patio furniture

Patio Furniture Buying Tips

Do you enjoy spending time outdoors and wish you had amazing patio furniture to enjoy? Well look no further, we have the best tips to help ensure that you buy the perfect outdoor patio furniture. When patio furniture is placed on your porch or patio, it creates the perfect outdoor room to enjoy during the warm months of spring and summer. Couple the furniture with rugs, pillows and other accessories for the perfect way to bring your patio or porch to life. We are going to look at the different types materials used in outdoor patio furniture, the benefits of each type of material, the price point, how to make it last and what to look for when shopping.

Wrought Iron

If you live in a windy area, wrought iron is the best choice for you. This type of patio furniture provides you with traditional styling; however, it can be expensive. You should expect to spend between $400 and $5,000 for a four piece patio furniture set.  When shopping for wrought iron patio furniture, try to lift it to ensure you will be able to rearrange it easily. You will also need to look at the underside of the furniture to ensure the joints are welded smoothly. Wrought iron can rust. You will need to use furniture covers or place it in a covered area to help decrease the risk of rust.

Aluminium

Aluminium is a light weight and inexpensive choice for those who are looking for affordability and durability. The tubular design should be checked for smooth welds and be powder coated to improve durability and reduce the risk of rust. A four piece aluminum patio furniture set should cost around $700.  Use furniture covers during the off season to help prevent cushions from fading and decrease the risk of pitting.

Stone

Stone is one of the best materials for outdoors as it will last well and also takes very little care of maintenance – something a lot of others do. It may be heavy but it’s durable and looks great – check out these outdoor benches made out of stone as a case In point.

Wicker

Traditional wicker is not meant for outdoor areas. the natural fibers are wound around a metal frame and will not last longer than a year outdoors. For outdoor wicker furniture, opt for waterproof resin wicker. Look for realistic textures and a tight weave when shopping for this type of patio furniture. Shoppers should expect to spend around $700 for a quality set. To increase the longevity of your waterproof resin wicker outdoor furniture by covering it when not in use.

 

Wood

Teak wood is the premium outdoor wood furniture because it is weather-resistant and offers a timeless look; however, you can create a similar look for less with eucalyptus. You can expect to pay around $1,800 for a four piece teak set and $550 for a four piece eucalyptus wood patio set. Ensure the set has a smooth finish, rustproof hardware and is sturdy. If left untreated, the wooden furniture will weather to a silver-gray color over time. To keep the warm wood finish, apply a waterproof oil annually.

Plastic

patio furniture

If you are looking for affordable, weather-resistant and lightweight patio furniture, look no further than plastic patio furniture. You can pick up plastic patio furniture for as little as $10 per piece at your local home center, big box store or grocery store. When shopping for plastic patio furniture, shop for high-grade marine polymer or recycled materials. These surfaces look similar to wood patio furniture; however, it is weather resistant and does not need the upkeep that wood needs. Expect to spend about $5,000 for a four piece patio set made of the same material used for composite decking. Keep covered when not in use to keep it looking like new.

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A Guide To Indoor Water Fountains

If you recently made the decision to have an indoor fountain, either for your home or for your office, no doubt you were surprised at just how many options are out there. In fact, during your search you likely found everything from wall fountains to small tabletop options, not to mention all the other choices  as well. You likely noticed that some fountains also had special lights, while others had natural elements such as stone or plants. Still others may have incorporated a form of custom art. After you have made your decision you still need to have a regular maintenance program in place to ensure that your fountain will last for many years to come.

There are many advantages to indoor water fountains like these from Luxe Water Walls, one of these being that they tend to be easy to keep debris-free, as well the ease of controlling the water supply. Why do we view these as benefits? A significant issue that arises with all types of fountains is the pump which causes the water to attractively flow. While the pump itself is a simple enough device, when debris gets in, it can cause serious problems. However, since there does not tend to be any algae, leaves or other things which could fall into the water, the risk is much lower.

