Curb Appeal

When it comes to selling your home, many real estate agents will encourage you to spruce up your paint and plant fresh flowers. If you read about the importance of curb appeal, many writers will tell you that buyers will make up their mind on a house before they set one foot in the door. Why is that? It all comes down to curb appeal. Now, you may not be wanting to sell, but don’t you want to have the most awesome home on the block? In this blog, we are going to highlight a few sure-fire ways to do that!

1.) Evaluate your grass

Your grass can make a big difference! A little bit of fertilizer and new seed can go a long way – and spring is the time to do it!

2.) Plant fresh flowers and plants

Many people think that once you have done some landscape, that you are good to go – pretty much forever. Just like with anything else, plants need to be ripped out, and new ones need to be planted. Some will get too big for the space and others will become too “stocky”. Being able to evaluate plants with a fresh eye and being okay with ripping out ones that are no longer appropriate will keep your landscape looking fresh.

3.) A fresh coat of paint on the trim

We are always amazed a how a little paint can go a long way! If the front of your home is looking a bit drab, then we recommend breaking out the sandpaper and heading down to Home Depot or Lowes for some paint. A good hard weekend worth of prep and paint and you will be amazed at the difference!

4.) Pavers

How could we possibly mention updating the exterior without talking about pavers? If pavers are in the budget – adding a new paver driveway is a surefire way to add curb appeal!

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When You Have An Oil Spil…

We’ve all done it…

Imagine this. After a long day, you finally pulled the car into the driveway, ran into the house, fed the kids, cleaned the house, did the laundry, the dishes and gone to bed only to remember at 2am that the car was leaking oil that morning. And yep, you parked that car right on top of your gorgeous paver driveway. (I am most definitely not sharing a true to life personally story) Normally with concrete or any other type of hardscape surface, this could launch any self-respecting homeowner into a fit of panic. Normally you would race to find your bathroom, keys, baking soda, or anything else that might fix the mess and pray that despite the dark hour that you could scrub out the oil before it fully penetrates your concrete driveway. But instead, you remember that you have beautiful pavers… And additionally, you have extra beautiful pavers stacked on the side of your house for just such an emergency – so you roll over and go back to sleep.

How is this possible?

Well, unlike other types of hardscape (namely concrete or asphalt), pavers aren’t glued down or set in concrete. So if one becomes damaged, all you have to do is literally pop it out and replace it with another. It’s a simple fix and one that will keep your driveway looking clean, fresh and beautiful for years to come!

The Perfect Space

If you are contemplating reconfiguring or redesigning your backyard, then you have stumbled onto the right blog. Here we will give you a few ideas that will help you start outlining the important functions of your soon to be new outdoor space! A good designer will help you walk through each of these questions to make sure that the final design is in line with your vision and goals.

1.) How will you use the space? This might seem obvious, but it’s also important to think long term. How will the space change as your family grows? Are you planning on entertaining in the space? Will your entertaining change over the years?

2.) What is a realistic budget? Many times, people will do a project in phases, this is very helpful financially and therefore allows the homeowner not to skimp on things that are important.

3.) What is the general feeling you want to have in the space? Are you looking to have a space that is more modern, traditional, old world?

4.) Seating… When it comes to hardscape design, seating walls are an awesome way to increase the seating in a space without the need for folding chairs. When contemplating the layout of a space, think about where seating walls would be appropriate. Seating walls serve as two functions 1.) they nicely divide up a space and 2.) they give tons of seating without cluttering an area.

If you are contemplating redesigning your backyard or are looking to update it with pavers, then we would love to speak with you. Our teams of designers are experts and can discuss your ideas and turn them into a fantastic plan for your outdoor space!

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Pavers vs. Stamped Concrete

The days of having boring, gray poured in place concrete are over. Now, people are using their driveways, patios, and walkways to make a design statement. Chances are you have seen both pavers and stamped concrete. And while from afar, they can seem like a very comparable product – but when you get up close, that’s when you will start to notice the difference. In this blog we are going to explore some of the reasons why we feel that pavers are a better investment than stamped concrete.

