Our Newest Project in Galena, OH, Gives New Meaning to the Term “Dog Day Afternoon”

Columbus deck and patio combinationsArchadeck of Columbus just completed a backyard transformation in Vinmar Farms, a neighborhood located in Galena, Ohio. When we originally met with the homeowners they had recently purchased the home and their existing outdoor living space consisted of only an 8x 10 builder grade deck. Not only was the deck small it created a boxed in feeling of not being able to turn around in the space, and it offered no access to the backyard from the deck itself. In order to enter the backyard you had to do so from the main level of the home. Since the home included a walkout basement, not having access to the backyard from the deck was an issue they wanted to rectify.

Columbus deck and patio combinationsWhen we met with the homeowners to discuss upgrading their outdoor living space there was another prerequisite we needed to address. Aside from all the reasons associated with the size, flow and functionality of the existing space. The homeowners, being caring dog owners, wanted a space that would give their beloved canines, and themselves, an open space to spend time outdoors together and separate.

Galena OH Timbertech deck builderThe final design we came up with speaks to all their concerns through a new (much larger) low-maintenance deck, spacious Unilock patio and under-deck space that could provide a shady spot on those dog day afternoons. The entire space flows from one into another and offers access to the backyard AND walkout basement.

The deck is built in durable TimberTech Terrain in brown oak, this color is not only easy on the eyes, it also helps mask any dirt brought onto the deck by muddy paws. The deck also includes a white vinyl rail with a TimberTech rail cap which unifies the design. We used a three-board tread step approach to the stairs to make travel up and down into and from the deck into the yard easier for the homeowner’s aging dogs.

Galena OH Timbertech deck builder

Just a gentle walk below the deck is the stunning curvilinear paver patio which opens up the outdoor living space possibilities for man, and man’s best friend. The patio is built with Unilock Beacon Hill Flagstone pavers in platinum with a sailor course edge in Unilock Basalt Courtstone. The patio is finished off with a cropped rotary wall of Ledgestone which compliments the edge of the patio and adds a custom touch to the entrance into the walk-out basement.

Columbus deck and patio combinations

As you can see, the patio floor extends the length of the under-deck area to provide a shady spot for the homeowner’s dogs to relax on warm days. The homeowner’s plan to add low-profile outdoor furnishings to help make the under-deck area easily accessible for the dogs too.

Columbus deck and patio combinations

The entire space is built with pet-friendliness and extended outdoor living capabilities in mind. The homeowners are elated with their new backyard, as are their dogs. We look forward to revisiting this project in the months ahead and capture images of our four-legged clients enjoying the space too!

Columbus deck and patio combinations

If you are ready to extend your outdoor living possibilities, for all members of your family to enjoy, Archadeck of Columbus can help! We can address any special circumstances and expertly refine an outdoor living space to address those needs. Contact us today to learn more at (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net.

Archadeck of Columbus team
The Archadeck of Columbus team.

 

 

 

 

Our Hardscape and Softscape Project in London, OH, Merges New and Old Seamlessly!

London OH Retaining wallsThere is nothing more interesting than when Archadeck of Columbus gets the chance to work on a historic home in our local geography. It certainly does present some challenges in terms of keeping the integrity of the home while providing homeowners with all the practical elements and benefits that are all about today’s outdoor lifestyle. We recently worked on a project in London, OH, with a home built in 1865 on 7.5 acres that has steep history during the Civil War/Antebellum era.

London OH Hardscape project on historic home

The house has been restored numerous times throughout its lifespan, and luckily the previous owner did renovations to the home to code back in 2000 after investing almost $750K to restore it, including the home’s stunning original brick veneer. This home’s newest owners also wanted to do right to the structure to continue its legacy in the proper way and preserve its integrity, but also add plenty of energy that would enhance the exterior. They wanted a masterful intermingling of new and old.

London OH patio builderOn a project of this scope, the homeowner’s needed a highly skilled  company with expertise in these areas for a large-scale outdoor additions complete with landscaping that would elegantly blend the new upgrades so they would complement the existing look and feel of the home. The homeowners didn’t necessarily want to have a historically accurate renovation, but rather have the improvements to the outdoor entertaining areas marry beautifully with what was already in place. This delicate balance was struck with the addition of a large paver patio, retaining/seating walls and fire pit along with extensive landscape installation to create a tasteful and practical outdoor living space that would complement this gracious home and property without overpowering its handsome simple lines.

