When you first installed your wood deck, you couldn’t believe just how beautiful it looked and are thinking back to how much use it would get in the evenings and weekends. Now, you’re trying to remember the last time you actually stepped onto your deck and can’t remember when you fired-up the grill last. Needless to say, if you’ve not regularly using your wood deck, it’s being neglected by default. Sure, you’d love to restore the deck but are apprehensive about tackling such a big project on your own.
Fortunately, it doesn’t take a lot of specialized skills or tools to refinish a stained wood deck. You’ll only need a few supplies and tools, as well as a helping hand or two to get the job done right and look great. (more…)
If your deck looks a bit worse for the wear and the life seems to be zapped out of it, you can give it a makeover with some smart improvements. Homeowners love their outdoor spaces, when the weather permits. Regardless of where you live in the country, chances are excellent your deck takes a beating year in and year out. Even though it might be built of sturdy materials, designed to withstand the elements, that doesn’t make it impervious. Over time, said elements will exact a toll, starting with minor but noticeable signs of wear and expanding into unavoidable, unsightly, problems.
The good news is, that in the majority of cases, unless the damage is extreme, the structure can be saved. It might not be one-hundred percent salvageable, but, you’ll have quite a bit to work with to rebuild. If your deck looks worn but the structure is intact and not compromised, you can elect to refurbish your deck to save money. This will allow you to keep the current configuration, while giving it some long lasting protection to keep it looking great for many years to come. (more…)
There are pros and cons of running bamboo, whether you wish to plant it as an ornamental grass or use it functionally and aesthetically as a privacy fence. A common misconception about this species is it is some sort of tree; it isn’t, bamboo is actually a giant woody grass which grows chiefly in the tropics. This grass plant is characterized by its tall shoots, rising several feet in the air, with hard, hollow stems. It’s widely cultivated and can be found in many climates, even in non-native settings. Before you plant this beautiful grass, you should know the pros and cons of running bamboo. (more…)
If a backyard oasis is on your wish list, you don’t necessarily need to be a landscape architect or a landscape designer to make that dream a reality. What you do need is a plan, which you can form by looking a various backyard oasis pictures online, in magazines and books.
Armed with some ideas and newly found inspiration, you should come up with a few kinds of backyard oasis designs, then either settle on the one you like best or mix and match the best elements. Even if you have limited space and are concerned about being able to cram all the elements and features you can’t do without, don’t worry, you’ll be able to get all or nearly all of what you want in a small backyard oasis. So, let’s take a look at what’s possible, and what will work best within your budget and skill set. These are important considerations because you don’t want the cost to get out of control and don’t want to labor far longer than you plan. (more…)
Much like choosing a water feature, privacy landscaping is a unique outdoor design. It gives a home’s outdoor space a sense of seclusion, makes it appear more aesthetic and helps to make it more marketable when selling. By incorporating a few privacy landscaping ideas, a home’s exterior can be given new life and a level of functionality not previously available.
Some of these privacy landscaping design ideas are perfect for the do-it-yourself homeowner, while others will require a professional landscape architect. There are many levels of privacy landscaping, ranging from simply obscuring one area to completely concealing the whole property. Homeowners can even choose to blend two or more privacy landscaping designs together to get a pure custom look. (more…)
Homeowners who are getting their outdoor space ready for spring might want to replace their grass with new sod. A new lawn full of grass definitely ups a home’s curb appeal and makes it more welcoming. What’s more, it really isn’t very expensive, due to the fact there are about 1,500 farms cultivating just shy of 400,00 acres of turf across the nation, according to figures compiled by the United States Department of Agriculture.
The trade-off of it being budget-friendly is it’s labor intensive. Plan to spend at least a few days from start to finish for each yard you’ll be replacing. You’ll also need a small variety of tools, and can rent some power equipment to make it a bit less time consuming and easier on the back. Another good thing about re-sodding a yard is that you can choose the variety of grass you want. Before you just pick one that looks good on a website, in a magazine, or in a brochure, be sure to check with your local nursery to learn what species will do best in your climate and which don’t fare very well.
Types of Sod
As stated, there are different species of grass and the one you choose to put in your yard will have some unique requirements to keep it looking good. For instance, in the state of Florida, one of the most popular types of sod is Bermuda because it handles foot traffic very well; and, has a deep green color. However, it needs a lot of sun and does not perform well in shade. Centipede is quite low-maintenance and doesn’t require frequent mowing. It’s also shade tolerant, unlike Bermuda. (more…)
Ever heard the term, “You don’t know what you don’t know?” It’s not so subtle meaning is a way of telling someone they might just be in over their head. Many homeowners start projects themselves, thinking the do-it-yourself approach will not only allow them to save a lot of money, but really customize their space precisely to their tastes.
And while those two notions sounds quite inviting, there’s always the matter of the unexpected or what you might want to call the inevitable. The reason DIY types wind up hiring a professional is because of their lack of expertise. It isn’t until there’s a snag or something goes seriously awry, that it becomes obvious the job requires more than a little creativity and sticktoitiveness. In some cases, an outright disaster unfolds and the need to hire a professional to fix what’s been broken, plus to start the job from square one defeats the entire self-sufficient enterprise.
This is particularly true here in Sarasota, where water tables are very high and utility lines are easily nicked or cut. So, to make your outdoor space an oasis, its best to look to a professional landscape architect right here in Manatee or Sarasota county. (more…)
Let’s face it, summer is definitely on its way and daytime temperatures are quite toasty here in beautiful Sarasota. That means plants will be competing for every single drop of water and pulling whatever they can from the nutrients in the soil. With such heat comes faster evaporation, which of course necessitates watering. When it comes to landscape irrigation, keeping your lawn, plants, and other living features adequately hydrated can cost a small fortune, particularly for homes on large plots of land.
Though you need to keep your lawn watered, you also want to keep the cost of doing so down as much as possible. This balance certainly doesn’t appear as an easy task to do, but, if you do a little inspecting, make some adjustments, and, employ strategy, you can pull it off. Fortunately, there are many tricks that professional landscapers know and use that you can exercise to keep your lawn in good condition and save money in the process. (more…)
New deck cost estimates will vary greatly depending on your preferred materials, size, and features. When you build a deck, there’s more to it than simply selecting the wood or composite. You’ve got to think about use, size, layout, and much more. Then, there are several deck customizations available and these will factor into cost, as well as time to completion. So, let’s take a look at some basic new deck cost estimates and considerations.