That being said, you do still need to give your indoor fountain regular cleaning, however there is a lot less chance that it will get blocked up. To ensure that the pump is working well one of two things can be done. The complete pump housing can be wrapped in part of a pantyhose to make an impervious filter, or every couple of months the pump can be opened to make sure there is nothing blocking the impeller.

As we noted a little earlier, another advantage that comes with indoor fountains is how easy it is to control the water supply. The level of water in the indoor fountain can always be kept at optimal levels and in addition the type of water can also be monitored. Some people who have indoor fountains may think it is very noisy, however they likely do not realize that this can be due to insufficient water.  If the pump pulls air into the lines it will make a ‘gurgling’ type of noise which will continue until the air is replaced by water. This is not just noisy, but it can also damage the pump.

The type of water which an indoor water fountain uses will also affect how well the pump works and ultimately how long it will last. Tap water can contain a lot of minerals which, over time, can build up and affect the pump, however, distilled water can be used in the indoor water fountain which should reduce the risk of such issues.

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Top Reasons To Choose Furniture That Is Made From Wood for your Garden

Natural elements can add a warmth and richness to your home that simply can’t be achieved in any other way. Choosing wooden furniture is a great way to bring a touch of nature into your space. The beauty of natural wood can go a long way toward creating an inviting atmosphere that welcomes you in and makes you want to stay a while.

Choosing furniture isn’t always an easy task. Trying to find pieces that fit with your own personal style can be a challenge. One of the benefits of wood furniture is that it goes with just about every decorating style out there. Its versatility makes it a great choice for any room in your home.

If you want to understand the popularity of wooden oak furniture, it is important to look at all of its advantages. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider choosing furniture that is made from wood for your home.

Strength And Stability

Wood is surprisingly resilient. As long as it is properly maintained, it can withstand heavy use over a long period of time without really showing any signs of wear and tear. Best of all, keeping it in good shape is an easy process. All that you have to do is polish away any dirt or grime that finds its way onto the surface using a product that is designed specifically for cleaning wood. It is worth investing a little bit more money in real wood furniture rather than opting for some of the cheaper types of furniture on the market. Because wood lasts for such a long time, you can usually get a lot of years’ worth of use out of your investment.

Easy To Work With

Wood can be altered and manipulated using tools that most people have on hand. That means that you can make changes to your furniture over the years. For instance, if a piece of oak furniture breaks, you can most likely repair it on your own without the need for welding equipment or other types of specialty tools that are required for fixing metal or glass furniture. Wood furniture can also easily be refinished. You can completely change the look of the furniture simply by sanding off the finish and applying new paint or stain. This can allow you to keep your furniture looking fresh and modern throughout the years.

Unparalleled Beauty

No two pieces of wood are exactly alike. Variations in the coloring, grain pattern, and other qualities of the wood make each piece unique. As a result, each piece of furniture that is built using wood has a beauty all its own. It can add an incredible amount of warmth and richness to your space, making your home feel a lot more inviting. Beautiful wood furniture can provide the perfect backdrop for your other accessories. Its timeless style can continue to enhance your decor for many years to come. As long as the wood is ethically harvested, this type of furniture is also environmentally friendly. With all of the benefits that it has to offer, it is definitely worth considering adding wooden furniture to your home. By choosing pieces that have a timeless style, you can continue to enjoy their beauty for many years to come.

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man relaxing outdoors on patio

Tips For Creating A Relaxing Outdoor Space

Imagine how nice it would be to kick back with a good book after a stressful day on the job, enjoying the beauty of your yard and being surrounded by nature.

Below are some ideas and suggestions that you can use to create a relaxing outdoor space where you enjoy spending time.

Add Privacy

Having a private area where you can escape from prying eyes can help make your yard or garden a lot more relaxing.

You can add privacy to your seating area by enclosing it with a fence made from natural materials such as bamboo or reed. These fences not only look nice but also help separate your seating area from the surrounding world. This can make the space feel much more private and secluded.

Use Plants To Enhance Your Space

When deciding on plants for your space, you should think about the overall look and feel that you want to create. Ultimately, your goal should be to create a relaxing environment. Try combining flowers that have soft colors with those that are a bit more vibrant to create a beautiful contrast.