1.) Pavers are more expensive than stamped concrete

There, we said it. And unless you find a crazy good deal – it’s true. However, many people are surprised that while pavers are more expensive, it tends to be a much closer number between the two than people originally thought. When you factor in the longevity of pavers vs. concrete, the cost is substantially less than that of stamped concrete.

2.) Pavers won’t crack

We’ve all seen concrete driveways filled with cracks – once it cracks, even if it is filled, there is nothing that one can do to repair it aesthetically. Pavers on the other hand, will not crack. Because they are individually placed, the weight is dispersed, therefore when under pressure, they simply shift slightly – but won’t crack.

3.) Stains…

We’ve all done it… Changed the oil in the driveway with the thought that there would be no way we would spill anything. Or, we’ve tripped and dropped a pan full of grease which has left a lovely reminder on the driveway. When you have stamped concrete and there is a grease spot, you might as well get attached to it. Or, become creative and add other matching spots. Once it’s in the concrete, you are stuck with it. With pavers on the other hand, you can simply pop out the stained paver and replace it with a new one. The entire process is quite simple and it will leave you with an immaculate driveway with ZERO stains!

While we doubt that you needed more convincing, here are a few images to help you become a total believer!

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Paver Ribbon Trim

One of the things that we love most about pavers is the flexibility of color and style. It doesn’t matter if you prefer a more old world cobblestone type effect, or if you want something more sleek and contemporary. – There are literally hundreds of pavers to choose from. In addition to the different styles, there are literally endless color and texture options to choose from as well. When it comes to selecting colors, we love designs that frame a space and make the pavers pop! One of the ways to achieve this is by having a contrasting paver ribbon that frames the space. Typically, the ribbon has been a slightly darker color of the existing pavers, but more and more we are seeing bright and vibrant contrasts. – And we have to say that we absolutely love it!

Here are a few examples:

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See how the paver ribbons bring out and accentuate the pavers? We absolutely love how it draws the eye in. If you are contemplating a paver project in the near future, we would love to meet with you and discuss your needs and possible ideas. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call! 

Pavers vs. Stamped Concrete

If you are looking into redesigning your hardscape, we are guessing that at some point the idea of stamped concrete crossed your mind. And really, who could blame you? Stamped concrete truly can be beautiful – but as if you hadn’t already guessed, we are partial to pavers – and here is why.

1.) Durability

Simply stated, there is no comparison between the durability of stamped concrete and that of pavers. Over time, concrete will crack – pavers on the other hand will not because of the sand that is used to hold them in place. The sand allows them to gently shift with the movement of the foundation below it. Because no stress is placed on any one particular paver, they last for decades.

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2.) Options

If you love a more subdued color palette or one that is more vibrant and flamboyant – there is absolutely a paver to suit your taste. Stamped concrete on the other hand can be very limited. Colors have to blend throughout a space to work effectively, and there are far less shapes and patterns to choose from.

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3.) Keeping it beautiful

We’ve all seen it – a concrete driveway with an ugly oil spill or some sort of demarcation. Unfortunately, when it comes to concrete, all you can hope for is to scrub it out. If is an oil of some type, the stain will probably not come out. With pavers, you can simply pop out the stained paver and replace it with a new one.

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Travertine Pavers

If you have been paying attention to trends, chances are that you have noticed an increased use of Travertine Pavers. Travertine Pavers are cut from natural stone and are thought to be one of the best materials for pool patios because of their constant cool temperature. One of the unique and desirable qualities of Travertine Pavers is the different shading and veining. Most commonly Travertine is found in shades of tan, but it can also be found in shades of gray and even a rich charcoal color. Travertine is a very porous material and is also very sensitive to different types of acids – which is why you will never see it used in kitchens or on countertops.

One aspect of Travertine Pavers that any potential homeowner should keep in mind is how porous of a material it is. For this reason, Travertine Pavers should be sealed on a regular basis. Depending on the type of sealer used, the sealer could also make the Travertine Pavers slippery when wet. If a sealer that penetrates the stone is used, the paver will be  able to absorb the water thus making it less slippery.

Here are some gorgeous examples of how Travertine Pavers can be used:

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If you are considering Travertine Pavers – or any type of hardscape, we’d love to speak with you! Our team of consultants can work with you to find the perfect hardscape material and can educate you on the differences between them. We look forward to hearing from you soon!