Category Archives: Patios

How To Pick The Best Patio Set For Your Budget

Shopping for outdoor furniture is an enjoyable experience until the pieces you adore are out of your price range. Luckily, there are several alternatives to breaking the bank, especially on patio sets. Here are our tips for scoring the best patio furniture on a budget!

Look Into Off-Brand Sets

There are thousands of patio furniture brands on the market, some of which look similar to high-end collections. It may take extra time, but visualize your dream look and search for a similar, more budget-friendly replacement. Furniture from retailers such as Lowe’s and Macy’s can emulate designer brands and are often a more durable option, and superstores like Walmart achieve this as well, with a wide inventory to choose from. 

Mix and Match

Investing in incomplete collections provides the opportunity for you to tap into your creative side. Taking pieces from different sets and pairing them can cut costs significantly and achieve a unique aesthetic for your patio. Pair chairs from one set with a table from another, or invest in different-colored pieces with contrasting fabrics and accents to create an eclectic look. 

Buy at the Right Time

Smart shoppers buy essentials in the off-season, to prepare for the months and years to come. Winter coats go on sale in the summer, just as certain furniture will experience price drops when there is less opportunity to use them. Search for next year’s furniture in early fall, when the weather begins to change and the patio area is used less frequently. 

Size Accordingly

Downsizing doesn’t always have to be a bad thing. Plan ahead and measure your patio before shopping, to make sure you’re investing in a set that fits both your space and your budget. Then, look at smaller versions of the set you’re eyeing, or simply prioritize a few of its pieces. 

Compare Prices Online

Sometimes buying furniture in-store is not the most cost-efficient option. Comparing prices before buying is a smart strategy for ensuring that you get the furniture you want, or something similar. Major e-commerce sites such as Amazon will have the same patio sets as home improvement stores but at a reduced price. Other “overstock” retailers can carry discounted products as well, and don’t forget to check the sale sections of your favorite websites!

Contact Blue Tree

Need help readying your patio for its new look? Blue Tree Landscaping offers both hardscaping and landscaping services to set your space up for success. Contact us to get started today!

How to Get Your Yard Ready for the First Spring Barbecue

Backyard barbecues are a classic warm-weather activity. With the introduction of spring, it’s time to prepare for this year’s schedule of get-togethers. Here’s a checklist of actions to take to make sure your yard is cookout ready!

Clear the Area

Starting with a clutter-free area is an important step in getting your yard ready. Clear away chipped-off roofing materials, paint, and other debris to maintain a clean appearance, and take care of any damaged furniture with canvas treatments and repairs. For the ground, taking a power washer to the surface and its cracks will remove hard-to-reach dirt and leftover remains of winter storms.

Harsh winter weather can also take a toll on plants and foliage. Strip away excess dead materials by weeding or ripping up old sod. Raking leaves and branches before treating the grass will aid the process, and depending on the type and amount of sod, it may need to be ripped up completely. Ultimately this will prevent any unwanted winter scraps from blowing into the grill, as well as provide the preferred aesthetic for cookouts and get-togethers.

Replant As Needed

Take a couple of days to beautify the space surrounding the grill. Replace and replant flowers and outdoor decorations, and don’t forget the grass; tending to a lawn may be a hefty task, but the payoff of a gorgeous, healthy lawn is worth the effort. This is also an excellent opportunity to upgrade your landscaping layout if desired.

Prepare the Grill

Grills that sat through the winter should be cleaned and treated for any damage sustained. Check the grease trap, the hose, the grate, and all other surfaces that were exposed to winter weather. A new propane tank might be necessary as well, but before the cooking starts, fire up the grill for a test run. This will guarantee that the systems are in working order for the meals to come.

Don’t forget to prep for the barbecue itself as well! Use a grill cleaner to ensure the lid and external surfaces are free of rust and oil and clean the surrounding prep area’s surfaces with an all-purpose cleaner. Even investing in high-quality utensils, such as tongs and skewers, will complement the hardware and allow the grill to perform throughout many cookout seasons.

Contact Blue Tree

The first barbecue of spring is approaching! We want to help you prepare your yard for barbecues, parties, and beyond. Contact us for hardscaping needs for your grill or patio today.