You can further enhance the beauty of the space by bringing in ferns or small shrubs. A few well-placed plants can make a real difference in how inviting the space looks and feels. You may be surprised by what a difference some flowers and greenery can make when it comes to creating a beautiful, relaxing outdoor space. Being surrounded by nature is the ultimate way to escape.

Use Outdoor Art

Art doesn’t just have to be for the indoor and outdoor art can really add a little sparkle to an area and make it look a lot more attractive. For instance a lot of us have a patio and it can be a bit drab outdoor wall art for your patio can lighten the mood and make things a lot more colourful and exciting.

Choose Aromatic Plants

Your outdoor space shouldn’t just look nice, it should also smell nice. By choosing aromatic plants and flowers like lavender or gardenias, you can add beautiful scents that further enhance the area.

Best of all, these types of flowers usually attract butterflies and hummingbirds. Nothing is more fun than watching these tiny creatures as they feed on the plants in your garden. Just be sure to avoid going overboard with fragrant plants. The smells should add to the space…not overpower it.

Think About Sound

Spending time outdoors is as much about what you hear as it is about what you see. Think about the sounds that you want to bring into your space. For instance, wind chimes can create lovely background noise when there is a gentle breeze. These types of sounds can go a long way toward making the space as peaceful and relaxing as possible.

Water fountains are also great for creating relaxing sounds. The sound of running water can instantly calm your mind and relax your body.

Choose Soft, Comfortable Seating

The seating that you choose for your outdoor space can dramatically affect how comfortable it is to spend time there. Be sure to try out garden furniture before you buy it. You need to make sure that it not only is attractive but that it also feels good when you sit in it. Finally, make sure that it is designed to withstand the elements so you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged by being outdoors.

These tips should help you create a beautiful, relaxing outdoor space. Once you are done putting it all together, you can kick back and relax in the beauty of nature anytime that you want.

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waterfall water fountain

6 Benefits of Having an Outdoor Water Fountain in Your Garden

Multi pots outdoor water fountain with flower pot

The benefits of having an outdoor fountain delight homeowners, business owners, birds and other wildlife. The fountain can be in a front yard, a back yard or beside a public seating area. Fountains add charm to private gardens. The water’s sound, appearance, and motion improve anyone’s enjoyment of a space outdoors.

A fountain can boost your health as well as your finances. Are you thinking about installing a water fountain? Then, take a look at these six benefits.

1. The Sound of Water Soothes

The reason that Buddhist monks have used water fountains in their gardens for centuries is that there are so many benefits to the soothing sounds of water. Water imagery helps induce a meditative state. It is often used in today’s meditation and visualization sessions. The sound of water running relaxes the mind and helps people unwind and fall asleep.

An outdoor water fountain for your front garden offers the benefits of stress reduction whether someone listens to it intently or hears it gently babbling in the background. Fountains help reinforce a stress-free atmosphere by drowning other sounds out that can be a nuisance. Traffic, noise from neighboring offices or apartments, dog barks and other sounds are kept muffled by the water.

2. Birds Love It

Many people love bird feeders because of the birds they attract. A water fountain is just as attractive to birds plus it provides water for them to drink, to bathe in and to preen with. Some birds like thrushes, warblers, orioles and robins are not drawn to bird feeders. They are drawn to fountains.

Birds love running water and usually prefer it to still water. This alone makes water fountains beneficial. Birds particularly love bowl shaped baths. Fountains that make trickling sounds are sure to attract many beautiful birds.

3. Pets Love It

Dog owners know that it is crucial to keep fresh drinking water available to their pet at all times. During summer months, dogs love to while away their time in the heat lapping up cool water. Dogs love the fresh water that they can get from an outdoor fountain plus they are fascinated with their motion. Fountains also do not need the frequent cleaning that still-water filled bowls need.

rock water fountains
3 rock fountains bubbling water in a garden

4. Customers Love It

Your business needs all the foot traffic it can get.  This provides a major source of revenue. Your outdoor fountain can draw people in. A fountain can give your business an edge over other businesses. Fountains work for restaurants, bars, yoga studios and retail stores. Add a fountain to your outdoor seating area and customers will want to linger at your business. A fountain can give a romantic touch to your restaurant’s outdoor patio. This feature is one customers love and will want to return to over again.

