Another Satisfied Customer

20150512_071238We’re always so proud to have our clients contact us after the job!  Mr. McCorkle actually shared his pictures of his curbing job to share with you!  Thanks!

“We used this company a couple of months ago and have very happy with the work they performed for us. They were very prompt and personable as well as professional throughout the process. We are planning on having them back to do some additional work as soon as we have the area ready. We highly recommend this company to anyone in need of this type of work.

Thanks for the great job Scott !” 

S. McCorkle – St. Cloud, FL 05/13/15

Concrete Landscaping Borders keeps the mulch in – and grass out!

20150512_071142Contact us today for your free estimate!

407-957-9208

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DOES LANDSCAPING INCREASE YOUR HOME’S VALUE?

Written by Andrea Davis on Monday, 13 October 2014 3:14 pm

After spending hundreds to thousands of dollars on landscaping, how do you know if you’ll recoup your investment? Homeowners may wonder if their efforts are worthwhile compared to interior projects. In actuality, landscaping comes back in resale value more than you may think.

According to a publication from Virginia Tech, a home landscape has been valued at around 15 percent of a home’s total value. Furthermore, certain landscape aspects add more to the home than others, including:

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Design: 42%

Plant size: 36%

Diversity of plants: 22%

The study cited that a $150,000 home could go from $8,300 in worth to almost $19,000 more with the addition of a landscape.

That’s a lot for just adding a front yard to your home.

Here is more information about these elements and how to increase the value of your home.

 

Landscape Design


Photo courtesy of Jardin Passion Landscape ConHow you design the landscape is the first step in creating a beautiful and valuable front yard. If you plant shrubs, flowers and trees without a design in mind, you could run into maintenance issues down the road. This is why you might call in a landscape designer to help. Landscape designers have the knowledge when it comes to creating landscapes to match homes and climate conditions. They know which trees, shrubs and flowers mix versus which ones might be troublesome. The end result will be a manageable, uncluttered and beautiful landscape that you can enjoy for little to no hassle.

Plant Size


Photo courtesy of Applegate Landscape Co.On a visual level, adding different plant sizes will make your front yard look more appealing. Adding different shapes and colors complements your home and the lawn. On a maintenance level, mixing small and big plants will cut down on clutter in your yard. If you have too many bushy plants, their roots and branches could get mixed together and cause maintenance issues. So plant different trees, shrubs and flowers to make your landscape colorful and varied to add onto your home’s appeal and save on trouble.

Diverse Plants

Lawn Flower CurbingPhoto courtesy of M&M Garden DesignsIntertwined with the plant sizes you choose are how diverse they should be. You don’t want to plant only shrubs and trees with leaves. Vary it up with fruit trees or shrubs that have flowers to add color to the front yard. You also might choose annual and perennial flowers to sprinkle across your yard. You will need to replace annuals every year, but that gives you the chance to try out different flowers. Perennials, on the other hand, will last for many years and can endure harsh winter conditions.

Conclusion

Whether you hire a landscape designer or decide to tackle the front yard landscape yourself, be sure to include these three elements. Adding them to your front yard will pay back dividends in your home resale value, and it will make your home more attractive to buyers.

Curb Appeal Concrete Landscaping Borders have been proudly servicing Central Florida since 1997!  Call us today for YOUR free estimate!

407-957-9208

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Does Your Home Have Curb Appeal

Curb Appeal: Does Your Home Have It?

Does Your Home Have Curb Appeal

True curb appeal can be an elusive thing. But there are a number of solutions available to homeowners who want to increase the value of their home or the likelihood of it selling. In fact, sometimes the issue is deciding which projects you should take on and which just are not worth it.

To make things simple, we are going to look at the house itself and the landscaping separately. We also want to make it clear that while you can always add features to both the building and property, proper maintenance of both is paramount in your efforts to get full value out of your sale. Usually, appraisers deduct the estimated cost of repairs from the estimated value. So by keeping up with routine care, you either save money in repair costs or make it close.

If you have the budget for large projects, you will likely want to hire professionals to design and develop a theme that fits the property itself as well as the location. If you are doing this all on your own, your best bet is to play it safe and work on the little things that tie your home together.

The House Itself

This is exactly what the buyer came to see. Therefore, you want to make the home look as inviting as possible. It is important that it looks taken care of so that prospective buyers can see themselves living in it. In nearly every market, how your home stacks up against the surrounding properties for sale is a key factor.

Home Maintenance

This is where all the hard work you put in over the years pays off or where all the neglect and procrastination finally catches up to you. The majority of the market is not looking for a fixer-upper; make sure both the interior and exterior of your home looks fresh and new! If your home needs a lot of work, it may not be something that buyers want to take on, especially if your competition is virtually maintenance free. Perform home maintenance regularly and it will not seem overwhelming when you are prepping to sell.

Get to Cleaning

Start with the windows, the trim, the siding, even the garage door needs to be cleaned up. Whatever you are not refinishing needs to look as clean and new as possible. Do not be scared to rent a pressure washer, and do not be afraid to ask a few friends to help you a few weekends in a row. If that is just too much fuss for you, a professional cleaning crew will cost you a few hundred dollars and get the job done in a couple of days.