London OH Patios and Hardscapes

The home originally had an existing deck off the back which was long overdue for an upgrade, so we tore it down to make way for a whole new look that was more in keeping with the historical nature of the brick building. Archadeck of Columbus added a hardscape outdoor living environment with stunning curved tiered steps lead from one area to the other in a dreamy way that tempers the hard lines and materials. The project also includes all the softscape foliage landscaping as well.

London OH outdoor fire pit builderThe hardscapes are built solely using Unilock and Belgard pavers due to their beauty and hard-wearing nature. The patio features Unilock pavers from the Camelot series in the Riverblend color with plenty of natural hues. All the vertical hardscapes were built using Belgard pavers from their Bel-air line in the Fossil Beige color. Both of these beautifully complement each other and have a seamless feel. The softscaping installation pairs well with all the stonework and adds plenty of color thanks to gorgeous specimens of Hydrangeas, Lavender, KnockOut Roses, new trees and evergreens for year round green.

London OH hardscape outdoor living environment
Just look at the vantage point the family now has to enjoy the view!

The family is beyond overjoyed at their new outdoor living environment, and you can see it looks heavenly. These homeowner’s are now in the process of adding a tranquil backyard pool to further their enjoyment and are currently in discussions with Archadeck of Columbus to design and build a paver pool surround,  pavilion and a pool house — they are so excited, and we are too!

Not only did we meet their challenge of merging old and new, but the property now boasts a multi-faceted and multi-functional outdoor living space that increases the livability of this stately 18th century home.

Archadeck of ColumbusGot a challenging project for us? Give Archadeck of Columbus a call today for a free consultation at (740) 879 – 3730. We look forward to your call. Please also visit our website at http://columbus.archadeck.com.

Archadeck of Columbus on the road in Canada

panoramic Canada lakeside patio by Archadeck ColumbusEach fall, as our busiest season winds down, I try to bring some of my crew members up to my family’s cabin in Canada for a little well-earned break. You can’t beat the scenery there in October. Our place sits on the banks of the Ottawa River in Ontario and looks across to a provincial park in Quebec. We all have a great time fishing, relaxing, and enjoying Molson Canadian.

building lake side patio Columbus OH lrAt heart though, we are all builders and our conversations inevitably turn to what projects we could do that would make the place a little nicer for our next trip up. We have a nice space inside for watching the river go by, but it’s a little short on seating. There is plenty of room outside, but the property slopes away from the house down to the water. We wanted to build something that would give us plenty of space and stability to enjoy our time outside looking at the blaze of autumn color across the river or counting the stars.

The first question was whether it should be a deck or patio. We wanted something low profile and natural to the setting. The winters are extremely harsh up there and I didn’t want to add one more thing that required maintenance. These factors made the choice pretty simple: paver patio.

Taking our show on the road presented a few challenges. We had to source our materials locally and we were ordering them at the end of the building season when stock is a little scarce. Chuck at Reiche & Sons took great care of us. We were able to order Oaks pavers, a product I’ve used to build Columbus patios. We designed and built the whole project in less than a week pavers for patio by Archadeck of Columbus lrwith time to spare for happy hours and fishing breaks. Thanks also to Pat Stewart who was kind enough to loan us his loader and Kubota tractor: that really made the job easier!

The finished patio is roughly 14’x20’ with room for 12 chairs. There is a drop off on one side of about 28” which I imagine will end up being a seating wall for the kids. We used graystone and buff for the pavers and Oaks Gardenia greystone for the retaining wall. We worked most of the day Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. On Sunday we put in polymeric sand and we were done. It won’t require any maintenance. Period.

While we were lucky with the weather and have never had a better view at a job site, I’m thrilled to have the work done. It was really cool to have the chance to add a new amenity to the cabin that my grandfather built with his guys back in the early 1940s. Having seen how much joy the place has given four generations of family (so far), I know how meaningful a building project like this can be. I’m looking forward to hearing and seeing the reactions and pictures from my extended family during their trips to “Harry’s Haven” next year. They are gonna love it! Special thanks to Rob Mitchell, Phil Sluss, Seth Mitchell, and his dad Rahe. Outstanding work, guys!

