Outdoor Adventures…

https://cepontzsons.com/outdoor-adventures/

Who’s ready for some Outdoor Adventures???? Summer is FINALLY here even though it rains every single day here in Lancaster County :(. No need to fret though, because when the sun is shining this backyard will be full of life. I mean what more could you possibly ask for?

Poolside Patio Area in Quarryville, PA

Poolside Patio Area in Quarryville, PA

This AMAZING outdoor living space in Quarryville, PA was just recently completed. The project included the installation of paver pool decking, boulder retaining walls, irregular natural stone steps, and hidden sliding board mound. surrounding the pool and paver patio we installed new plantings, mulch beds, decorative river gravel beds, flagstone walkways, landscape lighting, fine grading, seeding, and erosion control to dress up all the disturbed areas. I don’t know about you but I’m ready to take a trip down that sliding board…………..

Outdoor Adventures in Lancaster County

Outdoor Adventures in Lancaster County

Poolside Patio Area in Quarryville, PA

DCIM100GOPROGOPR3897.JPG

Poolside Patio Area in Quarryville, PA

Poolside Patio Area in Quarryville, PA

Poolside Patio Area in Quarryville, PA

Poolside Patio Area in Quarryville, PA

Outdoor Adventures in Lancaster County

Outdoor Adventures in Lancaster County

Outdoor Adventures in Lancaster County

Outdoor Adventures in Lancaster County

 Poolside Patio Area in Quarryville, PA

Poolside Patio Area in Quarryville, PA

Poolside Patio Area in Quarryville, PA

Poolside Patio Area in Quarryville, PA

Wet Tile Saw the “BEAST”

https://cepontzsons.com/wet-tile-saw-the-beast/

Testing out the “Beast” wet tile saw on a large Porcelain tile outdoor living area. While on this job we’ve tried just about every method and style of saw to cut through the porcelain tile pavers but none would do the trick. That is until our good friends at Watson Supply put us on to the “BEAST”.
 

The BEAST 10″ Wet Tile Saw provides large format capability in a portable frame. This new saw has been manufactured with incredibly tight tolerances, stainless steel hardware, superior materials, and designed as a true professional level tile saw. The new BEAST10 has the largest cutting capacity in its class and is accurate to within 1/32″ over a 24″ cut.

Wet Tile Saw the "BEAST"

Wet Tile Saw the “BEAST”


 

The BEAST10 is capable of performing a diagonal cut on a 24″ x 24″ tile and can execute a 34″ Rip Cut (39″ Rip with plunge). The plunge cut feature makes it easy to execute V-Cap cuts, cut-outs for wall sockets and much more. Each saw comes with a removable table extension for large format tiles and an innovative snake pipe water nozzle which allows for precise water control and placement. An optional side plastic water tray will catch drip and divert water back to the water pan. The durable steel pipe saw frame is constructed to withstand the toughest conditions any contractor will experience. The BEAST10 has a 3-year warranty.

*Two optional choices for stands (sold separately)

Wet Tile Saw the "BEAST"

Wet Tile Saw the “BEAST”


 

Largest rip/diagonal cutting capacity in its class
Power 15 amp motor will cut hard materials such as porcelain, stone and thicker materials
Heavy-duty rail system engineered for exceptionally straight, accurate and smooth cuts
Motor tilts to ensure accurate 22.5º and 45º bevel cuts
Removable extension table for use with larger format tiles
Saw frame constructed of durable steel pipe
Dual-snake pipe water nozzle allows precise water control and placement
Front access to water tray greatly simplifies cleaning and draining process
Heavy-duty rip fence with positive stops at 0°, 22.5° AND 45°
Water supply line is externally mounted and easily accessible for cleaning or replacement
Blade guard easily opens and secures with finger knob
Blade splash guard and back splash tray keeps work area dry and returns water to water tray
Water pump designed for use in water tray or side bucket
Divider in water tray filters slurry and extends pump life

Wet Tile Saw the "BEAST"

Wet Tile Saw the “BEAST”


 

