How to Maintain Metal Surfaces in Your Yard

Since the early times, people have praised metal for properties they couldn’t get from natural materials. But actually, metal is much closer to nature than many people think. The iron ore comes from the depths of the earth, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that metal feels in our gardens like at home. Still, as a man-made material, metal is more susceptible to elements than other materials used in landscaping. Its arch-nemesis is rust – so homeowners need to intervene from time to time to keep metal features like fences, furniture, posts, taps, gates, rails, and grates in a mint condition.

How to Maintain Metal Surfaces in Your Yard

Coating vs. painting

Rainfall and unsteady temperature always conspire to chip away the metal coating. Once the protective layer is damaged, rust is never far behind. One way to avoid it is to choose the most suitable metal for the intended use. Products with baked-on enamel or powder-coated surfaces will last long, without any special maintenance. On the other hand, varnished metal or surfaces protected with regular paint are prone to peeling, flaking, and chipping. Metals with superior coatings are expensive, but their longevity definitely justifies the initial cost.

Debris attracts moisture

With its intricate details, metal patio furniture is particularly exposed to a risk of decay. However, a few simple routines can make it last many years. The first defence against rust is cleanliness. At least twice a year, let’s say in spring and autumn, give your patio set a good scrub. Stir some liquid detergent in a bucket of warm water and use a sponge to remove dust and debris that attract moisture. Use an old toothbrush to reach hidden areas. When you are done, rinse away the detergent with a garden hose and leave the pieces to air-dry in the sun.

Physical protection

As mentioned above, it is the coating that safeguards metal from rusting. Careless handling can make two metal surfaces clink and cause chipping on one or both pieces. Whenever you need to move metal furniture, lift the pieces from the ground instead of dragging them. When the time comes to pack your outdoor furniture inside, make sure you protect the pieces with old towels or bed sheets to prevent them from scraping against each other.

How to Maintain Metal Surfaces in Your Yard

Quick and effective solution

Still, even if you take all precautions, no one can guarantee that rust won’t develop over time. Although seemingly a small problem at first, it can get more serious if left unattended. Once you spot a small patch of rust, clean the area as described above and stop the corrosion in its tracks by using a quality rust converter. These products interact with iron oxide, converting it into an adherent black layer that is moisture-resistant and provides an excellent surface for latex and enamel paints.

Highly damaged surfaces

In cases of more extensive damage and negligence, you may need to refinish the metal – a task that demands more time and effort. Before you can start refinishing, you need to get to the bare metal surface. Using a wire brush or a special wire wheel drill attachment, scrape away the old coating. Take care not to damage crevices and folds that may be a part of the design. After you have removed the coating, wipe down the dust with a damp cloth and let everything dry before you apply the primer and metal paint.

The majority of homeowners regularly tend to their lawns and shrubs, trimming and clipping to add appeal to their gardens, but only a few pay the same attention to metal elements in their yards. With rust, prevention is the best protection, but when the surface layer is already damaged, quality anti-corrosion products can save the day.

 

 

 

What Chemicals are Needed for Normal Hot Tub Operation?

What Chemicals are Needed for Normal Hot Tub Operation?

Having a hot tub at home means that you can relax and unwind in the warm water any time you want to. A hot tub is ideal for relaxing alone or with your partner. In order to keep the hot tub functioning safely and effectively, be sure to use the right chemicals for its optimal operation.

Chlorine

Chlorine has long been the chemical of choice for keeping a hot tub’s water clean. Chlorine is a potent sanitizer. The substance has a familiar smell that reminds most people of swimming pools. It comes in granules and tablets. You should not use the same chlorine for a swimming pool for your hot tub. A hot tub requires a different concentration of chlorine. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the concentration, amount and frequency of chlorine to add to the water in your hot tub.

Bromine

Bromine is an element that is similar to chlorine. It is one of many chemicals for your spa that keep it in operating condition, and safe for you to enjoy. It could be used as an alternative to pure chlorine in a hot tub. In most bromine preparations, the substance is a mixture of sodium bromide and chlorine. The bromine comes in tablet form and is applied through a floating feeder to the hot tub’s water. When used in a hot tub, the bromine does not have as strong of a smell as chlorine. This makes it a good choice for hot tubs that are located inside of the home.