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

If you’re thinking about adding an outdoor living space to your Columbus backyard, give us a call to see how we can make creating your dream backyard an enjoyable experience, start to finish. The consultation is completely free. Call (740) 879 – 3730 or email us at westcolumbus@archadeck.net. We look forward to your call.

 

Top 7 hardscape design trends we’ve seen in 2013 (part 1 of 3-part series on design trends)

Archadeck of Columbus is in what many would call an enviable position. We have the opportunity to meet with homeowners around Columbus throughout the year and get to hear what they like, what they are looking for and what type of things they are contracting us to build in their backyards. As 2013 will soon be drawing to a close, we would like to share some of the trends we’re seeing on the front line. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing these design trends for decks and porches also. This week we will look at hardscape trends.

Top 7 hardscape design trends for 2013

Columbus OH covered patio for dining and entertaining
This covered paver patio in Columbus is a great example of planning for function and comfort in your outdoor space.

#1) Roofed structures over patios – This design trend has been a heavy hitter throughout the year and one we predict will continue into 2014. The reasoning behind the popularity of adding a roofed structure over a patio or hardscape area is because it provides a sense of an outdoor room. Pergolas have remained a top choice for a long time, but patio covers offer more protection from the elements and convey a more formal room setting. You don’t have to look very far to see the concept of the “outdoor room” in action; pick up any home and garden magazine and you will notice it is filled with design ideas regarding outdoor rooms. Everything from contemporary to rustic, outdoor rooms are what the “in” crowd is asking for in outdoor structure design. Aside from being aesthetically pleasing, outdoor rooms are highly versatile and functional because they can provide an outdoor escape for a myriad of recreational and entertaining uses.

#2) Incorporating hardscape lighting – “Let there be light” seems to have been the unanimous request among hardscape homeowners. We have integrated tons of lighting into our hardscape designs over the past year. From lighting the risers of steps, pillars, seating walls  and even into the soldier course through the use of lighted pavers, we have done it all! The allure of adding outdoor lighting into hardscape outdoor spaces is ambiance and enhanced safety. By adding romantic touches of light into a retaining wall, or paver patio for example, you can extend the function of the space. The beauty that comes from combining stone with lighting draws you into the space like a moth to a flame!

hardscape patio with stone open columns Columbus#3) The use of non-standard pavers – What is that old saying, “the bigger, the better?” When it comes to the use of larger non-standard sized pavers among hardscape owners, this saying certainly rings tree. Traditionally, homeowners have requested their patios and hardscape structures be built using the standard 4 x 8, 6 x6, and 6 x9 sized pavers. In 2013, Archadeck of Columbus has seen a huge increase in request for oversized pavers. The reason for the demand is because larger hardscape pieces lend  more toward a natural feel and make the space look less like a typical patio. The downside to using larger pavers is that they can be overwhelming when using such large pieces. One option we use to overcome this  is by using a paver rug option. Paver rugs are used to create a isolated section using inset patterned pavers. Paver rugs make wonderful design elements and look great in front of an outdoor fireplace, or to mimic the look of a rug under a grill or dining area — remember, creative touches make  your design stand out!

#4) Mirroring designs – Mirroring is popular among our hardscape customers. The concept behind mirroring is simple, everything is built as a mirror image of the other side of the patio. Mirroring is desirable because it gives people comfort in their outdoor space and balance is always an important factor of hardscape designs.

Patio with sailor course edging adjacent to Deck Columbus Ohio
This patio and deck combination matches the exterior of this home beautifully and also includes a sailor course border for added contrast.

#5) Bordering options – Border usage is still very popular with patios. Adding a border gives a design finality and it gives the homeowner an opportunity to make their space original. We often change the color or texture of the pavers within a border and also mix solider course with sailor course to add character.

#6) Color – When you think of paver patios, the vision of red brick looking pavers is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Stretching to think about more recent hardscape colors, you probably envision earth-toned colors – and you’re right. Earth tones are incredibly popular. But in the last year, we’ve also seen gray tones rise in popularity both as a primary color or as a great color for bordering in the soldier course.