Create A Stunning Patio The Neighbors Will Envy

Whether you’re hosting a cozy family gathering or a party with all your friends, the patio is the place to be. But when you want to entertain, a dated, neglected, or poorly designed outdoor space can put a damper on your fun.

Revamping the patio is a great way to create a comfortable outdoor haven that can even increase your home value. Read on to discover how you can create the patio of your dreams (and maybe even your neighbor’s dreams!) and become the envy of the block.

Add a  Fireplace

This common indoor feature is right at home outdoors. In fact, an outdoor fireplace is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser for almost every season. Set the mood for a romantic evening with a loved one or a fun night with the kids roasting marshmallows. If a permanent fixture isn’t an option, a portable fire pit is an excellent alternative. You can store it and use it for years to come.

Layer Your Lighting

No patio is complete without the right mood lighting, and a layered scheme is an excellent way to create an outdoor space that shines (literally!). You have plenty of options: Freestanding gas lamps offer functional illumination with a touch of glamor. Fans with attached light fixtures brighten the space and provide a comfortable breeze. White string lights add a delightful twinkle. The sky’s the limit!

Add Stylish Accessories

Not used to decorating outdoor spaces? Think outside the box! The kitchen isn’t the only room in the house that can boast statement-making accent walls: Tile or textured materials, such as stone and brick, enhance the patio space without taking up valuable real estate. To lend natural beauty and a splash of color, add hanging planters or an ivy wall.

If your patio is protected from the elements, you can even hang artwork, set out throw pillows, and incorporate other accents. Attach a glass-free window pane to achieve a rustic look, or hang metal wall art to match the furniture for an industrial-chic vibe. Swap out accessories to instantly refresh the space for different seasons and holiday.

Incorporate a Theme

Finally, it’s important to find your personal style and have fun with the patio! Travel lovers can imbue a cozy French restaurant feel or laid-back Spanish siesta elements. If you have a pool, opt for a nautical theme that’s fun in and out of the water. Follow a design path that suits your tastes, and the patio is sure to become your favorite spot to spend time.

Trust Blue Tree

Let us help you elevate your patio game! We specialize in landscaping and hardscaping for every type of patio and enjoy customizing spaces to fit all types of homeowners. Contact our crew to get started today!

How to Make Your Next Landscaping Project Affordable

Undertaking a brand-new landscaping project can be a daunting prospect when all the materials and labor are taken into account, not to mention the pressure of knowing what you want before it all begins! Luckily, there are many paths to take when saving money on landscaping projects. Check out some of our favorite methods for affordable outdoor renovations.

Plan Ahead

One factor about landscaping projects that is often overlooked is the time factor. Start thinking about what the project will require a few months in advance, so there are no surprises or headaches later on. Choose a season with mild, predictable weather that won’t delay progress to complete the project, and acquire materials such as tools and bulk items at a pace that won’t break your budget.

Drive around your neighborhood and look at what each house presents. If one neighbor has a flower arrangement you enjoy, ask them how they executed it, and if another neighbor has a healthy-looking lawn, inquire about the service they used to install it. This will not only aid in project planning but will encourage creativity for your own space.

Pick Long-Lasting Materials

One major setback many landscaping projects face is the tearing out of dying, weed-ridden plants and constantly replacing them. Take inventory of your yard. Are some flowers failing in the heat, while others are flourishing? What plants look dry and withered, and which ones are holding their integrity year after year? Plus, is your furniture faded from too much sun exposure?

Choose materials that are not only appropriate for the time of year but will regenerate and flourish in next year’s season. Consider grass that can be regrown with simple upkeep and fertilizer, or perennials and low-maintenance annuals that won’t break the bank. For the holding units and accessories, try durable pots, window boxes, and even furniture that won’t take the brunt of the sunshine and need replacing every couple of years.

Shop Secondhand Tools

Lacking the tools to complete the project? Chances are, someone else has what the job requires at a fraction of the cost. Ask around the neighborhood for short-term loans on gardening tools or equipment that can perform hefty tasks, like lawn mowers and larger hand tools. This community mindset will not only save your budget, but the materials will be coming from a trusted source.

