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Enjoy Your Labor Day Weekend at Home with Outdoor Spaces

Outside Spaces - Fieldstone Fireplace & Pergola

 

Happy Labor Day Weekend from all of us at Titus Built! Wherever you are this weekend, I hope you enjoy the unofficially marked last weekend of summer. When I was younger our family and cousins used to spend the last week-weekend on Long Beach Island, NJ soaking up the final carefree days of the season before going back to school and everyone’s busy schedule. Evenings were a bit cooler, so a bonfire on the beach with a s’mores roast was always a great way to end the night.

One way to extend this season and enjoy company outside is to expand your living area to the outdoors. A home’s living space can be extended to the backyard with swimming pools, decks, patios, outdoor kitchens and fireplaces and fire pits. Below are a few styles of fire pits:

 

Titus Built Fire Pits

Fire pit fuels vary, but generally they are either wood or propane.  Propane cannot match the beauty of the crackling of a natural wood fire, but a propane fire pit is much easier, safer and a cleaner fire. Many of our clients are opting for propane instead of wood. Below are a couple of fire pits that Titus built. Note that both of these fire pits are propane, but the fieldstone structure can be made as a wood burning pit.

 

Outdoor raised circular gas fire pit with fieldstone veneer on bluestone patio.
Outdoor raised circular gas fire pit with fieldstone veneer on bluestone patio. 

 

Covered Fire pit on Ipe Wood Deck

View left corner of photo – covered fire pit.

Close up of open fire pit on Ipe wood deck.
Close up of open fire pit on Ipe wood deck. 

Council Rings

Jens Jensen, a Dutch-born landscape architect who immigrated to the United States in 1881, often placed a “council ring” in his designs.  The council ring was embedded in the heritage of both the Vikings and the Native Americans. Jensen felt that when seating everyone at an equal height in a circle everyone could look each other in the eye and no one became the head of the table.  Many parks and estates in various cities throughout the United States were the result of Jens Jensen’s genius.  One of Jensen’s designs is the marvelous grounds of a Maine property called Skylands; a landscape originally designed for Edsel and Eleanor Ford and currently owned by Martha Stewart.  Although the Ford’s decided not to install a council ring into the design, Martha Stewart found the original plans and had it installed:

 

Martha Stewart's Skylands Fire Pit

Skylands’ landscape with fire pit on Martha Stewart’s home Mount Desert Island

Dry Stone Fire Pit

Stone is the oldest construction material known to mankind.  There are ancient remaining dry stone structures scattered throughout the world from the Egyptian pyramids and the Peruvian temples to prehistoric dwellings. Below are two examples of dry stone fire pits:

 

Photo: Dry Stone Conservancy ~ vertical stacked blue stone
Photo: Dry Stone Conservancy ~ vertical stacked blue stone www.drystone.org

dry stone fire pit
Photo: Dry Stone Fire Pit

Decks, Pergolas, Patios & Screened in Porches:

Outdoor spaces continue to be a trend at Titus Built. Below are a few photos of some of our current project:

 

Patio & Pergola Wilton CT

Pergola with fireplace New Canaan, CT

Patio, Pergola, Deck Wilton, CT

 

For more outdoor spaces, check out last year’s blog: Outdoor Spaces: Decks, Pergolas, Patios & Screened-in Porches.

 

Happy Labor Day from all of us at Titus Built!

Happy Labor Day from all of us at Titus Built!

Building Clients for Life… One Home at a Time Cont…

Outdoor Addition ~ Patio, Pergola, Fireplace & Chimney, New Canaan, CT

“When selecting a company to design and build your custom home or remodeling project, you’re hiring a partner to enhance your lifestyle and increase the value of your home. To ensure a smooth and positive experience, it is critical that you understand your partner’s vision, philosophy and values to make sure they align with your goals.” – Jeffrey A. Titus

As professional remodeling contractors in Fairfield County, Connecticut, it is important to us that we provide continuous improvement through all of our services, from Home Renovations and Remodeling projects to Architectural Design work.

  • We hire and train the best individuals, subcontractors and vendors that reflect our Core Values.
  • We actively solicit feedback from our clients and continually improve our processes.
  • We continue to create efficient systems and use innovative products.
  • We continue to improve our business methods and provide the highest level of service to our clients.
  • Motto ~ “Building clients for life … one home at a time

At Titus Built, we strive to exceed our clients’ expectations by delivering excellent service and value with integrity, accountability and a positive “can do” attitude.

Last month our blog discussed a New Canaan, Connecticut family that is a prime example of our motto. We recently completed their master bathroom renovation as well as their daughter’s bathroom remodel and currently are in the progress of finishing a pergola addition for them.

 

 

Daughter’s Bathroom:
3cm Bianco Nuevo Polished (White Glass) vanity countertop with undermount sink and 4" backsplashes.
3cm Bianco Nuevo Polished (White Glass) vanity countertop with undermount sink and 4″
backsplashes.