#7) Texture – Many different surface textures are available from relatively flat to coarsely tumbled or cobbled. What we’ve seen rise in popularity this year is the cleft surface texture. This texture is slightly uneven resembling the surface texture of natural bluestone.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

If you are starting to think about adding a new outdoor space to your Columbus area home, give us a call for a free consultation.

(740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

Take a look at some of our patio and hardscape photos on our website.

Archadeck of Columbus discusses the benefits of a screened patio or covered patio addition; a new take on the traditional porch we all know and love

Archadeck of Columbus explores the realm of covered and screened patios including construction, benefits and costs.

Elevated screened patio
This elevated screened patio with adjoining patio below offers loads of low-maintenance qualities and aesthetic appeal.

In keeping with the endless outdoor living opportunities present with a screened porch addition, many homeowners are opting for less traditional screened porch designs. Most conventional methods of screen porch construction consist of being built on “top” of some kind of deck-like structure, be it wood or composite. However Archadeck of Columbus has built many screen porches and open porches over concrete pavers or hardscapes. These are generally referred to as screened patios, or covered patios with the only difference essentially being the grade of the structure and floor medium used.

Paver and hardscape patios can make a wonderful screened or covered/open porch addition. These outdoor living spaces are often built on the ground, or at a lower grade than traditional screened porches, but can also include an elevated design. Screened or covered patio construction begins with planning the corner columns of the structure. Here we install a standard footer set in concrete to secure the columns and create a base from which the structure is built out. In this part of the country we typically install these footers at 3 feet in depth due to freeze lines. Once the footers are installed, they serve as the base from which the rest of the structure is built. This includes the walls, rafters, roof and remainder of the structure. In constructing some of our screened or covered patio designs from scratch we will often extend the paver or hardscape out past the covered portion. This will allow a good transition and add valuable outdoor living space too!

Columbus screened patio builder
This screened patio in Columbus, OH is built using a mix of dimensional pavers and rustic cedar interior trim.

Often the question may arise, how do we adhere the walls when knee walls are present in the design?  The answer is simple: we attach the walls to the pavers themselves with concrete fasteners. Another viable consideration is how do you combat the undulation of some pavers or hardscape mediums?  When choosing a paver the homeowner needs to keep in mind the different paver textures. Using a hardscape material with varied undulation is actually no different from the undulation or character of a decking board — because no two are exactly alike.

There are many reasons homeowners choose a screened patio or covered patio design. These include the low-maintenance qualities tied to using a hardscape floor. Pavers and hardscapes are easy to maintain and to clean. Hardscapes are also strikingly beautiful from an aesthetic standpoint, and homeowners like to tie their screened or covered patio into a new or existing patio space as well. The mixture of wood and stone is also appealing aesthetically to many homeowners.

Columbus OH screened patios
This screened patio in Columbus, OH opens onto a covered patio which increases valuable outdoor living space.

You can also add a porch over an existing patio—this is done by installing footers which requires removing sections of the existing patio, setting posts, back filling and reinstalling the pavers. Portions of the pavers or hardscape of your existing space will have to be removed but once the porch is done, you won’t be able to tell. Our renovations look original once completed.

The price of adding a screened patio or covered patio all depends on the elevation of your design and the hardscape flooring you choose to use within the design. You can have it built two ways, either low-to-grade, which is essentially on the ground or elevated. Elevated screened patios generally cost 20% more than a regular elevated screened porch. The increase reflects the construction dynamics involved which consist of layers of aggregate that are necessary in patio construction.  Low-to-grade designs usually cost approximately 10% more over standard screened porches built using wood. This increase may be non-existent or even a decrease when compared to screened porches built with higher-end solid PVC decking or its counterparts.  Just like a savory recipe, it is the ingredients that go into an outdoor living design that make the difference, and reflect the costs involved.

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

To find out more about our quality hardscape outdoor living designs, including patios, screened patio and covered patios, contact Archadeck of Columbus today.  Call us for a free consultation (740) 879 – 3730 or drop us an email at westcolumbus@archadeck.net

Please visit our patio and hardscape photo gallery and our outdoor living photo gallery located on our website to see more of our fabulous Columbus area hardscape designs!