Refinish and Replace

If you really want your home to sell, you have to be willing to touch up the damage that time, the elements, and your family have inflicted upon your home. Paint where necessary. Replace rotted and damaged trim. Find new house numbers and accents to substitute for the old and rusty versions. While making these cost-effective changes, you can simultaneously develop a new look for your property. With less work than homeowners often realize, the entire look of a house can change and its curb appeal can rise dramatically.

Roof and Gutters

This aspect of a home exterior gets special recognition from us because it can be so important but is too often overlooked by homeowners. Roofs are one area where regular maintenance really pays off. A new roof is very expensive and problems are hard for appraisers to miss, especially when they are significantly worse than the rest of the neighborhood. If you are lucky, you may get by with a good cleaning. If you have never given it a thought, you may need a complete overhaul. Either way, hire a professional and solicit the advice of your Realtor®.

Home Upgrades 

Does Your Front Door Add to your homes curb appeal?Some small upgrades are almost mandatory if you are serious about increasing your curb appeal. Make sure that you determine your budget before you begin to spend money on changes. It is important that you maximize your return on investment when spending money on a home you are looking to sell. No one wants a money pit that does not bring some type of return so invest wisely and reap the rewards.

Spruce up the Front Door

Your homes front door should be the focal point of its exterior. The way you dress it up can go a long way towards presenting an inviting appearance. Luckily, you do not have to make an expensive change to create a large effect. A simple touch of color, to the door itself, with trim, or potted plants as an accent can really make a statement or add a lovely addition to your overall theme. If you want to make a stronger statement, upgrade the light fixtures flanking the front door. Or go even bigger by adding stone or tile to your stoop, steps, or porch.

Windows and Trim

If you want to take things a step further than a coat of paint, getting new windows, trim, and shutters can really transform the look of a house. And when done right, this simple change can tie together a house and significantly increase curb appeal. You can also add extra dimension, texture, and color to the exterior by adding window boxes than fit in with the rest of the design. Surprisingly, even subtle changes (like a new window trim color) can make the exterior of your home stand out and get the property noticed.

Revamp Your Exterior

If it is within your budget, and you want to get the highest impact, upgrade the home’s exterior. You can add some stone detail on the front for texture and class or redo the entire home for the serious increase in equity. If you go the latter route, we highly recommend that you seek professional advice and collaborate with your Realtor® in order to maximize your return on investment. Often, local trends determine what type of large projects can be the most beneficial. A trusted real estate agent is your best resource for important market info!

Does Your Home Have Curb Appeal? Really…Does it?

Lawn and Landscaping

The modern home buyer understands that with their purchase, comes not only a building or two on a plot of land, but that plot of land itself. And as far as curb appeal is concerned, a buyer notices the lawn and landscaping well before they ever see how the master bathroom looks. What you do with the property can go a long way toward determining how long it stays on the market. Keep your yard looking its best and you will minimize any possible distractions as new buyers pull up to view your home.

Yard Maintanence

Fortunately, a little elbow grease can go a long way in the yard. If you always take care of your grass and natural areas, you can spend a lot less time here when it comes to putting your home on the market. The better your yard looks the more likely it is that buyers will want to stop and see what the rest of the home looks like. If you are unable to do the work yourself, hire out, but ensure your yard looks its best at all times.

Green Grass and Pretty Beds

You can avoid having to buy sod by taking care of your yard year-round. Seed, fertilize, water diligently, and it will pay off when it is time to move. Make sure that you keep your flower beds and natural areas free of weeds. Trim what needs to be trimmed, lay on a thick layer of mulch, and you can move onto the next project. If you have to do a whole revamp from neglect, you will have to spend a lot more time and energy just to get your landscape respectable.

Yard Accents

Accents such as arches, gates, fences, and sitting areas can be an asset to you as you attempt to sell your house. But if these items are in disarray or disrepair, they can actually have a negative effect. You do not want buyers to look at pieces in the yard and think the word “chore”. This can discourage buyers completely. Make sure that you take care of your yard so that it does not look cluttered and neglected. Your landscaping and architectural accents should compliment the home, not detract from it.

Yard Upgrades

Flowers Enhance Curb Appeal

It is smart to incorporate nature in multiple ways to the overall design and theme of your home’s exterior. There is also potential for significant increase in home value with different landscaping projects. If in doubt, drive through a few subdivisions or visit a new community in town to see what they are doing. Smart upgrades can add value to the home…unwise changes are a waste of time and money.

Flowers and Other Vegetation

Flowers are one of the best ways to splash some color across your lawn. Trees can provide aesthetic and practical value by providing shade or fruit. You can provide even more practical value by planting food or herbs gardens, which can also provide pleasant seasonal aromas or help to keep insects at bay. Sometimes, your existing beds can be enhanced with stone borders or a few new additions. This is one of the most inexpensive ways to attract more buyers and get your home off the market.

