Tag Archive for: patio

The Ultimate Winter Maintenance Checklist

Winter can cause serious and irreversible damage to a home if preventative maintenance is not complete. Everything from outdoor furniture to walkways, lawns, and garden beds can suffer due to the harsh conditions the season brings.

That’s why preventative maintenance is essential to the landscape. These simple tasks below are guaranteed to prevent the harsh conditions from taking a toll on your outdoor space.

1. Clean Gutters and Downspouts

 Although not the most glamorous of tasks, cleaning out gutters and downspouts is one of the most critical things owners can do to prepare their property for the winter.

Gutters and downspouts help with proper drainage throughout the colder months and will need to be clear of any leaves, debris, or garbage that could be blocking its path. Otherwise, without a clear path, water and ice can quickly build up leading to water overflows and ice dams. Both of which could result in a costly repair bill to the gutter and building.

Further, the gutters and downspouts should be checked to see that they are in good working condition. Meaning, that there are no holes, sags, or missing parts that could cause a mess if won’t drain properly.

2. Complete a Roof Check

Another area of a building that owners will need to check is the roof. Every fall, it’s important to complete an inspection of it by examining the condition that the shingles are in. Of course, this process is best handled by a professional who will know exactly what to look for and what is cause for concern.

While on the roof, they will be looking for any obvious signs of damage such as missing or curling shingles. These will likely need to be replaced before winter comes given that they can turn into a more serious problem. That’s because the freezing and thawing can result in water damage to the roof and building if they are loose.

3. Feed the Lawn

To have your grass looking its best post-winter, make sure to complete maintenance on it in the fall. This is because the grass will actually begin to store food for itself as soon as temperatures drop. To do this, make sure that the area is fertilized at least once or twice in the fall. That way, come spring, the lawn will come up faster and greener.

4. Prepare the Deck

 If you live in an area that gets snow and ice over the winter, it is critical to prepare any features like a deck, pergola, or veranda. Doing this is simple, yet essential, to maintaining these features for years to come.

To prepare them for winter start by giving them a good wash. This can be done by hand, or with the help of a professional who can power wash it to remove any grime and dirt. While doing this, it is also a good opportunity for owners to inspect it for any loose boards, nails, holes, debris, or issues.

Also, keep in mind, that if you’ve been thinking of staining or changing the look of it, fall is the perfect time to do this given the cool temperatures that allow you to stain and seal it.

5. Store Your Tools

Tools should not be left outside during the harsh winter months. This can cause them to rust, degrade and even possibly break due to the change in weather. This is especially true for any gas-operated tools which can become difficult to re-start and use in the spring if they have not been properly stored. If you do have gas-powered tools, owners will need to either drain them or add a fuel stabilizer to ensure that it does not degrade the item as it gets cold.

While storing these tools, it’s also a good idea to pull out and prepare any winter item you will need to use. For example, things like shovels and snow blowers should be checked in the fall. That way, once the first snowfall hits owners are prepared, regardless of what it brings.

Winter Maintenance Checklist

At State of the Art Landscaping, we know first-hand how important it is to prepare your outdoor space for the winter. That’s why we believe in using a professional to guide you through what needs to be done. Someone like us can assess, customize, and help you create the ultimate winter maintenance checklist for your space.

If you want to learn what needs to be done around your property this fall, consider getting in touch with a member of our team today.

Exotic Landscape Designs You Thought Were Only in the Magazines

Tropical plants, serene settings, and tropical designs; sound like a vacation? Well, it doesn’t have to be. That’s because there are plenty of things you can do to your own garden to make it feel like an exotic escape year-round.

At State of Art Landscaping, we understand how important it is to have a unique outdoor space. That’s why we’re here with our most impactful design tips that will make your garden feel like a beachside resort.

Tropical Plants

The most obvious way to transform any outdoor area from ‘basic’ to ‘exotic’ is to use tropical plants. Of course, these plants will need to be able to survive in the climate and soil type you live in so just be sure to double-check that the ones you are interested in will be able to thrive.

Some examples of plants to add are Tropical Hibiscus, Majesty Palm’s, black-eyed Susan Vine, or Red Dipladenia. Alternatively, try potting tropical-looking plants (especially palms) which can add quite an ‘exotic’ statement. But, just be sure to bring them back inside before the first frost as they are likely not to survive it.

Use Plenty of Linens

Another trick to making an area appear more ‘exotic’ is to use plenty of linens in the space. For example, it can be something as simple as hanging curtains from a pergola to give it a beachy cabana feel.

Also, consider placing a rug under a table, or on the patio, to make the space appear more welcoming. Depending on the look you want to achieve for the space, consider adding a pop of color with a bright yellow, blue, or orange one. Or, opt for a more calming effect by choosing something softer like gray or cream.

Regardless of what you decide, all of these linen features will need to be UV-resistant and specifically made for the outdoors to avoid getting stained or damaged.

Just be sure to have plenty of pillows and cushions on all the furniture so that sitting outside is comfortable.

Use Natural Materials

Whether you’re looking to add a table, pergola, waterfall, or other backyard addition you should use natural materials to achieve an exotic look. That’s because materials such as wood and stone will give off a more natural and earthier feel as opposed to man-made ones which tend to come off as ‘modern’.

