05/06/16
Whether it’s the Hamptons or the Carolina coast, Chesapeake Pearl fits right in

If you liked the lavish interior Grayson Manor shots from the ABC soap, “Revenge,” you ought to see our Chesapeake Pearl brick on the home’s exterior.

 

The series (2011-2015) was set in the Hamptons, but many of the interiors were shot at an amazing home in Wilmington, North Carolina.

 

The “Revenge” producers used┬áanother mansion for establishing shots┬áof the outside of Grayson Manor, but the actual exterior featuring┬áChesapeake Pearl┬áwith┬áWhite Sand/White Mortar was never on camera.

Maybe it should have been the star, because it’s gorgeous. (Here’s some background from a home blogger.) And right now, if you’ve got $4 million or so, you can own the home, designed by Dietsche + Dietsche Architects in Wilmington. Here’s the realtor’s information:┬áNick Phillips,┬áLandmark Sotheby’s International Realty,┬á(910) 679-8047

The real “Grayson Manor” interior opens up to embrace the tidal marshes of the North Carolina coast, where Chesapeake Pearl couldn’t be more at home.

A lot of people think “red” when they think of brick, but there’s so much more of the color spectrum attainable in today’s brick manufacturing process. And when you balance the brick color with mortar, you have even greater latitude to achieve the perfect exterior for any environment. Be sure to check out the Pine Hall Brick Design Guide to see what you can achieve in your brick home.

Construction of the home used in ABC's "Revenge," located in Wilmington, NC and now for sale!

Whether your home has an ocean view or it looks out on a quiet street in the suburbs, brick does a great job of merging the living experience with your environment.

Photos by┬á┬áLandmark Sotheby’s International Realty.

 

 

04/01/16
Great Wall of GranddadΓÇöRicky and James make Mom’s garden beautiful

Brick and clay pavers donΓÇÖt always have to be for big jobs. There are lots of nifty ways to use both for small, weekend-size projects.

Pine Hall BrickΓÇÖs Ricky Leonard and his grandson James teamed up to build a small retaining wall around a cool little front yard garden in the historic Fisher Park neighborhood of Greensboro, NC. The home of his son and daughter-in-law is a classic Craftsman bungalow on a cozy street of similar homes of the era.

ItΓÇÖs a frame house with a brick foundation. So the retaining wall makes a nice complement. Ricky used a dry stack methodΓÇöno mortar neededΓÇölaying the wall into the garden soil at a slight angle for strength.

 

 

Completed, the little wall with its brick entry steps invites you in. The whole effect helps connect the raised bed garden to the home for easy access to the kitchen counterΓÇöa modern urbanist vibe.

Jobs like these are fun because theyΓÇÖre so easy, but yield a lot of long-term value and enjoyment. And itΓÇÖs a great way to connect with an adoring grandson.

03/18/16
Paver Days are coming with a palette of pallets!

 

In April and May, Pine Hall Brick features ΓÇ£Paver Days.ΓÇ¥ It’s an amazing sale where you can buy factory second pavers by the pallet for up to 75%-80% off.

Come out to our brick yard of pallets where youΓÇÖll find a wide palette of colors and style. Our pavers cover a wide spectrum of color ranging from white to grey to tans, browns, reds from light to deep rich shades with so many variations in between.

Paver Days also features a live and lively demonstration of how to install a patio. We’ll show how it’s done and show you all the tools and supplies you’ll need. Its a┬á fun day for the family which will transform your home outdoors into something┬á beautiful and enjoyable for seasons to come.

This year, there will be three Paver Days events:

Saturday, April 16
Fairmount, GA Factory 2nd Outlet  | Map it
10000 Fairmount Highway Southeast
Fairmount, GA 30139

Saturday, April 23
Madison Showroom | Map it
613 Lindsey Bridge Rd.
Madison NC 27025
1-800-952-7425

Saturday, May 7
Winston-Salem Showroom | Map It
2701 Shorefair Drive
Winston-Salem, NC 27105
336-779-6124

02/26/16
Nothing like the real thing

Exploring social media sites like Pinterest and Houzz will spark your imagination for creating enchanting outdoor spaces, but when it comes to making decisions about bricks and pavers, it really helps to get a closer look at the materials you will actually be using in your project.