Mailbox Decor

For most homes, the mailbox is something like the ambassador for curb appeal. Make sure your mailbox at least looks new. Add some color with a few hardy flowers. At least make sure your mailbox is up to the neighborhood standard. But if you really want to make a statement, you can go for an upscale upgrade that will set your place apart from the street. Custom numbers or plates are another unique addition that can make your address stand out in a buyer’s mind.

Other Outside Accents

If you do not have any already, landscaping accents can be an inexpensive way to enhance the aesthetic appeal of your property. Comfortable places to sit, architectural novelties, and anything with water can really add that special touch of charm home buyers are often looking for. Certainly do not spend money here when you have more pressing concerns, but additions such as these can be a great way to spend the last couple hundred dollars of your budget.

Driveways and Walkways

If you have the budget for it, enhancing your driveways and walkways could be one of the best ways to gain a significant amount of home value. If you do not have a paved drive at all, or if it is in disrepair, this is a great way to add plenty of curb appeal. You can add stone borders or lighting to put your property in a different class. Driveways and walkways are the paths to your home, you want them to be an inviting path a buyer wants to travel on every day.

Parting Shots

Remember, curb appeal is not that difficult to come by, as long as you go about obtaining it the smart way. Start with maintenance: take care of your house and it will take care of you. Neglect it and reap what you sow!

A buyer’s first impression is all important. That is why it is so vital to coordinate your house and its landscaping in such a way that the property is instantly appealing. Professional advice is the best way to ensure that your money is well spent and that the changes you make will have a positive impact on your home’s value.

Try to look at your home as a potential buyer might. When you put yourself in that mindset, it is a lot easier to sense where you should really be critical, and most importantly, where your money is best spent.

407-957-9208

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8 Essential Outdoor Upgrades for Selling Your Home

Whether you’re selling acres of land or a tiny urban terrace, it’s time to spruce up your outdoor space.

What sells real estate? Location, location, location. We’d like to add one more item to that list: outdoor space. Because regardless of your location or property type, an outdoor space can make or break the sale of your house — especially in nice weather.

“I once had a client willing to sell her condo and spend tens of thousands more for the same interior space, just so she could have a 3-by-5-foot terrace,” says Brian Murray, a real estate broker in Hoboken, NJ.

In other words, outdoor space matters, whether it’s a tiny patio or acres of landscaped gardens.

Motivated to improve yours? Experts advise focusing on fixes or upgrades — not major overhauls — that are low maintenance, decent quality, energy-efficient, and not too costly.

Here’s what to know about sprucing up your green space, from the front door to the back 40.

1. Pump up your curb appeal

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so make that front entry burst with welcome.

Most importantly, paint, repair, or replace your front doorway. A new steel door consistently ranks among the best home improvements, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2015 “Cost vs. Value Report,” with a 100% return on investment (ROI).

Next, prune any plant overgrowth and add inexpensive shrubs and potted flowers.

Make sure the doorbell works too.

2. Add (or repair) a wood deck

According to the same report, adding a wood deck has an ROI of 80% — better than remodeling a bathroom — and constructing one costs a fraction of building an addition, but dramatically adds to perceived living space.

If you have an existing deck (or patio) in need of repair, now is the time to start swinging that hammer.

3. Check the roof

According to the National Association of Home Buyers, house hunters focus primarily on quality and appearance, so don’t let a sagging roof or leaky gutters drag you down.

A roof in ill repair indicates to a buyer that more unpleasant surprises may await, and a home inspection will quickly reveal if your roof needs work. Most roofs last between 20 and 30 years; if yours is nearing the end of its useful life (or it looks like it is), expect the buyer to talk you down on price.

4. Wash or replace siding

Attractive siding is second only to a nice front door when it comes to curb appeal, and worn siding can cost you 10% of your home’s value.

If yours is in good shape, get out the pressure washer and clean it up. If not, think about replacing it; the long-term ROI is up to 84% for fiber-cement cladding. Vinyl siding is an inexpensive, durable, and low-maintenance choice, though it won’t get you points for environmental friendliness, and some buyers may find it tacky.

5. Make landscaping attractive

Sure, your Pinterest page is full of sprawling gardens and rose-clad trellises, but in reality, most buyers want low-maintenance, unfussy landscaping.

Mature, healthy plantings are a bonus, but if your yard is still under development, try to maintain a green lawn. No buyer wants to imagine serving burgers to pals with a side of sad, browning grass. If you don’t have time to reseed, consider laying sod.

Next, add green shrubbery in a few key spots and prune unkempt trees or bushes, especially those darkening interior spaces or obscuring views. Finally, mulching gardens is another good way to add appeal.

6. Tidy up walkways and stairs

While you’ve got out the power washer, make sure pathways, stairs, and other paved areas are looking their best.

View your home with fresh eyes or ask a friend to provide an honest report. Are the stairs unsafe? Is the walkway ugly and cracked?

Listen up, and patch up those eyesores.

7. Avoid money pits

Real talk: Unless you live where it’s sunny all the time, a pool is not a good investment. It’s expensive to install and maintain, and not everyone wants one.

