It Looks Like Rain

Now that the torrential summer downpours are here, are you noticing that your mulch is floating out of your flower beds into your lawn?  Perhaps the mulch is spilling over onto your sidewalks making it more dangerous when you walk outside?

You should consider getting Curb Appeal Concrete Landscaping Borders.  Not only will you “frame” your landscaping, but it will keep your family safer, and your lawn more appealing.  Our borders are designed with the homeowner in mind.  Our mower style makes it simple to ride the wheels directly upon the edge, reducing “edging” time.

 

No EdgingThe picture to the right here shoes no border whatsoever.  Grass can grow straight in, and the mulch can flow right out into your lawn.

 

Black Plastic BorderHere, to the left, you’ll see black plastic borders.  I don’t think we need to tell you what is wrong with this picture.

No Edging woodBut, I can’t leave out the trusted ole wooden ties that are sometimes used.  See the difference?

What you need to control and manage your landscape are concrete landscaping borders, and as a matter of fact, that’s exactly what we specialize in.  For over 18 years, this has been our sole business – creating a beautiful manageable landscaping design for thousands of Central Floridians.

Keep your landscaping under control!  We invite your to look at our website, as we give you options, advice and testimonials as well as recommended vendors that we’ve worked with throughout the years and found them to be exceptional.

Lawn Flower CurbingTackle the upcoming rainy season by calling us today for your free estimate.  We’re located just a stones throw from Orlando, which would be St. Cloud, Florida.

 

407-957-9208

407-957-9208

 

 

 

 

Payment Options:  Cash, Check and all major credit cards accepted.

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Curbing – Top 3 Things to Look For

Today, we were replacing curbs from some ‘other’ curbing company in St. Cloud.  The unfortunate thing about it was that the owners didn’t know what to look for when it came to curbing.  And, the ‘other’ company obviously installed their curbs before a rain-storm hit, so the curbing was badly pitted.  They should have covered the curbs if a storm were pending, not just leave the job site.

However, the damaged and crumbled curbs were picked up by  Curb Appeal Concrete Landscaping Borders and transported quickly to the landfill!  After-which, new borders were installed – with color!   I should have the complete pictures for this job tomorrow, which I will share with you.

Curb 17 - NOT Curb Appeal

Anyway, what I’m boiling down to is; do you know what to look for?  Here is an example of what you definitely DON’T want with your borders.

This picture was actually taken in 2003 by someone that hired us.  For the record, these are NOT our borders. Notice how uneven and wavy the top is?  This is just “crap installation” here.  Can you see the difference?

curb1

In this second picture, you see straight lines that are easy to mow around.  For the record, these ARE our borders.

You want your borders to “frame” and complement your landscape – not distract from it.  You don’t want “roller-coaster’ curbs – you want straight, smooth and level curbing.  THAT’s how you frame your landscaping.

And, a big plus (know that the rainy season is upon us); concrete landscaping borders keeps the mulch in – and the grass out!

So; when investigating this avenue for your landscaping; think about the following:

  1. How long have they been in business?
  2. Can they provide customer names for references?
  3. Guarantee’s?  Will they come back for repairs?

You wouldn’t believe how many companies fade in and fade out.  We can proudly say that we’ve been doing Concrete Landscaping Borders in this area for 18 years.  Shouldn’t you go with a successfully locally owned and operated company?  This is the only business we have – full time!  That’s us!

Homework:  You as a homeowner should do due diligence to determine if the company you select will be able to perform the job to your satisfaction; are able to complete repairs if needed; have a solid foundation of customer service; and a fair price.  Research this site to give you prices, curb styles, color options, and how to measure.

Curb Appeal Concrete Landscaping Borders has been operating since 1997, with thousands of satisfied customers.  Please contact us today for your FREE estimate!

Proudly serving Central Florida.  Call 407-957-9208.

407-957-9208

407-957-9208

 

Payment Options:  Cash, Check and all major credit cards accepted.

