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The Pros and Cons of Using Vinyl or Wood Fencing

The Pros and Cons of Using Vinyl or Wood Fencing

When you have a fence built for your home, the different options and types of fence can be a huge task in itself. Currently, the best choices in the fencing industry are wood and vinyl fences. You may have heard the proverb – “good fences will earn you better neighbors.” When you select which kind of fence to install, you will have to consider many factors such as price, quality, durability, etc. Before making the call to an installation expert you should think about the benefits and disadvantages first.

Vinyl fencing is a wonderful choice for a modern person who desires a new-age look over the natural wood finish. Vinyl fences are graffiti resistant and more versatile than wood fencing. Temperature changes or humidity will not affect them adversely. Vinyl fences are free from rust, termite and corrosion. Scratches and cracks rarely appear. They usually have warranties for many years and it doesn’t require constant upkeep. Vinyl has less weight and cleaning them tends to be an effortless job. Depending on your home and landscape, vinyl fencing is available in a wide range of colors in order to choose appropriate color combination as you visualize the overall layout. If you are content with these features, vinyl fences may be ideal for you.

There are a few disadvantages for vinyl fencing. Its price is the biggest deal killer. They are very costly and initial investment for vinyl fencing is expensive compared with wooden fences. They may be recycled after extended usage, however they are not eco-friendly. If you favor ecological fences for your home, wooden fences may be the appropriate choice for you.

Wooden fencing encompasses many of the benefits of vinyl fencing. Wood fences are inexpensive and the initial cost is much less. They are quite eco-friendly; therefore they will be a good selection for those who love ecological products. They will provide a natural appearance to your home and you can easily decorate your fence with flower pots and bird homes. Painting the fence creatively and giving it an extraordinary touch may add to the appeal. They are easy to repair and you can personalize your fence in numerous designs, colors and styles.

There are just a couple disadvantages regarding wooden fences. They require annual upkeep and repairs to keep it in top condition. Temperature changes and moisture may affect some types of wood while certain heavy woods are hard to work with. Also, insect issues, termites along with fungus could cause long-term issues in your fence. Wood fences are less stable and sturdy compared with vinyl. The possibility of wood rot is also very high.

So, both have their advantages and disadvantages. If you’re looking for something long-term then vinyl may be the way to go. If costs are an issue, then wood may be the best choice for you. Either way, there are many fine choices with either type of fence.…

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Landscaping For the Environment

Landscaping For the Environment

Landscaping is an activity that changes the environment. It does not matter how big or small the lawn is, landscaping can make it much more appealing for the homeowner and guests alike.

Because of the impact that changing the landscape can have on the surrounding area, careful planning should go into each project. Things that were not an issue prior to changing the landscape, such as water runoff, could crop up and create some nasty issues that must be dealt with.

Not all of the issues raised by landscaping are immediately obvious. There are some things that can be done to help minimize the impact on the environment and end up with an earth-friendly landscape.

1. Use drought resistant plants

No matter the amount of rainfall in the season that plants are put in, with each new season, there is the threat of drought. Planning ahead and using plants that are tolerant of these conditions means less watering that will need to be done.

In times when water is plentiful, these plants will flourish. In the dry weather, they may become somewhat dormant. Choosing plants that do not demand large amounts of water will make maintaining the landscape an easier job no matter how much moisture the season brings.

2. Use organic fertilizers

Man made fertilizers can have a negative effect on the soil. This is especially true when used by homeowners since most homeowners tend to over apply them. These fertilizers block the amount of nutrients that plants can absorb from the soil.

Over-applying the fertilizers means that the ground may not hold all that is put down. This is when the chemicals are available to leach into the water tables. This is the underground water that flows all over. Wells can become contaminated, causing unsafe drinking water and health issues for anyone consuming it.

Man made fertilizers are also made of chemicals that are not necessarily healthy for humans. Exposure to these chemicals (most commonly bare skin) can cause health issues.

Organic fertilizers contain decomposed natural materials. There is no chemical basis for them. The only exposure issue is that the person applying the compost may get dirty, or not like the smell. The compost is full of ingredients that occur in and support nature. Ground water contamination is no longer a concern, neither is the drinking water from any wells in the area.