Thinking about adding an outdoor kitchen? Most buyers aren’t. Instead, put your money into universally appealing amenities; buyers can add niche amenities (a tennis court, a hot tub) later.

Your job is to focus on creating an outdoor space that looks nice, is functional, and is in good repair.

8. Sweat the small stuff

Whether you live in a city center or bucolic countryside, little things can have a big impact on buyers.

For example, you can easily and inexpensively add functional exterior lighting, cover an air-conditioning unit with a trellis, add a grill that says easy entertaining, install a cozy firepit, or stage a table with a glass of wine.

“Remember, buyers aspire — they want to see themselves living an amazing life in the place they’re going to buy,” advises Murray, the Hoboken-based broker. “Trust me, people will buy based on seeing the grill.”

Ultimately, spend the money on smart landscaping and universally appealing exterior elements to make your property look taken care of — it’s well worth it.

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– See more at: http://www.trulia.com/blog/8-essential-outdoor-upgrades/#sthash.ZGgwoY0e.dpuf

Eat Your Yard! How to Design an Edible Landscape

Many of us are lucky enough to have at least a small plot of land surrounding our homes. Yet we often choose to occupy that land with grass, marigold and azalea beds, wisteria, and the occasional privet or maple—plants that look nice, but don’t give us anything in the way of food or value. Edible plants are equally beautiful, and nearly any homeowner could grow a meaningful amount of food in her yard—a much more noble use of the soil. Consider replacing the typical landscape with decorative borders of herbs, rainbow chard and striking paprika peppers. Instead of the fleeting color of spring azaleas, try the year-round beauty of blueberries—or pear and plum trees, which put on a spring show of flowers, have colorful summer fruits and produce yellow fall foliage. These plants aren’t just pretty—they provide healthy food and save money and resources.

In addition to being a viable design option, an edible landscape (if maintained organically) is the most compelling landscape concept for the future.

Edible landscapes offer these incredible benefits:

Energy Savings: Food from your yard requires no shipping and little refrigeration. Plus, conventional farms use a large amount of energy to plow, plant, spray and harvest produce—planting and picking tomatoes in your front yard requires a miniscule amount by comparison.

Food Safety: You know which chemicals (if any) you use.

Water Savings: Tests show that most home gardeners use less than half the water to produce the same crop compared with large-scale agricultural production. Drip irrigation saves even more.

Money Savings: You can grow an unbelievable amount of food in a small, beautiful space. When I meticulously calculated the value of a 100-square-foot edible landscape I grew a couple of summers ago, I was amazed to find it had saved me more than $700! (Visit rosalindcreasy.com for exact figures for some popular crops.)

Better Nutrition: Fully ripe, just-picked, homegrown fruits and vegetables provide more vitamins and nutrients than supermarket produce, which is usually picked under-ripe and is days or weeks old when you eat it.

Designing Your Edible Landscape

Any landscape design begins with establishing the “bones” of your garden—choosing the location of the paths, patios, fences, hedges, arbors and garden beds. This is critically important in an edible garden because the beds are more apt to have plants with a wide array of textures, sizes and shapes, such as curly carrot leaves, mounding peppers and climbing beans. Edible garden beds may be filled with young seedlings or even be empty at times. That’s when paths, arbors, fences, hedges and even a birdbath are vital for keeping things attractive.

After you’ve determined the setup of the landscape, it’s time to choose the plants. Herein lies the true subtlety of the landscaper’s art. First, make a list of edibles you like most. Find out which ones grow well in your climate, and note their cultural needs. Our sister publication Mother Earth News offers a searchable list of plant recommendations and planting times, organized by region.

With your list of plants in hand, create special areas of interest. You could plant a curved line of frilly-leafed chartreuse lettuces or a row of blueberry shrubs whose blazing fall color can lead your eye down a brick path to your entry. Instead of the predictable row of lilacs along the driveway, imagine a mixed hedge of currants and gooseberries. The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

Edible Plant Selection

Your choice of plants is determined by local growing conditions. When choosing the plants, ask yourself: First, will this plant grow well in my region and yard? Second, does the plant produce something I want to eat? And, last, what does the plant look like (size, form, leaf texture and color)?

Size: The single biggest mistake all garden designers make—professionals and amateurs alike—is underestimating the eventual size of plants, especially in foundation plantings. Large plants can quickly cover windows or look out of scale for the space. Conversely, a fully grown plant might prove too small to serve its intended purpose. Consider the probable end height and width before making your final selections.

Form: Form (or shape) is usually a plant’s mostobvious characteristic. Many woody edible plants, such as apple and peach trees, are rounded. Another typical shape is upright, as seen in raspberries and bamboos. Some plants, such as pomegranates and highbush blueberries, are vase- or fountain-shaped, while others, including thyme and cranberries, have a matlike form. Plants such as gnarled fig trees or grapevines are considered accent plants for their striking form alone. Such forms dominate the area where they grow; give them ample space so they can be enjoyed as the focal points they deserve to be.