Natural Stone Patio Addition

https://cepontzsons.com/natural-stone-patio-2/
Natural Stone Patio Addition in Ephrata, PA

Natural Stone Patio Addition in Ephrata, PA

This Natural Stone Patio Addition project included approximately 800 square feet of Irregular flagstone. The flagstone patio and walkway was added to an existing paver patio pool area. New trees and shrubs were installed throughout the property as well. This project also included edging and mulching the remaining pool area not being replanted during walkway and patio construction as well as the front of the house across the porch to the driveway. This included edging, pre-emergent weed preventer and triple cut bark mulch. New landscape lighting was installed on select trees as well as 11 path lights along the walkway and front of the home.

Natural Stone Patio Addition in Ephrata, PA

Natural Stone Patio Addition in Ephrata, PA

Natural Stone Patio Addition in Ephrata, PA

Natural Stone Patio Addition in Ephrata, PA

Natural Stone Patio Addition in Ephrata, PA

Natural Stone Patio Addition in Ephrata, PA

Natural Stone Patio Addition in Ephrata, PA

Natural Stone walkway in Ephrata, PA

Natural Stone walkway in Ephrata, PA

Natural Stone walkway in Ephrata, PA

Natural Stone walkway in Ephrata, PA

this is the second phase of a project that included a Driveway Entrance Landscape Renovation. The entrance way included installation of retaining walls, landscape beds, plants and trees, and landscape lighting. The retaining walls and pillars were constructed using concrete block and faced with stone veneer. Some tree removal, as well as grading and seeding of disturbed areas were also included. Low voltage lighting was also installed along retaining walls and throughout the surrounding landscape. This project was installed in Ephrata, PA.

Driveway Entrance Landscape Renovation in Ephrata, PA

Driveway Entrance Landscape Renovation in Ephrata, PA

POND FISH HEALTH

https://cepontzsons.com/pond-fish-health/
Pond Fish Health

Pond Fish Health

 

POND FISH HEALTH: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

BY: Aquascape

Pond season is finally here for most of the country! Watching your fish swim happily about is a sight for sore eyes after a long winter. But do you have a pond that promotes the health of your fish? Several factors influence whether a pond is habitable by fish, so before your stock your new pond or choose a few new finned friends at your water gardening store, take a few minutes to assess your fish’s dwelling space as it relates to pond fish health.

Healthy Fish and Koi in Aquascape Ecosystem Pond
Healthy Fish and Koi in Aquascape Ecosystem Pond
 

Size Matters

It all starts with the size of your pond. You need to make sure that it is large enough to support fish and their growth. Pond fish generally need 10 gallons of water for every inch of their length, and you have to be ready for them to grow larger, so be careful not to overstock, no matter how tempting this may be! Some pond experts go so far as to recommend only ½ inch of fish per 10 gallons of water as a maximum stocking density.

On occasion, you may encounter ponds crowded with two or even three inches of fish per 10 gallons of water and the fish seem to be fine. However, the density and ecological strain of this loading turn these ponds into fragile systems. The pH tends to sag, the fish tend to grow more slowly, and disease can become a common occurrence.

You won’t be able to salvage sick fish in a pond that’s overcrowded. Eventually, Mother Nature will pick off your favorite fish to achieve her ideal stocking density based on the system the fish are in, and then the remainder will recover as if by magical intervention. So reduce the number of fish if your pond is over-stocked before Mother Nature handles this crucial step for you.
 

Good Morning, Sunshine

Ponds that have some sunlight are also beneficial to fish due to the valuable vitamins that are produced. Sunlight also helps the plants in your pond grow, thereby reducing nitrates in the water. Unfortunately, you can’t just up and move your pond so if you have a shaded pond, simply add shade-loving plants to help balance the water. Aquatic plants play a critical role when it comes to enhancing pond fish health.

Pond plants that tolerate shade include Taro, Papyrus, Horsetail, Cardinal Flower, Lizard’s Tail, and Water Forget-Me-Not.
 

Two Feet

When it comes to pond depth, koi aren’t very picky. Just be sure that the pond is deep enough (generally about 2 to 2 ½ feet) to give the fish a chance to get out of the way of predators. This depth also provides ample space for over-wintering fish in northern climes.
 

