Liquid Limestone And Exposed Aggregate

It required more planning as well as prep work than the standard concrete. Installers need to mix the concrete in order to get the right consistency with the use of more water than normal. Also, care must be taken into great considerations if you are choosing the aggregate. Although they will act as filler in order to give concrete its strength, they are primarily chosen for its excellent aesthetic appeal in terms of exposed finishes. Installers must inspect the stone of texture, color, and size so as to get the desired outcome.

Experts highly emphasized that such kind of finish is suitable for low-traffic applications. They are the best solution for walkways, patios, and even in concrete porches. Also, they might be appropriate for some driveways but are not being used on road due to the fact that they cannot carry heavy traffic loads.

First, a fresh concrete base will be poured. It will be troweled smooth with the use of a wooden trowel or float.

Second, the mixture will be poured over the concrete. Using a broom or rake, it must be spread. There are some installers making use of a piece of lumber or perhaps a concrete float in order to press the stones into the top of the wet concrete with an aim of embedding them in place.

Lastly, a lawn roller will be used to smooth out the surface and get rid of unwanted bumps or lumps.

During the installation process, sealing is very important. Be aware that when unsealed, they can easily become dirty and might even wear away over time because of heavy foot traffic. Also, they will become very susceptible to moisture and other outdoor elements. Installers can actually choose between two basic types of sealers

Before Hiring an Irrigation Contractor

Remember to be very clear as to what you want. Don’t tell the contractor how to do a certain thing, just tell him the result that you expect. You may not know the technicalities of it. If they follow what you say and the result is a disaster, they will end up blaming you for it. So leave that bit up to them, and tell them ‘what’ not ‘how’ you want it done.

Be sure you understand of all the terms the contractor uses. If you don’t understand any, then ask him/her. If you come across a contractor who constantly uses these vague terms then you need to keep looking. Especially terms like ‘full coverage’ and ‘no dry spots’ are often thrown at potential clients. Sometimes what it means could be straightforward, but the implication that it has could be another story altogether. Therefore, watch out for jargon.

The automatic irrigation installation business doesn’t require a lot of capital. There is always a possibility of the contractor running out of cash and ceasing all work. It doesn’t matter how experienced they are or how many days they have been doing the job. You need to be vigilant and aware of all the laws that govern these cases and what to do in such a situation. Don’t run into a loss because of someone else’s situation. As a general rule, do not pay more than 10% of the total cost before any works starts. When the material is brought over and work starts, you can pay another 40% of the cost. The remaining payment should be made only when the job is finished. Always have a signed lien release from the contractor before making 50% of the payment.

If you are hiring a small, unlicensed contractor then you may have to purchase all of the material on your own. Only undertake this if you are sure you understand the materials, measurements and pricing. If you’re willing to take the trouble, then you might save some cost.

The last thing to do is to educate yourself well about irrigation systems and sprinkler systems. The more you know, the more you can protect yourself should you hire an unscrupulous contractor. The most crucial job is yours!

Making an Outdoor Fireplace

You can use concrete because it is easy to work with but to make it attractive you will have to tint or paint it. Another important thing to do is assemble all of the proper tools ahead of time. What tools you will need will depend on the type of fireplace you are building, including the shape and size. For a large fireplace you may need to rent a small excavator or power tamp while a small one may only require a pickaxe or shovel. If you have decided to use brick and lay it yourself you will need the equipment that is necessary for bricklaying. If you decide on concrete you will need a cement mixer and a trowel.

The next thing to consider is how you are going to power the fireplace. If you have decided to use gas you will have to have a professional to run a gas line from the fireplace to your home. This has to be done safely and correctly to help ensure the reliability of the outdoor fireplace and to make sure there is no gas leak that could cause it to explode or catch fire. If you are going to use a wood fire then you will need to dig a pit so the fire will be beneath the surface of the fireplace area and enclosed to help prevent spreading the fire and stray sparks. If you are unsure if you can complete the project call a professional to do it.

