6 Quick Tips to Ensure You’re Working with the Perfect Landscape Architect

When you’re ready to renovate the landscape of your property – questions, concerns, and confusion tend to arise. Thoughts of doing it yourself loom, but can seem daunting. The work may seem doable, but the design – you probably didn’t go to school for that. Luckily, this is where a landscape architect comes into play. Large landscaping projects require detailed design. Often, this design requires professional help. This is especially true when city building codes and neighborhood homeowner’s associations come into play.

So here are six quick tips to ensure you find and work with the perfect landscape architect:

Gather Ideas

Before you contact any Olathe landscapers, it’s a good idea to wrap your head around the type of project you want to get done. Put some ideas together and formulate a rough image of what you want to see done. Discussing the design can be difficult when things stay too vague.

Budget Properly

As you formulate ideas, it’s crucial to pay attention to budgetary concerns. You will want to come up with a rough estimate of how much you want to spend on your project.

Ask Around

Get in touch with anyone you know who has paid for Olathe landscaping services in the past. See if you can round up a few referrals. Don’t be afraid to knock on some doors and ask your neighbors if you love their landscaping.

Perfect Projects

When deciding to do it yourself or hire, the primary concern should be the project. Obviously, no reasonable person is installing a swimming pool alone, but even smaller projects can turn tough without a great design. The type of Olathe landscaping company you’ll want to work with may differ depending on the scope of your project.

Consulting is Important

Even if you’re a flowerbed beautician – designing a whole landscape takes a lot more effort and artistic flair than gardening. Hiring an Olathe landscape architect can help you create the ideal master plan for your property and this step can help save you thousands in costly mistakes.

Handle the Little Stuff

If money is an issue, then make a commitment to handle the small stuff like mulching, flower beds, lawn care, and more by yourself. These little items can add up when doing a full-blown landscaping overhaul.

Olathe Landscape Architects

If you have an Olathe landscaping project you’re thinking about, we’d love to hear from you. Here at Huston Contracting, Inc., we take pride in offering premier landscaping services in the Johnson County area. We look forward to helping you create the property of your dreams. Get in touch today for a consultation.

Retaining Wall Installation Doesn’t Have to be Difficult

Home improvement isn’t ever easy. If something can go wrong – it will! With that being said retaining wall installation doesn’t have to be difficult. By planning and designing your wall before the first shovel of dirt is moved, you can ensure the perfect structure for your home.

It’s important to note that building a retaining wall for your home isn’t for people new to DIY home improvement. The structural component of retaining walls requires more than a little elbow grease. For this reason, many people find hiring an Olathe landscape architect useful when designing a wall.

Whether you hire a landscaper or do it yourself, here’s why retaining wall installation doesn’t have to be difficult:

Lot Lines

Retaining walls can often be large projects that take up a lot of space on your property. Before beginning a large-scale project – make sure to identify property lot lines.

Neighbors

If you’re going to undertake a large project, it is neighborly to let all around you know of the future construction.

Utilities

Utility lines are dangerous. Get your lines marked before beginning any project – retaining wall or not. Call your utility company to have this done.

Permits

Retaining walls above certain heights will require a building permit. Check with the city code before starting your project.

Soil

It’s crucial to determine the type of soil found at your dig site. Test the ground to see if it’s clay, sandy, or organic type of soil. Organic soils are not to be used for retaining wall projects. Sandy soil is the best, but clay is more prevalent and can still work on your wall.

Environment

The environment and vegetation surrounding your wall will play a critical component. Trees and bushes can be used to enhance the overall look and landscape of your retaining wall. Just remember that planting trees behind your wall once it’s installed can add pressure to the structure of your wall.

Foundation

Solid ground is essential for retaining wall installations. The type of soil is important, but compacting that soil firmly is also vital.

Wall Height

Retaining walls featuring greater heights will usually be harder to create than shorter ones. You may have to consult the code within your city if building a giant retaining wall.

Cut and Fill

Many retaining wall installations take place on a hill or slope. If you’re building in one of these areas – make sure you determine how much cut and fill will need to be taken or brought. Projects requiring cuts or fill are better suited for professionals, like Olathe landscape architects.

Olathe Retaining Wall Installation

If you have an Olathe retaining wall installation project forthcoming, you may want some professional help. If so, we’d love to hear from you at Huston Contracting, Inc.

9 Essential Outdoor Kitchen Design Tips

Entertaining family and friends is one of the best aspects of home ownerships. Everyone heads over to your place for an afternoon or evening of food, drinks, and good times. The host often comes away from these gatherings feeling exhausted and left out.

It’s hard to mingle when you’re stuck cooking and cleaning all day and night. No one wants to come inside and chat with the chef while a summer barbeque is going on in the backyard. Many homeowners find themselves away from all the action when hosting get-togethers.

