Who loves outdoor spaces as much as I do? Well … after a long, cold winter, the answer to that is probably just about everybody! Whether your home boasts a patio, a deck, a substantial outdoor room, or just the teeniest, tiniest urban balcony, there’s something so pleasurable about being able to relax in the fresh air, without trekking too far from the comforts of home. And speaking of comforts, we’ve got an easy way to make your exterior space even more comfortable. Add an electrical outlet or two. Here are a few suggestions for the best ways to use it. TIP: Make sure that you install only a GFCI outlet for your outdoor needs, as required by the electrical safety code.
Experiment with the type of outdoor electrical lighting that will ideally match your mood and enhance whatever excitement is going down at the moment. For example, a family cookout, followed by an evening of board games on the porch, will most likely call for illumination bright enough to determine whether it was, indeed, Miss Scarlet who offed Mr. Black in the study with the lead pipe. Or dazzle up a late night grownup party by hanging a few magical strings of twinkling fairy lights.
Cool and heat
Plug in either a weather-resistant outdoor fan or a gentle mist cooling system to provide a comfortable temperature in your outside area on the sultriest of dog days. In many states, summer days can often segue into surprisingly chilly evenings, so you may well find that an outdoor-rated heating system is a must even in July and August (and will extend the coziness zone to allow you to enjoy your deck or patio well into next fall).
If outdoor work is your pleasure, tend to your yard or your vegetable patch with ease. An outdoor outlet will provide a convenient place for you to juice up the ol’ garden tools. Trimmers, leaf blowers, saws, and the like will operate with a good deal more power than is available via battery, yet without the noise, mess, and general hassle that you get when you fuel up with gasoline. (Just think – no more winterizing your lawn mower or worrying about potential gas spills to contaminate your soil and pollute the air.)
Read more about outdoor spaces at networx.com
For those who have a little extra room outside, you might be considering creating an outdoor living space and this would be a good move. In the summer, you would be allowed more room for gatherings and it allows you to make more of your home. Furthermore, it will add charm and value to your home. In truth, it opens up many doors for you and your family/friends.
Of course, the amount that you can do with your outdoor living space will completely depend on what space you have available. Whilst some might be confined to a small, flat area, others may have the luxury of spreading the living room over many different levels. For example, a deck could lead from the house which then leads to a patio area. When many people consider an outdoor living space, they soon put the idea to bed because they restrict themselves in their imagination.
Ultimately, the space belongs to you so you can do whatever you wish with it. If you allow yourself to get really involved, this can be a fun and creative process as you turn an old, unused space into a gathering area for events. Whether you wish to install a fireplace with some comfortable furniture or maybe even a second kitchen with an opportunity to cook with the grill and make space for a fridge, the opportunity is available.
Nowadays, there are many options for weather-resistant furniture including easy chairs, sofas, and lounge chairs. As well as this, you could even install seat walls and benches to provide an attractive element in addition to the functionality of the item. If you are clever, you could even use the furniture to provide more storage.
Once you have this base, you can start to introduce various amenities such as a TV, radio, reading chair, mini-fridge, lamp, laptop, etc. For the slightly colder months, why not consider an outdoor fireplace as we suggested a little earlier? Often, there is a misconception that comes with these types of fireplaces that they have to run on gas but you can also find wood-burning models too. If you don’t have room for a full fireplace, you could also look into tabletop fireplaces or fire pits.
Regardless of what accessories you choose, always pay attention to what’s beneath you because the decking can often make or break an outdoor living room. When looking at flooring, be sure to consider whether your space will be covered or uncovered as this will greatly affect your decision. After this, you can assess your budget, style, quality, and the maintenance required to find the right flooring. Before jumping into a decision, consider ceramic, red cedar, vinyl, composite, plastic, and wood. When you dig a little deeper, you will find a whole host of styles, sizes, and colours to meet your needs and create an outdoor living space you can be proud of!
Popular Ways to Add Value to Your Outdoor Living Spaces
Want to give your outdoor living spaces a new look or even a major remodel. These upgrades are rated the best for adding value and curb appeal to your home making it easier to attract buyers when it comes time to sell.