Big Landscape for Small Gardens

  1. Dining furniture – one of the best ways to spend your summer evening is to have dinner in the garden with your family or friends. You just have to choose the appropriate dining furniture. Do not buy large items that take a lot of space. You need furniture that can make the atmosphere more comfortable and intimate. Dinners in the garden have to become a special event for everyone.
  2. Fire pit – a feature like this always creates such a cozy atmosphere. Fire pits bring more warmth and light to the garden. You can choose just the right one for you, because they are sold in many and different shapes and sizes. Adding one fire pit is a great way to start designing your garden.
  3. Bamboo shelter – that is a very original and creative idea for small gardens. A rustic bamboo and metal frame shelter brings a little exotic feeling to the garden too, which is always nice. Also, a shelter guarantees enough shade in the hot summer days and protection when harsh winds occur. Modern and practical, isn’t it?
  4. Gravel – crushed brick or gravel is a wise paving option that can certainly improve the outlook of your garden. It is easy to maintain and much cheaper than bricks or flagstones. However, you should spread a layer of landscape fabric underneath the gravel. That way you will save your garden from any weeds.
  5. Walkway – another element that can refresh the garden. It is better to have a curved walkway because it gives guests the feeling of walking through a larger landscape. You only need to be sure that the walkway is wide enough for two people to walk side by side. Otherwise it may be a little uncomfortable.
  6. Pond – why not make a pond in your backyard? You do not need a lot of space to do that. In fact, the process is not very complicated either. What do you have to do? Well, just dig out the chosen area, add a pond liner and a pump, and you are ready to go. The biggest advantage of the pond is that it brings wildlife in your garden. Some tiny birds and colourful butterflies will surely make the atmosphere more pleasant and enjoying.

You just have to decide which one of these six ideas would best suit your garden. After you make the choice, use all your inspiration and creativity to make some wonderful improvements. Do not forget very important factor: not everyone can be a landscape expert, and they really do not need to. If you have any trouble setting up the new garden design, call a landscape gardening company to take care of it for you.

Reduce Regular Lawn Care Chores

  • Lessen the size of your lawn. Your turf requires sufficient supply of fertilizer and water to maintain their good condition and appearance. You also need to mow and weed your grass regularly, which will demand a lot of your time and effort. You can reduce the time you spend doing these gardening chores and your expenses in buying fertilizers and water bills by reducing the size of your yard. You can lessen the size of your lawn by replacing parts of the corner yards with grass with a border of low-maintenance shrubs and perennials. You can also reduce your lawn care chores by positioning plants closer together and mulching the areas in between to smother and keep out weeds.
  • Create an outdoor room or entertainment area.¬†Aside from having a patio or gazebo built on or near your lawn, you can also place pieces of furniture on your outdoor space. Invest in water-resistant chairs and tables and have a fire pit constructed as well. These fixtures will help reduce the size of your lawn and related gardening tasks and you get additional space for family gatherings and entertaining guests.
  • Cultivate native plants. Grow native plants that are accustomed to the local soil conditions and climate since they are likely to survive without an abundance of fertilizer and water. You can easily find and buy native plants you can cultivate from local nurseries. Aside from native species, plant perennial shrubs and flowers as well so that you will have permanent flower beds without replanting each season.
  • Lastly, xeriscape your lawn.¬†Xeriscaping means cultivating slow-growing and drought-tolerant plants to so that you can conserve water and establish a waste-efficient landscape. This is also another effective method of reducing the amount of grass and sensitive plants that you have to take care of. By xeriscaping your yard, you can lower your water consumption and reduce the time you spend on plant care.

Landscaping Borders

Trees are a natural boundary, but the downside is that they take time to mature. Unless you can afford to buy mature trees that are several years old and are tall with many leaves (or evergreens), you are going to have to wait some time before your ideal privacy limit is reached. If you only need one tree, then buying an older tree isn’t going to be to expensive, but if you are using trees for your property outer perimeter landscaping borders, then things start to get very expensive.

One alternative that you could use is to set up a wooden fence just behind younger trees so that for a while it’s this fence that creates the landscaping border around the property. This will allow you privacy from neighbors, block out busy roads, provide security for your children who won’t be able to wander out of the garden so easily and yet is temporary and can be removed once the trees grow to the required height.