The outdoor kitchen solves this problem and many more. Here are 9 essential Olathe outdoor kitchen design tips:

1) Keep good kitchen design principles

An outdoor kitchen is still a kitchen. You still must keep kitchen design principles intact. The cold areas, wet areas, hot areas, and dry areas must all work in unison. Make sure you allocate enough space for each.

2) Set and store

You don’t want to be continually heading back inside when cooking outside. Your outdoor kitchen design must include enough space to place and store everything you’ll need to prepare. This means ample countertop and refrigerator space.

3) Start with the floor

When beginning your outdoor kitchen design, you’ll want to start from the ground up. Plan the layout of your kitchen with the floor in mind. Pay attention to different weather elements you may encounter and select a durable flooring type before moving forward.

4) Outdoor materials and equipment

All materials in your outdoor kitchen should be made with outdoor materials. Stainless steel is great for an outdoor kitchen. Concrete countertops are long lasting. Even if your kitchen doesn’t bare all the elements due to certain factors – you’ll want to select materials that could.

5) Build it to blend in

One of the most valuable outdoor kitchen design tips I can give you is to blend it in. Your outdoor kitchen should not stand out from the design of your home. The space should add to your home’s ambience and blend in with the inside of your house.

6) Ambiance lighting is needed

The last thing you’ll want in your outdoor kitchen is bright light when you’re trying to relax. While you’ll need decent light to cook, you’ll also wish to incorporate ambience lighting for the times when you want to relax.

7) A bar area is important

You should think about incorporating a bar area into your outdoor kitchen. One of the best aspects of cooking outside is the opportunity to interact with others. Building a bar area around your outdoor kitchen will give you time to catch up with family and friends as you do your cooking.

8) Water and beer tap need to be at the end

You won’t want people bumping into you while you’re cooking. Even if they’re just trying to grab a glass of water, beer from the fridge, or some brew from the tap – they’ll be in your way. Build the water tap, beer tap, and refrigerator into an easily accessible area of the kitchen.

9) Include entertainment

A bar area, a lounging area, music, television, and more can all be included in your outdoor kitchen. Make sure you include entertainment in your initial outdoor kitchen design plans. It can be a hassle to add entertainment options after the fact.

As always, we recommend you consult with Huston Contracting Inc. before you start any Outdoor Kitchen Design in the Olathe or Johnson Country area!

Where to Find the Best Olathe Landscapers

It’s a homeowner’s job to keep the home up-to-date, alluring, and bursting with curb appeal. Even if you’re not planning on selling your home soon, it’s important to feel a bit of pride swell up in your chest as you roll home from a long days work. That feeling of pride often comes with a price.

Stunning curb appeal takes time and effort to cultivate. Your landscaping isn’t going to take care of itself. Many individuals and families find themselves drenched in sweat with dirty hands and knees come Saturday afternoon. A day out in the sun, as you work on your landscaping, is hard work.

While landscaping can be tough work, there is some good news. You don’t have to handle your landscaping by yourself. Instead of spending all your free time working, you could just hire an Olathe landscaper to take care of enhancing your home appeal.

What Do You Want?

Before you hire an Olathe landscaper, you’ll want to do a little bit of research. You need to know what you want. You need to have an idea of how you’d like your landscaping to turn out. Do some research online and get a sense of the look or beautification project you’re interested in. Walk around the neighborhood and search for ideas.

Once you’ve got some ideas in mind, it’s time to find your landscaper. Here’s how to find the best Olathe landscapers:

Word of Mouth: If you hear any friends or family talking about a landscaping project or curbside addition – ask them about it. Find out if they like how the project turned out. See if they’d recommend the landscaper they used or if they were not that pleased with the work.

Take a Name: Olathe landscapers often leave little signs in yards after a project is complete. If you see a project you like completed and a sign in front – jot down the name of the company or take a photo with your phone. Then look the company up online when you get home.

Ask Around: If you see some amazing landscaping on a home, then don’t be afraid to ask the owners who did their project. If you’d like to emulate some design elements from a landscaping project you saw, but don’t know who completed it – just knock on the front door and ask nicely.

Google It: Lastly, you should Google “Olathe landscapers” if you’re in the market. Read reviews of different companies and look at portfolios. Get an idea about the landscaping companies in the area. And always remember – the best landscaper may not be found on the first page of Google. Do some digging and make an informed choice.

Once You Found an Olathe Landscaper

If you found an Olathe landscaper you like (or a few), then you’ll want to get in contact with the company. Ask some questions. See if your project will require a consultation or if you can get a bid over the phone, and always feel free to give Huston Contracting Inc. a call with all your landscaping questions!