Decks or Pergolas
These home improvement projects can certainly be a great investment because it increases living area at a minimal cost per square foot. In San Diego, with it’s mild year-round temperatures, a deck or pergola is a solid investment.
A well landscaped yard require less maintenance. This includes having to water less which all Californians are aware of the importance of using less water. One great way to save on time spent watering and on consumption is to use native plants that are used to a arid climate. Another is to create outdoor living spaces that require little maintenance like a patio or a stone sitting area
Only Use Outdoor Appliances that Can Handle the Weather
Don’t go cheap on outdoor appliances and furniture. A outdoor barbecue that is built-in with a sturdy stone veneer front is an appliance that will last you for years. Choose patio furniture that exhibits strength, is weather-resistant and is well-crafted to last you several seasons.
Use Mulch or Crushed Stone Instead of Grass
Mulch or crushed stone never requires watering or mowing . Mulch decomposes and fertilizes your plants, retains moisture in the soil, prevents weeds and keeps the soil cooler. It is also very attractive and presents a clean, organized landscape design. Some people prefer to use crushed stone as an alternative because it does many of the same things and does not have to be replaced.
Add Value, Security and Beauty by Investing in Outdoor Lighting
One area that has drastically changed in landscaping in recent years is LED outdoor lights. LED no longer have the cold, bluish look they once had. Today’s LED lights are more versatile, directional. warmer and they are cool, emitting very little heat. This is also a very inexpensive upgrade that can create great curb appeal, provide security and illuminate and highlight your beautiful landscape.
Consider a Outdoor Fire Pit or Fireplace
One way to add value to outdoor living spaces is by extending the seasons one can spend out outdoors. The warmth provided by a fire pit or a fireplace certainly allows for this on cooler evenings or when that marine layer comes in late in the day. Outdoor fire pits and fireplaces are a great way to gather and entertain with families and friends.
Don’t Fear Artificial or Synthetic Turf
A lawn that does not need to be mowed, watered, fertilized or requires pest control is the ultimate in low-maintenance landscaping. Today’s synthetic turf can look very natural and is perfect for any place where you want the look of grass without the maintenance and the water bill.
Add a Sitting Area or Garden Retreat
We all need a place to unwind. It only takes a small space, protected from noise to create a beautiful retreat where you can relax, relieve stress, read a book and get centered.
If you would like to add value to your home through your outdoor living spaces call San Diego Landcare Systems at (760) 788-8140.
Outdoor lights are not only essential, but they can also transform your yard into a summer oasis where the whole family can kick back and relax. There are no rules when it comes to outdoor lighting; mix-and-match all the options below to create your own magical nighttime haven.
Candles are a surefire way to create a romantic, intimate ambiance. They’re the easiest to set up and add instant charm. And, let’s be honest, everyone looks good in candlelight. Be careful of open flames however, because the last thing you want on the menu at your barbecue or romantic dinner is the porch furniture. Also, keep in mind that candles are only a temporary form of lighting — they can burn out and need replacing even before the evening’s over.
The best part about these battery-powered candles is that you can’t see the “flame” because it’s designed to look like it melted the same way a wax candle does!
Designed in a similar fashion to the candles above, these candles are also battery-powered, but with a smooth, waxy appearance. Not only do they come in sets of three, but they also come with a remote so you can “blow the flames out” from a distance.
For more festive lighting, choose Colored Paper Lanterns. String them up in a line or clusters, or stack them on poles to create light columns that give the area height. Paper lanterns are available in lots of different shapes and sizes, allowing you to use your own creative flair to personalize your outdoor area. Also consider glass lanterns, which although more expensive, can last through many summer seasons.
These paper lanterns are environmental friendly and come in a variety of colors, so you can match them to the rest of your outdoor decor.
Read more about best Outdoor Lighting at goodhousekeeping.com
It’s one thing to know you and your landscape need professional help. It’s another thing to know which landscape professional offers the skills and services you need for the specific landscaping challenges you hope to resolve. To clarify the picture, let’s take a quick look to see who does what.