Select the Best Spa Chemicals for Your Hot Tub

It is wise to select the best spa chemicals for hot tubs. Spa chemicals for hot tubs are designed to protect the filters, heaters and other mechanical parts of the hot tub. They are also safe for use indoors. Choosing the right spa chemicals for your hot tub also helps to promote your health. Because you immerse your body into the hot tub, it is important that the water is clean and free of germs that could cause you to become ill.

Mineral Purifiers

Mineral purifiers may allow you to cut down on the amount of chlorine or bromine that are needed in order to keep the water of the hot tub clean. Most mineral purifiers are applied to the hot tub’s water filter. They can also be used in a floating device that stays in the main part of the hot tub. These sanitizing minerals are released into the hot tub’s water over a long duration of time. The purifiers work to remove impurities such as salts and calcium from the water. They also help the filter to capture more bacteria, skin cells and hair from the water. Mineral purifiers might not be recommended for use in all hot tubs or with all water types.

Ozone

Ozone is a chemical that can offset the amount of chlorine or bromine that is needed to keep your hot tub’s water sanitary. It can only work if your hot tub already has a machine that is equipped to handle the ozone and release it into the water. Ozone works by inhibiting the growth of bacteria. A low level of chlorine or bromine is still needed in order to keep the hot tub clean and free of contaminants. If a hot tub does not already have the machine needed for inserting ozone into the water, it might not be a good idea to retrofit the tub.

These chemicals help to keep the water in your hot tub safe for use on your skin. Be sure to use the right amount of chemicals for the size of your hot tub. Remember that you will still need to completely empty your hot tub every couple of months in order to keep it safe.

Outdoor Living Spaces: Three Things Homeowners Must Know

Outdoor Living Spaces: Three Things Homeowners Must Know

Anyone who has watched cable television’s popular shows on home remodeling or home selling knows that outdoor living spaces are all the rage. Capable of adding extra space and comfort to homes in just about any location, these spaces go beyond the porches, decks, gazebos, and bare patios that were once the only options for outdoor seating and entertaining. In addition to being popular, a beautifully designed, outdoor living space can offer even more benefits. If you are a homeowner who is wavering about whether or not to invest in adding an outdoor living space to your home, the following information can help you see what this type of space has to offer your family.

1. Increased Living Space Offers Comfort for Growing Families

No matter how carefully families choose the home they buy, there will still be many times when it feels too small for comfort. Growing children, visiting relatives, and many other situations can cause a home that was once spacious to feel cramped and small.

Adding an outdoor living space provides another area suitable for use from spring through fall in most areas of the country. If the space provides comfortable seating and cooking facilities, it can even become the chosen location for family dinners, helping to reduce traffic in the house and keep it cleaner and more organized.

2. Entertaining is Easier With an Outdoor Living Space

Many homes today are built without a formal dining room, making it difficult to host large gatherings for meals and snacks. An outdoor living area offers a spacious location that can be furnished to handle gatherings of any size. If the outdoor living space also provides electricity to power small appliances, along with a sink, cooking surface, and a cooler or refrigerator, complete meals can be easily prepared and served outdoors, making cleanup far easier.

Many people also add some type of heat to their outdoor living spaces, such as a fire pit, outdoor fireplace, or specially designed outdoor heating appliance, to make these spaces more usable in cooler weather.

3. Outdoor Living Spaces Add Real Value When Selling a Home

Just like porches and patios, outdoor living spaces are considered as part of the base area of the home. Although the base area is not the same as finished interior space, it will still be able to add value in the eyes of both a real estate appraiser and prospective buyers.

To get the most value from your outdoor living space, sellers will want to:

  • make sure the planned outdoor space fits well with the neighborhood and architectural style of the home
  • make sure the size of the planned outdoor space remains in balance with the size of the yard and does not diminish the usefulness of the backyard space
  • make sure the planned outdoor space is attractive both when in use and during the off season
  • make sure the planned outdoor space offers privacy from prying eyes of neighbors or people passing by

For more information about how an outdoor living space can be a benefit, homeowners should consult their real estate professional.

