Outdoor Living Space With Belgard Mega Arbel Pavers

Recently, Big Bend Landscaping built a terrific outdoor living space with a Belgard Mega Arbel pavers patio for a St. Louis client.

We consider it an honor to help families create a space to make memories in. And this client asked us to do just this. Their backyard needed a complete makeover, including a sheltered outdoor living space, patio, fire pit, a seating wall, and other features too. This was a big job, but as always, we looked forward to the challenge.

The Vision

The homeowner asked us to create an outdoor living space for his growing family. And he needed it in time to entertain guests who were coming for a wedding. This client pictured an area with separate spaces that allowed people to interact and move between groups. And he wanted a portion of it to be covered so he could entertain regardless of the weather and summer temperatures. He also requested a firepit with a seating wall.

The Challenges

As we studied the clients’ yard, we noticed it had some potential drainage problems that might make enjoying an outdoor living space difficult. So we took that into account when we spoke with the client about their plans and offered solutions.

The Plan

As Big Bend Landscaping always does, we spent an extensive amount of time with this client, drawing up plans. We conferred with them many times, checking to see if our vision meshed with his. After we were completely sure he was happy with the plans, we talked about what pavers he wanted.

For his patio, the client chose Belgard Mega Arbel pavers. These pavers look like flagstone, but last longer. For the wall they selected Brisa Wall pavers. For the finish, he went with a slate sailor course borders and column caps.

To deal with the drainage problems we suggested a swale and what we call a “dry creek bed.” The customer agreed, and we set to work.

The Roof Structure

The job was broken into three phases: Our first priority was to add a roof-structure to the outdoor living space. This 21-foot-wide area encompasses the backdoor of the house and is large enough to contain two tables and accompanying chairs. Once this was complete, we could begin with the natural drainage construction, patio, and seating wall.

Attractive Drainage Solution

When we excavated the area for seating walls, we created a “dry creek bed” alongside them. Dry creek beds are a hardscaping feature that does double-duty. In a yard that’s prone to collect standing water or is sloped toward the home, it can act as a natural drain that catches run-off, directing the water away from the home or patio. It can be large or small, depending on its location and purpose.

In this case, we dug a trench along the outside of the seating wall, lined it with long-lasting landscaping fabric, then filled it with a thick layer of fine gravel and river rock.

We also created a swale along the outside of the patio to aid in draining water away from the outdoor living space. Like the dry creek bed, a swale directs water run-off away from where it is unwanted. A swale is less noticeable than a dry creek bed. It’s a trench that slopes gently away from the area most likely to accumulate water.

The Patio and Seating Wall

Patios and seating walls require a great deal of planning, measuring, and making sure each stage is level and secure. When we construct a patio, after excavating, we run a plate compactor over the soil to pack and level it, add an aggregate of crushed rock, run the compactor again, then add sand—again making sure it is level. After placing the edging around the borders to secure the pavers and hold them in place, we are finally ready to add the pavers themselves.

Belgard Mega Arbel pavers have irregular shapes and virtual joints. They offer what appears to be a random appearance that blends in with the surrounding landscape. This is an attractive paver and we enjoy working with it because the finished effect is so satisfying.

We finished out the patio with a slate sailor course border. This is a rectangular brick border that runs length-to-length all along the perimeters of the patio. This pulls the whole look together and gives it a polished look.

Belgard Brisa pavers are good, multi-purpose pavers that can be used for walls, steps, firepits, and columns. We used these pavers to build the seating wall and columns, finishing the columns with slate wall caps. Last, we used the same Brisa pavers to enclose the firepit as well.

The Finished Outdoor Living Space

We are proud of all of our work, whether the job is large or small. And we are especially pleased with this one because it called on all our skill sets and had so many facets. The owner now has a 23’x 38’ outdoor living space to enjoy just in time for his daughter’s wedding. All he needs to add is the party and some S’Mores.


The client was extremely pleased with the end result and took the time to write us a 5 star google review:

“The folks at Big Bend are top notch and we can’t wait to work with them again. Joe is a very easy-going sales guy who doesn’t force anything on you and has great ideas for you. Ryan, as busy as he is, is an unbelievable Project Mgr for a very caring crew. We couldn’t believe the time and care they took in their work. Santiago and the rest of the crew are the type of folks you want working on your property! And Katie did an amazing job in communicating all changes and requirements.”

For over twenty-five years, Big Bend Landscaping has been building outdoor living spaces in St. Louis and surrounding communities. Our Level 1 Certification from the National Concrete and Masonry Association shows that we’ve taken the time to become experts in our field. We have an A+ rating with BBB and many 5-star reviews on Google.

Big Bend Landscaping builds it all—fire pits, patios, pathways, outdoor kitchens, retaining walls, drainage systems and more! We know how to make the most of your outdoor spaces, regardless of size. Do you live in the St. Louis area and want more information?

Give us a call at (636) 349-2946 or contact us for an online estimate!