Check out our Pinterest pages for great ideas!

There is a wide range of styles, textures and colors that is easier to see in ΓÇ£real life.ΓÇ¥ Subtle differences in hues and patinas, RumbledΓäó bricks and pavers that have a timeless aged look and English Edge pavers to make installation a little easier: these are all options youΓÇÖll want to see and touch.

Where do you find the ΓÇ£real thingΓÇ¥?

Pine Hall Brick has five exciting showrooms in North Carolina and Georgia. Homeowners are encouraged to bring their ideas, sketches, swatches and photos to plan the perfect paverscapes or brick features. Each showroom features a special brick Courtyard which is a hands-on, eyes-on brick gallery exhibiting brick-and-mortar walls, planters, gazebo, fire pits and walkways that whimsically change colors and patterns.

Many brick distributors around the country carry Pine Hall Brick pavers and feature similar exhibits and offer samples on loan.

Otto Brick's showroom, Uniontown, PA

Like a pottery gallery, you can see the range of beauty that can be achieved. When you can see and touch bricks and pavers in the outdoor light and environment you get a much better idea of what your finished project will look like.

See Old Town herringbone come to life in the walkway under your feet and English Edge in action! The whole affect helps you imagine what your home outdoors can become and, hopefully, youΓÇÖll get some new ideas for future projects.

This homeowner tells how he got some help navigating the challenging process of choosing an exterior brick and mortar for his home.

Jenson Crew's blog

ItΓÇÖs hard not to fall in love with the look and feel of timeless brick and genuine clay pavers. Classic like the worldΓÇÖs oldest cities, but with plenty of range to achieve modern designs for garden paths, front yard walkways, driveways, retaining walls, benches and fireplaces.

And speaking of modern appeal, remember that bricks are green and sustainable, made from the earth, water and fire to last centuries.

02/08/16
The Pine Hall Brick Showroom = Inspiration!
We know the average person may not get too excited when they think of brick. But when the average person is thinking about a new home or a landscaping project, brick takes on a whole new meaning and challenge. Stop by a Pine Hall Brick showroom and you may feel your excitement build as you are wowed with some amazing color and style choices, not unlike visiting an art store with an amazing palette of possibilities and an expert team to guide you through making the right choices.

We have five showrooms in North Carolina and Georgia that are open to consumers and the trade. And theyΓÇÖre laid out to inspire you as much as make you aware of some important points about creating with brick and clay pavers. You can find similar showrooms with our products displayed around the country.

The first thing that surprises a lot of consumers is the wide variety of colors and styles:

Amazing array of colors and styles!

A brick home can come together anywhere on a wide spectrum of hues and shades. ThatΓÇÖs because we have very sophisticated methods of coloring the brick itself and also because the mortar that binds all the brick also plays a big role in the overall color of a new home. In fact, as much as 20% of the surface of a brick home is the mortar.

This case of mortar samples shows a wide spectrum of color.

Similarly, for pavers, weΓÇÖve mastered an art of making fired clay come out with plenty of color variety. So a patio or walkway can match your home, even if itΓÇÖs not brick and complement your landscaping color scheme.

The second surprise is the variety of styles. Again, our firing and cutting methods allow us to offer products that can look antique, rustic or sleek and modern.

The showrooms give consumers plenty of samples that we loan out to make it easier to imagine your home or project.

Samples in the Greensboro showroom.

And this is just scratching the surface. You might get a little daunted by all the choices and options you have with brick.

This is why we have an enthusiastic team of super knowledgeable folks on site to explain it all, whether youΓÇÖre a weekend warrior at DIY projects or just picking out brick to show your builder. Whatever the mission, itΓÇÖs the showroomΓÇÖs job to make it fun and informative.

If youΓÇÖre a DIYer, youΓÇÖll feel like a pro when you leave, so your project will be more enjoyable. Paver patios and walkways are one of the most rewarding home improvements you can do yourself over a couple of weekends.

We hope to see you soon! If youΓÇÖre not close to a Pine Hall Brick Showroom, call your local brick distributor and ask for Pine Hall Brick.