Through the use of recent listing and sales data for similar homes with and without outdoor living spaces, homeowners will be able to gain a better understanding of the amount of added value their home would have after the space is completed. This information can help homeowners  create a realistic plan for these improvements, as well as a suitable budget.

Top 5 Outdoor Home Projects to Increase the Value of Your Home

Top 5 Outdoor Home Projects to Increase the Value of Your Home

When it comes to doing renovations, many homeowners upgrade their kitchens or bathrooms. Their thinking is understandable: They believe these projects add to their home’s bottom line come sale time. However, many outdoor projects also increase a home’s value as well as its curb appeal. If you’re looking for some outdoor projects, start with these five. They’ll add to your home’s beauty today and its value tomorrow.

1. Light up Your Landscapes

Lighting up areas like sitting nooks, backyard fountains, and, of course, the porches makes your home cozy come evening. Additionally, if you’re planning on adding any other outdoor features, you’ll want to light them up, too.

If you’re planning an extensive outdoor remodel, it’s best to map/sketch out your plans for lighting at the same time that you’re planning everything else. This ensures that you’ll have enough wiring for all the lights you install. Also be sure to have a lush lawn, as many of the other additions will look a bit too fancy for a dead lawn. Orem lawn care specialists can offer advice for restoring a damaged lawn.

2. Outdoor Rooms

According to Today, adding an outdoor room increases the value of your home. But these rooms do more than that: They expand your living space. Today prices outdoor rooms like outdoor living rooms starting at $12 a foot, going all the way up to $50 a foot. Outdoor kitchens can run anywhere between $15K and $100K.

There is one more thing to consider, however, if you’re going to build outdoor rooms: Pests. Bugs and other creepy crawlies can detract from an outdoor room’s enjoyment factor, especially if you’re cooking outside. Companies can give you a quote for pest control. Ask about one-time visits as well as maintenance visits to see which plans best suit your outdoor living needs.

3. Garage Door

Aside from your front porch and the front door, your garage is one of the major contributors to your home’s curb appeal. It’s also one outdoor home project that offers plenty of ROI when you sell your home. Typically, replacing your garage door nets you almost an almost 90% ROI at sale time. However, that’s not the only advantage. Replacing your garage door increases your home’s security and even lowers your monthly heating bills. The heat can’t escape out of the cracks around the door.

4. Front Door

If you’re going to change out your garage door, you may want to consider also changing out the front door. Its sale-time ROI runs in the 85% to 100% range. A steel door replacing your existing door will bring the most bang for the buck.

That said, an attractive front door says “Welcome” like few outdoor features can. The porch and door become the backdrop for many of your seasonal decorations. It’s also a place where your lighting investment really pays, too.

5. Water Features

Outdoor fountains and fish ponds add a magical element to your outdoor space. They also provide your backyard with a focal point (or a secondary focal point if you’re also adding an outdoor room.)

A landscape designer as well as a pool designer should give you a hand with this project. The advantage of hiring these professionals is that they’ll guide you toward the right kind of shrubs and greenery as well as the right “ingredients” for your pond or fountain. In the latter case, it’s especially important to get a professional opinion if you’ll add fish to the pond.

Remaking your outdoor space expands your living area and adds to your overall quality of life. The right renovations also add to your home’s bottom line. Even just changing out your front door can bring you a significant amount once you sell your home. However, adding an outdoor room, a water feature, and some lighting adds even more value.

Guest Post By:

Anica Oaks

Freelance writer and web enthusiast
Read some of my published work on my Google+ page.

6 Tips on How to Make Your Garden Stand Out

Everyone enjoys having their own piece of heaven, a place where they can relax, think, create… For most, nature is the inspiring one and this is why we all strive to have a garden, regardless of the size of the plot given, it could be a balcony, a rooftop or a proper backyard. The goal is to create an eye-catcher for the people passing by and a favorite place for your friends to hang out.

