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Entertainment Systems Add To Outdoor Enjoyment

Whether you already have a beautiful outdoor space for your home or you are in the stages of designing a new backyard oasis, one aspect that many homeowners are increasingly incorporating into their exterior design plans is that of outdoor entertainment systems. These systems provide entertainment and enjoyment for those that like to spend time outdoors for any length of time. Outdoor entertainment systems do not require an elaborate exterior design in order to be at home in a backyard space. No matter how much space you have, and whether you spend your time on a small chunk of land right outside your kitchen door or have an expansive backyard complete with pool, sprawling lawn and other features, adding in some music or even a well-placed television can provide all the comforts of home as you enjoy the fresh, outdoor air. One of the most common requests when it comes to outdoor entertainment is...
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What Is Hardscaping?

If you’re like many people, you have likely heard of the term “hardscaping” but may not be quite sure what it is. If that’s the case, have no fear because you’re not alone. Many people refer to elements that are technically considered to be hardscaping as landscaping, and although there is a difference between the two terms, they work in conjunction with one another to create outdoor spaces that are meant to be enjoyed. The primary difference between the two is whether any particular feature is living or not...
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Caring For Your Patio During Winter Months

If you live in NJ or NY and have a patio in your backyard, chances are you haven’t seen much of it lately with all of the ice and snow we’re experiencing this winter. As you gaze out your window at the beautiful outdoor space that you long to enjoy, you should consider what all of this winter weather is doing to the condition of your patio underneath. In general, most materials that are used to construct your idyllic summer hang-out can also withstand the cold temperatures that are experienced throughout the winter months in the Northeast. After all, no matter what type of winter season we experience, whether milder, colder or snowier than usual, we can be sure that we will experience more than our fair share of very cold days year after year. That’s why we would never use a material outdoors in this area that couldn’t withstand the dip in temperatures during the winter...
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Proper Drainage Is Critical To Preventing Water Damage

There is no substance on earth that can result in as much damage or wreak as much havoc as water. When water is not adequately managed on a property through proper drainage, a number of problems can result. Water in and around homes and buildings can lead to basement flooding, foundation slippage and mold formation, among other problems. Standing water can also lead to flooding, puddling, insect infestation and the development of low spots in the ground. In fact, water that does not properly drain can result in a host of problems to both the interior and exterior of buildings, as well as hardscaping features and the ground itself. That’s why it’s so imperative that any problems with drainage be quickly and effectively addressed...
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How To Care For Concrete Surfaces During Winter Months

If you live in New Jersey, you know that snow, ice and freezing temperatures can have an effect on many aspects of your exterior hardscaping and landscaping features, including anything made from concrete. Many residential and commercial properties use concrete for a variety of outdoor applications, from driveways and parking lots to walkways, patios and retaining walls. No matter where this material may be used on your property, it can be impacted by winter weather, as wellas any steps we take to rid our properties of snow and ice. There’s no doubt that the material is extremely durable and will hold up well over time, and it is a good material choice for locales that experience winter weather conditions (including areas that experience even more extreme weather than what we typically see in New Jersey), but there are some steps you can take to better ensure that your surfaces hold up well even when temperatures dip and snow and ice fall. Most damage to concrete surfaces happe
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Outdoor Kitchens Enhance Outdoor Living

Virtually nothing can enhance the enjoyment of your home’s outdoor living space more than the installation of a new outdoor kitchen. Just as the kitchen is the heart of the home indoors, kitchens very often take center stage in outdoor living areas and add to both the beauty and functionality of the space. Outdoor kitchens can run the gamut from a simple area with a barbecue grill and an area for dining to a space that rivals even the most luxurious of indoor kitchen areas. Some people opt for interesting amenities, such as pizza ovens and built-in outdoor bars, while others are more interested in having loads of space for food preparation and storage. To add even more ambiance, some designs even include extras like outdoor fireplaces or fire pits, or coverings such as a gazebo or covered patio area. The good news is that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to design a kitchen for use outdoors. Just as is the case inside the house, each person has a different set of priorities, as
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Designing A Landscape To Fit Your Home

Just as you furnish and decorate the interior of your home to create a specific look and style, the exterior of your home is greatly enhanced and the style set by the way your property is landscaped. Landscape design is a key element that adds to the beauty and curb appeal of any home, and the features you choose can dramatically change the look and feel of your property. When it comes to landscape design, there are many factors that go into creating a cohesive look. The most pervasive is usually the lawn itself and the health of the grass that covers it. Additionally, flower beds, plants, trees and flowers have a big impact on the overall design, and when most people think of landscaping, these are the aspects that they consider. Of course, the types of trees that you have planted around your yard, as well as the shape of the flower beds and what is planted in them have a big effect on the look of your yard, but there are other features to consider as well. In addition to the liv
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Patio Design Options

Outdoor patios are one of the most popular features requested by homeowners to improve the beauty and functionality of their outdoor living spaces. By designing a patio area, whether it is directly outside of the kitchen door, is positioned around a pool or hot tub, or is tucked away in a quiet corner of the yard, homeowners have a dedicated space to sit, relax, dine and entertain. Patio Design OptionsWhen it comes to designing the patio of your dreams, you have many options to consider. Here are some of the choices you will need to make before you have your new patio installed: Location – The first choice you need to make is where your new patio will be located. Once you know this, it will make it easier for you to decide on the proper size and shape of the design.
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Spring Heralds In Authentic Outdoor Cooking