Texture: Texture describes the size and shape of the leaves and the spacing between them. Bold banana leaves, which can grow 6 feet long, and the dainty leaves of asparagus exemplify two texture extremes. Fine-textured plants work well in small gardens. Coarse plants, which give a bold look and substance, make a superb foil for large structures.

Color: Color is the most versatile design tool for an edible landscape. Unlike patios or arbors, adding color doesn’t require a large commitment of time, money and labor. If you don’t like the look of lots of red peppers and yellow containers, simply change the dominant colors next season.

Plants add color to the landscape in a variety of ways—multihued flowers, showy fruit or vivid seasonal foliage—but only for a relatively short period. The leaves, in every hue and intensity of green, help tie the design together, from the rich deep green of strawberry leaves to the bright light green of lettuce to the gray-green of sage. Green becomes the neutral color against which you see all the other colors in a landscape.

After choosing the basic foliage hues, add colors with trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants that bloom at different times of the year. I limit myself to two or three basic colors in simultaneous bloom; other gardeners like a full palette, a riot of many colors. It’s all about individual taste.

Produce Pointers

If you’ve never grown produce before, it’s wise to invest in a classic book such as The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible by Edward C. Smith or How to Grow More Vegetables by John Jeavons. Follow these tips for prize-winning plants:

• Make sure your yard has rich, organic, well-drained, fluffy soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0; it’s critical for growing healthy vegetables. You can test your soil pH with an at-home kit, available at nurseries and garden centers. The next step is to correct the pH if necessary. For acidic soil, raise the pH by liming the soil (some call it “sweetening”) with pelletized calcitic or dolomitic limestone. For alkaline soil, add sulfur. In both cases, follow the directions that come with the test results.

• Position plants so tall ones such as corn and staked cherry tomatoes are in the northernmost part of the yard, where they won’t shade shorter plants.

• Interplant long-lived tomatoes, peppers and other such plants with fast growers such as spinach, lettuce and radishes; harvest them before the larger plants fill in.

• Provide support for sprawling plants—including most tomatoes, cucumbers, pole beans and peas—to save space, prevent diseases and make vegetables more accessible for harvesting.

• Allow ample room between plants so they can grow to their full size without rubbing elbows with their neighbors. Good air circulation prevents many diseases.

• Determine the first and last frost dates for your area and plan your landscape accordingly. Planting recommendations on seed packets, in plant catalogs and in garden books are based on those dates.

Get Started!

Finding ways to grow more of our own food and reduce our homes’ resource use is a worthy goal. Start your edible landscape simply. Try replacing a few shrubs with easily grown culinary herbs and salad greens. The next step may be to add a few strawberry or rhubarb plants to your flower border. Or maybe this is the time to take out a few hundred square feet of sunny lawn in your front yard to create a decorative edible border instead.

If you’d like to try a fun, helpful garden-planning tool as you get started on your edible landscape, check out the handy Vegetable Garden Planner from Mother Earth News.

Inspiring Plant Pairings

Combining edibles and ornamentals can lead to a harmonious, productive garden. Consider these colorful combinations:

• A geometric design of orange tulips underplanted with mesclun salad mix and bordered with parsley or frilly lettuces.

Red or orange cherry tomatoes growing over an arbor planted with blue or purple morning glories

• Cucumbers climbing a trellis as a backdrop for a splash of coral gladiolus

• Gold zucchini and yellow dahlias bordered by red zinnias and purple basil

• A bed of fernlike carrots surrounded by dwarf nasturtiums

• A path bordered with dwarf red runner beans backed with giant, red-and-white-striped peppermint zinnias

• A wooden planter overflowing with strawberries and burgundy-leafed cannas

The Real Cost of Lawns

An organic lawn area can be wonderful for frolicking children, but those large, “well-maintained” areas of verdure generally are the landscaping equivalents of gas guzzlers parked in the driveway. Consider the following:

• Lawn mowing uses 300 million gallons of gas and takes about 1 billion hours annually.

SafeLawns.org estimates that Americans spend $5.25 billion on petroleum-based lawn fertilizers and $700 million on lawn pesticides annually.

• According to the EPA, running the average gas-powered lawn mower for 1 hour can create the same amount of pollution as driving a car 340 miles.

• Nationwide, home landscape irrigation accounts for almost one-third of all residential water use—more than 7 billion gallons a day. Lawns gulp more than half of that.

High-Yield Tips for Beginners

Apply techniques experienced gardeners use to make their efforts more productive. To get the most food from a small garden area:

• Plant mesclun salad and stir-fry green mixes; they produce a lot in a short time.

• Choose plants that produce over a long period of time such as eggplants, chile peppers, chard and kale, which yield a large total harvest for the space they take.

• Grow indeterminate tomato varieties, which produce more fruit over a longer period than determinate varieties.

• Plant pole beans, peas and vining cucumbers, which grow vertically and for a longer season. They are more productive than bush types.

• Choose day-neutral strawberries, which bear from early summer through fall and outproduce spring-bearing types.

• Include plants that are in and out of the garden quickly—radishes, lettuce, arugula and green onions—among your other edibles.

