Are you ready for your outdoor parties?

Preparation is everything when it comes to a big event at your home, so begin preparing for your parties early. Whether it is a graduation party, Bar Mitzvah/Bat Mitzvah, Wedding or your seasonal 4th of July party; you do not want to be caught at the last minute scrambling to get on the schedule to finish that paver project, or new landscape, or just a touch up of your existing landscape. Another thing that you may want to consider is the general maintenance of your outdoor kitchen. After many seasons of use your grill should be gone over with a thorough cleaning and general review to make sure that all systems are working at peak efficiency. Nobody wants to have a grill malfunction in the middle of barbequing for all of your guests. Please call us so we can get you on the schedule and make sure that your landscape is in order for any of your upcoming events.

© Great Lakes Landscape Design, 2014

© Great Lakes Landscape Design, 2014

If you do not have an outdoor kitchen and you are looking at getting one, there are many options to consider when deciding on materials to construct it. Materials that can be considered are: pavers, stone veneer, house brick or even stucco. These materials can be used to either blend in with existing materials to make it look like it was always there, or you can go with a material that will pop and draw attention to the space as a focal point. Just as if it were part of your home, counter tops are also a very important part of the decision, but one must consider durability because this space will be exposed to the elements year round. Material options to consider are; granite, concrete or natural stone. Finishing touches will be determined by the needs of the client; how large of a grill is needed, how many cabinets, drawers, burners, whether or not running water is needed etc.

© Great Lakes Landscape Design, 2014

© Great Lakes Landscape Design, 2014

If grilling is a passion, nothing beats a custom outdoor kitchen that you can entertain guests around and have as a great focal point in your back yard. Call us today for your consultation.

Paver Maintenance

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© Great Lakes Landscape Design, 2013

You invest a great deal of money into your hard surfaces, remember to keep your surfaces looking new for years to come with preventative maintenance. Neglecting proper maintenance, your pavers will begin to fail due to multiple factors: natural erosion, weed growth and insects. Pavers are installed with a joint compound that is swept in the cracks. Joint sand is the final key to the interlocking pavement process. As long as the base remains intact, your pavers will maintain their integrity. Erosion can occur when constant water flow starts to wash out the sand from in between the cracks of the pavers; if this occurs the base can start to wash out and your pavers will begin to fail. Once the joint compound begins to fail it leaves the pavers vulnerable, and windblown soil can infiltrate the cracks of the pavers along with weed seeds. As the weeds start to grow the roots will start to compromise the base, forcing the pavers to shift.  The plants roots will start to allow water into the base, and during the winter this will start to accelerate the erosion process. Insects, especially ants, can wreak havoc on your paver base;  they can undermine your base from below and can also make your pavers look unsightly with all of those little mounds. Ants are extremely difficult to get rid of and chemical application may be necessary to remove them.

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© Great Lakes Landscape Design, 2013

Joint compound lasts about 3 seasons and then the compound inside the sand will start to break down giving way to natural erosion. Once erosion and weeds start to grow within the cracks they will need to be removed, this is where power washing comes into play. Power washing your pavers every three seasons will remove any debris that may have blown in along with any organic matter, allowing room for new joint compound. Power washing and resanding your pavers every three seasons will not only keep the integrity of your pavers intact, but will give your paver space looking new and clean.

Exposed aggregate concrete should be maintained and sealed every three seasons to not only keep that shiny glossy look, but also to keep the stone finish from chipping and wearing prematurely.

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© Great Lakes Landscape Design, 2013