Top 4 questions Columbus homeowners ask when considering a new paver patio or hardscape.

Archadeck of Columbus answers the top 4 questions asked by homeowners when planning a patio or hardscape addition.

Columbus paver patio with retaining wall outdoor kitchen
Our patios are built with quality and beauty in mind for the long haul.

The popularity of patios and hardscapes in the Columbus area continues to grow each season. With this growth, there are a number of questions potential hardscape owners ask Archadeck of Columbus. During our consultation with the client we are able to address any questions or concerns homeowners have about their patio or hardscape project.  In an effort to provide information for your upcoming outdoor living space project, we have picked the four most commonly asked questions and provided our answers below.

The top 4 questions people ask us when thinking of adding a patio or hardscape are:

1) Will the hardscape “settle”?

2) Will the hardscape get weeds?

3) Are hardscapes maintenance free?

4) What is the cost of a patio vs. a deck?

Pavestone flagstone patio Columbus OH
Under this stunning flagstone patio are many layers of intensive preparation to ensure the structural soundness of the patio over time.

The answer to these questions for the most part are no, no, no, and it depends. As far as any concern of a patio or hardscape settling over time or getting weeds, the answer is that it’s very unlikely if it’s done right.

Here are the details that go into the way we install a hardscape patio or outdoor space. When we build a patio or hardscape we use multiple layers to build the right foundation for your paver patio. When we excavate the are for the patio, we compact the base (dirt), then add the quarter size gravel 2″ at a time and compact after each 2″ layer.

Many companies will install all the gravel at once and compact only once. The first layer is a compacted soil base which is brought on by excavation of the proposed building site. We then install a layer of geo-textile material. We then add aggregate which consists of angular, quarter size stone which is added and compacted down two inches not just once, but three times. This is an element of patio construction that sets Archadeck of Columbus apart from other patio builders. We make sure the area is compacted in layers which is the main reason our designs maintain their integrity over time. We are certified Interlocking Concrete and Pavement Institute (ICPI) installers and build all of our hardscapes to meet and exceed all building codes set forth within.

Columbus paver hardscape decorative retaining walls
No weeds, no settling, no problem!

Most installers don’t compact the base or aggregate correctly which leads to settling over time. In addition to the compaction and aggregate layers, Archadeck of Columbus also installs polymeric sand which acts similar to grout once it is activated with water. We compact the last time pavers are installed and the poly sand is installed in an attempt to fill the voids as a much as possible so the poly doesn’t settle. This also greatly reduces the chances of weed seeds sprouting through the cracks. Archadeck of Columbus also provides a five-year guarantee on all hardscape and patio foundations, so we stand behind each of our structures every step of the way.

To answer the question of whether a patio or hardscape outdoor structure is maintenance free, the answer is no because nothing is completely maintenance free. Patios are however very low maintenance. The only requirement we recommend is sealing the hardscape every couple of years for an extra measure of protection against the elements and everyday traffic. Using a sealer will add a slight gloss, or sheen to the hardscape itself, but most homeowners love this look!

Columbus OH paver patio with retaining wall and fire pit
The curved seating wall and fire pit is a great way to add vertical dimension to this patio in Columbus, OH.

When trying to compare the price of a deck addition versus a patio, the final number is influenced by the design of the structure itself. Generally speaking, a wooden deck will be a little more expensive to build because you need a higher skill set for installation. When dealing with very flat ground, a patio will be a little less expensive to build, however when you begin to add vertical elements to the patio’s design that take more time, the price tag will begin to go up.  In regards to the cost of a synthetic deck versus the cost of a patio, the price for the synthetic deck will almost always be significantly more. Once again, it is hard to gauge a precise cost analysis until you take the design or the space and all the “bells and whistles” within the design into consideration, so the answer is it all depends on your individual design.

To find out more about our quality hardscape outdoor living designs, including patios, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits, contact Archadeck of Columbus today.  Call us for a free consultation(740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

Please visit our patio and hardscape photo gallery and our outdoor living photo gallery located on our website to see more of our fabulous Columbus area hardscape designs!