5.  Water Fountains Are Healthy for People

Water fountains add humidity to dry environments making the air more comfortable. They also filter the air and attract allergens and dust. Flowing water also has a natural ability to produce negative ions. Science now suggests that these ions improve health and boost moods.

Negative ions are believed to increase serotonin production thereby alleviating depression and increasing energy. Air conditioners deplete the air’s negative ions, but water fountains, water falls, and other moving water increases them making them good for one’s health.

6. Feng Shui

The ancient art of Feng Shui employs water as an essential element in health and happiness. The term Feng Shui loosely translates to wind and water. When it comes to the principles of Feng Shui water is used to restore good energy and balance.

One great way to make use of a fountain in Feng Shui is by placing it in front of a house, flowing in one direction. When it flows to the home it brings prosperity and abundance. The five elements in Feng Shui are earth, wood, fire, metal, and water. Look at the table here to see a symbolic meaning of each of these elements.

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5 Ways To Save On Lawn Care

Only 5 Simple Steps to Follow

To maintain your lawn, yard and landscape we suggest 5 ways to save on lawn care.  A beautiful yard is peaceful, colorful and offers a serenity to home.

compost

Add compost. This will improve your soil and eliminate pests and diseases, which means less money spent on fertilizer and water. Apply a quarter-inch of top-dressing compost once or twice a year, including right after your lawn has greened up. Going over the lawn with an aerator first will help mix the organic matter into the soil.

Water-wise

Water wisely. An established lawn needs about 1 inch of water per week in the growing season. A light daily watering will encourage shallow root systems. Instead, water thoroughly once a week, using a 1-inch deep empty tuna can as a makeshift measuring device. Early morning is best, say before 8 a.m., when evaporation rates are low and more water is absorbed into the soil. Also, don’t be afraid to let grass turn brown during dry spells. Most species can easily go a month without water. It’s time to water again when the grass goes from tan-brown to straw-colored.

grass-mulch

Mulch, don’t bag. Your grass clippings are a free source of slow-release fertilizer, so let the mower discharge the clippings back onto your grass rather than bagging them. This can cut fertilizer costs by up to 30 percent. The only time to bag clippings is when your lawn is having a disease breakout, often signaled by irregular brown patches or rings in the lawn.

Zoysia

Use low-maintenance grasss. Slow-growth, drought-resistant grass species save water, fertilizer, and time. Your local cooperative extension can help you find species that are right for your climate, soil, and lifestyle. Tall fescue is a low-maintenance alternative in the Northeast that can withstand heavy foot traffic, good for homes with active kids. Zoysia and seashore paspalum are easygoing newcomers in the South, while buffalo grass is popular west of the Mississippi.

blade replacement

Maintain your mower or tractor. Sharp blades cut cleaner and faster, and along with basic engine maintenance can reduce fuel costs by up to 25 percent. Dull blades also stress grass, making it more susceptible to disease. For best results, sharpen and balance the blade three times during the growing season.

If your schedule does not adhere enough time to maintain your yard, I’d like to suggest a lawn maintenance package from Planosod.com  We offer very competive prices and the best customer service.  Call today for a free estimate.

 

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landscape lighting

Cheap Backyard Landscaping Ideas

Tailoring the look of your home’s exterior is one way to create a space that reflects your personality. There are many cheap landscaping ideas you can tackle on your own that are high impact without a high price tag.

Creating a modern, beautiful yard doesn’t have to cost a lot. In fact, the gorgeous, million dollar contemporary gardens in the magazines are possible today thanks to creative designers with a desire to use materials and plants that were easily sourced and more environmentally sensitive. Landscapers and architects wanted to re-use creative materials that were low-maintenance, cheap or free and plants that required little care or water.

Get creative to come up with your own cheap landscaping ideas.