 

If ┬áyou don’t have a showroom in your area please take a look at our distributor map ┬áfor our suppliers who have similar showrooms.

Showroom locations:

Winston-Salem Showroom | Map It
2701 Shorefair Drive
Winston-Salem, NC 27105
336-779-6124

Greensboro Showroom | Map It
5591 Garden Village Way
Greensboro, NC  27410
336-665-1771

Charlotte Showroom | Map it
6400 West WT Harris Blvd.
Charlotte, NC  28269
704-599-7749

Madison Showroom | Map it
613 Lindsey Bridge Rd.
Madison NC 27025
1-800-952-7425

Fairmount, GA Factory 2nd Outlet  | Map it
10000 Fairmount Highway Southeast
Fairmount, GA 30139
706-337-3700

01/17/16
Brains, brawn and a beautiful path!

 


If you live in a climate that doesn’t get a lot of snow, winter is a great time to build clay paver pathways. You’re going to be doing a lot of excavation, but the yard is probably already brown! And as spring rolls around, you’ll get to watch all the lush greenery and blossoms come back to fill in between your paths…which will just get more beautiful.

There are two parts to the job: brains and brawn.

“Brains” involves carefully planning your landscaping and thinking through how your path will work with trees, plants, lawns, sculpture, fountains and architectural features. This all might start with a pad of paper, but at some point, you’ll need to get outside and do some pacing, measurements and visualizing. A lot of people use their garden hoses as easily moveable lines to plot paths and patio areas.

 



All this brain work will pay off aesthetically, but it will also help you purchase exactly the right amount of pavers, gravel and sand. There’s a formula in the guide linked below for download.

Don’t let the math get in the way of creativity and fun as you plan for a beautiful spring. Paver pathways are about directing traffic but they can be as whimsical as you please. Maybe you want a path for morning walks with coffee that winds through a flower garden and circles a fountain. And for rainy days, you want a straight line to your garage. With clay pavers your pathways can take just about any direction.

The “brawn” comes into play when you’re ready dig and pave. There’s some hard work involved. A lot of homeowners subcontract their excavation, then they DIY the paving. But it’s all “good exercise.”

If you think you're not up to it, please read about Clark and Wilda Watson, the octogenarian couple who installed a driveway of 25,000 pavers! Click the photo to read the story.

 

The great thing about a wintertime pathway project is, there’s no hurry. You can easily stop and start and even make the project long-term, adding on features every season.

There’s an art to laying pavers, too. This clip gives you the basics of pattern design.

Notice that landscaper Roger Cook says in the video, ΓÇ£If you are going to do a herringbone or a basket weave you have to use a modular brick.ΓÇ¥ Below is a perfect example of our modular product. Notice how the pavers line up two widths equal to one length! That precision makes the job easier.

And when you’re ready to get serious, download the Pine Hall Brick “Seven Simple Steps to Great Paver Projects” HERE.

Why not start now for a beautiful summer landscape? Check out our complete line of clay pavers here.

 

01/17/16
Octogenarian couple installs 25,000-paver driveway

Keep up with the Watsons? Start with 25,000 pavers

PHB - Watson Driveway 7

Wilda Watson can tell you exactly how many Pine Hall Brick Company standard clay pavers it takes to fill a 1990s-vintage Little Tikes wagon.

Eighteen.

In October, Wilda hauled her last load of 18 pavers in that wagon, taking them from the spot where they were delivered and pulling them close to where her husband, Matthew ΓÇ£ClarkΓÇ¥ Watson, was waiting. He took them out and laid them in the last stretch of a herringbone pattern for a driveway project at his home in Worth Township in rural Pennsylvania, north of Pittsburgh.

It was the last of 25,000 pavers in a driveway that measures 263 feet long from garage to roadway, varying in width from 33 feet to 13 feet. By the garage, there is a 26 foot by 21 foot turnaround for vehicles. Closer to the road, thereΓÇÖs a planter and a flagpole with American and Pennsylvania flags.

ItΓÇÖs remarkable enough that a married couple would take on a do-it-yourself project of this size, which is far beyond the normal patio or walkway that most homeowners are willing to tackle; and would indeed be a challenge even for professionals.