If you do create an outer perimeter landscape border whether using higher trees, or fences you need first to check if there are any local laws that control how high these can be. Often there is a maximum height for any given area and you must keep your fences under this. There could be a separate law that pertains to each tree, but if not, you will need to make sure that you cut your trees across the top just before they reach the legal maximum height – this will stop them growing upwards, but allow them to bush outwards instead.

Creating landscape borders within your garden are wonderful for providing separate places for kids to play football, or to hide garden toys from the rest of the house, create a secluded retreat where you can escape to when things get overly stressful, or just to separate a kitchen garden from the rest of the lawn. Landscape borders of this kind are can be low concrete blocks (some of these are very decorative and come in a variety of colors and designs) that edge your lawn, or higher trellises that allow you to also grow climbing flowers, shrubs or even vine fruits. The trellises in particular make for pretty garden features that don’t look as if they are landscape borders. Another idea would be to create a path in your garden that divides the kitchen garden from the rest of the yard. Edge the lawn and keep the earth in the kitchen garden in place, and this can be a perfectly functional and yet attractive yard.

Whatever landscape borders you choose, make sure they fit into the kind of design that you want, and that they match with the garden lifestyle that you have. Don’t create a fancy garden with lots of fragile borders if you have small children, but on the other hand, if you do have small children, a border is a perfect way of restricting them to certain parts of the yard so that you protect the shrubs, flowers, and/vegetables that you’re growing there.

Using Limestone Paving

This naturally occurring stone offer a wide selection of colors. Their colors range from light beiges to dark greens. These colors are known to be more casual and are most suitable for the interior of your house especially places such as kitchens, laundry’s bathrooms and dining rooms.

This is an added advantage because these neutral shades of color will compliment all of your furniture and interior surroundings.

Whether you are installing limestone pavers at a commercial property or a private residence, there is no doubt that your curb appeal will improve when you use natural occurring stones as opposed to concrete. Limestone landscaping is a far better investment than concrete equivalents. Using limestone will add greater value to your home vs. concrete every time.

Limestone pavers are more sustainable and environmentally friendly than concrete options. Of course in order to shape, package and transport limestone, there are usually manufacturing costs, as well as shipping and aspects to consider, but in general these will pale in significance to the pollution, energy and carbon footprint of manufactured concrete products.

Natural occurring stone is one of the most sustainable building materials on earth, as resources of stone on the planet are vast, plentiful and date back millions of years. As a natural occurring product, limestone is recyclable and can be used as reclaimed paving.

A very important benefit of natural occurring stones such as limestone is that they generally have a non-slip surface. Limestone pavers are a great choice for patios and around swimming pools. Limestone pavers are also a durable frost resistance paving, meaning they are not susceptible to frost damage in the same way as manufactured concrete products.

Limestone is ideally suited for a variety of vehicle traffic and pedestrian applications. Provided installation instructions are followed and the correct substrate is put down to support the intended load, limestone pavers can be installed around paths, patios, driveways and pool sides in a variety of commercial and residential contexts.

How to Start Backyard Landscaping

The Main Reasons That I Hear

There are 3 main reasons that I hear all the time. You just moved into a house and you want to upgrade. Maybe you just got married and you and your spouse plan on starting a family one day. Or maybe you are planning on selling your home and you know this is a solid investment to make. At this point in my life the last one is my favorite. You simply want to enjoy what you already have. These are absolutely all good reasons so let’s get started.

It all starts with a plan

Before you start digging anything up you need a solid plan. This should include the entire property you want to incorporate. If not your end result could look like a mishmash of designer magazine. You must know your desired outcome before you start. Sometimes you will run into road blocks that you did not foresee no matter how well you planned everything out. This will happen from time to time. Just remember this though, your earlier preparation will pay huge dividends if this should happen.