First, consider the space you have and what you will use it for. Do you have a large backyard that you like to spend time in? Does your front yard lack curb appeal? Determining what you want from your yard and what functions you’d like it to have will help guide your landscaping decisions. We’ve assembled a few cheap landscaping ideas to help you create a yard you’ll enjoy.

Make Geometric Patterns With Pavers and Ground Cover

A cheap landscaping idea that creates great visual impact is the use of pavers and ground cover. If you have unused ground space in your yard or bare earth you’d like to cover up, use recycled or broken pavers in a mosaic pattern of your choice. Plant moss or creeping sedum between the seams for contrast. The combination of the two materials means you need less of each, saving you money.

Decomposed Granite makes one of the coolest ground covers to give you that desert style look.  Check this article for decomposed granite installation.

Creeping sedum is a light green perennial with yellow flowers that spreads on its own, thrives in full sunshine, and doesn’t need much water or maintenance to survive. Another great option for creating a fragrant path is the use of the herb lemon thyme in your mosaic pattern. It grows slowly, requiring minimal maintenance, is edible and releases a nice aroma when stepped on.

If you need to create a pathway through your yard, this also works as one of the best cheap landscaping ideas. While laying the stones on top of grass or the ground is an option, you can also dig shallow holes in the shape of the stones in order to ensure that they are flush with the ground.

Ask Friends for Cuttings

There are many flowers and plants that can grow from a small cutting of another plant. Before you head to the nursery to buy plants, seedlings or bulbs (which can be expensive), ask friends who have foliage that you admire for several small cuttings of their plants. Some beautiful flowers and plants like succulents and butterfly bush grow very well from clippings and will spruce up the look of your home’s exterior.

Add Planters to Your Cheap Landscape Ideas

You probably already have what you need in your home to grow flowers or vegetables, so you don’t have to buy raised beds or planters from a gardening store. Some great ideas for planters that you might already have on hand include wine crates or barrels, tires, or old pallets. Cluster repurposed planters at different heights to add depth and dimension, and give a visual focal point to your garden.

Another inexpensive but contemparary way to upcycle your planters is by painting them in a bold color. If you’re using terracotta pots, soak them in water for an hour before painting with water based paint.

Plant With Perennials

Perennials are plants that return year after year, while annuals are planted and live for only one season. For a budget-friendly flower choice, fill your garden with perennials. Great, modern perennials for your yard include:

–Allium (purple ball-shaped flowers shown in image above)
–Astilbe
–Baptisia
–Buddleia
–Coneflower
–Kangaroo Paw
–Sage
–Veronica (spiked purple flowers in image above)

Decide on one of two different design approaches when landscaping with flowers — a one-color floral garden or a combination of colorful perennials.

Buying perennials might cost you a little more in the beginning, but it will be a one-time expense that will pay off in your garden — both financially and visually — year after year.

Use Ornamental Grasses For A Cheap but Contemporary Garden

A combination of grasses add texture, color and a modern look to your garden. While they can be a great, low-maintenance addition to your yard without breaking your budget, grasses help your landscape look high-design and expensive. Some grasses worth adding to your yard include:

–Blue Oatgrass
–Feather Reedgrass
–Flax (colorful)
–Fountaingrass
–Little Bluestem (colorful)
–Zoysia (low and perfect for a soft ground cover)

Plant the grasses in clusters and add some perennials for an easy, year-round garden.

Check the best ornamental grasses for Texas here.

Use Gravel as a Cheap and Chic Garden Accent

Gravel is low-maintenance, durable and relatively inexpensive. Use gravel in spots where plants don’t thrive, there’s heavy foot traffic, drainage problems or an area where an architectural, modern look is needed.

Add Unexpected Materials to Your Garden

Corrugated steel, wood scraps, found objects and old copper can be artfully recycled into a unique feature in your yard. One of the easiest places to start is by adding unexpected materials to your fence or patio wall.

Get creative and add some of these cheap landscaping ideas to beautify your yard.

