Augusta Road Area Pool and Backyard Remodel Project
You would be hard-pressed to find another landscape installation within the city limits of Greenville, SC that has more features or a better cohesive design than this yard on Highland Dr in the Augusta Road area. This was a unique project for the area in that we had a completely blank space, a relatively large working area, and a budget to allow for the best building materials and finishes. We started conversations regarding this project in the fall of 2020. Got permits in Fall 2021. Starting digging the pool winter of 2022 and worked off and on as the elements allowed to finish in June of 2023. Take a second and read about the journey:
Step1: The Design
The ultimate goal of this project was to find a modern design that would look at home with a world class naturally inspired water feature. All of this had to get accomplished while set beside a traditional white two story house in a conservative neighborhood. Normally Pinterest can get you in trouble when it comes to caviar tastes and hotdog budgets. But with this install, Pinterest was a great place to find and organize photos of exactly how we wanted each element to look.
Step2: The Permits
This house is situated on four residential lots, for a total of .73 acres. The main house sits on the right two thirds of the lot and the left third was a completely empty (grassy) area. The tricky part was that Greenville County viewed the house and the empty lot as two separate tax parcels. So the first step was to combine the two parcels. As you can imagine, that was harder than it should be, but it got done. Second step was to submit the site plan and all the renderings to the city. If you aren't aware, Greenville has a very stringent rule regarding how much of your city limits property can be permeable (soft-scaped) and how much can be non-permeable (house, driveway, garage, pool, patio, etc). We of course knew that from the start so we designed the plan so that it would get approved. And it actually did get approved rather quickly. We had to do a couple of resubmissions and new drawings, but we got it to work with minimal stress.
While this is an absolutely beautiful installation, in our opinion the most impressive part of it is the drainage. This yard can get rain for two days straight and the next day there is no puddling, muddy areas, or any standing water on any of the hardscapes. All the downspouts are tied in underground, there are dry creek beds to move water away from the landscaping features, and the slope is perfect on all of the new decks and stairs. If you are considering a large landscape remodel, pay attention to where your drainage is starting now and if your new landscaping is going to make it better or worse. Always have a drainage plan!
Step4: Dig The Pool and Build The Pool House
We do a lot of things at Green Hill Landscaping, but we aren't pool or general contractors. We also aren't electricians or plumbers. So when it came to digging the pool and building the pool house, we turned it over to some trusted colleagues of ours. They both knocked it out of the park. No problems with inspections or timing. The pool is gunite with a modern rectangular design, a spa, and tanning shelf. The pool house is mostly the deck, but behind the black wall is a custom high-end bathroom (sink, shower, and toilet). As you can imagine, a lot of planning had to go into getting the pool house and pool built. We needed internet extenders for the tv, a natural gas line for the grill and spa, new plumbing and power for everything. Fortunately, throughout the entire project, there was nothing we had to go back and fix or dig up because we missed a step or something got forgotten. All of that was planned ahead of time and implemented seamlessly.
Step5: The Pool Deck and Hardscaping
Here is where we hit our snag. Keep in mind that this project was started during peak Covid shortages and restrictions. We decided to use Techo-Bloc products for all the hardscaping. And while in the end we are extremely pleased with that decision; it was a slow process. We specifically chose products that were supposed to be in stock but they ended up taking eight months to come in. If you aren't familiar with Techo-Bloc, they make some of the nicest hardscaping products available. We used a Techo-Bloc pool coping, paver stone, edging, wall block, and steps. Before you fall in love, know that this is expensive material. Just the material order was $63,000. Fortunately, once the hardscape order came in, we were back to work and didn't have any other slow downs. We started with the stairs off of the existing patio and worked down from there. That includes building two walled areas for Aquascape water boulders, long and intricate wraparound steps, the entire pool edging and patio, as well as what was perhaps the most difficult - that being the supporting walls for the new water feature.
Step6: The Water Feature
We are known for our water features here at Green Hill. And while this is by no means the largest feature we have installed, it is one of our favorites. If you are considering a water feature, please contact us and come check out this one on Highland Dr. It really shows what is possible, even in close quarters. The best thing about this feature is the depth. It is about 5.5 feet deep in the center. So yes, you can swim in it! It stays cooler than the pool and the water feels like a wonderful combination of the cleanliness of a pool but with the life of a mountain stream. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely a refreshing experience. This water feature is built using all the most modern Aquascape techniques. There is no bottom drain, concrete shell, or daily dosing with chemicals. The pond and waterfall are built in such a way that the water is naturally filtered.
Step7: All The Details That Bring It Together
You obviously can't tell in these daytime photos; but this installation has a world-class outdoor landscape light installation. We used In-Lite Design products out of Canada. They have so many styles and options that it was a no-brainer. We hope to upload some night time photos relatively soon. In one photo you can see a horizontal cedar wood fence with metal supports and rails. We used a system by FenceTrac from Oklahoma. This product works best on flat surfaces with no elevation changes. It is an expensive fence, but it is great for adding privacy in tight areas. The outdoor kitchen looks great and might have been the most budget-friendly aspect of the project. We used NewAge for the cabinets and even the grill itself. This is a brand that at the time was available at Costco. The kitchen cabinets, grill, shipping, installation with gas and plumbing, was probably around $20,000. There is of course new mulch, irrigation, fescue sod, plants, and stone edging. All of that was sourced locally from various landscape supply stores and nurseries. It isn't pictured yet, but we have a modern fire feature and a fire boulder, both running off new natural gas lines.
So What Did All This Cost?
That's a good question, and the answer is a little bit murky because we didn't directly pay for the pool or pool house. But, as a package, if you wanted this exact same setup in your yard, it is probably in the $400,000 - $500,000 range. If that's out of the budget, don't fret. There is a version of something like this that might only be $150,000 - $250,000 depending on the type of pool and how crazy you want to get with the pool house. As a disclaimer, while this is the pinnacle of our work, we accept plenty of jobs in the $15,000-$25,000 range. Please don't hesitate from saying hello because you think your job is too small. We would be happy to take a look and share our opinion of what it would cost.