Rosalind Creasy has been growing edibles in her northern California garden for 40 years. The expanded second edition of her landmark book, Edible Landscaping, is available at naturalhome andgarden.com/shopping. This definitive book on designing with edible plants provides detailed advice and more than 300 inspiring photos.

Curb Appeal, Concrete Landscaping Borders 407-957-9208

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407-957-9208

THE HOTTEST TRENDS IN OUTDOOR LIVING

Written by Jaymi Naciri

Gone are the days when the yard is used for just a few months. Today, the outdoors are an extension of the indoors, with gracious spaces for eating, lounging, and playing year-round. The latest trends in outdoor living have you covered – literally.

Patio covers

Adding a pergola or arbor to your outdoor space can protect you from the elements, giving you year-round access no matter the climate. Add space heaters and ceiling fans to make it even more inviting. Built-in is best, but if you’re looking for a more affordable option, head for your local improvement or big box store, where a variety of hard- and soft-top options can easily transform your space and give you the coverage you want without having to hire a construction crew.

Hardscape and Softscape

Interlocking pavestones and large-scale pavers are two notable trends for hardscapes. Stained and stamped concrete also remains popular as a way to achieve a high-end look that mimics stone for a minimal cost.

With droughts continuing in many areas, homeowners are increasingly looking for ways to create a yard that needs less water. One of those ways is getting rid of the grass, which explains the growth of artificial grass products.

“Want a picture-perfect lawn? Maybe fake grass is the answer,” said houselogic. “It solves watering, weeding, and fertilizing woes. Synthetic grass for landscaping and recreation is growing 10% to 15% a year in the U.S.”

Lounge Space

The outdoor living room has gone beyond being a trend to become a must-have in today’s homes.

Comfortable outdoor furniture that looks like it could belong inside, wall-hung flat screen TVs, and outdoor fireplaces create cozy spaces that bring the action—and the family—outside.

See some great ideas for outdoor living rooms here.

Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor kitchens are another feature that has transcended the idea of being a trend. Today, they are every bit as amenitizied—and sometimes even more—than the indoor kitchen.

“These cooking areas feature all the accessories and niceties of indoor kitchens so you never have to go inside,” saidBaybreeze Patio. “Refrigerators, grills, smokers, stoves, warming drawers, beer taps, and of course, the kitchen sink ensure outdoor enthusiasts have everything they need to prepare the meal and more.

Water Features

Whether you’re trying to drown out street noise, create a Zen space in your yard, or just like the way a fountain looks, adding a water feature is a great way to bring interest and function to your outdoor space.

Water features have been steadily growing in popularity over the last few years and are today one of the most requested items in a landscape plan.

“Water features are more popular than ever, from fountains to water walls to serene ponds,” said Neave Landscaping. “The sound of water is soothing after a hectic day at work. It masks distracting sounds, like traffic in front of your house, or the neighbor kids’ water balloon battles. It attracts birds and butterflies who love to sip and splash in the water.”

Proudly brought to you by Curb Appeal, Concrete Landscaping Borders.  Call us today for your FREE estimate in Central Florida.

407-957-9208

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The 7 Best Home Improvements for $500 or Less

March 13, 2015

AG-Trac Enterprises, LLC

Give your home’s look a makeover without breaking the bank.

When it comes to upgrading our homes, there seems to be a never-ending list of things to do. There are the upgrades we’d love to make, like buying new furniture or replacing countertops. And then there are the things we have to fix, like inefficient appliances or a leaking roof. But there are a whole range of inexpensive improvements that don’t take much effort but can go a long way toward increasing your enjoyment of your home—and adding to its value too.

Here are 5 such upgrades you can make for less than $500.

1. Increase curb appeal

Even if you’re not planning on selling your home, curb appeal is important. For you, that might mean pressure-washing the driveway (rent one for about $100 per day), repairing broken stairs, or updating your mailbox (anywhere from $50 to $200, depending on style). Sometimes upgrading curb appeal is simply a matter of spending time in the yard and getting your hands dirty by edging the lawn, trimming hedges, or pulling weeds. You could get concrete landscaping borders (average $450=100 linear feet) to frame your yard, and keep your landscaping defined.  To keep costs down, plant perennials that keep their greenery all year long and invest time in maintaining your garden tools so you don’t have to purchase new ones.

Read more about budget-friendly curb appeal projects

Paulsen Construction Services Inc
Paulsen Construction Services Inc

2. Fix the front door

Your front entrance can say a lot about your home. Upgrading to a high-end fiberglass door can cost more than $1,000, but you can get a whole new look for a lot less simply by adding new hardware and a fresh coat of paint. Installing a new doorbell (kits cost about $50 to $100) or updating the lighting (anywhere from $25 to $100) are also inexpensive fixes that can add instant appeal to the front entry. Pair your newly painted door with a clean doormat ($20) or fresh pot of flowers, and you’ll have a whole new entrance for under $500.