Jump online and check out what other products people are selling as well. Craigslist and eBay are prime contenders for this category of purchases. Take heed with this option though; not all online sales are what they seem, so look for tools marked “new” or “gently used” before buying. Plus, selling off your own landscaping materials generates cash back for other necessities.

Call Blue Tree

Let us help you save from the get-go! At Blue Tree Landscaping, our team of experts will help plan the most affordable project for your personal space, from start to finish. Contact us for a quote today!

Different Types of Patio Materials

Installing a new patio is an exciting prospect. You have so much opportunity to customize the space and create an outdoor haven that complements your home. There’s no shortage of selection when it comes to a customized outdoor surface. In fact, you’ll find such a diverse range of building materials that the hardest part may be choosing the right one. Here are five terrific patio material options. Install one for a smooth, simple surface, or use two or more for a unique look.

Brick

A rustic brick patio will stand up to any weather and withstand heavy furniture placed on it. Brick is easy to install, and the textured surface is durable and long-lasting. Keep in mind that brick heats up in the sunshine and warmer weather, and the grout needs upkeep to maintain its appearance. To make things easy, you can power-wash the area when it gets dirty.

Wood

Wood is a classic choice for patios. You can choose from a variety of types, styles and even stains to achieve the style you desire. In terms of decorations and matches, the material is incredibly versatile. Be sure to choose a strong wood to support heavier furniture pieces, fire pits or several people when you are entertaining.

Tile

Perhaps the easiest material to install, tile is an attractive choice for any type of backyard. The range of sizes and styles of tiles lets you mix and match to showcase different varieties, such as stripes or patterns, with room for accents and special touches embedded between the edges. Consult a style expert for a full array of options.

Stone

Pebbles, cobblestones and sandstone all qualify as stone patio materials, and they’re beautiful in many forms. Stone patios can mold to any backyard shape, including irregular shapes, and the neutral look is easy to match with furniture and their cushions and covers. Consider stone surfaces to complement frequent style changes or earth-toned accessories.

Concrete

Albeit not the most attractive option, concrete is the optimal choice for a strong, long-lasting patio. However, concrete doesn’t have to look uniform and dull. You can texture the sections to make an interesting surface underfoot or even draw lines that create the appearance of unconventionally shaped tiles. Prints are also possible while concrete is being laid, so you can press details such as handprints or letters into the patio for a lifetime of memories.

Contact Blue Tree

Blue Tree Landscaping would love to help install your new patio. Let our team of experts advise you on the best materials for your outdoor space, whether it’s in the front yard or backyard or both. We can also show you how to protect them from the elements for all seasons. Contact us for a quote today.

Protect Your Yard For Fall

Although on the milder side, fall weather can lead to the damage of outdoor surfaces just like any other season. Most of the time, the summer runoff leaves areas hot, dry and faded. To adequately protect your more fragile backyard surfaces, follow these steps before the snow and sleet roll in this winter.

Clean the Surfaces

Remove any leaves, dirt, and debris that accumulated over the summer. If the surface has cracks or grout, take a power washer to them to erase any unsightly remains before the season begins. This will also clear the way for any treatments you want to perform on the yard, and regardless, having a clean yard throughout the winter is a great advantage.

Cleaning off your surfaces additionally means taking care of what resides on them. Put away children’s toys and smaller decorative pieces that may sustain damage throughout the season. Outdoor furniture should be covered or removed entirely, and plants with delicate pots would best be maintained under the cover of an overhang or well-covered table for the duration of the season.

Treat Vulnerable Spots

Keeping outdoor surfaces as fresh looking as possible is crucial for their long-term success. Weather protective coating and sealants for any surface, including even outdoor furniture, will come in handy, especially when rain and snow hit the yard.

For lawns and turf, clearing any dry and yellowed sod will not only treat the whole area, but it will prevent the rest of the vicinity from drying out and suffering from damage. Plants that line a walkway or patio might need pruning or grooming to preserve their health.

Protect Everything

If an area is too big to treat, invest in sturdy tarps to drape over the appropriate walkways. They can be rolled up and stored during the off-season, and the protection they provide will save on repairs and touch-ups for next year’s warmer months. Those tarps can also extend to furniture too big to move, such as a pool table or in-ground fire pit, and any plants that need a bit more protection, such as a garden.