3. Use trees to support the landscape

Trees serve several purposes. Not only do they provide shady areas around your lawn, but they can also protect the house from the elements helping to reduce energy costs. Trees have extensive root systems which helps to hold the soil in place.

4. Divert rain water

During seasons when rain is scarce it becomes more obvious to everyone that conserving water is important. When designing your landscape, why not build in a way to divert rain water so that it can be used to support the plants or other parts of the landscape?

Finding ways to use rainwater can be as simple as installing the roll away sprinklers that attach to the bottom of the downspouts on the house. If the landscape includes a pool, the water can be diverted to help refill the water in the pool. Use a rain barrel to catch excess water from the roof and use it to water the plants when the weather is dry.

Thinking about your landscaping and the environment does not have to mean major changes to plans. There are many subtle differences that can have a major impact. The landscape designs of one small yard can help nature improve on the ability to support itself and the area around it.…

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How Landscaping Will Increase the Value of Your Home

How Landscaping Will Increase the Value of Your Home

Like with anything the best part about landscaping is the final result and in this case the final result is the increased value of it. If you want to sell your house then I highly suggest starting to landscape your yard using a decent design and a modern layout. The nice part about landscaping is that you can increase the value of your home substantially with very little effort and a small budget.

Do you know what works to increase the value of your home through landscaping? The best way to increase the value of your home is to create a eye popping design and layout that way your home is the centerpiece of a piece of work instead of the centerpiece of a eyesore. Some of the most common things people do to increase the value with their landscape is add trees, plants, grass, and lawn ornaments in order to attract your eye, but that is not all people do. If you want to get the most attention from the people passing by then you need to implement some kind of attraction such as a water feature or a large object.

Things to add to your landscape

Water fountain – The thing I like the most about a water fountain is that you can have them running year round and they will continue to attract peoples attention. If you spend roughly $500 on a water fountain I bet it will add at least $1500 to the value of the home as long as it is placed in a decent spot.

Unique fence – Not all unique fences will help increase the value of your home but there are examples of some that will. I saw a fence that was hand crafted using cedar that had wooden animals carved to the top posts ever 5 feet. It was so unique that I had to ask the owner why he did what he did and he said that he wasn’t too sure but he was glad he did because it increased the value of his home by $5000.

Fake animals – Something that works really well if you live near a mountain is placing fake animals in your yard. The reason this works great is because it will make people stop and take a look. I know this might not increase your value a bunch but it will make people stop and look which is one way that you determine eye candy in a home.

I know this might not be enough ideas for you and if not then take a look at some of these simple landscape ideas.…

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Landscape Your Lawn – Reap Comfort and Serenity

Landscape Your Lawn – Reap Comfort and Serenity

Everybody wants to have a good place to stay. People buy their dream houses and make it as beautiful and presentable as they can because of that same reason; they want the place where they are to be like their kingdom or palace. I barely know anybody who does not want to have a good, comfortable, and nice place to live at.

Do you have enough space for a garden? Then why not turn that garden into a beautiful landscape that could as well reflect the personality of the people living there.

Landscape gardening can be compared to painting a picture. It can be treated as another form of art where you can express yourself clearly by what you put around. Like a painting of a picture; your garden should have a main point where you are going to focus the interest and then develop the surrounding area as the background to the picture.

How can you effectively do this? There are just a few things to remember. The lawn is treated like your canvas. As much as possible, leave it as simple as you can and do not put too many things on it. At some points, breaking up the big lawn can be done by putting some bedding on some special points to create the illusion of dividing your canvas. The bedding that you use should not disturb or make it more difficult for you to mow the lawn. Adding a gazebo can be your main point of interest in your lawn then start to develop the picture by putting some focal points like little shrubs on the side and then some flower beds on the other. You can also put in some trees if your lawn is quite big but you should also consider the probable height of the trees first before you do that. You do not want to have overly grown trees placed between or in the midst of some shorter trees. The lawn also needs to have sunlight to grow and flourish well, and you do not want to have overly grown trees casting a big shade over your lawn.