Landscapers are the doers and makers who implement landscape designs. They dig, grade and prepare the soil. They remove, groom or install flowers, plants, trees, shrubs and sod. They construct raised beds, borders, curbs and walls. They lay crushed rock, gravel, paver and stone walkways, patios and courtyards, and build outdoor elements such as barbecues, firepits, patio covers, pergolas and pizza ovens. Many construct or install water features such as fountains, ponds and reflecting pools, and most offer ongoing maintenance services to keep your landscape looking its best in every season.
Landscape designers use a combination of listening, design and horticultural skills to translate your vision into reality. To accomplish this, they develop a cohesive landscape plan for reshaping or remaking the space. They create 2D and 3D renderings to illustrate the final result. They make recommendations about specific plants and develop planting schematics to guide installation. They analyze existing landscape elements and recommend materials and design features for new ones. Many offer project management services and oversee the job from concept to completion.
Landscape architects develop and manage residential, commercial and public landscape projects. Most focus on large scale makeovers, but some will tackle residential projects. In general, they seek ways to improve the form, function and flow of the land and existing structures. They a develop comprehensive site plan for an integrated approach, detail structural and engineering specifications for landscape enhancements such as paths and patios, structurally critical elements such as retaining walls and terraced hillsides. Some provide project management services and oversee the job from start to finish.
Read more about Landscape Professional at enlightenme.com
Stunning patio inspiration is available to us at our fingertips, but which route should we go with when doing a patio makeover? Have you ever thought of your patio as the newest room in your house? If you shift your thinking, this “new room” opens up possibilities for designing that space you always desired– even if it is outdoors!
Patio Makeover #1 – Outdoor Dining Room
If you entertain regularly with large meals, perhaps your home could use one more dining room. The patio can be transformed into an elegant dining space with a few practical details. Of course, you will definitely need to have an outdoor dining table and chairs. In addition, a space-defining structure– whether informal or formal– helps to set off the new room. The ideal finishing touch to this patio makeover is an outdoor chandelier.
Patio Makeover #2 – Outdoor Kitchen
When you love to entertain large groups, you may discover that a single kitchen never quite seems to be sufficient. Your patio makeover can end up being that extra kitchen you always wished for. Limitless choices are plentiful for you to surround your outdoor space with all the amenities of a working kitchen. Cook in style, and double your household kitchen options!
Patio Makeover #3 – Outdoor Living Area
Even if your home does not offer an expansive home entertainment layout, you can take advantage of your patio and yard, and there really is no limit. Offer plenty of places to take a seat, socialize, and get together by tactically placing your outdoor seating in conversation groupings. Fire pits, water features and outdoor televisions are enjoyable ways to encourage your guests to have a great time while they delight in your outdoor living area.
Patio Makever #4 – Outdoor Living Room
Why have one living room when you can have two and truly relax in the great outdoors? Outdoor fabrics, weather-friendly cushions, and waterproof furnishings have been revolutionized for practicality and strength, making an outdoor living room much more practical. Design your space to consist of a sofa or sectional, side chairs, a coffee table, and possibly a fireplace, and you’ll possess all the comforts of home– with stars as your ceiling.
Patio Makeover #5 – Outdoor Bedroom
Is there anything more indulgent than going to sleep under the stars? And with an outdoor bedroom on your patio area, you certainly do not have to “rough it.” Hanging daybeds or plush exterior daybeds make for glamorous napping spots. Keep eye-catching outdoor storage nearby to house comfortable blankets and pillows, and you are ready for a nap at any time. The most important part of an outdoor bedroom is shutting down long enough to enjoy it!
Do you need a patio makeover? From concept to completion we can make your landscaping dreams a reality. Call San Diego Landcare Systems at 760-788-8140.
It will take a great deal of work and planning to turn a space into a lovely small backyard design. Nevertheless, a few smart concepts will turn that barren plot into a lovely spot to relax, gather and hang around, in addition it will add value to your home.
To get a concept of exactly what you want, look out the window to the far end of the uninhabited space. That is the best place to put a centerpiece, like a seating bench, fire pit or fountain, which you can then work your design around. If the space is still too small for a large design element,take a good look at the space to identify what you think will look best, then discuss it with a landscape design specialist.