A Balancing Act

The quality of your water is critical to pond fish health and you want to make sure your water garden is balanced. The proper mix of fish, plants, filtration, circulation, and rocks and gravel all provide an important role in your pond’s ecosystem. Work with Mother Nature, not against her, and you’ll find you spend more time enjoying your pond and less time maintaining it. Consider adding the Aquascape Automatic Dosing System to keep your pond water balanced and your fish healthy throughout the season.

 

What You Need to Know about Pond Fish Health

Travertine Paver Paradise

https://cepontzsons.com/travertine-paver-paradise/

Travertine Paver Paradise (Before & After)

Travertine Paver Paradise (Before & After)


 

Travertine Paver Paradise Before & After

This Amazing Dream Backyard Travertine Paver Project features just about all the options you have ever dreamed about having in your very own backyard. We just recently completed this project and as you can tell from the video and photos below it’s quite the dream backyard. But dreams can came true, and for these homeowners they certainly have. So proud of our team for coming together and installing another amazing backyard paradise. The outdoor living area features everything from fire to water and includes multiple travertine patio areas, flagstone and travertine walkways, stone steps, pondless waterfall, landscape lighting, outdoor audio, fire pit, and landscaping. To think where the project came from a decrepit old deck to this beautiful work of art is almost unreal!


 

Travertine Paver Patio and Fire Pit

The dream backyard project included the installation of various hardscape items including travertine patio, Seating walls, Steps, and walkways. The patio material is silver travertine laid in French pattern. The patio area is approximately 1,012 sq ft with antiqued finish and natural edge. All walls and steps are constructed using natural stone Semco ‘Cedar Ridge’ sawn wall stone. Caps and stair treads are constructed of natural stone ‘Chateau Limestone’ 2″ thick and 14″ deep, thermal top and rock faced edges. Cap stone for grill wall is 18″ wide polished and sealed top. Under grill area the patio is outdoor ‘wood look’ porcelain tile. A Semco ‘Cedar Ridge’ 57″ Fire Pit with Large Zentro ‘Smokeless’ insert is installed on the lower patio area. As of these pictures and this video the fire pit insert has yet to be installed. Sealing of Travertine surfaces using GST stain blocking sealer will be completed once the project is entirely finished. Stepping stone pathway to the side of the home is full color Pa Flagstone irregular steppers.


 

Landscaping

Landscape beds, plants, trees, edging and mulching was done around the entire back and side yards of the home using triple cut bark mulch. Plant variety and size specifications were all chosen by our amazing designer Wes. The landscaping portion of this project also included the grading, lawn repair, and seeding of all the areas damaged and disturbed during construction.

Outdoor Living Area installed in Lancaster, PA

Travertine Paver Area installed in Lancaster, PA


 

Pondless Waterfall

A 15′ pondless waterfall was installed into the new landscape to the side of the lower patio for maximum viewing. The waterfall features approximately 15 foot of stream with multiple waterfalls. Two side by side spillways merge into a wide stream with a small waterfall before turning and going into the final falls at the basin area. The Waterfall is outfitted with low voltage LED underwater landscape lighting throughout.

Pondless Waterfall Installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall Installed in Lancaster, PA


 

Outdoor Sound

The Outdoor Sound System installed was a TRU Audio 4 speaker system and 12″ outdoor hardscape subwoofer. This system also includes the amplifier which is located in the home owners basement as well as Apple Airport Express and Blue Tooth Connection.

Pergola: a backyard portal to paradise

https://cepontzsons.com/pergola-a-backyard-portal-to-paradise/

BY: CATHY MOLITORIS | LNP CORRESPONDENT

Pergola

Courtesy Lancaster County Backyard

Can’t get away this summer? With a pergola, you can escape to your own little spot of paradise right in your backyard.

A pergola is an outdoor structure with a framework and roof that can be covered or left open with a roofing grid. Its design dates back to the Italian Renaissance.