Call Blue Tree

Need advice on the best way to protect your yard against the elements? Blue Tree Landscaping can help! Our team of professionals has experience working with outdoor surfaces and yards of all types and can assist in keeping yours in pristine condition year round. Contact us for a quote today!

How to Keep Your Yard Alive Until Winter

We’re in the thick of summer when the air is hottest and driest. Around this time, lawns and foliage can start to look withered and brown, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are several measures you can take to preserve the integrity and beauty of your yard. Check out these tips on keeping the back and front yards looking fresh until the holidays, and finishing out the warmer months with a clean, polished space.

Sprinklers

Make sure the sprinkler system isn’t suffering along with the grass and plants. Check the equipment and water levels for the home to ensure that everything is in perfect working order, and make replacements as needed. If something is outdated or rusty, be sure to make changes immediately, so the weather doesn’t wreak havoc on expensive equipment.

Tend to All Surfaces 

The ground may be covered with leaves and snow in the months ahead, but that does not have to damage a patio or poolside surface. Seal the surface with protective shellacs or sealants, or strip existing coverage and replace it with new materials. It may be best to hold off on replacing any hardscaping materials until after the unpredictable, cooler weather subsides; spring might be best for projects that require a longer commitment for completion.

Sod or Plants 

If the greenery is beyond help, seek other solutions. Unrolling a new lawn over stripped ground provides a new foundation for an aesthetic yard. Keep in mind, though, that sod is a costlier option that should be considered early in the season.

Flowers or potted plants are other options that prove to be cost-efficient, especially if they’re artificial. When the weather turns frigid, the plants can be brought inside and stored for the next season’s enjoyment. Choose to replicate local flowers, or get creative and pick tropical options for a splash of color!

Adjust Décor 

It’s possible to enjoy the outdoors in the colder months if your space is equipped for it! Snag weather-resistant cushions that will stand up to harsher weather and bring any delicate adornments inside to protect them. A fire pit can be a comfortable entertainment choice for larger groups that want to enjoy the crisp late-year weather, and sturdy light fixtures will illuminate the space in all types of weather.

Contact Blue Tree

Let us help you polish your space! Our team of experts is happy to give you a quote on repair services, landscaping changes, and more. We are committed to helping you get the most out of your yard year-round, so contact us to get started!

Protect Your Feet from Hot Outdoor Surfaces

We all have reasons to celebrate the coming of summer, but dancing across the scorching ground is not a comfortable way to do so. The sun beats down and cooks the ground, heating tiles, and cement to unbearable temperatures. While throwing on shoes fixes that issue, there are other useful measures to shield the ground from the sun:

Install an Overhang

This can be as intricate or simple as you like. Permanent fixtures will provide shade and protection for every season, which includes snow, rain, wind, and general debris that can harm the ground underfoot. For a yard that is naturally more protected from the elements, there are more temporary installments that will do the job. Retractable, tent-like coverings are a viable, interchangeable option that will provide stylish shade. This opens up more avenues for entertaining, decorating, and lighting your yard in a myriad of ways, so use the new addition as a creative outlet as well as means of protection.

Use Proper Accessories

Some areas are too small to warrant an entire overhang or installable shade apparatus. There is a freedom that comes with mobile accessories for a yard. Cover your yard with large umbrellas or shaded furniture, such as free-standing chairs and swings with built-in shade. The shade will shift with the sun’s position, cooling the ground and the inhabitants close by. In addition to overhead shade, standing fans are a worthy investment, for both indoor and outdoor use. This is another affordable route: put your summer materials into storage for the colder months and use them for years to come.

Change Materials

Most backyard walkways are wooden or made of tile or cement that cook in the sun. The other method to take in renovating your surface is to remove it completely. If the ground is simply not working, replace it with grass, sod, or surfaces that are not heat-retaining. It can provide a unique aesthetic to the yard, and if it offers a low maintenance upkeep, it can actually save money in the long run. Any surface that requires minimal watering or grooming can be a positive addition to the yard, so consider alternative options to traditional underfoot.

Contact Blue Tree

Let the experts help you keep cool in the summer heat! Blue Tree Landscaping has a team of hardscaping professionals that specialize in patio installations and upgrades for any home. We have decades of experience to offer, and ideas and tactics to install the best surfaces underfoot. Contact us to get a quote today!

