Posts Tagged With: outdoor updates

Team Up with a Landscape Professional for Amazing Results

Sometimes getting your landscape exactly how you want it takes a team effort. Asking for help is not going against the DIYer’s code, it just makes sense. When in doubt on how to deal with a problem area of your yard or how to execute a specific design, call in a landscaping professional to help get you back on track.

Do You Call a Landscape Designer or Landscape Architect?

Say you want to create a backyard Zen garden, who would you call? A landscape designer has a horticulture background and can blend the right plants and materials together for your dream garden. A professionally trained landscape architect can also design your oasis but they know how to alter the lay of the land to appropriately deal with issues like bad drainage problems and soil erosion.

The Benefits of Working with a Landscape Designer or Architect

  • Ideas – They may see options you haven’t considered.
  • Wealth of knowledge – They know the best types of plants, hardscapes or water features that will work well for your landscape.
  • Resources –They have the business contacts and inside knowledge on the different materials and companies you may want to use.

The scope of work you want to undertake will determine which of these professionals you use. (Architects tend to work on larger scale projects.) Decide on your budget and how far you want to take your partnership. Whether you want a design plan or someone to handle the bigger tasks, let these professionals supplement your landscaping needs in whatever way you desire.

Tips for a Productive Landscape Consultation

Your consultation appointment is a meet and greet when the designer or architect assesses the landscape. It is handy to have a site or plat map of your property – a map drawn to scale, that shows the land divisions in your neighborhood – so you can clearly define the area to be renovated.

  1. Give a brief overview of your landscaping plans – You will meet again to go over details. Focus on the desired look and feel you want in your garden.
  2. Tell them your budget – They will be able to tell you if your budget is feasible. You may need to do the work in stages as you can afford it.
  3. Discuss what you want from them – Do you just want a design plan or do you intend for them to build elements? Define your role and where you want to use your DIY skills.
  4. Find out how do they charge for services – This could be hourly or a lump sum quote. The standard request is to pay the cost of permits and some materials upfront. You should get an itemized quote within a reasonable time after your consultation.
  5. Ask for references and to see a portfolio – Most professionals will have a list available and their website should have photos of finished work. Ask them if you can contact their other clients.
  6. Discuss whether they are licensed and bonded – If they are doing some of the work then they should have insurance to cover their employees.

Why Go Through a Major Landscaping Project Alone?

A landscape designer or architect can resolve issues you have in your yard or help you formulate a game plan for that total makeover. Seek out the expertise you need and you may find it is the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Here’s looking at you, DIYer.

Expert Advice

From bobcats and backhoes to wheelbarrows and shovels our expert staff is always on hand to help with your next DIY landscaping project. Does your landscaping design include a retaining wall? You’ll find lots of helpful tips in our blog, Summer Garden Update #1: Building a Retaining Wall. As always, if you have any questions about pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

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Categories: Gardening and Lawn Care, How-To's, Restore and Renovate | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Outdoor Entertaining Storage Made Easy in 8 Steps

prepare your patio for winterCooler temperatures signal that winter is on the way, reminding us to safely store all the accoutrements that make our decks, patios, porches and outdoor entertainment areas so enjoyable. The work you do now will make re-creating your outdoor living space a breeze come next season.

1. Wipe it all down

Get your lawn furniture ready to store by wiping it down to remove dirt, dust and debris. If you see that it has mildew on it, then wash it with soap, water and a soft bristled brush. Allow the furniture to dry completely before moving it to storage.

2. Clean and freshen up furniture

If you have metal tables and chairs, look for signs of rust while cleaning. You can remove rust with a wire brush before applying touch up paint. Once dry, add a coat of auto car wax for extra protection. This will make cleaning the furniture for a return engagement on the deck a snap.

3. Plastic needs protection, too

Plastic is susceptible to temperature changes. After sitting all summer in the blazing sun, letting plastic furniture languish in harsh winter weather may cause it to become brittle. Keep your plastic furniture looking nice by storing it indoors. If you don’t have the space, secure a plastic cover or tarp over the furniture outside.

4. Clean cushions

Vacuum or brush off your cushions to eliminate storing them with any unwanted pests. Acrylic fabric is made to deter mildew but if it remains dirty it can harbor mold. If you notice black stains, wipe the cushion down with mild soap and water and allow it to dry before placing them in a plastic bag. Store them in a dry area.

5. Remember the grill

If you don’t use your grill during the winter months (some brave souls do!), then you need to prepare it for storage.

  • Fire it up – Burn off any residue on the grates.
  • Scrape it off – Use a wire brush to remove stubborn bits of burnt food.
  • Remove grease tray – If you don’t do this after each use then give it a good scrubbing now to avoid mold forming while in storage.
  • Remove propane tank – Never store a tank indoors. Keep it outside and covered.
  • Cover it securely – If you aren’t going to store it, then cover the grill. Investing in a sturdy cover with ties will extend the life of your grill.

6. Protect garden accessories

Garden ornaments and accessories are easy to overlook, but some of these fragile items may not survive a harsh winter storm. Wind chimes, decorative bird houses and glass globes should all be cleaned and stored indoors. Water features should be drained so they will not freeze. If you can move them, storing them will help keep the seals and gaskets safe from deteriorating.

7. Roll up the garden hose

When you don’t need your garden hose anymore, untangle it, roll it up and store it. No sense buying a new one every year! And while you’re at it, tend to your potted plants. If you don’t have room for them to stay alive indoors, then contribute them to your compost pile. Turn all of your empty pots and containers upside down so they do not collect water.

8. Come spring – instant party!

For some, closing up outdoor entertaining for the winter is a somber chore. However, you can feel accomplished – you just saved yourself a lot of work in the spring by taking care of it now. Once it is warm again, just dust everything off and you are ready to go. Instant party! You’ll be the host with the most. Meanwhile, all the good times are now moving inside where it’s warm. You might want to enjoy those this winter.

Expert Advice

From pressure washers to ladders, our expert staff is always on hand to help you with your yard and garden clean-up. For more helpful tips on how to get ready for the cold weather, check our blog, 3 Easy, Economical Ways to Winterize Your Home. As always, if you have any questions about what to choose, pricing or how-to’s, don’t hesitate to contact us. Stop by our store — we’re open seven days a week.

Categories: DIY Projects, Fall Checklist, How-To's | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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