Start with a clean-up

Just the same as you do with your house, make your garden look as if everything is there because you intended it to be. Begin by removing all furniture, old clutter, trimming the bushes and the trees and of course mowing the lawn if you have one and clean paving stones.  If you enjoy having what in the words of Jane Austin is described as ‘a prettyish kind of a little wilderness’ you can keep your garden, or parts of it looking untouched. Please be careful with these, you still want it to look safe and inviting without having to worry if you will step on something or if something will fall from a tree.

Choose the flowers

Choose the flowers

The main role in your garden is played by the color-pattern. You can have a theme and combine purple and yellow, orange and red, blue, white and purple etc. or have all colors intertwining. You can have this done by planting flowers. You can plant them in the pots or in the ground directly. It is a good idea to choose perennials as when the season comes, they surprise you with a blossom. If you are not too keen on growing flowers, you can simply buy plants in bloom in little containers every season and put them in your colorful pots. Now all you need to do is to remember to water them.

Furniture

The style of your furniture may vary. Give your old furniture a new glow by painting them or looking up some of the new makeover ideas. You can even use this trick and make your furniture fluorescent. Make sure the size of your furniture fits the size of your garden. Also, in the untamed, wild-looking parts of your garden, you may want to have furniture that reassembles old park benches.

Garden art

Use garden art

You can buy these items in a store, or even better you can use your old clutter and transform it into beautiful garden pieces. Used car tires can be beautiful flower pots, an old wagon wheel, a bicycle or a lantern can make it seem like there is a story behind your garden. Even practical things like colorful hose reels can add to the beauty of your sanctuary. By adding pebbles, you can make your flower beds a little more interesting and make it a little harder for weed to grow.

Light it up

As a final touch, you may want to add some lights for when the night falls. There’s nothing prettier than pretty Christmas lights. Use them on your gazebo, a rose bush or simply hang them from the branches of the trees around your garden and you will spark a fairy tale. Find suitable lanterns or torches. You can even make your own lanterns if you feel creative.

Don’t clutter up

There is no such thing as good clutter. Don’t make your garden look too busy as it won’t allow you to relax. Organize your flowers into clusters. Don’t get every piece of furniture you may want to have as it might not fit the space. Same goes for garden art. If you discover you enjoy making garden art, don’t keep it all give some away, it will make a unique present. If you lack space for all the plants you would like to have in your garden, you can use suspended flowerpots, that way you will make room on the floor, and gain a sense of greater space.

A beautiful garden can help you endure the lack of time you have in your every-day life. It doesn’t matter if you don’t get to take your child to a park if your own backyard can give a sense of an outdoor heaven.

Yard Transformation: 3 Trendy Essentials For The Ultimate Backyard Bash

Yard Transformation 3 Trendy Essentials For The Ultimate Backyard Bash

When you have a party for your family and friends, there are a few things that you want to make sure that you have to offer. These essentials include food that your guests will enjoy, decorations to add a bit of style and color to the event and even a few games that will keep the party rolling along. Before the day of the party, you need to make a list of all of the things that you’re going to need for an ultimate celebration so that you’re prepared when you go shopping and when your guests arrive.

Lighting

Your guests will need to be able to see while they are outside. There are a few options when thinking about the lighting. You could use citronella candles that will provide ambient light and that will keep pests away. Commercial lights are also an idea as they are often brighter than a typical light source. You can hang the lights along the edges of a tent that you put on the back porch or a tent that you put in the center of the yard along with tables and chairs. Solar lights are another option. They can charge during the day, lighting up at night so that you don’t have to worry about using electricity.

Just Keep Swimming

One of the fun things that you can offer to your guests is a place to swim or at least a place to enjoy some kind of water. An above-ground pool is an idea, and it will provide hours of entertainment for the family even after the party. You can also install a hot tub in the backyard for guests to enjoy. Work with professionals, like those at The Hot Tub Store, to ensure you pick out the best hot tub for your needs and home. Add a few candles that float on the water and music to create a relaxing and fun environment for your backyard bash.

Something To Watch

Give guests a way to watch movies with a projector that is set up on a table that displays on the side of the house or a large screen that you set up outside. If you don’t have a screen, then use large pieces of white paper that are secured to a flat surface outside. You can have a movie night with snacks and comfortable seating.

