After four days of work, the backyard and entrance of the Simoneaux’s home in Covington, La, is completed. “It has been a total transformation! We have always enjoyed our backyard, but now it is a true extension of our home,” states Christi Simoneaux. “It’s almost too good to be true.”
“Every time I walk outside, I still can’t believe this is my backyard,” agrees sixteen-year-old Carter Simoneaux, who can’t wait to invite a few friends over to celebrate his birthday later this month. Not to be outdone, younger brother Dustin is already planning a gathering for his 7th grade class at the end of this school year. “It won’t come soon enough for me,” states Dustin.
The transformation process began a month ago with ideas and plans. When the installer, Rod Trahan of La Pavers was chosen, the difficult choices had been made. Using the Belgard’s Design Studio, the Simoneauxs had a clear picture of the final project. “Using Belgard’s Design Studio saves potential problems because the homeowner sees the outcome, thus avoiding misconceptions, which equals delays,” states Trahan who is using it for future products.
The whole installation took a total of four days. “Can you believe we had concrete removed, pavers installed and an outdoor kitchen completed in such a short time?” Simoneaux questions. Trahan replies, “That is the beauty of Belgard products, especially the Elements line. Everyone wants an outdoor kitchen these days. Yet a typical project with this effect can take weeks. Belgard’s Elements install in one day and the homeowner knows exactly what they will get.”
The project that was initially planned to be phased out over a number of years, due to cost, was able to be completed all at once thanks to the Belgard Preferred Payment program. “Being able to spread the cost over 12 months with same-as-cash financing was one of the factors to help us realize our dreams now,” says Simoneaux. “Our house, from the entrance to the backyard, is totally transformed. Thank you Belgard!”
Before and After
Grilled Lemon-Dill Salmon with Cucumber Salad
You know spring is here when recipes start using fresh vegetables! Nothing beats a fresh cucumber from the Farmer’s Market, marinated for the afternoon. Remember, medium sized and smaller cucumbers have a sweeter taste, so don’t grab the largest one.
Western salmon meets Scandinavia in this light, refreshing recipe. Prep and cooking time are 40 minutes, plus at least 2 hours marinating time. Notes: The salad can be made up to 8 hours ahead and chilled, covered.
Personally, I add a few grape tomatoes to brighten the color and make it more kid-friendly. Add them just before serving to maintain their plumpness.
Yield: Makes 4 servings Total: 2 hours, 40 minutes
- 2 or 3 lemons
- 4 center-cut skin-on salmon fillets (6 to 8 oz. each), rinsed and patted dry
- 2 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill, divided
- 1 English (seedless) cucumber
- 1/2 cup bottled cocktail onions, drained
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- About 2 teaspoons olive oil
1. Zest lemons to yield 2 tbsp. zest. Sprinkle salmon fillets with 1 1/2 tbsp. zest (set remaining zest and whole lemons aside) and 1 1/2 tbsp. dill, dividing evenly among fillets and patting to adhere. Wrap fillets in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
2. Slice cucumber paper-thin on a mandoline or other hand held slicer. Cut onions in half. In a bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Add cucumber, onions, remaining lemon zest and dill, and toss gently to coat. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
3. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill for indirect heat. If using a gas grill, turn all burners to high and close lid. When the temperature inside the grill reaches 400°, lift lid and turn off one of the burners, creating the indirect-heat area. If using a charcoal grill, light 50 to 60 briquettes and let burn until just covered with ash, 20 to 30 minutes. Mound them to one side, leaving a cleared area for indirect cooking.
4. Fold two 12- by 18-in. pieces of heavy-duty aluminum foil in half width-wise to form rectangles. Using the tip of a small knife, make holes in rectangles about 2 in. apart and widen each hole to the size of a dime. Grease foil with olive oil; set over direct heat for 2 minutes.
5. Brush salmon skins with oil. Set 2 fillets, skin side down, on each foil rectangle. Cover grill (if using charcoal, open vents on lid) and cook fish until skin is light brown and really sizzling, 5 to 6 minutes. Using tongs, slide foil to indirect heat, cover, and cook until all but top 1/4 in. is cooked, 3 to 8 minutes. Slide fish back over direct heat, cover, and cook until fish is cooked through (cut to test) and skin is browned and crisp, about 3 minutes.
6. Transfer foil with salmon to a rimless baking sheet and, sliding an offset cake spatula or other thin spatula between salmon skin and foil, very gently free fish from foil. Season each fillet with salt and a few drops of juice from a remaining lemon. Serve with cucumber salad.
Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.
- Calories: 375 (48% from fat)
- Protein: 39g
- Fat: 20g (sat 4.1)
- Carbohydrate: 6.7g
- Fiber: 1.6g
- Sodium: 980mg
- Cholesterol: 111mg
The project is underway! The Simoneaux family of Covington, La have been eagerly awaiting this moment for years – a new front entry, pool patio additions, and a new Belgard Elements bar and grill station from the Bristol Collection. After initial planning, meetings with designer Mike Miles with the Belgard Elements Collection and Harmony Outdoor Living and contractor Rod Trahan of La Pavers, the project was ready to start. “It’s been quite a production! There are vehicles of all shapes and sizes for two blocks,” Christi Simoneaux reports. The plumber and electrician were on site to run lines for the new items.
First, the area was excavated, which included removing seven inches of top-soil for the pavers, as well as several sections of existing concrete. One area of concrete was over 10 inches thick, requiring use of a jack-hammer and a hydraulic concrete breaker. “It was somewhat surreal to see this huge piece of equipment right outside my living room window. But before I knew it, the concrete was gone and hauled away,” said Simoneaux.
The next step was to install the patio areas, which is a multi-layer process. First, black felt is rolled out to cover the bottom of the excavated dirt areas. Next, a bed of limestone is shoveled in and compacted, followed by a layer of sand that is leveled and compacted.
Finally, the pavers were laid and cut to fit the design. This project included Belgard’s Mega Lafitt® pavers edged by Belgard Old World pavers. Once the pavers were in place, polymeric sand was brushed into the crevices and activated with water to form grout lines.
With the patios complete, next came the Elements Bristol Collection bar and grill station.
The bar arrives pre-manufactured in three pieces. Once placed into position, they are ready for use, as opposed to a multi-day on-site construction. “We chose the Elements for their ease of installation. Not only does it save a lot of time and headache, it also saves money on installation costs,” Christi said.
Even though the access to the backyard was very tight, and the space was limited due to the pool and porch overhang, La Pavers’ installers didn’t miss a step. “Installing the bar was a well-choreographed dance… up an inch, lower an inch, to the right a half inch, raise a quarter inch, now back up again. There were three pieces, and it took about two hours to set them in place. Compared to the two weeks it would have taken to build it in place, I have no complaints,” Christi said.
After three days of work, the installation is mostly complete. Day four brings the appliances and plantings. “I feel like I live in a resort now. All my friends keep asking what time the party starts,” Christi jokes. “I think we’re going to plan a get-together for next weekend, but for now our family is enjoying our own private getaway, right in the back yard.”
Contact an Authorized Belgard Dealer for more information. Download a pdf catalog of the Elements Collections.
Next up – Completed project.