Small Backyard Design Ideas
Divide the space. Use outdoor furniture, retaining walls, large garden stones or paving stones to create a path dividing the space into two or more areas. By including some short walls, fencing or rows of plants, you can create a place for relaxing in nice lounge chairs, having a barbecue with friends and family, entertaining, or even producing a little low-maintenance veggie or herb garden
Include color. A garden can be made to look larger to the eye by including lively colors in the flowers and plants. Adding a pop of red in outdoor patio furnishings instantly adds brightness to an all-green lawn and earth-toned patio.
Use the lawn like you would use a throw rug. Plant shrubs, trees and flowers around the edges of the garden space and use planters, rocks, or paving stones to develop a circle or square in between them and the turf inside. Include more details with decorative borders.
Think about function in your small backyard design. If you want a grassy area primarily for family pets or children to play, do not design the whole space in hard elements or thorny or scratchy plants.
Choose one big design function. By putting a pergola or a fountain in a small space, it gives a tiny garden a feeling of grandeur. Then frame it with shrubs, a sitting area, planters, smaller trees, or garden sculptures.
Using curved lines to emphasize the very best features. An excellent strategy, according to designers, is to use angles to make a smaller backyard design look bigger.
Trick the eye with vertical plants. To extend the space, think about including a vertical garden or green wall. They are available in a variety of sizes and many have an integrated water delivery system, so you don’t need to fret about watering it. High trees can supply shade and foliage without compromising square footage.
Keep it relaxing. Having an intimate place to get away to can be improved with mid-height fences and pretty plants to help block undesirable views or keep personal privacy.
Hiring one company to do both Landscape Design-Build and construction can simplify the process. Here are pros and cons for deciding if it’s right for you
What is landscape design-build?
Design-build is a process by which one company provides the landscape design-build and installation services for the project, instead of those services’ being split among separate companies. A firm that provides design-build services is also called a design-build contractor or design-builder.
Here’s what you need to know about how the process works and the pros and cons of using a design-build service in lieu of hiring a separate designer and landscape contractor.
1. You work with one company.
Pro: One obvious advantage of the design-build process is that the client works with one company for all phases and aspects of the landscape project. This means that your project may move more quickly from concept to installation than if you had hired a separate design company and installation company; there is some efficiency for dealing with just one company that can manage the process from start to finish.
Con: The whole project is under the direction of a company with a single perspective. Make sure your vision and goals are aligned with that company’s goals before hiring it to do the work.
Pro: A design-build firm rolls the design services and installation into the full project cost. The design fee is usually listed as a lump sum in a line-item estimate for the work.Con: A design-build firm may provide a design plan that is not properly detailed. This is a problem if you wish to get several contractors to provide a price estimate on a design plan from a design-build firm. When you pay for a design plan, you own the drawings you will use to get the project built. Watch out for companies that have you pay for a design but do not transfer ownership of the drawings to you, or for design drawings that are not accurately detailed.
The ideal home landscaping provides your family with recreation, privacy, and pleasure — even as those needs change over time. What’s more, the landscape should — and will — add to your home’s value and its curb appeal in all seasons, especially fortunate at selling time. Here’s how to get started with your plans.
Think of designing a landscape for the bare lot surrounding your new home as an adventure in creativity. Perhaps your property needs only a few small, easily doable projects to make it more attractive. Either way, it’s important to consider how each change will relate to the big picture. Stand back from time to time to see the entire landscape and how each part fits into it.
Start Home Landscaping at Square One
Begin at square one, whether you seek to perform home landscaping magic by transforming a new site or you are refreshing an established one. Starting at square one means that you first see what you have to work with. Look at your landscape as if through a giant magnifying glass — scrutinizing every detail. Then allow yourself to dream. Soon you’ll be conjuring up all sorts of ideas and sketching out some rough plans. By gradually working through the initial stages, you’ll move on to planning and eventually have a finished design.
Develop a Master Plan
Landscape professionals will tell you that a master plan is the key to any landscape project or solution. A master plan is more than a drawing or a design — it’s a well-thought-out plan of action that includes a design. It enables you to feel confident that you’re on the correct path toward building the landscape that’s right for you and your property.