Your backyard bash should be an event that is remembered for the rest of the year. Make sure there is plenty of entertainment and food to enjoy. Try to offer something that you normally don’t see at events in the neighborhood so that your event stands out.

How to Give a Boring Deck More Dimension

How to Give a Boring Deck More Dimension

For many people, grill-out season is finally here. We all enjoy long summer evenings, eating family dinners, having friends over, and socializing outdoors. It’s not as fun when you look outside and realize that your deck is boring. Maybe the wood is looking a little dingy, or there just isn’t much to look at period. You don’t have to settle for a boring deck where only the grill is relegated to. Here are five ways you can give a boring deck more dimension and entice your guests outdoors.

Paint or Stain in Two Tones

Painting or staining your deck in more than one shade is a great way to add dimension to your family and party area. If the wood is looking a little weather-worn, now might be a great time to add some pizazz to the overall color. Try painting or staining the floorboards in one color but the railing in a contrasting shade. Get creative with it and remember to prime and waterproof.

Add Some Outdoor Plants

You can spice up the look of your deck by adding some plants. Flowering plants can give a beautiful touch of color to small spaces. Or, you could consider having a potted garden. Many herbs, tomatoes, and some peppers can be grown in pots which you can then use in your cooking. Fresh, homegrown tomatoes have the best flavor and taste great on burgers. Their beautiful colors will also liven up your deck.

Consider Updating Your Furniture

Fading deck furniture always looks drab. Consider purchasing a new set. Or, if you aren’t ready to commit to that purchase, spray-painting metal, plastic, or wicker chairs and tables can bring new life to the furniture you already have. If the cushions are looking worn and faded you can either recover them if you have some sewing skills or you can purchase new ones. Add touches of color with the cushions and include decorative details with pillows, throw blankets, or table centerpieces.

Add Evening Atmosphere Lighting

At night we all enjoy looking at the stars but if you are having a party a little bit of lighting is a great way of giving your deck a bit of ambiance. Paper lanterns can add a fun vibe. Another great alternative is string lights. Or, if you would like something more permanent consider inset lights or strip lights placed under the floorboards which will also ensure that no one trips as they climb the stairs. Insect repellent candles can give you some protection as well as added lighting and ambiance.

Keep Your Lawn Manicured

We’re talking about decks, but many have stairways that lead into the backyard or at very least, overlook the backyard. By keeping the lawn and yard well-maintained you will have a more inviting view that will give your deck more dimension. Put up yard games like croquet, badminton, or horseshoes for the kids. Be sure to mow or have a lawn care service come and cut the grass before any event.

Your deck doesn’t have to be boring. With just a few easy changes you can have a deck that you, your friends, and your family will enjoy all summer long.

 

Swimming Pool Solutions for Smaller Backyards

Swimming Pool Solutions for Smaller Backyards

Just because you have limited backyard space, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a summertime swim in your very own pool, you just need to use the space you have wisely. There are plenty of contemporary pool solutions that can fit in any backyard space, whether your backyard is just small, unevenly shaped, or even both. While you might not be able to do Olympic laps in one go, you will certainly have the chance to create your very own private oasis and enjoy leisure time with your entire family!

Courtyard pools

These pools are ideal for small backyards as they are compact in size but offer a variety of features for comfort and physical activity alike. They also come with numerous benefits, such as a swim jet system, spa jets and a curved seating area for some much-deserved rest and relaxation. The pool provides the entire family with relaxation, entertainment, and exercise opportunities or it can simply serve as a backyard centrepiece.

freeform pool

Freeform pools

Freeform pools are extremely versatile and can be introduced in almost any backyard setting due to their irregular shapes and naturalistic styles, with flowing lines and curves able to adapt to fit your backyard perfectly. These pools are also known as naturalistic pools as they are made out of natural materials and are often decorated with natural elements, such as rocks, islands and waterfalls. Depending on your backyard potential, you can upgrade your freeform pool into a secluded oasis of privacy and comfort.

