The Advantages Of Having A Landscaped Exterior

When it comes to decorating their homes, a lot of people choose to go all out on the interior spaces such as the living room, bedroom, and kitchen. They spend a lot of time and money purchasing expensive pieces of furniture and equipment to furnish the interior that they often neglect what’s on the exterior.

What’s on the outside of the home however is just as important as what’s on the inside. After all, the exterior of the house is the first thing that people notice.

This is where landscaping comes in. There are only so many ways you can design the exterior and landscaping is one of them. One advantage of having a well-manicured lawn is that it can make the house appear grander than it really is, especially if you can incorporate a fountain or statue into your landscape.

Regardless of the size of your home, there are so many advantages to hiring a contractor to landscape your exterior. Aside from the aesthetic value it brings, a landscaped exterior can also increase the value of your house.

Plus, landscaping is a great way to maximize the space you already have. With a landscaped backyard, you can create useful spaces outside your home that you and your family can enjoy. It can literally expand your house without the necessity of having to erect walls.

Of course, the choice of what to make of the space created is entirely up to you. You can choose to convert the landscaped lawn into a lounge area by adding chairs, tables, and lamps. Just make sure that the chairs are sturdy enough to withstand the changes in temperature. On the other hand, there are a lot of beautiful lamps available that can brighten the area and serve as a decorative piece for when you host barbecue parties and the like.

When it comes to landscaping, you can also choose to surround your home with plants. Having a lot of plants can help keep the heat down so you can save on electricity.

Not to mention, a garden can be good for your health. Plants can lessen the carbon dioxide in the air so you can breathe fresher air.

Landscape Decorating – Another Great Way to Add an Amazing View From Your Kitchen Window

We have already covered how to create a magnificent floral view from your kitchen garden window with a planter box, trellis, and vines. Here is another very attractive and even simpler way of creating a visually enticing view from inside.

We have all seen or even have in our patios a decorative and very functional pergola patio cover. Decorative for the numerous designs we can consider, and functional from the much needed shade they provide. As we will also sometimes see, miniature sized pergolas are often constructed and mounted directly over one or several windows of a home or garage.

With that in mind, why not mount a mini-pergola over your kitchen garden window to display hanging baskets on both sides? With slim top slats spaced enough to provide sunlight, you can still receive filtered light through the top slanted portion of the window. Note, you never want to mount hanging baskets over the top of the window for one reason. Every time you water, the dirty runoff will cascade down over your window, keeping it from every truly being clean.

The design is simple since the weight of the hanging baskets it will bear is minimal, and you will not be placing anything on the top of the pergola itself. Traditional patio pergolas are supported with 4in. X 4in. or larger posts. Our mini-pergola will not require this, and proportional to its smaller size, will use individually smaller wood framing members than our standard patio pergola.

Here are the supplies you will need:

  • 2 plant hanging corbel style brackets: These must be flat surfaced on two sides for mounting on the surface of the house just off both sides of the garden window, and for securing the wood pergola members on top. Be sure to use exterior brackets, or spray interior type brackets you want to use with a weather resistant finish. They should also have two screw holes on each flat surface. Two for mounting the brackets to the surface of the house, and two for mounting the mini pergola on top of the brackets.
  • Mounting hardware for the brackets appropriate for the surface of your house (e.g. concrete anchors for stucco surfaces)
  • Two smaller round or square hanging baskets
  • Wood slats proportional in size to the dimensions of the garden window: Use your own judgment, but slimmer slats than what you see on larger pergolas do work better and appear more pleasing to the eye.
  • Wood screws

Step 1: Measure the width of your garden window. Then, measure the diameter of your round hanging basket, or the square length of your square basket, whichever you decide to use. The goal here is to leave enough clearance for basket sway in the event of stronger than normal wind conditions. Your best bet is to take the measurements of your hanging basket and add about 8 inches of clearance from the rim of the basket to the edge of the garden window to allow for wind swing. Mark a spot directly above the center point of the basket on the house surface where you will mount the brackets. It should be at a height that allows for clearance of the mini pergola above the top frame of the window. Because the mini pergola needs to be level with the top of the window, make sure your points for mounting the brackets assure that. One suggestion is to have someone help you hold a 2in x 4in. or other long straight piece of wood connecting the points on each side. Use a level to make sure everything is indeed level before going ahead with the next step.