Upgrade Your Pool for Summer Entertaining

The summer solstice, which marks both the first day of summer and the longest day of the year, is coming up on June 21st. Around this time, schools are out, people are taking vacations, and many folks are hoping to enjoy a nice dip in the pool! If your pool’s amenities are outdated or need fixing up, there are a few ways to do this in time for more festivities.

Clean the Grout

If the pool’s surrounding surface has tiles, the dirt buildup in the cracks can be unsightly. Scraping it out works, but this can be a huge hassle. A power washer will get rid of dirt and buildup, without having to replace any cement or artificial stone that surrounds your pool area. The power washer can be used for the rest of your surfaces as well, such as wood patios, resilient fences, and walls that need cleaning.

Inspect the Pool

Most pools have plaster or Pebble Tec surfaces coating the interior. With winter weather and the wear-and-tear of extended use over the years, these surfaces might be starting to show deterioration. You many want to refinish any surfaces that are chipped or stained before they are put to use. Often, a harsher surface begins to peek out from under the smooth plaster, and fixing this is a safety and liability issue that you should try to take care of early.

Perform Some Touch-Ups

After a harsh winter, the landscaping around your pool might need replenishing. Plant fresh flowers and vegetation to give a lively vibe to any space, and paint over any faded decorations or surfaces that could use a new coat. Check out couch and chair cushions as well: sunlight can cause fading of colors and patterns, and it might be time to replace anything that looks lighter or loses its texture.

Decorate

One of the easiest and most attainable means for improvement, decorating your pool area is a personal and fun process. It can be as simple as changing out plants or color schemes, or can encompass projects that are larger in scale. Consider swapping out decorative tile work, large furniture, and lounge pieces to stay current with styles and give your whole backyard the makeover it deserves.

Contact Blue Tree

Let the experts join you in your renovations! Blue Tree Landscaping is proud to offer hardscaping and decorative services for backyards of any size. Call today for a quote or advice on getting started. Summer won’t last forever, but with a few tweaks, any backyard can be revamped for months and years to come.

The Best Hardscaping Options For Your Patio

There are several ways to take care of your feet, and choosing a suitable surface in your home is one helpful way of doing so. However, outdoor spaces should also be taken into account for viable surfaces underfoot. Consider installing an aesthetically pleasing, cozy surface that will allow your patio to be comfortable and stylish!

Choosing a Surface

There are so many possibilities of customization for your backyard. Choose from the standard surfaces that include brick, tile, cement, paving stone, or a creative combination of these. Keep in mind that a patio needs upkeep like the rest of the yard; it is also wise to choose a patio based on your ability to maintain it. Consider weather and company when picking a surface, because durability is a top priority for a quality patio!

Cater To Everyone

Take the dimensions of your space into account, to pick a surface that won’t overwhelm the future patio’s potential.

If the house is full of kids, pets, and toys, having a slippery tile deck might not be the best option. Instead, consider a more malleable surface that will provide grip underfoot, such as wood with a durable finish or coarse tile. If a pool is nearby, go with a surface that won’t get slippery when wet, and be wary of any heat-retaining materials for those that like to go barefoot in warmer weather. Brick is a viable choice, and its durability in harsher weather will stand the test of time as well.

On the other hand, a paved patio walkway and tile are perfect for less active inhabitants, or those that simply want to enjoy lounging in their outdoor space. Look into a more decorative surface that will complement a walkway or poolside, such as more delicate wood or hard material.

Consider Other Design Components

One of the perks of installing a premium patio surface is how it can be matched with surrounding details. Match a specialized patio paver with details that feature similar colors to the ground surface, like seat cushions or accessories. Choose plants that complement intricate tile work, or contrast it with lawn ornaments or furniture that make a statement. This is a fun means of self-expression, so enjoy this part of customizing your patio’s supporting roles!

Contact Blue Tree

Choose your next patio surface from certified, dependable options. Blue Tree Landscaping can outfit any hardscaping surface with a variety of options, and will provide dependable installation surfaces as well. Get a quote for your next home improvement project by contacting Blue Tree today!