Take advantage of the type of land you have

A good plan will put importance of taking advantage of the land you have and its features. What I mean is this. Lets take the sun for example. Are there certain parts of your yard that get the sun in morning and shade in afternoon. Or maybe you are in an area that gets the sun in one part and shade in the other all day. And what about your soil type. Is it fast draining or does it drain on the slower side. How about your climate. Do you have cold winters or do they average in the 60″s. This is something that you should consider.

What Is Your Vision

Objects appear smaller in the rear view mirror than they actually are. Do you remember that. Well the same applies here only in reverse. Some types of hardscaping are actually larger than what you vision in your mind. Be cautious and extremely careful before you decide on something that could be very costly to fix if wrong.

Know The Maintenance Involved

And of course there is the maintenance of it all. Some of our favorite additions that we want involve a lot more work than others. Things such as ponds, waterfalls, and pools require more maintenance than rocks, stones and fences. How much time do you want to spend on all of this. After all I am sure you want to take some time and enjoy it.

Avoiding Mechanical Garden Work in the Rain

  • Whatever modern safety devices are built into electrical machinery, by and large electrically-driven agricultural machinery, used in the rain, is a potentially dangerous situation. It’s really worth avoiding.
  • Mowers and tractors also need to be considered carefully. The ground can become very slippery, very quickly, when it rains. Slipping over on wet grass while using power tools or a mower, can be very dangerous even if you have cut-out switches in place etc. Even heavier duty tractors and mowers can be a challenge at times when the ground is wet, particularly if it is uneven and there are inclines to negotiate. As an aside, mowing wet grass is usually considered a bad idea as it just sticks to everything and clogs up the mower.
  • Another related weather risk to watch out for is high wind whether with or without rain. Perching at the top of a ladder trying to prune high branches with a chainsaw is an accident waiting to happen.
  • If it’s raining heavily, people are often inclined to put on some form of waterproof clothing. That adds bulk to your frame and possible loose and baggier materials that will be ideal for getting caught in moving parts.

The moral of the tale is to park your machinery up until the rain and winds have passed.

Of course, there are plenty of gardening jobs you can get on with in poor weather. Things like light hand pruning, weeding, minor construction or renovation jobs on fencing – they’re all possible. Likewise for patching up the externals of garden sheds etc.

Remember though that digging is likely to be hard work in the rain, as the soil can rapidly become waterlogged and sticky as well as a lot heavier due to the water content. Planting out might or might not be OK. Some plants will relish a mildly damper soil as their roots become established but if the ground is really waterlogged after or during a torrent, those same plants might object.

Create Kid-Friendly Landscaping

Updating Your Driveway

Think about all the slips and falls that have occurred on your driveway, and it may not even be just with the kids! The surface can get wet, icy, and just plain slippery. It’s also not exactly a soft surface to land on. This is exactly why bonded resin driveways are making such an impact in residential settings now. It used to be that you would only see resin bound surfacing in a few select areas such as a modern playground or indoor pool area. Now the process is being used all over the place.

Resin bound surfacing gives the look of real pavement, concrete, stone and loose gravel but is in fact a resin surface. It provides a non-slip surface, which is ideal for kids and adults alike. It’s also much softer to the touch so if a fall were to happen, it won’t create the same sort of painful results.

There are other benefits in going the route of bonded resin driveways such as the fact they are low maintenance and don’t need any resurfacing, they have a long life-span (usually 15 years), you won’t need to worry about weeds popping through the surface, they are pet-friendly, easy to clean, they have UV protection, and are environmentally friendly.

No Fuss Grass

Another area of concern for parents can be with the lawn. If your child suffers from outdoor/environmental allergies then the lawn can be a source of discomfort rather than fun. That and the fact you as the homeowner are responsible for all the upkeep, weeding, watering, and trimming.

Artificial grass used to be sparse and unattractive looking, but that is no longer the case! Companies are changing the way homeowners see artificial grass by offering a wide variety of types, colours, and density. Who knew that having the perfect lush, green, weed-free lawn could be so easy? This artificial grass is kid-friendly, pet-friendly, feels real, looks real, has a long life-span, and doesn’t require cutting and watering.