Patio is a Spanish word meaning back garden or backyard. Spanish and Latin American architecture borrowed the concept of a patio or courtyard within a building and open to the sky from the Romans, who really knew how to enjoy life.
Today sophisticated outdoor living spaces provide another room for relaxing and entertaining from late spring to early autumn. They make the difference between a house and a home. And, of course, they add to a home’s value.
Patios come complete with sofas, end tables, overstuffed chairs, ottomans, outdoor speakers for music, gas barbecues and wet bars. Waterfalls and ponds are also a popular trend.
Patio landscaping is no different from decorating any room of the home. There is a need for functionality and originality, as well as a mixture of textures and colours. They are also meant to be a place to relax outdoors, so they should also be easy to maintain.
Good ideas often start with photographs, says Glenn Herold of Brown’s Concrete Products Limited.
That is why, rather than a standard catalogue, Brown’s publishes a design guide focused on leading homeowners through the design and planning of their outdoor escape. They also constantly update the comprehensive Ideas (photo) Gallery at the brownsconcrete.com website.
These tools help Brown’s staff work with the homeowner to realize their dreams, be it a functional patio or pool deck, unique entranceway or walkways, impressive driveway, or stunning garden or retaining wall.
Once the plan is in place, Brown’s staff can then introduce homeowners to the wide range of quality products available, including flag stones, interlocking pavers, garden wall units, segmental retaining walls and steps.
“Stone products last longer than asphalt or poured concrete, they are cooler in the summer, and the esthetic value is unlimited due to the variety of colour, pattern and sizes,” Herold says.
Although Brown’s Concrete makes most of its stone products right here in Sudbury, it also imports several items from other reputable suppliers.
“Whether you want to accent our quality products, or have something truly unique to our marketplace, we have alternatives available,” he says.
When it comes time to building your dream, Brown’s Concrete experts can help homeowners realize a do-it-yourself project, or put them in touch with contractors and certified installers.
If a patio is installed properly, it should last a lifetime (or longer). The most important thing is to make sure the base is done properly; that is where a contractor or equipment operator really helps out, advises Herold. “But after that, it is like Lego for the big kids.”
As part of its continued efforts to be on the leading edge, Brown’s Concrete has retained the Ontario rights to produce Rosetta landscape products. These stunning quality retaining walls and step systems look like real rocks but are easier and less expensive to install.
“They look like they come from a quarry,” Herold says. (He has heard lots of jokes about making “rocks” in Sudbury.)
The Rosetta wall collection is an engineered system comprised of interlocking components weighing an average of 220 pounds per square foot of face. This weighty character allows Rosetta walls to achieve impressive heights without reinforcement. The Rosetta wall collection features a variety of stone faces, according to the sales brochure. Each stone is made of architectural grade, precast concrete of the finest quality, the integrity of which will not be compromised by weather’s unpredictable elements.
Brown’s Concrete celebrated its 100th anniversary in Sudbury in 2007. The company was established in 1907 by David Lester Brown. It was later purchased by Johannes Herold and Taisto Eilomaa. Three of Johannes’ sons, Manfred, Gordon and Glenn now run the company, located on Herold Rd., at the southwest overpass on Highway 69 S.
The company manufactures concrete blocks, paving stone, segmented retaining wall units and other concrete items for markets in Ontario and northern United States. Brown’s is also a distributor of brick, designer stone, artificial stone veneers, bagged cement and associated landscaping and construction materials.