“They are a great option for shade, especially with the addition of a shade canopy or tighter beam and rafter spacing, while not completely blocking out the sun and sky with a full roof structure,” says Wes Young, illustrator of outdoor living dreams for C.E. Pontz Sons Inc. in Lancaster. “Pergolas don’t typically feel or look as heavy or as large as a full roof structure when placed in an outdoor living space.”

Additionally, he says, pergolas are a great way to add some height and depth to a mainly flat outdoor space, and an excellent way to set apart a specific area in your yard, such as a dining space, cooking space or gathering space.

“Often an outdoor living space, without a structure, seems nice but has a flat and a rather false sense of smallness, but after a pergola is added, truly feels like another dimension was added,” says Kevin King, sales manager for Lancaster County Backyard in Kinzers.

King says a pergola can change the whole look of a backyard.

“We recently installed a heavy timber wood pergola on a brick pavers patio with knee walls and four piers,” he says. “The patio seemed kind of small and empty. The pergola, mounted on the four piers, totally changed and enhanced the looks of not only their patio, but also of their backyard. It added a great measure of grandeur and depth, and instead of the patio feeling small, it now felt larger, much taller and much more clearly defined.”

When considering a pergola, it’s important to look at your house and yard as a whole, Young says.

“Location is very important, as is selecting the best style and size pergola that will complement the house and surrounding structures,” he says. “Also, considering the flow of the outdoor space when considering the size and location of the pergola (is important).”

Pergolas are versatile and can be incorporated into any size space on really any property, he notes.

Where you choose to place it and the style you choose depends on your specific situation.

“If its primary function is for shade, consider how the sun moves around the property,” Young says. “If it’s going to be used to define a specific outdoor space, make sure it’s large enough to allow you to comfortably use that space.”

Take some time to think about how the space will look after the pergola is installed, he suggests, noting, “An outdoor space will feel different when a pergola is constructed, so consider where the posts will fall and how that will affect the flow of traffic as well as how the posts will affect viewpoints from a house or other outdoor spaces.”

Pergolas can be constructed from a variety of materials, in a wide range of styles, King says.

The most economical are standard wood pergolas constructed with pressure-treated Southern yellow pine, which is stronger than a material like cedar and can be stained or painted, he says.

Heavy timber wood pergolas provide what King calls a “rugged, ancient look,” and are very solid in construction.

“These pergolas are also available in mortise-and-tenon joinery with oak pegs — a truly ancient style of construction,” he says.

Additional styles of pergolas include standard vinyl, which provides a modern look and requires only periodic cleaning.

“White vinyl color coordinates with many modern homes,” King says.

And the overall look of a pergola can vary, too.

“They can have a flat top, an arched top or even a peak-roof-style top,” he says. “They can have posts from the floor to the beams, or the posts can be set on pillars for an added feature.”

Many backyard elements can be DIY projects, and a quick Pinterest search turns up thousands of ideas for homemade pergolas.

Creating one can be done by a homeowner, Young says, but it requires more than just craftiness.

“You have to be fairly skilled in a number of trades to construct something that is structurally sound and will withstand the elements for a long time,” he says. “I would suggest that a pergola is something that a professional should construct.”

King agrees, adding that any homeowner who’d like to try a DIY pergola should consider two things: post placement and the skill of the installer.

“The exact post placement should be done carefully,” he says, adding that the installer also must be able to cut the posts to the correct height no matter how sloped a patio or yard may be to ensure the pergola top is perfectly level. “These two things can easily be done poorly.”

Before you commit to having a pergola in your backyard, be sure to also think long-term, Young says.

“As with anything that is permanently outside in the elements, you have to consider the maintenance of the structure. Some materials can easily be washed to look like new again, while others need some more work to clean and can need reapplications of wood stain or oil,” he says. “If the pergola and outdoor space have a more rustic or natural style, the lumber can be allowed to weather naturally to avoid the need for continual cleaning and staining.”

Says King, “Ask (for) advice, find photos of what may look good. Have an architect draw something up for you and (to) be able to better visualize it.”