Plunge pools

If you are dealing with an exceptionally small backyard, but still want to enjoy the benefits of owning a pool, then plunge pools are the way to go. These plunge pool designs are created with elegance, leisure, and entertainment in mind, offering numerous features like spa jets, walk in steps and seat aeration. This type of pools is also excellent for families with smaller children, as it has a solid, even floor, perfectly designed for the kids to learn how to swim and play without fear.

spa

Spas

The spa pool is a perfect fit for extra small spaces in need of an extended, outdoor bathtub. The spa is beneficial for improving sleep, decreasing stress and helping with numerous medical conditions, such as arthritis, muscle soreness, cramps, and joint pains. Equipped with water jets and various seating options, spas offer a wide range of leisure and relaxation option, perfect for spending the afternoons in a tranquil environment with a favourite book in hand. Given their compact size, spas can easily fit on patios, rooftops or courtyards.

Swim spas

Swim spas are ideal if you have a bit more room and simply cannot decide between a swimming pool and a spa, as they combine the best of both worlds in an efficient solution for the entire family, able to meet everyone’s needs. While you take your time relaxing in the spa, your kids can play around in the swimming area, separated only by a spill over bridge in between sections. The spa area consists of ample seating space. It is usually enough for six adults, along with contoured turbo seats with various settings, while you can easily heat the two areas of the pool independently.

Having limited space in your backyard does not mean you cannot enjoy the full benefits of an outdoor pool or spa, it simply means that you need to implement one of these modern solutions into the space you have. Moreover, smaller pools are easier to build, insert and require fewer resources to maintain them year-round. In turn, they enable you to make significant savings in terms of upkeep and installation.

 

Summer Project Bring Shade to Your Deck or Patio

Summer Project Bring Shade to Your Deck or Patio

While some people wait for summer in order to undertake interior remodeling projects, the best thing about this season is that it allows you to spend most of your free time outdoors. Sure, you could go to a park and simply sit on the bench, but the satisfaction of making a real-life oasis of nature in your own backyard is simply much more appealing. The most important part of this garden during the summer should be your deck, patio or even a gazebo, where you can sit and rest with a group of your closest friends.

Now, the aforementioned gazebo always comes with a roof construction, which means that shade is not an issue, alas, the same could not be said about your deck and patio. With this in mind, here are few projects that will help you make your patio into a pleasant place even during the hottest summer days. Let’s take a look.

Buying a Parasol

Those who intend to cover a small area of their patio (just enough to cover the seating) should definitely consider buying a parasol. The advantages of this solution are quite obvious and even straightforward. First of all, it costs next to nothing (compared to some other methods), it is highly portable which makes it easy to remove during the colder part of the year. Most importantly, however, you can buy it in person or order it online and install it on your own. This is actually a simple procedure and you won’t need more than several minutes to set it up. All in all, most people would agree that, while going with a parasol may not be the most creative, or stylish, solution, it is definitely the most flexible one out there.

A Roof Construction

For those with more time, more energy and definitely a bigger budget, the optimal option would probably be to go for a roof construction. This way, you are giving your garden a lasting upgrade by putting a real roof over your patio. The best part of this solution is that it is durable, protects you from a sudden summer downpour (something parasol may not be able to do). Unfortunately, in order to make it you would either have to learn a thing or two about this type of construction or hire someone to do this for you. No matter the effort, it is undeniable that this is definitely worth your while.

summer projects

Shade Sail

Another great idea for protecting your deck or patio from sun would be to do it with some shade cloth. Shade cloth and mesh banners are impressive printing advertising tools, however shade cloth also serves another purpose. By using it to cover your deck or patio, you can decide on the size, shape and position on your own and perhaps even find someone who will allow you to print on it whatever you like. In this manner, you can turn this sun protection method into a great stylish addition to your backyard. You don’t even have to stop there. By adding few curtains to the mix, you can get that exotic Arabian Nights look, as well. Your only limitation is your own imagination.

