treat immediately.
When you are purchasing fabrics, make sure they are fade-free, repel water, mold/mildew resistant, stain repelling, have full color threads (not a pattern printed on the fabric), and of course, soft.
All photos use Belgard products. Belgard offers a variety of natural, smooth-step pavers and rough-hewn textured wall systems that provide a time-honed appearance reminiscent of the gardens of Old Europe. However, they’re the product of thoroughly modern manufacturing, engineered with precise dimensional consistency for easy installation. Visit our website for more ideas. www.belgard.biz
Want a great halftime meal without missing the big game? Grab an aluminum can of your favorite malty or sweet beverage and fire up the grill! With this simple recipe that practically cooks itself, you’ll get to spend more time with your guests watching the game (and the commercials). Now, that gives everyone something to cheer about!
5-6 pound chicken (serves 4-6)
Aluminum can half full with any of the following…beer, wine, chicken broth, soda (not diet), fruit juice
Non-stick cooking spray
Olive oil or melted butter
Aluminum pie pan
Your favorite spices or dry rub mixture
- Make sure the can will fit in the chicken and that the chicken will fit standing up on your grill with the cover down. There are a number of products available to help a larger bird stay upright if you are having a problem.
- Wrap the can with foil, then coat with non-stick spray for easy removal.
- Wash the chicken inside and out and remove all excess fat.
- For even more flavor, add extra ingredients to the canned liquid – such as spices, garlic, onions.
- Lightly baste the skin with olive oil or melted butter to make it crispy.
- Gently add your seasoning or dry rub UNDER the skin and on the inside of the bird.
- Place the can and chicken upright on the aluminum pie pan. The pan will contain the chicken if it falls apart during cooking or removal from the grill.
- Make a foil packet of veggies and potatoes and add to the grill during the last hour for a complete dinner.
ON THE GRILL
Use indirect heat. If you have heat on both sides, you will not have to turn the bird. If not, carefully rotate it a half turn every 30 minutes. For the barbecue, it is recommended to keep the heat between 300-325 degree. For the smoker, keep the temperature slightly above the boiling point for the liquid – around 250 degrees.
Plan for 2-3 hours for a 5-6 pound bird on the grill. Smoking time may be longer.
IS IT DONE YET?
It’s not the time but an internal temperature of 170-175 degrees that says, “I’m done!” Check the temperature at the thickest part of the bird, around the thigh, but don’t touch the bone. Once off the grill, let it sit for 10 minutes (the internal temperature will continue to rise). All juices should run clear. You may need tongs to pull out the can. No carving is necessary – the meat should fall off!
Belgard® Environmental Collection permeable pavers are featured in the fabulous Greek Revival style “The New American Home” (TNAH 2011), the official show home of the National Association of Home Builders, open for tours this week to attendees of the International Builder’s Show 2011 (IBS 2011) in Orlando, FL.
Located a short shuttle bus ride from the IBS 2011, the home incorporates over 1,700 square feet of Belgard’s Eco-Holland Slate permeable pavers and 480 square feet of the Eco-Holland Charcoal permeable pavers. Permeable pavers allow rainwater to be absorbed into the ground, virtually eliminating destructive run off, potentially removing the need for retention ponds and underground sewer pipes. In addition, they contribute to LEED certification credits.
Belgard Products Featured in IBS 2011 Homes
Available in a variety of colors, Eco-Holland can be laid out in numerous architectural designs, offering design flexibility and adding value to residential and commercial properties. Eco-Holland permeable pavers benefit the environment and have the strength to withstand both vehicular traffic and harsh weather conditions. Plus, they are ADA Compliant. Visit the Belgard website to learn more information on the entire Environmental Collection.
The New American Home
Featuring the latest in building products and innovative construction technologies, the home will be visited by industry professionals from across the globe. TNAH 2011 was certified by the National Green Building Standard with Emerald Status, the highest of the four levels of achievement in resource efficiency that the NAHB Research Center recognizes. Tours are available through Saturday, 1/15. Visit the show website for a schedule.
The Vision™ and ReVision™ Homes
Also in Orlando are the Vision and ReVision Homes, two ultra-energy-efficient homes featuring Belgard products. Shuttles from the IBS to both homes begin at 10am and last departure from the homes: 1/13 departs at 3pm; 1/14 departs at 4pm; 1/15 departs at 1:30pm.
Kicking off this month, Belgard University is pleased to offer SalesJam for contractors, designers, sales persons, and landscape architects. Offered at 21 sites across the country, each SalesJam will provide sales techniques and tools, business strategies and proven insights on the outdoor living space market. In these one to two day classes, you will learn to set goals for the year and strategies on the best ways to accomplish them.
What to expect:
- Experience an energizing and interactive learning experience, fun peer presentation and yearlong goal tracking.
- Learn how to generate new and greater requests for outdoor living spaces/projects.
- Gain insight on how to create an initial experience so new prospective clients want to work with you.
- Create presentations to capture your client’s imagination and desires.
- Build and achieve trusting and lasting relationships with clients.
- Generate a continuous stream of sales opportunities from repeat and referred clients.
- Benefit from yearlong follow-up and updates so that you reach your goals.
For over 20 years, the presenters of SalesJam, Jim Paluch and JP Horizons, have helped professionals sell, communicate and perform at the highest level. Hundreds of designers come back year after year to experience SalesJam, and now Belgard is making sure you can benefit too!
To find a SalesJam near you, go to the Belgard University website.
ReVision House™ and Vision House™ Show Off Belgard® Products
Are you remodeling or starting new construction? Are energy efficiency and environmental impacts a concern for your next project?
Belgard Hardscapes and Suretouch® Veneer Systems, two product lines of Oldcastle Architectural Products, were selected to play a major role in Greenbuider Magazine’s ReVision House and Vision House (Orlando) demonstration homes, and are available for your projects.
Belgard pavers and Suretouch masonry are integrated into the homes, which are built with site-specific solutions for key green building issues.
The ReVision House will be retro-fitted with Oldcastle Masonry’s newest product, Suretouch. The patented veneering system, with an insulation factor of R-13.5, creates a more energy efficient and acoustically comfortable environment. The system’s simple installation process is available in both concrete masonry stone and clay brick options, creating a beautiful exterior in a fraction of the time.
Belgard Permeable Pavers
Belgard’s Environmental Collection products, Subterra and Eco Dublin, in driveway and patio pavers perform at more than five times 100-year storm standards. These concrete pavers are spaced to allow rainwater to absorb into the ground, thus reducing runoff, filtering impurities, and improving drainage.
These natural looking concrete pavers are durable enough for vehicular traffic and attractive to use, giving your project the benefits of green without compromising beauty and style.
Home tours of both ultra-energy-efficient homes will be conducted at the upcoming NAHB International Builders’ Show to be held in Orlando January 12-15.
Shuttles start at 10am and depart the homes at the following times:
1/12 departs at 4pm; 1/13 departs at 3pm; 1/14 departs at 4pm; 1/15 departs at 1:30pm