Archadeck of Columbus joins forces with Mr. Mulch to discuss what is hot in hardscapes

Archadeck of Columbus discusses the trending hardscape designs for Autumn 2013 as we enter into the season for tailgating, fire pits and renewed family time!

This beautiful Tiger Wood colored custom multi-level composite deck with an outdoor fireplace creates a comfortable outdoor living space.
This beautiful Tiger Wood colored custom multi-level composite deck in Columbus, OH with an outdoor fireplace creates a comfortable outdoor living space.

When it comes to keeping on trend with the latest hardscape designs no one around does a better job than Archadeck of Columbus! Recently, I was fortunate enough to talk with Jeff Ortman, the Director of Sale and Marketing for Mr. Mulch right here in Columbus, to find out what is hot in hardscapes right now. Mr. Mulch specializes in providing area residents a wide variety of items to help compliment their outdoor living needs and has worked along with Archadeck of Columbus on various projects throughout the years. Mr Mulch maintains a respected following in our region and are able to gauge the up-and-coming trends of our community through info from the vast number of residents they consult with on a day to day basis in regards to their various outdoor living accompaniment needs.

Outdoor kitchen
Maybe an outdoor kitchen is the best accompaniment for your patio?

In my conversation with Jeff Ortman, he pointed out that most consumers aren’t shopping for just a hardscape patio per se; they are looking for ways to enhance the full outdoor living effect and are looking for ways to enhance the “outdoor room” experience. With this in mind, many Mr. Mulch customers are leaning toward outfitting their backyards with the upcoming football season in mind. Mr. Mulch has seen a dramatic increase in the popularity of backyard smokers – in particular the Big green Egg. Many homeowners are planning their backyard patio area to include these smokers by way of an island to make access to the smoker more convenient. Outdoor kitchens also remain a hot commodity as part of patio designs here in the Columbus area. As a whole, when you include an outdoor kitchen, smoker and backyard patio, homeowners can mimic the feel of tailgating in their own backyard. This is especially the case when you add in a big screen TV mounted to the patio on a Sunday afternoon with a handful of your closest football loving friends- score!

Columbus_screen_porch_divider_rail_patio_and_firepit
The fire pit and patio combination never goes out of style. Pictured here is a outdoor living combination of screen porch, spa deck, custom patio and fire pit.

Along with the popular backyard “tailgating” effect that is a growing trend among Columbus hardscape designs, Jeff indicated the continued popularity of patios designs featuring fire elements. The love of the outdoor fire pit and the outdoor fireplace remains steadfast among Columbia homeowners. Natural wood-burning fire pits and fireplaces seem to be the method of choice here in our area because of the classic ambiance natural wood creates – and wood costs less to burn.  Imagine cuddled up around your custom fire pit by Archadeck of Columbus in your beautiful Amish-made Berlin Gardens Adirondack chairs from Mr. Mulch making s’mores with your family on a crisp autumn evening a delight.

With so many hardscape colors and styles to choose from, sometimes it can be hard to decide on the right hardscape for your dream patio or paver project. With this in mind, I asked Jeff his “most requested” colors and styles. He indicated that customers are leaning toward a more natural looking stone or classic style paver look. Among the most requested color, hands-down is coffee creek, and among the most requested brand is Unilock. Unilock is a good quality product with a good quality price point – who could ask for more?

Archadeck of Columbus wants to cordially thank the professionals over at Mr. Mulch for all that they do, and especially to Jeff Ortman for his help on keeping on trend with his clientele. We value our relationship with Mr. Mulch, and look forward to many happy returns in the future!

Fireplaces and fire pits using Unilock
Fireplaces and fire pits using Unilock

If you are thinking of adding an outdoor living space to your backyard, and are considering if a hardscape is the right choice for you and your family, contact Archadeck of Columbus. We can schedule a free design consultation to explore your options and help you make an informed decision that is the best choice aesthetically, functionally and according to your budget, call us today (740) 879 – 3730
westcolumbus@archadeck.net

Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus
Michael Reeder, Archadeck of Columbus

For more inspiring examples of trending hardscape patio designs please visit our outdoor living photo gallery located on our website. Here you will find more images of Columbia area outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, and outdoor fireplace designs!