Kingsmill Fire Pit

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The owners of this charming Dutch Colonial house in Kingsmill had two goals in mind when they gave Hertzler & George a call. First, they wanted a new outdoor seating area where they could enjoy the lush garden that they had lovingly created over the years. And secondly, the clients wanted to fix a long-standing drainage problem that caused wet spots in the lawn.

The new patio is centered on the existing bay window. The existing patio was too small to get too much use.

A new exposed aggregate walkway lead to the new patio


The existing ground gutter wasn’t adequately draining roof runoff.

Patio Concepts

Hertzler & George designed several preliminary concepts for the new patio, all with the slightly formal look that the clients preferred. The owners originally asked for the patio to be located next to the existing porch steps, but during the design process, we suggested an alternate location, one that was tucked more into the garden and placed farther away from the noise and activity of the driveway. This required installing a new door and steps on the porch, but the extra expense was offset by better views of the patio from inside the house, and by the coziness of the new location.


The Final Plan

In the final design, the patio, centered on the bay window at the back of the house, feels almost like an addition to the house, but it also creates a new center for the garden. The fire pit, framed by a long, low seat wall, provides the perfect spot for enjoying cool spring and fall evenings in the garden. Over time, when the lines of the patio become softened by maturing plantings, it will become that perfect in-between spot: part house and part garden.

Around the Yard

Rain, Rain, Go Away

The new patio also created a drainage challenge by creating several hundred square feet of new impervious surface. To address that, Hertzler & George replaced the existing ground gutter around the screen porch and installed a new wider one that also acts as a walkway.

Setting the Stage

The new patio provides a great spot for outdoor decorating.

Rain Garden

Because the existing yard was so flat, the lawn wouldn’t completely drain after rainstorms. To address this, Hertzler & George regraded the yard, filled in low spots, and installed a rain garden to draw the water away from the lawn. The new rain garden provides an area for excess water to collect and is planted with plants that can handle the constant moisture, like sweetspire, inkberry, calla lily, and sweet flag.

A Great Wall

For the patio materials, the clients selected Belgard Celtik Wall in ‘Oxford Charcoal’ and Belgard Urbana Pavers in ‘Smoky Mountain’.

Step Right Up

For the new porch entrance, we installed a new screen door and built this set of steps and railing.

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