Even more remarkable is the couple themselves: WildaΓÇÖs 84 years old and Clark is 86. And she did the project, pulling the bricks in the wagon that was originally a grand-childΓÇÖs toy 25 years ago, on two artificial knees; he laid more than a few pavers while battling pneumonia.

PHB - Watson Driveway 1

Spend a few minutes talking with Wilda and Clark and you get the idea that something in Pennsylvania is different ΓÇô maybe itΓÇÖs the water. Maybe itΓÇÖs the cold every winter that makes you tougher and more resilient. Or maybe itΓÇÖs living in a rural area, long associated with being self-reliant.

After a career with National Fuel Gas and subsequent careers in insurance, plumbing, heating and being an electrician, Clark was searching about to find something to do; something, that is, besides the ΓÇÿhoney doΓÇÖ list that he says his wife started minutes after their wedding 66 years ago. He says that itΓÇÖs a list which he hasnΓÇÖt finished ΓÇô yet.

It turned out his answer was just outside. The blacktop that he had installed atop the original driveway decades ago was unsightly and had begun to erode because of the harsh winter climate. He had repaired it dozens of times. Clay pavers, he reasoned, would be tougher. And besides, as Clark put it, you could start on it, stop, go see one of your 37 grandchildren or take a vacation, and go back to it.

Wilda was more skeptical: She insisted that Clark go to the doctor and get checked out. The doctor gave the okay, reasoning that since Clark always led an active life, a late-life attempt at masonry would be possible.

PHB - Watson Driveway 5

A work crew stripped away the blacktop and gravel underneath and dug 500 feet of ditches to provide proper drainage. The area for the driveway was excavated three inches deeper and an underlayment of crushed stone, topped with sand to a depth of about 1 ┬╜ inches. They used a hand tamper to level the underlayment and sand – and a wet saw to cut the pavers.

Wilda Watson says they bordered the driveway in brown pavers, then laid a soldier course outside of that. She said the key to laying pavers for a driveway is in the sand. ΓÇ£If you get the sand just right, then there is no problem in laying the pavers,ΓÇ¥ she said.

The Watsons worked on the driveway from June 2014 until September 2014 and from May 2015 until October 2015. The first year, work had to stop both because of the weather and because ClarkΓÇÖs health worsened, requiring hospitalization. He had recovered by the spring and re-started the project.

But during last winter, one of the harshest on record, they kept a close eye on the driveway and were particularly pleased to see that there was no heaving and no movement whatsoever of the portion that they had paved.

Now that the driveway is finished, Clark seems ready to embark on a new adventure. Some recent storms have dropped some trees on his property and he really needs to get to work on them. HeΓÇÖs still working on the light posts near the new driveway, trying to find ways, maybe even heat-lamps, to keep them from freezing up. And his shop, out back, could use a cleaning. He has a new, four-wheel drive John Deere snow blower with a closed cab and a heater, so heΓÇÖs ready for the winter, this time.

But given that he has had motorists stop and admire his work and ask who put in his driveway, we did suggest that he might have found a new career path for himself. Maybe he should start a business installing clay paver driveways and walkways and patios.

For the record, he didnΓÇÖt say no.

PHB - Watson Driveway 9

01/05/16
Clay pavers complement historic brick at Asheville hotel

Ridgely Dubel had admired the 100-plus-year-old colonial revival house at 15 Clayton Street in Asheville, NC, which was just around the corner from her own home. When she learned it was to be demolished, Dubel took action, bought the home and converted into a charming five-room hotel christened as Bunn House.

Refurbishing the house for public hospitality included some significant landscaping to offer guests a relaxing residential experience in one of AmericaΓÇÖs most popular tourist destinations.

With a design that invites guests outdoors, the Bunn House grounds has Pine Hall Brick paver walkways, an ornate garden feature and a spacious patio with a stone fireplace. Sturdy picnic tables and chairs hearken to the craftsman style of turn-of-the-century Asheville.ΓÇ¿ΓÇ¿The hotel is named for its builder who, as it turned out, was an English brick maker named Albert Bunn. As is often the case, clay pavers were specified to complement the legacy facebrick of the historic home that was built in 1905.