 

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

407-957-9208

Payment Options:  Cash, Check and all major credit cards accepted.

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:

curb-appeal-2272x1704-add-curb-appeal-the-decorative-edge-moyuc.com

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

407-957-9208

Payment Options:  Cash, Check and all major credit cards accepted.

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

407-957-9208

Payment Options:  Cash, Check and all major credit cards accepted.

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

Curb Appeal, Concrete Landscaping Borders
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

407-957-9208

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!

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Why you should give your home an outdoor makeover

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

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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.

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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!

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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.

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A to Z of home ownership and the spring home show

Consider a water feature, like this one by The Pond Clinic, which is opening the Aquatopia Conservatory this spring.
Consider a water feature, like this one by The Pond Clinic, which is opening the Aquatopia Conservatory this spring.

Karma Creative Solutions / Ottawa Citizen

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Home ownership involves a lot more than just meeting those monthly mortgage payments. Fire protection, troublesome trees, elegant bathroom upgrading: they’re all part of being king or queen of your castle.

The upcoming Ottawa Home & Garden Show is one way to meet the professionals who can help you and your home with everything from eavestroughing to gardening. There’s also scads of online resources to help, whether you’re trying to hire the best renovator or stay on top of your insurance coverage. And you can do your own seasonal checkup to make sure your home stays in tip-top condition.

Our A to Z of home ownership will help with all this and more.

Antlers on the wall is a trendy decor misstep unless you’re redoing your hunting cabin, says interior decorator Lee-Ann Lecroix. Her seminar at the home show will help you separate the timeless from the merely trendy. “I’ll talk about wallpaper, fabrics, paint colours. It’s about how to spend wisely,” she says.

Birds, rodents and attics don’t mix, so check animal barriers spring and fall. Also check your attic for water leaks caused by ice buildup (stained roof sheathing or wet insulation are giveaways). Call a roofer if in doubt.

Make sure chipmunks and other critters can’t get into your attic.
Make sure chipmunks and other critters can’t get into your attic.

Central air conditioner: A spring cleaning and tune-up will cost you roughly $125 to $150 but can also save you money thanks to better efficiency and fewer repairs.

Decks: Stone Deck Landscapes, exhibiting at the home show, uses stone instead of maintenance-needy wood for new and reno projects. Renos costs about $12 to $15 per square foot; new construction costs vary depending on size, number of footings and other factors.

This Pennsylvania project uses real travertine but in Ottawa's harsh weather Stone Deck Landscapes owner Greg Borger says he would only use it on covered decks. For others, he uses a manufactured travertine stone.
This Pennsylvania project uses real travertine but in Ottawa’s harsh weather Stone Deck Landscapes owner Greg Borger says he would only use it on covered decks. For others, he uses a manufactured travertine stone.

Stone Deck Landscapes / Ottawa Citizen

Extinguishing fires is tricky if your equipment isn’t easily accessible, has low pressure or is damaged. Get information on fire extinguishers here.

Fires involving clothes dryers top 15,000 per year, according to the U.S. National Fire Protection Association. Most result from lint build up. Get dryer fire prevention tips here.

Gutters and downspouts: Have snow and ice loosened or damaged them? Are they debris-free? Do they carry water well away from your home? If needed, call in a pro.

Check your eavestrough for debris and winter damage.
Check your eavestrough for debris and winter damage.

Hot water heaters need periodic cleaning for maximum efficiency and long life. It’s as easy as shutting off the circuit breaker and draining the gunk with a garden hose. Citizen columnist Steve Maxwell explains how.

Insurance: Is your home and contents coverage up to date? What about your inventory of belongings? Is your cottage fully covered? Visit the Insurance Bureau of Canada for tips.

Just a few minutes — that’s all it takes to clean/vacuum refrigerator coils. The fridge will run more efficiently and use less electricity.

Kitchens: Sure, renovate yours but not at the expense of general home maintenance like window and door caulking and upkeep of your HVAC filter. Tarion.com has a monthly checklist to help prevent pricey repairs.