The color of leaves from the trees can also create certain mood and feeling to your landscape garden so try to be creative when it comes to matching and pairing the trees that you put on your lawn. That is landscape gardening!…

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Helpful Ideas for Effective Outdoor Decorating

Helpful Ideas for Effective Outdoor Decorating

Just like indoor decorating, outdoor decorating is also important. A beautifully landscaped, relaxing backyard doesn’t only provide you and your entire family a comfortable hang out place but it also invites people to come and visit your amazing home.

Creative outdoor decorating guarantees 100% return on your investment and certainly improves the value of your home. You can enhance your home’s curb appeal with just a few helpful tips. Start with a well-thought plan which includes lighting, landscaping, an outdoor feature, pottery, a focal point and a sitting area. Avoid committing costly mistakes by taking your time to carefully think things out.

Before starting with your outdoor decorating project, take a photo first of your house’s front view. This will give you the chance to look at your front yard in an objective manner. Get the picture form the curb and check if your door stands out or blends with your current outdoor decor. Your front door should stand out since it is your focal point. Your front door leads your visitors where to enter. A fitting color or a pottery placed on its both side can accent your front door.

Landscaping is another great way to improve your home’s overall curb appeal. Make sure to carefully choose your plants as they will certainly reward you by thriving with less care and effort from you. You can also add different heights, textures and colors to improve your outdoor decor. Maintain all the trees in your yard as they provide shade and decrease energy costs by cooling your home in a natural way. Colorful flowers can make a statement and indeed effective in beautifying your front yard. They direct the eye to the front door and make beautiful accents.

Another effective way to decorate the exterior of your home is by coming up with outdoor lighting. Outdoor lighting gives light to walkways and adds carriage lights around doorways – definitely a good investment. Outdoor lights’ availability will not be an issue as they even come in a wide range of designs and styles to complement your outdoor decor.

If space permits, a sitting area in your front yard will be a good addition. You can place a nice outdoor bench or maybe a pair of rocking chairs matched with a fitting beverage table. You may also want to add a couple of relaxing fabric pillows in your sitting area for comfort. Another option is to add some hanging plants for a more refreshing ambience.

Remember that outdoor decorating should extend into your backyard so you can maximize your outdoor living area while building functional spaces. Maintain a style or theme that perfectly blends with your home decor. With proper planning and perfect execution, you can have a very nice relaxation area, an outdoor kitchen area or even an entertainment area.

Involving yourself in an outdoor decorating project is indeed very exciting as you want to end up making your front yard an amazing view for everyone.…

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The Benefits of Using a Landscaping Contractor

The Benefits of Using a Landscaping Contractor

When you have a garden that needs to be tidied up and if you want to add an entertainment section to your yard the best thing to do would be to hire a landscaping contractor. This job requires the contractor to have an intricate understanding of all aspects of gardening and outdoor entertainment. When you have a project that needs to be completed in your garden, you should look carefully for a landscaping contractor who will provide more than one service and who is fully qualified to manage the project for you.

It can be a tough job overseeing a project like complete landscaping or building, so it is always a weight off your shoulders to get someone who is professional and qualified to do it for you. This is just one of the major benefits of using a landscaping contractor.

Another benefit is that you will get a professionally designed and completed garden in no time. It will take a team of landscapers a much shorter amount of time to finish the project than you would ever take to do it yourself.

There are plenty of landscaping contractors that you can use for your renovation project, but to choose the perfect one who you trust, you will have to do a bit of research and check each contractors testimonials to see which ones are the best in your area.

You can enjoy the many benefits of a landscaping contractor for your next project by looking online or in local directories. If you want to get contractors contacting you and giving you free quotes there are also great websites that you can find that will cater for this.

When you have found someone ideal for your landscaping project you will have to make sure that they are available and be sure to book them well before you need the project started just to make sure that you will have the landscaper that you need.…

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Who To Ask About Your Landscaping Problems Now

Who To Ask About Your Landscaping Problems Now

Does your outdoor space frighten away neighborhood birds and squirrels? There are plenty of home owners in the same situation as you, but fortunately, there are a lot of simple landscaping tricks you can use to beautify your property. This article is filled with tips to get your yard looking fantastic.

It can be a challenge to landscape an entire property at one time. Dividing your overall project into phases will make it much easier on both you and your budget. By doing your landscape in phases you will also be able to make any necessary changes along the way.