Carson Builders Supply in nearby Hendersonville provided the pavers and installer Jim Revis brought the stunning and inviting design to completion.

Bunn House is open year round. You should visit! For information and reservations, go to the hotelΓÇÖs website, linked here.

 

12/27/15
Resolution: Enjoy it all Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall


For the new year, resolve to enjoy your home outdoors every season. Here’s some inspiration to help.

Stroll into spring with a paver pathway.

Driveways, walks and garden paths extend the value, beauty and comfort of your home. A winding path through a garden invites exploration as flowers blossom and new growth appears. Clay pavers have natural look that is an ideal complement to DIY landscaping and gardening.

Make your home outdoors more relaxing with fountains, pools or water walls. YouΓÇÖll love the relaxing sound of water and so will your neighborhood birds. Installing a water feature can be done professionally, but there are plenty of supplies at major home centers to do it yourself. (Hint: The digging part is a great job for a college student home on break.)

 


Fall back in your lounger with a patio fireplace.

Outdoor fireplaces or fire pits are entertaining and relaxing and allow you to enjoy your patio investment longer. TheyΓÇÖre a great way to extend your outdoor season. Some fire building enthusiast may never come back inside. Pine Hall Brick offers special fireplace brick and we can advise you on proper construction.

 

Winter. Light up your home outdoors for all to enjoy.

When your home outdoors is this beautiful, you should light up the long night to show off your paver paths and patio. And landscape lighting adds to safety when you’re walking in from the driveway on a short winter day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12/10/15
Beacon Hill: Gaslight & Greenery

BostonΓÇÖs Beacon Hill district evokes nostalgia for the traditional Early American Christmas, reminiscent of Currier and Ives paintings. Centuries-old brick homes hung with wreathes and street lamps wrapped in pine boughs are the stuff of a Charles Dickens-era Christmas and it can be yours too.

If you love the 19th century look of Beacon Hill, you can achieve it with three materials: greenery, gaslight and brick!

Greenery:

The quickest and easiest is fresh greenery. Evergreen boughs of various varieties offer one the most time-honored and natural decorations of the winter holiday season. There is nothing like the scent of fresh conifers to bring holiday cheer home in the cold winter days of December. You can create your own wreaths, roping and garlands by purchasing fresh clippings from local garden centers. Some Christmas tree vendors even offer their cuttings, free for the asking.

The only supplies you will need are floral wire, gloves and pruning clippers. The range of decorations is limited only by your imagination.

Martha Stewart provides an amazing visual catalog of the types of greenery available for decoration indoors and out.



For more information and how-to guides, check out this site for great instructions and videos. ItΓÇÖs not too late to start this fun new family tradition!

If your budget permits, consider buying fresh wreaths and roping online.  There are many sources.  Check out  Echo Hill Farms or Lynch Creek Wreaths,  for example, if only to oo-and-ah at the amazing assortments.

Garlands From Echo Hill Farms


Gaslight:

With its gas lamp lined streets, Beacon Hill creates the atmosphere we have come to appreciate as the traditional mood of the winter holidays.

Image courtesy of John Jakle, City Lights: Illuminating the American Night, 2001.

If you already have gaslight then you know how much value this soft inviting light adds to your property.  If you don’t, this winter may be the year to take a look at this classic and charming upgrade.

Brick and gaslight go together like a horse and carriage, so even if it is not an option for this year, its something to consider in the future to to add lasting beauty, visual warmth and value to your home year-round.

American Gas Lamp Works and Benvelo Gas & Electric Lighting offer stunning galleries you can browse. More than period lamps and posts, lamps can be at gates and entranceways and in gardens, pools and patios. And outdoor lighting is more than a decoration, it can provide much needed safety and security for residents and as a deterrent for intruders.

Brick:

For the main material, brick, you’ve come to the right place. Pine Hill Brick offers our special Beacon Hill line of brick—inspired by the Boston community—in an unparalleled  choice of styles, color and shapes to create the perfect space for year round elegance outdoors. Browse our website and Pinterest Pages for galleries of ideas to inspire you.

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