Retractable Awning

In case where your patio is right next to your home (or some other construction) you could always invest a bit in a retractable awning. The ingenuity of this device is quite astounding. First of all, it provides you with the shade you so desperately need. Second, you can use it on your own accord and keep it retracted when you don’t need it. Finally, it covers a fairly large area, which will give you quite a bit of room to rethink and redesign your patio. Unfortunately, like the above-mentioned roof construction, it is quite immobile, which means that you will be restricted to the area it covers, without any possibility of further advancement or expansion.

hammock

Planting Your Own Shade

In the end, it is by far the most satisfying but also the most difficult way to provide your deck with some shade to just plant a tree above it. Nonetheless, this is a process that can take years (even decades), which is why it is recommended only for those who have settled there for good. Keep in mind that not any tree would do. You want fast growing trees that provide a lot of shade. Moreover, having a tree so close to the patio, will mean that in the autumn, you will have quite a bit of work cleaning the surface (especially if it is a wooden and not a concrete construction we are talking about).

As you can see, your options are quite numerous and it is up to you to decide which of them suits your needs the best. Naturally, for those who expect to relocate sometimes in the future, awing, tree and a wooden construction are not the best of solutions (although they add quite a bit to your home’s resale value). At the end of the day, this is mostly the question of finding a solution that fits both your budget and your personal taste.

Guest Post By:

Leila Dorari is a marketing consultant and a freelance writer from Sydney. She has been working with different companies for 5 years now. When taking a break from making new marketing slogans, she is either window shopping or exploring new ways to make her life more meaningful.

Hardscaping or Landscaping: What is Best for You & Your Yard?

Hardscaping or Landscaping What is Best for You and Your Yard

There are several factors to consider when you’re trying to enhance the curb appeal of your home or you’re trying to get the most beneficial use of your exterior space. When you begin exploring outdoor living and curb appeal, the terms hardscaping and landscaping will pop up. There isn’t necessarily a right or wrong choice between these two outdoor design ideas, but there may be one that is more conducive to your lifestyle.

Outdoor Design and Entertaining

If you frequently entertain, hardscaping may be the best choice for you. Patios and outdoor kitchens are often considered as hardscaping features. Walkways that lead to your front door, the pool or other special areas are typical hardscaping design features. An outdoor fireplace is often the favorite gathering place for guests.

Gardening as a Hobby

If you enjoy planting flowers, trees, and shrubs, you would probably prefer landscaping over hardscaping. If gardening is a hobby that you find relaxing, pleasantly challenging and an outlet for your creative side, then designing a landscape that allows you to change the appearance of your landscape design each year would probably please you more than a more permanent exterior design that is created using stone, wood or concrete.

Consider the Maintenance

If you like spending your weekend working in the yard or don’t mind the frustration that comes with keeping lawn equipment in good working condition, a lush green lawn might be just the thing for you. If you have the physical ability and don’t mind planting, pruning, weeding and watering plants, then a living landscape design would probably please you. On the other hand, if you like a gorgeous landscape but aren’t crazy about spending all of your leisure time working to keep it beautiful, you can turn to professionals such as Bremerton Landscaping to do the maintenance for you.

Why Choose?

You don’t have to choose between hardscaping and landscaping. You can include elements of both in your exterior design. Hardscaping requires little maintenance and can increase the value of your home. You can add walkways, retaining walls, water features and other non-living elements to your yard to increase its beauty and functionality. Plants and flowers can be mingled in with the hardscape elements in your exterior design. Vines can be grown on a wooden trellis and stone containers or concrete planters can be placed on the patio and filled with flowers that bloom profusely throughout the summer or ornamental grasses that adds texture and movement to your outdoor living space. You could even get help from a professional, such as one from Nature’s Design Landscaping, who is experienced in both types that you can have both hardscaping and landscaping come together in a complimentary way.

When you figure in maintenance cost, labor expenses, replacement cost, such as replacing shrubs or trees that die, and how well a feature fits your lifestyle there’s a good chance that you’ll find that a including a few features from each option is the best way to go. If you enjoy the solitude of a private garden space, you might still appreciate having an attractive stone walkway leading to that garden area. If you decide an expansive patio entertaining area is a feature you want, you can add a few potted plants to the patio to add a bit of nature to your entertaining space.

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