Welwyn Wong redesigned the landscape around an existing pool to create a resort feel that accommodates several activities —socializing, lounging, dining or swimming.
Welwyn Wong redesigned the landscape around an existing pool to create a resort feel that accommodates several activities —socializing, lounging, dining or swimming.

Mike Bonomo / Ottawa Citizen

Landscape designer Welwyn Wong presents a home show seminar on creating a resort-like backyard with water features and even a shaded daybed. “It’s going to remind people of their little winter getaway to Cancun or the Mediterranean,” she says.

Moisture levels rise in the spring so maintain your sump pump (allstate.com shows how).

Native plants, why you need them in your garden and where to find them: just one of the many subjects on the Nature Conservancy of Canada’s guide to spring gardening tasks.

Check out the Nature Conservatory of Canada’s spring guide at natureconservancy.ca.
Check out the Nature Conservatory of Canada’s spring guide at natureconservancy.ca.

Outdoor electrical fixtures: Check for rust, debris, insects. Ensure all exterior outlets have an operational ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI), and test them and inside GFCIs regularly. Call an electrician if in doubt.

Pre-fab homes: Bonneville Homes brings its Exalt bungalow to the home show. Its glass-walled terrace with whirlpool and fireplace converts for indoor or outdoor use.

Bonneville Homes brings its Exalt bungalow to the home show. Its glass-walled terrace with whirlpool and fireplace converts for indoor or outdoor use.
Bonneville Homes brings its Exalt bungalow to the home show. Its glass-walled terrace with whirlpool and fireplace converts for indoor or outdoor use.

Quicksand: That can be the sensation as you sink into the nightmare of hiring an unscrupulous or incompetent renovator. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association has good advice and worksheets for hiring a renovator.

Roof: Every spring and fall, inspect for loose, buckling or missing shingles, inadequate caulking and faulty flashings. Excessive shingle granules in the drainpipe mean an aging roof: Call a roofer.

Smoke detectors: Change the batteries twice annually and check your carbon monoxide detector. The Ontario Building Code now requires all home smoke alarms to have a visual component like a flashing light.

Trees: Have you inspected them for winter damage and pruning needs? Are you planting new trees this year? Sites like treeottawa.org and services like Davey Tree Expert (at this year’s home show) can help.

Layout, colour palette and cabinetry create a timeless appeal in this kitchen, says decorator Lee-Ann Lacroix, while accessories can be used to accent current trends.
Layout, colour palette and cabinetry create a timeless appeal in this kitchen, says decorator Lee-Ann Lacroix, while accessories can be used to accent current trends.

Ashley Fraser / Ottawa Citizen

Ultra energy efficiency defines Edelweiss Lakes, a new Gatineau Hills community with homes by Raya EcoHomes that claim an annual heating cost of as little as $350. “We’ve come to realize people are pretty green about green,” says Edelweiss Lakes president Luc Belisle. “But it’s not that complicated: passive solar design and a good envelope goes a long way.” Edelweiss Lakes is at the home show.

Ventilation: To maintain effectiveness, clean your kitchen hood ventilation system and bathroom fan at least once a year (doityourself.com tells how).

Water features soothe the ear and please the eye. Aquatopia, the expansive new home of The Pond Clinic Water Garden Centre opening on March Road in May, offers everything from fountains and ponds to nursery stock.

X and Y, as in Generations X (aged mid-30s to late-40s) and Y (late teens to early 30s), may be overly optimistic about the probability of owning a home, according to a recently released survey by the Bank of Montreal Wealth Institute. Higher costs for almost everything mean it’s time to get real about owning a home, paying for their childrens’ post-secondary education and enjoying early retirement, according to BMO.

Woody Properties is a popular real estate website that includes surveys, trends and creative ideas. According to a Zillow survey, bad-boy Justin Beiber was the least desirable celebrity neighbour in 2014.

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