When landscaping, it is wise to utilize simple design elements. Anchor plants will provide continuity for diverse areas. When many shrubs are continuously planted, your yard will have some unity. To help create balance in the landscape use similar plants in an area or use similar planting patterns. Incorporating plants with different textures and colors will provide you with great variation and interest.

Include several different plant varieties while landscaping. This will protect your yard against both diseases and harmful insects. If you only use one type of plant in your yard, they will most likely all be lost. When you landscape, you want to make sure you have diversity; it’s crucial for plant health.

Try adding some variety among your flower beds or borders with different types of ornamental grass. Adding texture to a flowering bed and breaking up a border that is flowered are easily done by using adorning grasses. They can also be used as borders themselves. With a large selection and a variety of different levels of upkeep, there is sure to be a grass that can be used to fit your needs.

Landscaping is more than planting a tree or laying down sod. To give a professional look to your yard, look into using iron, wood or cement structures. Pergolas, archways and water features create visually striking elements in any landscape design. There are many different elements such as these that will fit your budget.

Create a landscaping design that works on many levels. Terraces, steps and fountains can make an ordinary space more interesting. Though a backhoe can be beneficial for heavy digging, it is not necessary in every yard. You can create gentle slopes and small terraces using just a shovel and some elbow grease.

Consider a variety of resources for landscaping plants and materials besides your local stores or mail-order catalogs. Check out any local botanical garden or arboretum where you can find a variety of native plants and materials for sale. Often, you can’t even get these types of plants elsewhere in your area. As well, neighbors might have plants they need to remove, like extra perennials they can’t use.

Whether your goal is to get the birds to gather out front so you can watch them or to have a backyard barbecue, this article has provided you with useful information. Use the information here and you should find success as long you remain dedicated and are willing to work.…

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Landscaping With Rocks – How to Use Rocks Properly in Your Landscape Design

Landscaping With Rocks – How to Use Rocks Properly in Your Landscape Design

Landscaping with rocks can add a certain appeal to the design of your landscape. Which is why stones, boulders and rocks are one of the most common accent used by professional landscaping artists in their design. This is one of the few fixtures you can easily add to your own design as well.

However, there are some things you need to consider if you are going to use these types of accents. Yes, even simple things like rocks need to have their proper placement in a perfect landscape design. You couldn’t just carelessly place them anywhere if you want to make its presence adding appeal to the whole panorama.

Some things you need to look into if you are going to use rocks in landscaping are:

Sizes of Rocks

The size of the rock you are going to use does matter. Sizes alone may make the difference of the rock adding beauty to the whole landscape or being a nuisance to the eye. There will be instances when a boulder would make the perfect addition and some instances when smaller rocks makes the perfect cut.

Key consideration in choosing the right rock size is that it has to look perfectly natural to be placed in its specific spot. An example would placing a protruding rock on an open space with grasses as ground cover. Just make sure though, you have a clear idea on the focal point of the whole landscape.

Depth of the Rock

Another important things you should ensure is that the rock has to be slightly buried. The depth should entirely depend on the size of the rock being used.

Again, having the rock protruding would make its presence more natural. If you compare this to just placing the rock without burying it a bit, it would make a whole lot difference for the whole design. The first would make the rock appear as if it is in its natural place while the next would make it seem as if it was just placed there carelessly and would prove to be more of a nuisance rather than adding appeal to the design.

Blending

Both the sizes as well as the protrusion of the rock works well because it blends well with the entire design. And that’s what exactly you should thoroughly consider in everything else – from rock types to colors and designs. Everything has to work together to achieve the kind of design you want.

Therefore, when you are buying the rocks you are going to use for your landscape, you have to ask yourself if its color and shape is appropriate for the landscape design you have in mind. Each and every fixture has to have the same purpose – adding beauty to the whole. And this includes rocks of every shapes.…

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Greening the Corporate Park

Greening the Corporate Park

Global warming is a hotly debated topic with varying opinions and numerous agendas. The general public perception is that industrialization has led to increased greenhouse gasses, in turn the ‘greenhouse effect’ and ultimately an increase in global temperatures.