3. Repair interior walls and paint

If your walls are a standard height, it’s easy to make simple repairs like patching holes or sanding. It’s also fairly easy to prime and paint your walls, which can instantly upgrade the look of any room. You’ll need to buy paint and primer (most brands start around $30 per gallon) plus painter’s tape, brushes and rollers. (Read this to learn more about how to budget for your painting project.)

Painting can get complicated and expensive if you need to repair a significant amount of drywall, remove mold, or have really tall ceilings, so always consult a professional if you feel you might be in over your head.

4. Update lighting and change bulbs

The lighting fixtures in your home are like jewelry on an outfit—they can instantly add pizzazz or look dated. Switching out a chandelier or sconce is a fairly easy, budget‐friendly project. Shop big-box stores for inexpensive pendants, or ask about floor sample sales at retail outlets. Plan on spending at least $200 for a large fixture, about $100 for a bathroom vanity light, and $100 or less for a wall sconce. If you’re on a tight budget, consider using the fixtures you already have but updating them with a coat of spray paint, a new light shade, or a dimmer switch. To make sure you’re really adding value, switch to energy efficient bulbs like LEDs (about $7 for a 60W equivalent) or CFLs (about $9 for a 60W equivalent) bulb. Although both are more expensive than an incandescent bulb, they last longer and require less energy.

Normandy Design Build Remodeling
Paulsen Construction Service Inc.

5. Install new toilets

Your motivation for buying and installing a new toilet may be for aesthetic reasons, but newer toilets can also save you money. Toilets installed prior to 1995 use as much as 6 gallons of water per flush; newer WaterSense models use as little as 1.2 gallons.

Over time this can represent thousands of gallons of water you won’t have to pay for. Additionally, older toilets are more likely to leak, wasting even more water and money. A slowly running toilet can waste as much as 200 gallons of water a day. Replacing a toilet (about $100‐$200) isn’t hard for an experienced DIYer. But call the plumber if you have other leaks in the bathroom or kitchen; getting them fixed will save you water and money.

6. Maintain your mechanics

Just like maintaining a car, regularly having your appliances and mechanical devices inspected and tuned up can save you lots of money in the long run. Major repairs or replacements can run into the thousands, but a simple check up might be as little as $100. Ask your serviceperson to let you know about any special customer care programs. Sometimes long-term customers are rewarded with free inspections or discounted servicing. (Thinking about DIY appliance repair? Read this first.)

7. Monitor energy usage

There are many smart-home devices on the market aimed at letting you get to know your home habits and helping you save money on energy or utility costs. Devices like Iris (Comfort & Control kit is $80) can help you regulate the temperature of your home and alert you to any unexplained changes. Add-on devices like the Utilitech Water Leak system ($30) can alert you to water leaks. Ultimately these devices help you save money on your energy and utility bills and keep you from expensive repairs down the line.

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Anne Reagan is editor-in-chief of Porch.com.

A Guide To Landscaping Around Your Home

By on Mar 5, 2015 (she’s great!)
Your home is looking good! You have repainted the inside of your house. You have redecorated the inside with new furniture. And, you have put in new lighting so your home is nice and bright. However, the inside of your home is only half the battle. You also need to look and work at the outside of your home.

Combination Pavers & Curbs
Other than painting the outside of your house, there are a number of other ways homeowners can improve the look, and just as important, the value of your home. One of the easiest ways to improve your home is through the use of landscaping around the house. Landscaping the areas surrounding the house can make your home look nicer and improve the look of your neighborhood. These are factors that can help improve the value of the house.  Adding borders, for example, on your sidewalk keeps the mulch in, and your grass out!

Homeowners have many different ways to help landscape their homes. Many can be accomplished by yourself at minimal expense. Landscaping can take different forms such as planting flowers, trees, bushes and maintaining a healthy looking lawn. There are also other methods of improving your home including having a nice looking deck or patio, improving your outdoor lighting and even having a water feature in your yard. Another important part of landscaping is keeping pests away from your lawn, trees and gardens.

All of these methods of landscaping can help improve the look of your home and raise the home’s value. To learn more about landscaping around your home, please take a peek at the following resources. We hope that you learn how to properly landscape and also work on your own around the house. Also, please feel free to share this information with others looking for information on landscaping.

For more information on how Curb Appeal Concrete Landscaping Borders can help you design your perfect yard, call us today! Proudly serving Central Florida since 1997!

407-957-9208

407-957-9208

Curb Appeal Concrete Landscaping Borders Payment Options:  Cash, Check and all major credit cards accepted.

Why you should give your home an outdoor makeover

Published Carson Arthur – March 20, 2015     Looking for our Share & Win contest?

landscapinganddesign

Spring has finally arrived! Well, at least the calendar says so. That means the home renovation industry is shifting gears and moving home improvement projects outside. Outdoor design expert Carson Arthur has talked to us about the importance of landscaping, but stresses the benefits of giving your home an outdoor face lift. Arthur educates us on how to do just that. 

The Shift: From landscaping to complete outdoor makeovers

For my entire media career in landscape design and outdoor living, I have been trying to convince homeowners that focusing on the outdoors not only improves their own way of life, it also increases the value of their homes. As new information comes out each season from national companies like Century 21 Canada and regional organizations like Landscape Ontario, I have been adding to my own messaging to help homeowners make truly informed choices.