Fixtures: aquabrass Single-hole Lavatory Faucet #77314 & Wallmount Tub Spout # 32032
Fixtures: aquabrass Single-hole Lavatory Faucet #77314 & 

Wallmount Tub Spout # 32032 ~ www.aquabrass.com 

 

 

Outdoor Addition ~ Patio, Pergola, Fireplace & Chimney, and, Built-in Masonry Outdoor Grill & Cooler Station:

 

Outdoor Addition ~ Patio, Pergola, Fireplace & Chimney, and, Built-in Masonry Outdoor Grill & Cooler Station:

Outdoor Spaces ~ Patio, Pergola, Fireplace & Chimney New Canaan, CT

 

 

Structural:

  • 10” round fiberglass columns on sitting wall and on patio.
  • Structural beams on top of columns.
  • 2 x 8 red cedar pergola rafters (paint grade) on top of structural beams.
  • 2 x 2 red cedar purlins (paint grade) on top of rafters.

Exterior Trim on Pergola - Design-Build Exterior Landscape

Pergola Beam Detail Drawing

Pergola Beam Detail Drawing
Exterior Trim:

  • PVC trim board on sides and bottom of structural beams.
  • MDO cap on top of beams.
  • PVC crown molding and panel molding on both sides of beams
  • Copper flashing on top of beams and columns’

Elevation Plans for Outdoor Patio & Pergola, New Canaan, CT
Elevation Plans

­Fieldstone Veneer Fireplace, including gas log set, & chimney at pergola

­	Masonry grill & cooler station with fieldstone veneer to match walls & chimney

 

Masonry:

  • 18” high stone fieldstone veneer sitting walls with 2” bluestone cap (rock faced edge).
  • Fireplace, including gas log set, & chimney at pergola
  • Fieldstone veneer exterior
  • 3” Bluestone hearth stone  & mantel (rock faced)
  • 2” Bluestone chimney cap (rock faced)
  • Masonry grill & cooler station with fieldstone veneer to match walls & chimney.
  • 2” rock-faced top with openings for gas grill and drop-in cooler.

To view the Master Bathroom Renovation, check out the blog here: Building Clients for Life … One Home at a Time

 

We hope you are enjoying “news that’s on the straight and level” from Titus Built. Our online community continues to grow and is a fun and immediate way to stay in touch with the latest trends and local news in home design and remodeling. Titus Built is on Twitter and Facebook and, of course, our blog.

Welcome Spring: Enhance Your Outdoor Living Space

White Flower Farm 1
White Flower Farm Photo

Spring equinox starts on March 20th and the daffodils, crocuses and lilies are starting to sprout in my yard. Like most of us, I can’t wait to enjoy the outdoors with the warm breezes and the fresh smell of spring!

A growing number of homeowners are discovering ways to enhance their lifestyles year round by remodeling for outdoor living. Outdoor living is a burgeoning trend, and experts agree that a defined outdoor living space can represent up to 30 percent of a home’s value. Outdoor areas expand on entertaining space for family and friends, give the kids a safe place to play and add the feeling of a peaceful retreat right in your own backyard. As we all welcome spring with relief and anticipation, here we share some ideas for improving your outdoor living space to take full advantage of the season.

DECK SPACE

If you want to maximize the amount of space you have to work with, consider a system placed underneath your deck to create a clean and dry living space. A ceiling placed underneath your deck structure captures rain and debris falling through the deck boards and sends it to the rain gutters and spouts. A formerly dark, damp and under-used space is transformed into an environment that expands your living area into the outdoors. What will you use the new space for? An entertainment area with media and a hot tub, a screened-in porch, or an intimate dining area are just some ideas.

Here are some things to consider when planning for such a system. Most importantly, it has to be able to handle any potential ice loads from the typical Connecticut winter. Second, a good system needs to keep debris moving, as trapped debris that falls through deck boards will act like a sponge and keep wood from drying properly. And, don’t forget good ventilation to prevent stagnant air, which will keep wood from drying and age your deck prematurely.

LANDSCAPING

Now that you are spending more time outdoors enjoying the welcoming weather, take a good look at the details of your surroundings. Careful attention to landscaping can significantly increase a home’s value, while landscaping mistakes detract from value.

FOUNTAINS

A gurgling water fountain brings serenity to your outdoor environment, along with attracting the season’s bright feathered visitors. Regardless the size of your backyard area, the use of water, whether in swimming pools, spas, fountains, ponds, or even waterfalls adds a whole new dimension to your outdoor living experience.>

FURNITURE

Outdoor furniture, often placed in storage or exposed to the elements, should be carefully cleaned at the beginning of each spring. For most metal tables and chairs, including those produced of steel, cast aluminum or aluminum, mild soap and water is the best choice for safe cleaning. To maintain the frame finish, some experts recommend a coat of clear liquid car wax once a year.

OTHER IDEAS

If you don’t have an outdoor fireplace, a freestanding or tabletop patio heater is an easy way to extend the seasonal life of your space. If you are a music lover, consider enhancing your outdoor experience with a new sound system. Shield yourself from the elements and add privacy with the creative use of trellises, hedges, awnings, umbrellas, gazebos, pergolas, fences and landscaping options.