It is believed that the simplest solution or at least the simplest way to try and prevent further damage is to reduce carbon emissions and to increase the amount of plant matter on the planet (plants use carbon dioxide during photosynthesis).

This has resulted in a trend by many companies to think ‘green’, or at the very least to be seen to be doing the right thing by taking steps to manage any negative effect that they may have on the environment.

Many companies, especially multi-nationals are seeing the benefits of being environmentally pro-active and trying to reduce their carbon footprints. This is something that creates a positive public perception of the company and its brands (and therefore stimulates their marketing efforts), and has a positive environmental impact on the planet, which benefits us all – it’s a win-win situation!

So how do corporate giants, which typically operate from massive concrete and glass office buildings and factories reduce their carbon footprints?

One way, is by using these buildings to create ‘green’ areas. Most of these office buildings are surrounded by gardens and some greenery, which add some welcome aesthetics to the hard, man-made structures and can also provide beautiful surroundings for visitors and staff.

More forward-thinking companies are using spaces that were not traditionally used for planting in order to create something truly special – something that:

• enhance the aesthetics of the buildings

• can assist in reducing contamination which stormwater has the potential to spread

• can reduce their carbon footprint

• can reduce the effect of ultraviolet rays from the sun, resulting in an increase of the life-span of waterproofing products that are used to seal roofs

• can reduce their energy costs by providing additional insulation and reducing air-conditioning requirements.

These non-traditional spaces are essentially the outer shells of the buildings – the roof and walls. Thousands of square meters of surface area that would otherwise be barren are now being used to create soft, natural, environmentally-friendly plant areas.

Although they are only now gaining mainstream popularity, green roofs have been used in Europe as far back as the early nineteen-hundreds. In recent years, they have become more and more popular and can now be found in cities throughout the world.

Living walls or ‘green’ walls are typically created using a modular system using plant trays that are hung vertically on the wall, similar to a picture frame.

These panels are planted, ideally with low-maintenance plants, which will grow to cover the trays and provide a beautiful display and numerous other benefits as discussed above.

Many architects are no longer simply adding small gardens and greenery around the buildings, but are incorporating green roofs and living walls on the structures, even making them focal areas of the building.

Regardless of which side of the global warming debate you find yourself, greening the corporate environment will at the very least provide a more enjoyable, beautiful work environment and this is a trend that is likely to be with us for many years to come.…

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Effective Swimming Pool Landscape Design Tips

Effective Swimming Pool Landscape Design Tips

Swimming pool landscape design is something you may have considered to aesthetically improve the look and surrounds of your pool. If it’s a new pool, you will need to bring it in to the existing design of your garden to give a more rounded and comfortable place to spend your time and perhaps host some great pool parties.

Ideally, swimming pool landscape design is something that you should do before you actually have your pool installed as you will need to check any zoning regulations as to what you can and can’t do. If you are just doing your research at present, you are in the best position as not only can you decide on the type and shape of your pool, landscaping options are the most numerous and the advice you can get will be the most useful.

Whatever the shape or size of your pool, if you are hiring someone to install it, they are a great source of information and ideas. Remember, they have seen a lot of pools and landscaping designs! Whether you are installing the pool first, or already have one, then budget is something you will obviously consider. Realistically, when setting a budget, remember to add in at least 10% more for mistakes and unforeseen problems. If you keep to budget, you can always get better poolside furniture!

If you have children they will of course be your first consideration in your pool landscape design. Alarmed and lockable fences are essential, but don’t always look that nice so you may need to consider planting something that will screen eventually screen it, at least from certain parts of your garden.

Be creative in terms of plants and furniture. If you live in a bright sunny climate, palm and citrus trees will look fantastic. Although with trees, be careful. Keep a check on where you put them because of root growth (you don’t want them to break through your pool!), if they are too close to the water, then you will have a lot of leaves to get out and increase cleaning time. Watch out that you do not block out all the sun or you will just end up digging out some plants anyway – so think first.

Get the background planting well organised and planned first and personally, I feel the use of pots for smaller flowers is good as it allows you to move them around when everything else has grown up and you have a clearer picture or just want to move the pool furniture around.

I guess the bottom line here, as with any landscaping designs, is to get a budget, decide what you want to achieve, get your swimming pool landscape design and just get on with it!…