READ MORE: https://lancasteronline.com/features/home_garden/pergola-a-backyard-portal-to-paradise/article_71ab2522-4e40-11e8-a53c-8b9533e9912b.html

Backyard Party

https://cepontzsons.com/backyard-party/
Backyard Party in Lancaster, PA

Backyard Party in Lancaster, PA

 
Enjoying the fact that spring has finally arrived with a Backyard Party hosted by some of our AMAZING clients in their newly renovated backyard paradise.

This Amazing Dream Backyard Project features just about all the options you have ever dreamed about having in your very own backyard. We just recently completed this project and as you can tell from the video and photos below it’s quite the dream backyard. But dreams can came true, and for these homeowners they certainly have. So proud of our team for coming together and installing another amazing backyard paradise. The outdoor living area features everything from fire to water and includes multiple travertine patio areas, flagstone and travertine walkways, stone steps, pondless waterfall, landscape lighting, outdoor audio, fire pit, and landscaping. To think where the project came from a decrepit old deck to this beautiful work of art is almost unreal!

Travertine Patio and Outdoor Living Area installed in Lancaster, PA

Travertine Patio and Outdoor Living Area installed in Lancaster, PA

Outdoor Living Area installed in Lancaster, PA

Outdoor Living Area installed in Lancaster, PA

Backyard Party in Lancaster, PA

Backyard Party in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall Installed in Lancaster, PA

Pondless Waterfall Installed in Lancaster, PA

Dream Backyard Installed in Lancaster, PA

Dream Backyard Installed in Lancaster, PA

Backyard Party in Lancaster, PA

Backyard Party in Lancaster, PA

Fire Pit Area installed in Lancaster, PA

Fire Pit Area installed in Lancaster, PA

10 Tips For Buying Healthy Fish

https://cepontzsons.com/buying-healthy-fish/

BY: Aquascape
 

Adding fish to your pond provides a whole new element to the overall experience of owning a water feature. In fact, many pond owners decided to install a pond for the sole purpose of fish-keeping. Will you add some colorful koi, or opt for another type of pond fish like shubunkins or sarassas? When purchasing new fish, there are certain things that you should look for and ask about to make sure that you are receiving healthy fish.  

Tips for Buying Healthy Fish

  1. Cleanliness – Look at the cleanliness of the store. If the store is not clean and well cared for, more than likely, the retailer does not care about their fish either.
  2. Dead Fish – If you see any dead fish floating in the tanks – even just one – stay away. This can be an indication of a poorly maintained, diseased tank.
  3. Quarantine – Does the retailer quarantine their fish and for how long? It is very important that all fish are quarantined for at least 14 to 21 days for salt treatments to ensure the fish are not carriers of disease or parasites.
  4. Water Testing and Changes– Find out how often the water is tested and changed. Testing the water monitors ammonia and pH levels, as well as nitrites and nitrates indicating when the water should be changed.
  5. Sick Fish – Look to see if any of the fish are hanging out alone, with clamped fins. This is a good sign that the fish is sick.
  6. Parasites – Ask if new fish are tested for the presence of parasites with a microscope. Doing so indicates whether the fish are carriers of parasites and can be treated accordingly before they are sold.
  7. Net Sharing – Make sure the clerk uses a different net for each tank. Using the same net for all tanks can spread disease from one tank to another.
  8. Clear Skin – Look for fish with no marks, missing scales, sores, or broken or missing fins. Any of these are signs of a bacterial infection or parasite.
  9. Sizes – You need to take the size of the fish into consideration so you don’t overstock your pond. Remember, 1” for every square foot of surface water or five gallons.
  10. Knowledgeable Staff – You want to purchase fish from a knowledgeable and honest merchant that can help educate you about your pond pets.

 

Whatever type fish you choose to add to your pond, first and foremost you want to make sure they’re healthy. Don’t be shy about asking a few questions. In the end, you’ll be glad you took the time to purchase the right fish for your pond.