Step 2: Installing your pergola. Whichever size wood members you decide to use, you will need to pre drill two of them at the point where they will be secured to the top of the plant hanging brackets. They can extend beyond the width of the two brackets, but make sure they are centered before marking your place for drilling in to the wood. Prior to installing your wood framing for the pergola, it might be a good idea to seal, paint, or stain the wood to protect it from the elements. You can attach your two wood slats to the top of the brackets using the appropriate sized machine screws with washers and nuts.

Step 3: Now, once you have installed the first two wood slats, you will want to secure two to three shorter crossing slats that will hold the entire framework together to the underside of your first two longer slats that run along the top. Position them evenly where you think they should be attached, and mark your spot on the longer wood slats where you will need to drill to attach them together. Once marked, drill your holes, use a pencil to mark where to drill on the crossing slats by holding them underneath the already drilled longer slats, and attach all together with the appropriate sized machine screws. You can now easily attach any remaining longer slats to fill in the gaps between the first two longer slats that were already installed. Just position them in place, mark the spot on the top of the crossing slats where to drill, and once both connecting pieces are drilled, attach them with machine screws and washers and nuts. As an alternative, you can also attach all of the wood members with the appropriate sized wood screws. Your work is done. Find some nice plants and enjoy your new mini pergola!

Boca Raton Brick Paver Walkways – Colors and Patterns Galore!

Where Does Your Garden Path Lead

Walkways and pathways in Boca Raton feature both in the front and back yards of many homes in the area. Walkways obviously have a purpose and will lead the walker to someplace; whether for a pleasant meander through the back garden via the patio and swimming pool, or from the driveway to the front door. Brick paver walkways may be built to provide follow through and consistency of design to compliment the home and other outdoor fixed or brick structures, or quite simply because the homeowner feels like installing a garden path during their landscaping exercise. A good landscaping company will not lead you up the garden path, but they certainly can guide you in the right direction.

The Three Basic Patterns

The same aspects of quality and elegance cannot be achieved by using asphalt or concrete and there is virtually no limit on the variation of patterns, colors, and laying techniques which may be used to create decorative and functional brick paver walkways. In the Boca Raton area, there are three basic patterns of brick laying for paths, driveways, patios, pool surrounds, etcetera, and from these basic three patterns it is possible to create small works of art. The cleverest, simplest and oldest designs are also often the most elegant. After-all the Romans were laying brick paver pathways the length and breadth of Europe, the Middle East and the British Isles, over 2,000 years ago.

Design and Pattern Alternatives Can Be Dizzying

Although the best brick paver designs are the classic designs there are still books with hundreds of pages filled with designs, you will find historic pattern styles such as those used during the colonial period in the USA; these include running bond, stacked, herringbone, basket weave, whirling, Spanish, diamond, and more. Your landscaper can obviously be of great help when it comes to making choices regarding design and color; don’t for a moment believe that brick pavers only arrive on your doorstep in a “brick” color. Colors and styles range from brick red, to grey, rose and purples and in antique, colonial, European and more styles.

Patterns are not only achieved by the placement of the bricks, they are also achieved by the use of alternative color and style of brick paver. They are chosen not only because they look good, and are functional they are also used to “lead” the visitor or home owner to a focal point in a garden. In the front yard the focal point could be as simple as the front door, in the back yard this could be something more, such as rose garden, swimming pool, patio, place of sanctuary or peace, water feature or even a piece of sculpture.

Various Boca Raton brick paver designs suit varying degrees of traffic, for example a herringbone pattern is ideal for vehicular traffic as loads are more evenly distributed. As far as other than vehicular purposes, virtually any other pattern may be used. The only thing to bear in mind is that the more elaborate the pattern; cuts and labor are more intensive so it will obviously be more expensive, but it will also be much more exclusive. Are you ready to let a professional landscaping company, lead you up the garden path?