Consider Adding a Bar

Every exotic vacation resort has a bar nearby, and your backyard escape should be no different. For those with more space, consider adding an outdoor entertainment area, complete with a prep kitchen. This will be great for entertaining guests without having to run back and forth from the house.

For those with smaller spaces, you can still achieve this by adding a bar cart or cabinet and stocking it with all of the essentials.

Water Features

Another idea that really brings out a tropical feel is running water. Hearing the sound of a fountain or water nearby is a great way to make the space feel secluded and serene. To achieve this, consider adding a small waterfall. This can be done as an addition to an existing pool, as a wall feature, or simply as a stand-alone device.

Whatever you decide, there are water features available in all styles, sizes, and price points. So you are guaranteed to find something that will fit your design dreams.

Add Impactful Lighting

Owners shouldn’t forget about lighting when it comes to creating the ideal exotic outdoor space. Lighting is important in creating a cozy and serene vibe that takes owners well into the night.

To make it tropical, consider using something unique like lanterns and string lights that bring a warm glow to a gathering area. Another idea is to add pot lights or lanterns to walkways to make getting around the space accessible. Finally, accent lights should be used to show off features like waterfalls or plant beds.

However, you will want to avoid any overly bright lights or sleek features as they can come off as ‘modern’.

Ultimately, regardless of what you decide to put in the space, creating an exotic escape is possible. If you’re unsure how your space will look, get in touch with one of us at State of the Art Landscaping. We work with owners to truly understand their needs and can come up with a plan to achieve the backyard of your dream.

See how we can help by calling 703-421-3666 or emailing admin@stateoftheartlandscape.com.

5 Deck & Patio Design Trends to Inspire Your Project in 2022

Deck and Patio Design Trends

Plan to spend more time outside than ever before. That’s because decks and patios are becoming extensions of the home in ways that we’ve never seen. From cooking to exercising, entertaining, relaxing, and more; there’s plenty to get excited about when it comes to deck and patio design. Given how excited we are to see these deck and patio design trends take over in 2022, we’ve outlined the top five deck and patio designs that are guaranteed to inspire your next project.

1. Outdoor Kitchens

Building on last year’s momentum, cooking outside has become an increasingly popular trend. And this extends to more than just your everyday BBQ. There are now multiple types of outdoor kitchens available.

For example, a satellite kitchen can enhance a smaller deck by adding things like a grill or pizza oven. These features can even be placed close to the outside door for convenience.

Another option is to include an independent kitchen. We’ve been seeing a lot of owners adding things like a prep space, sink, refrigerator, and storage.

Regardless of what you decide on, keep in mind that these added elements should first be discussed with a professional, like us, who can review your budget, space, and climate to determine what would be right for you.

2. Herb and Vegetable Gardens

We’ve also been seeing an uptick in people wanting to grow their own food. This comes as no surprise given how much time we’ve spent at home the past few years!

As such, many have turned towards gardening and ‘micro gardening.’ This has meant we’ve been seeing tons of flower beds, vertical gardens, and potters being added to spaces.

This trend is also great for people who might not have a tonne of deck or patio space as it can be customized. For example, you can pick from plenty of sizes, styles, and looks. All of which will make it easy to add to a space.

3. Privacy

Given that more people are making use of their deck and patio spaces, more are asking for privacy while out there. This means we’ve been seeing an increase in the demand for additional structures like pergolas, fences, and tall landscaping to create seclusion.

Depending on the space, owners may want to consider adding outdoor drapery to an overhead panel, an outdoor screen, tall planters, or even an umbrella that can give the feel of privacy. Doing this will not only add some style but some much-needed functionality to a space.

4. Outdoor Technology

With so much of our lives heading online, it should come as no surprise that we’ve seen a boom in outdoor technology. Whether you’re watching a movie outside or want to work from home that day; we’ve been seeing an increase of people wanting to optimize their space.

Some of the top requests we’ve been seeing are incorporating speakers, WIFI, and televisions into the area. There is also the option to change out older light bulbs to newer LED ones which can be automated, and connected to the remote control. This allows you to turn them on or off and even change their color.

5. Longer-lasting Items

We’ve also been seeing a rise in people looking for products that extend the outdoor living season. What this means is that things like fire-pits, heat lamps, misting systems, and fans have all been hot products.

These items are trending seeing as people want to extend the amount of time they can use their outdoor space. These are especially great additions to a patio or decks in areas that have colder winters as you’ll be able to use the space for much longer.

Another, more permanent, option would be to build things like a pergola with a covered roof. Or consider adding things like mounted heaters or a fireplace.

You should also consider furniture that’s made out of long-lasting materials like metal, aluminum, or concrete. These items are durable and can withstand even the harshest of elements. Making them great year-round choices for patios and decks.

 

At State of the Art, we specialize in outdoor living. This means we know how to transform your deck and patio spaces. We can turn underwhelming areas into modern, usable spaces that all will want to enjoy year-round.

If you’d be interested in seeing how these deck and patio design trends could be applied to your space, get in touch at 703-421-3666 or email admin@stateoftheartlandscape.com.