Kind words from our latest Landscape Project!

Our one point of contact was great to work with and constantly communicated with us via phone, text, and email. We had a dedicated Landscape Architect that made our ideas better and was open to suggestions in a few areas.

The project stayed on track and was rushed a few days to help get it done before all our family came in town. It included a few subcontractors and all of them mirrored the personality of the Huston folks and were great to work with. The crews always kept us in the loop with what would happen next, when it would happen, and cleaned up after every day of work.

“You guys are awesome! Thank you for living out your life’s purpose with our family!”

– Ables Family

Safety Tips for Safe Trips!

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Preparing Your Car

  • Make sure your car has enough antifreeze.
  • Make sure your vehicles fluids are all set.
  • Keep your vehicles gas tank at least half full to avoid gas line from freezing.
  • Make sure to warm your car up before you take off.

On the Move

  • Make sure to remove all the snow from windows, mirrors, and lights.
  • Make sure to always wear your seatbelt.
  • Make sure all your tires are properly inflated.
  • Make sure to accelerate and decelerate slowly.
  • When driving, don’t power up hills too quickly.
  • Allow more time in the morning for traveling.
  • Reduce your speed when driving in winter weather.
  • When driving your vehicle in the winter, leave room for a longer brake distances.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and others on the road, as well as salt trucks and snow plows.

Landscape Project Overland Park KS

Job location:

  • Overland Park, Kansas

What was being asked of Huston Contracting?

  • Build a retainer wall
  • Basketball court
  • Drainage
  • Sod
  • Irrigation
  • Lower grade 3.5 feet

How did we meet the clients’ needs?
Throughout the project, we made sure to include the clients’ ideas and preferences in the big picture while recreating a new backyard for them including a new basketball court and a level lawn for all outdoor activities.

What was difficult about this landscape project?
Upon completing the court, there were various drainage issues that needed addressed. We were able to solve the water problem by installing a French drain to keep water from pooling up in the newly sodded backyard.

Testimonial:
“Anthony and the entire Huston team impressed us from day one and throughout our project which required a substantial backyard dig, grading, 120′ long retaining wall, drainage system, and basketball court. Anthony was the only landscape architect with whom we met during the bidding process who truly listened to our needs and understood what we were trying to achieve. He and the entire Huston team were always quick to respond to our questions and proactively provide updates on progress. They set a very high bar for excellent customer service. We even switched our lawn maintenance servicer to Huston after the project was complete, because we had such a positive experience working with them. We trust that whatever our landscaping needs are, Huston will provide excellent results and service along the way.”

Highlighted Landscape Project – Paola, KS

We put a lot of time and effort into our work done through Huston Contracting. Our goal is to provide excellent customer service and high quality workmanship. We do our best to work within our client’s budget to accomplish the goals they have set for a project. We want our clients to be satisfied with the work being done for them!

Below is a recap of a recent job Huston Contracting, Inc. completed!

Job location:

  • Paola, Kansas

What was being asked of Huston Contracting?

  • Outdoor kitchen
  • Fireplace
  • Extension of porch
  • Pavers
  • Aluminum deck railing
  • Water tight under deck system
  • Lighting

How did we meet the clients’ needs?

  • During the brainstorming process, we are always keeping in mind a design that fits the space.

What was difficult about this landscaping job?

  • The tight space to work with
  • The location
  • Working under an existing deck

Testimonial:
“We have been very happy with the work that Anthony from Huston Contracting, Inc. has done on our outdoor kitchen/fireplace. He has fulfilled every aspect of our requests in the construction of our outdoor facility. We would highly recommend his service for any landscaping/outdoor construction that you may have in the future.” – Doug Knop

The Benefits of Landscaping

Economically:

  • Increases the resale value of your home
  • Makes your home more attractive
  • Reduces how long your home is on the market
  • Reduces heating and cooling of your home
  • Reduces crime rates
  • Creates positive perceptions for areas
  • Large landscape plants can actually act as natural sound barriers for unpleasant neighborhood sounds of traffic, pets, lawnmowers and other noises

Health Reasons:

  • Creates a healthier home
  • Reduces stress level
  • Helps your family have an active lifestyle
  • Provides privacy
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Trees, shrubs, turfs, and groundcovers trap and filter dust and other pollutants out of rainwater
  • Plants improve air quality

Social Reasons:

  • Attractive environment for relaxing and entertaining
  • Vibrant scenery

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The do’s and don’ts of home renovations

If you are looking to shift to a new house or want to renovate your existing one, the first thing you will need to think about is the painting. While it may be tempting to hire a professional to do it if you have never painted before, it will cost you a lot of money. Painting your own house allows you to experiment with something new and will help you save thousands of dollars.

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