On March 20th of this year, we will be heralding in the beginning of spring, and for many residents of New Jersey and New York, that also means the return to a greater focus on cooking outdoors. If you are one of the lucky few that already have a pizza oven installed outside, this means that you don’t have to dash through snowflakes or frigid temperatures to check on your delicious homemade pizza being cooked right in the comfort of your own backyard. If, however, you have always been longing for your very own pizza oven but do not yet have one, the beginning of spring is the perfect time to start planning for your new addition. You have many options to choose from, including ovens made in a variety of materials, as well as unlimited design choices. Depending on what you like, you can have your oven constructed from brick, concrete, clay or even cast iron. The secret to a great-tasting pizza made inside...
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Uses For Retaining Walls

There are many reasons why retaining walls are used on both residential and commercial properties. While some property owners choose to have these types of walls built for decorative purposes, there are also a number of functional reasons that individual walls or full multi-tiered systems must be built in order to create usable space that is free from drainage or erosion complications. If you have a property that is sloped and you are wondering if this type of structure is appropriate to meet the needs of your overall landscape design, we’ve put together a list of the many uses for retaining walls and why they are so commonly seen around New Jersey and New York. Common uses for retaining wall systems include...
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This Valentine's Day, Green Up Your Gift

As the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday approaches, we’re inundated with gifts in all shades of red, depicting the love shared between two people. But if you really want your Valentine to know the depth of your love, give the gift of green by planning a new landscape design for your home instead of giving a red heart-shaped box filled with chocolate and some roses bought at the store. With the kind of winter we are experiencing this year in New Jersey, New York and the entire Northeast, the anticipation of a newly designed landscape is sure to elicit loads of “I love you’s!” Although it’s certainly too early to start any actual work on transforming your outdoor spaces, now is the perfect time to start planning for the landscape design of your dreams. By starting the process now...
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The Benefits Of Commercial Snow And Ice Removal Contracts

If you operate a business in an area like New Jersey that typically gets at least some measurable snow each year, it’s likely that you already know how beneficial it is to have a professional come out to provide snow and ice removal services when the white stuff starts to fall. How critical your need is to have your business open or stay open when winter weather arrives may be the driving force behind whether you simply take your chances of getting someone to remove any snow or ice when you need it done or if you take extra precautions to make sure that you’re already at the top of the list when the remover’s phone starts to ring. There are a number of benefits to having a snow and ice management contact already in place before the winter arrives. Of course, the most obvious benefit is that you don’t have to worry about finding someone who is available to clean off your commercial property if the area gets hit with a big storm. If you’ve ever tried to do this before, ...
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Enjoy An Outdoor Fireplace During The Winter

While most people think of snuggling up indoors near a warm, cozy fire when temperatures start to dip, homeowners that have outdoor fireplaces can enjoy some extra time outside all winter long by choosing the outdoor version of their fireplace for gathering round, instead of just staying indoors. Sure, the indoor version may keep you warmer and cozier, but there’s nothing quite like sitting around a fire on a cold night, all bundled up and enjoying the crisp outdoor air. Outdoor fireplaces are a popular addition to many homeowners’ exterior landscaping design, whether incorporated into a patio or outdoor kitchen design or built as a standalone attraction. Of course, most people that consider having a fireplace built outdoors typically consider the ambiance and warmth it will add to cool nights during the spring, summer and fall, with the winter season not being the primary reason that the feature is built. But for those that are fortunate enough to have a fireplace installed
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Outdoor Kitchens Enhance Outdoor Living

Virtually nothing can enhance the enjoyment of your home’s outdoor living space more than the installation of a new outdoor kitchen. Just as the kitchen is the heart of the home indoors, kitchens very often take center stage in outdoor living areas and add to both the beauty and functionality of the space. Outdoor kitchens can run the gamut from a simple area with a barbecue grill and an area for dining to a space that rivals even the most luxurious of indoor kitchen areas. Some people opt for interesting amenities, such as pizza ovens and built-in outdoor bars, while others are more interested in having loads of space for food preparation and storage. To add even more ambiance, some designs even include extras like outdoor fireplaces or fire pits, or coverings such as a gazebo or covered patio area. The good news is that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to design a kitchen for use outdoors. Just as is the case inside the house, each person has a different set of priorities, as
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The Many Residential Uses Of Concrete

Concrete is one of the most versatile and cost effective materials that can be used to enhance the exterior of a home. Although many people think of it as a material used primarily for foundations, the fact is that concrete can provide not simply structural, but aesthetic, benefits. There are many ways the material can be used outside of your home to increase the functionality and beauty of your property. One common use is for sidewalks and pathways. Concrete is durable and long-lasting and it can be made to fit just about any size, shape or design. Whether you want a straight walkway installed in the front of your home or prefer a meandering pathway through a garden in your backyard, you can create the surface you want. Concrete is also commonly used on other residential surfaces that require the ability to sustain a lot of traffic, whether by automotive vehicle or foot. Many homeowners opt for driveways made from the material due to their ease of maintenance and long-lasting
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