Now I am officially crowing at the top of my lungs that not only does good landscaping positively impact a home’s perceived value…outdoor renovations have taken over the top five home improvements according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2015 Cost vs Value report. Step aside you interior experts…its time for the landscapers to take center stage!

These outdoor improvement projects knocked kitchens and baths out of the usual top spots:

A New Front Door

This is the only improvement for the entire house that is worth more money the moment you install it! Adding a new solid steel door to the front of your home is expected to see a return of 101.8%! Even I was surprised by this one. Although, it does make sense. A front door for your home is like the wheels on a new car. Nobody buys a car because of the wheels, but everyone checks the wheels before they buy a car. The front door doesn’t sell a home, but it is the very first item that a potential buyer checks when walking in. If the front door is solid and in good condition, buyers assume that the rest of the home will be up to the same standards.

landscapinganddesign

In case you missed it: Read our handy guide on choosing a front door. We discuss the pros and cons of door materials and how much they’ll cost you.

Manufactured Stone Veneers

More companies are entering into this market everyday and with an expected rate-of-return of 92%, consumers are happy to have the choices. Having stone veneers at the front of your home is a great way to add visual impact without rebuilding your house. Stone gives the impression that a home is solid and able to withstand the elements (and the children). The key to successful veneers is in the colour saturation. More colour in the stone means that the colour will last long – holding its value longer too!

landscapinganddesign2

A Wood Deck

I’ve always been an advocate of expanding your living space into the backyard. For most of us, a wood deck is a simple and effective way to create an outdoor room…with an 80.5% return-on-investment! Traditionally, cedar has had the best-perceived value, but with rising material costs, this has been changing. MicroPro Sienna, the brown version of pressure treated is poised to take over the top spot. With the rich look of cedar at significantly reduced cost, more homeowners are opting for this new style of wood over the green alternative.

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Surprised? Don’t be. When it comes to home renovations, most homeowners want to achieve the following:

  1. Add value to the home;
  2. Let the home speak for itself by making a good first impression for future buyers;
  3. Stay on budget while updating and improving the space.

In order to get people inside, you have to draw them in from the outside, which is why we should stop thinking about landscaping, flowers and gardens and start thinking about the house as a whole.

Ready to get that outdoor project underway? We can put you in touch with the right professionals. Scroll through our database of landscaping and design professionals. If you’re looking to replace your front door, we have experts for that too.

Proudly presented by Curb Appeal Concrete Landscaping Borders.  Serving Central Florida since 1997.  Call today for your FREE estimate.

407-957-9208

407-957-9208

Curb Appeal, Concrete Landscaping Borders 407-957-9208

Curb Appeal, Concrete Landscaping Borders
407-957-9208

5 Kid-Friendly DIY Garden Projects

Welcome spring into your backyard with these garden DIYs that the whole family will love.

Even though it’s still cold outside, it’s not too early to start livening up your backyard garden.

These projects are all about re-imagining classic garden elements in a fun, easy way that the whole family will love. From making your own rain barrel to using rain boots as plant containers, there’s no limit to the creativity you can bring to your backyard garden. Best yet, these ideas are so easy, they’re great to try with kids. Which projects will your family try this spring?

1. Painted Rain Barrel

Annie's Omnium via Apartment Therapy - painted rain barrelPhoto courtesy of Annie’s Omnium via Apartment Therapy

Rain barrels are a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way to water your lawn and garden, and they are easy and inexpensive to make. Get the complete instructionshere. If you’re feeling extra artsy, you can even add a personal touch by painting or drawing on the exterior.

2. Eggshell Succulent Garden

Karine Brighten - mini succulent gardenPhoto courtesy of Karine Brighten

This mini succulent garden only takes a quick trip to the hardware store to make, and it’s beautiful enough to display on your coffee table! Full instructions here.

3. Outgrown Rain Boot Planters

Mom's Crafty Space - rainboot plantersPhoto courtesy of Mom’s Crafty Space

When little feet outgrow their winter boots, don’t trash them–instead, turn those brightly-colored shoes into fun-filled planters. Get the project here.

 

4. Hop Scotch Pavers

Happiness is Homemade - hopscotch paversPhoto courtesy of Happiness is Homemade

Nothing brightens up a backyard or garden like these rainbow hopscotch pavers–and they’re super-easy to make. Get the tutorial here.

5. Strawberry Stones

Recyclart - strawberry stonesPhoto courtesy of Recyclart

These strawberry stones are not only fun to make and pretty to look at–they also deter birds from stealing your berries! Also try painting stones like carrots, potatoes, cucumbers, and corn to mark your veggie garden plantings, or just paint pretty things likecacti and ladybugs for fun decorations. Full tutorial here.

Proudly brought to you by Curb Appeal Concrete Landscaping Borders – serving Central Florida since 1997!

Curb Appeal, Concrete Landscaping Borders 407-957-9208

Curb Appeal, Concrete Landscaping Borders
407-957-9208

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