For more information on fish in your water feature, visit http://www.aquascapeinc.com/blogs/water-gardening/category/Fish

Planning Your Pond Renovation

https://cepontzsons.com/planning-your-pond-renovation/

It seems that spring may actually, truly, finally, hopefully, possibly be here. With that being the case it’s time to stat planning your pond renovations, upgrades, or even initial installation if you have yet to own a glorious life changing water feature.
 
 
BY: Aquascape

Now that spring is officially here, it’s time to start thinking about what you might want to do to change and improve your pond. And if you’re still dreaming of your first pond or water feature, it’s a great time to begin planning!

 

Small Pond with Waterfall and Hostas

 

Many people view ponds simply as an addition to your house – when you build it you are done. While that is true that a pond is indeed another room to your house, you’re never really done with this addition! In reality, it’s actually more like a living thing that is always evolving, so don’t be afraid to add on and change it as often as you want! Whether you simply move a couple rocks, forcing the water to fall in a completely different direction, or maybe you’ll go all out and add a 50-foot stream, a bog filter, or a Pondless® Waterfall in another part of your yard, the possibilities for growing your water feature are almost infinite.

 

Backyard Aquascape Pond with Plantings

 

Right now – when your thoughts, ideas, and mental plans for your dream garden and pond are still fresh in your mind – is the time to get them on paper. Dreaming is always the first step to planning. In your mind, what would be the perfect backyard paradise? Here are some questions to ask yourself as you search for your perfect pond makeover.

 

  • What do you enjoy most about water gardening – the plants, fish, frogs, turtles, birds, or terrestrial landscaping? Build your dream pond with that as your emphasis.
  • What places have you visited that look and feel “perfect” to you? A stream in the mountains?  A spring in the woods?  Recreate aspects of these places on a smaller scale.
  • Where do you spend most of your time when you’re at home?  Will you spend more time outside or inside?  Plan with that in mind.
  • What would make your yard a “paradise?”
  • Would you like to be able to swim with your fish in a natural swimming pond?
  • What do you like (or dislike) about your existing pond?
  • Do you like the tropics? Find some rare plants and bring them into your own backyard.

 

Aquascape Pond and Waterfall

 

Hopefully you’re well on your way to dreaming about creating or enhancing your own personal paradise.  As you gaze out upon the wintry landscape, imagine what it can look like in the spring and go from there!  The possibilities are limitless and you can always grow and expand with each addition you make.

Pond Plant Feature

https://cepontzsons.com/pond-plant-feature/

POND PLANT FEATURE: UMBRELLA PALM

BY: Aquascape

Umbrella palm (Cyperus alternifolius) is a tropical pond plant that is hardy to Zone 7 that can grow to almost six feet in height. In colder climates, umbrella palm will over-winter if brought indoors and positioned near a sunny window. Dwarf (Cyp. Alt. ‘Gtracilis’) and medium (Cyperus spp.) varieties are available and prove an excellent choice for smaller ponds and container water gardens. The height of an umbrella palm creates a soft backdrop for shorter aquatic plants, such as water lilies.

Umbrella Palm Pond Plant

Larger palms can be invasive without some precautions. Even a small single stalk with roots will grow as a marginal and can be difficult to remove if left alone too long, especially in a graveled pond where the roots will grow deeply into the gravel. This situation can be avoided by planting the large variety of umbrella plant in a plastic tub. The palm will still grow into the tub and its roots will need trimming from time to time, but now the plant can be easily removed for maintenance.

When ready for trimming, don’t worry about destroying the plant by cutting the roots into a smaller size. The plant will regrow again to fill the container. By trimming the root ball and cutting the plant in two, you’ll cut down on the size of the plant so there’s less “wind-sail” to blow it over. You can use a small handsaw to cut through the root ball to lower its height and also to cut the plant in half before repotting. Add the second plant to your pond or give it to a friend.

After the umbrella palm’s root ball is cut to a smaller size, rocks ranging in size from tennis balls to grapefruits are added around the root ball to anchor both the pot and the root ball so it’s not so prone to blowing over in the wind before the roots have a chance to reestablish.

You do not need to add any dirt to the pot or fertilize the umbrella palm. They derive their nutrients directly from the pond water which helps filter the water and keep it safe for all your fish!