Any project becomes more attainable when you’re willing to accomplish the plan in stages. Be realistic about how much you can accomplish each year. Many people like to work — and budget — on the basis of a five-year plan.
Although detailed and complex, the process can be enjoyable if taken a little at a time. You won’t regret spending the time to do it right. When you’ve finished, you’ll have a master plan — or a masterful design — to show for your efforts. In the event the words “master plan” seem set in concrete, you may find the idea of “long-range plan” less fixed though no less useful in accomplishing the small and large goals that add up to a satisfying landscape.
Find more home landscaping tips at BHG.com
Open up your home and expand your space with an outdoor kitchen, allowing you to relax in the sun with all of your home comforts around you. Spend the entire day outside and cook something delicious while entertaining friends. By building your own outdoor kitchen, you can cook for family and friends during the summer, without missing out on any of the fun.
Creating your dream outdoor kitchen with San Diego Landcare Systems is easy, with a large range of choice in design possibilities, materials, and features. One of our skilled outdoor kitchen contractors will guide you through the process, helping you choose the exact specifications that suit your needs, from storage to appliances and layout.
Outdoor Kitchen Design and Layout
All of our outdoor kitchens San Diego are built to be able to withstand all types of weather and conditions, so the design of your new space does not need to be restricted by the elements. With this in mind, we can help you to use your imagination and find the best layout and look to enhance your outdoor gatherings.
In terms of design, you can think of an outdoor kitchen in the same way that you would when fitting a new indoor kitchen. It is recommended that you try to group different areas together as you would when designing the kitchen in your home. For example, cooking and hot appliances will be installed in one part – this includes things that you may want to add, such as grills, BBQ’s, and pizza ovens. Cold areas will include appliances such as refrigerators while wet and dry sections will also be grouped together, with basins separate to work spaces, counters and storage areas.
As you are outdoors, the kitchen facilities and countertops will serve as the boundaries of your new outdoor kitchen, rather than the walls you would have inside. This allows you to choose the size and shape of your outdoor kitchen, which our contractors will build from scratch to suit your desires.
You can create your ideal space for social gatherings, incorporating open wood flames for cooking, heating, and seating areas into your design. Add bars to your outdoor kitchen space for an enhanced entertaining experience, allowing you to stock your favorite drinks and keep them cool, serving anything from water and coffee to champagne or mixed cocktails.
Bringing the Indoors Out
An outdoor kitchen has the same functionality and capabilities as your indoor space, enabling you to make your favorite dishes while entertaining outside in the sun during the summer. Create a smooth, flowing look by continuing the look you have within your home throughout the design of your outdoor kitchen. Use similar, compatible materials to complement the design of your home, both indoors and out.
Ambiance and comfort are also important for outdoor kitchens San Diego, to ensure you can enjoy spending time in your new space, as well as the practical aspects of the design. This can be achieved with extra heaters, fans, and sufficient lighting. Invest in a canopy or pergola that will cover your outdoor kitchen and entertaining areas in the evenings, which will also provide shade during the daytime as you prepare meals. You will also need to make sure there is ventilation for any type of grill, BBQ and open flame, fireplace or fire pit. This is for safety as well as comfort while you are cooking and prolongs the amount of time you spent outside.
The appliances you choose must be suitable for outside use and be reliable, to ensure a low maintenance space. Materials such as stainless steel and ceramic work well for use in an outdoor kitchen, as they are durable and appealing. Remember to include adequate storage so that you can easily access anything you need, just as you would in your inside kitchen. We will help you add any suitable storage.
Outdoor Kitchens San Diego
San Diego Landcare Systems have over thirty-five years of experience, passing on our knowledge and skill to all of our contractors. This means we can offer you the very best service to ensure your outdoor kitchen is exactly what you have imagined. We pride ourselves on providing a high standard of customer satisfaction, trust, and appreciation.
We are Design & Build Landscape Contractors who specialize in building the backyards of your dreams. We have built hundreds of outdoor kitchens San Diego and BBQ’s from the smallest yard to the largest estates. Get the best use of your space with an outdoor kitchen from San Diego Landcare Systems.