 

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Special Care and Watering New Sod

new sod grass watering tipsSod installation is an excellent way to improve the appearance and health of your yard. It also represents a significant investment, so you want to be sure you do everything just right to ensure the success of your new grass. In this article, we will share some smart tips for special care and watering of new sod.

Before laying out your new sod you must carefully prepare the area where it will go. Begin by tilling the soil to a depth of approximately five inches. Smooth the soil and make sure that the surface angles downhill from your home. This will prevent having water back up around and under your foundation when you water and/or when it rains. If there are low spots in the soil, fill them in with some sandy loam. Once all this is done, add an application of slow release fertilizer. Don’t water the soil at this point. Wait until after you have laid the sod.

Sod Watering Tips

When you do put your sod in place, you should water it within half an hour of putting the first piece in place. This may mean you will need to do your sod laying in shifts or keep a sprinkler running as you work to water along behind you as you go. Your first watering should be very generous. You should have a sprinkler set on low watering each area for a couple of hours before moving on. An underground irrigation system will make this initial watering much easier and much more thorough because it will make it possible to deliver water at a higher gallon per minute (GPM) rate than simply using a sprinkler.

Once your sod laying is all done, you should continue to keep your new sod well-watered. Early morning watering is best. Watch closely to make sure your sod does not dry out. If your area is very hot and dry, you may need to follow up with an afternoon watering. Follow this generous watering schedule for the first couple of weeks or until you are sure the sod has firmly gripped the soil. Once this happens, you can reduce your watering schedule to alternating days.

Mowing on Sod

Once your grass has taken root, you can start mowing with a push mower. Do not use a riding mower until your grass has been in place for several months and is very well established. You should mow fairly high and infrequently at first. Don’t remove more than a third of the grass blade, and only mow every couple of weeks until the grass is fully established.

Related Resources:

Selecting Sod in Texas

Frisco Sod Grass

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new sod grass watering tips

Types of Grass for New Sod

This slideshow will give you a brief explanation of the different types of grass used for new sod in lawn care projects. You should know the difference between warm season grasses and cold season grasses before choosing which type of grass is better for your yard. Warm season grasses would be preferred in Texas.

If you need any help choosing your sod grass, you can give us a call or contact us through the website.

 

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landscape lighting

Landscape Lighting Can Increase Your Home’s Curb Appeal

landscape lightingOne of the most effective ways to increase your Plano home’s curb appeal is with high-quality landscape lighting. Skillfully done lighting points up the best qualities of your landscaping and downplays the less impressive areas. One of the nicest things about adding lighting to your landscape is that you get a great return on your investment. Landscape lighting in Plano is an amazingly affordable way to add dazzling curb appeal.

You might think that lighting your landscape would mostly be applicable in the spring and summer months, but this really isn’t true. Good lighting gives your autumn landscaping a warm, homey glow. What could be more festive in the winter months than bright, seasonal lighting?

Add Lighting to New Or Existing Landscapes For An Impressive Effect

You can get seamless results (and possibly an excellent deal) by having outdoor lighting installed when you have your landscaping done. If you have a good landscape designer who also does excellent professional lighting, you’re bound to get the best results in this way. If you have an existing landscape plan that you love, a professional can certainly make the best of it; however, you may need to transplant a few of your favorites to different locations for best results.

Hire A Pro For The Best Results!

It might seem that lighting your landscape would be an easy do-it-yourself task, but the fact is if you want professional results it’s necessary to hire a professional. Badly lit landscapes simply do not look good, and just like anything else it takes knowledge and skill to know exactly what will work and what won’t. Landscape lighting professionals have a critical eye that allows them to know just what’s right for your landscape without a lot of trial and error.

Curb Appeal & Safety Go Hand-In-Hand

If you’re trying to sell your home or business or simply want to make a good impression, nothing does it better than excellent outdoor lighting. You can show off the splendor of your landscaped areas during the growing season and highlight points of special interest during the hottest months of summer and/or the cold dreary months of winter.

Remember that landscape lighting in Plano, TX is also an excellent security investment. A well lit home or business is a safer home or business.

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