First things first: what is a retaining wall? Simply put, a retaining wall is a barrier that holds in place earth that would otherwise erode or collapse. Retaining walls can be small DIY projects or larger-scale and professionally constructed. Retaining walls can be constructed from a range of materials and can vary in size, shape, and design.
There are two main reasons to consider a retaining wall. First, because it’s physically necessary to correct a slope, prevent erosion, or otherwise level the earth in your yard. These retaining walls serve a functional purpose. In residential settings, retaining walls are necessary when there might be an abrupt separation of ground elevation. Reasons a retaining wall can be necessary include sunken patios, walkout basements, and other hardscapes. Aesthetics are the second consideration. Retaining walls can create tiered gardens or flowerbeds, which add visual interest to otherwise ordinary spaces.
Of course, landscape and hardscape elements can be both practical and beautiful. This is certainly the case with retaining walls, and is an important reason to work with a landscape architect when considering the installation of a retaining wall.
An expert landscape artist with retaining wall experience can help determine construction specifics as well as design aesthetics—meaning experienced landscapers will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various materials, placement, and size.
Remember that there are specific considerations in determining if you need a retaining wall, some of which you might not know until you consult with an expert. Among those considerations: the slope of the earth at the location and the current drainage situation at the location in question, type of soil, and weather conditions (such as freezing).
As is the case with so many projects, building a retaining wall can be a DIY project for some, but working with an expert familiar with retaining walls and your geographical area ensures that the retaining wall built will be not only attractive, but will also function as intended.
Knowing whether or not you need a retaining wall is more involved than just knowing you’re ready to build, and working with a professional landscape and construction company can help ensure all considerations: practical and financial, logistical and aesthetic, are fully researched and planned before construction begins.
Curious about retaining walls and your options? Contact us to learn more.
Have you ever wondered why you need a professional landscaper—or have you been curious about what, exactly, a landscaper does and what makes some Olathe landscapers more successful than others? Some of a landscaper’s job duties might seem obvious: they take care of landscapes, right?
Right! But there’s more involved in that than you might think. Read on to learn more.
A landscaper’s primary job is to cultivate and care for lawns, gardens, and other landscapes. This isn’t a one-size-fits-all job! It encompasses planting flowers, planting and mowing grass, preventing and pulling weeds, and building and repairing structures, and more. Successful landscapers are also life-time learners and understand that each of these tasks is dependent upon a unique set of circumstances. Circumstances can vary by region or because of space or budget. All of this means that the best landscapers are curious and flexible and enjoy learning new things.
By specializing in native Kansas grasses, plants, and flowers, your Olathe-based landscaper can leverage plants that thrive in our unique climate. By doing this, they can help you cultivate a vibrant, healthy, prolific lawn that will be the envy of your neighborhood.
Landscapers love being outdoors; after all, it’s where they spend most of their time. Because the weather (especially here in Kansas) is always changing, they have to be flexible. It’s important that landscapers are willing to work in all climates and conditions. The best landscapers are voracious learners; they might have to learn to safely use new or different tools, understand how weather and the seasons affect growth patterns, and know other local resources to tap for best results. Landscapers must be comfortable with constant physical activity because they’re usually on their feet and always moving around.
Sure, most landscapers mow, mulch, prune, and fertilize. But others offer a full suite of services including irrigation design and building, hardscape design and building, natural stone installation, river rock installation, drainage solutions, finish grading, sod grading, and retaining wall planning and installation, just to name a few things.
This tip is true, no matter the position: the best people make the best landscapers. When you trust someone with your lawn, garden, or backyard kitchen you want to know they are diligent, knowledgeable, honest, and responsible. We believe the same, so you’ll find everyone you speak or work with here is friendly, helpful, and eager to make your experience one you’ll rave about to family and friends.
If the colder temperatures crept up and surprised you this past week or so, don’t despair! Instead, use it as a reminder that it’s time to take care of your Olathe outdoor kitchen spaces so they’re all safe once winter really hits and ready to enjoy once Spring comes again.
This is particularly true of outdoor kitchen spaces. If you want to be ready to grill burgers once the weather is more temperate, it’s imperative that you take care of your space and equipment now: make sure it’s cleaned, that water sources are turned off, and that each element is winterized. Keep reading for tips on each.
Have an outdoor sink, refrigerator, or ice maker? Make sure to shut off the water supply to each (if you’re in the planning stages of designing your outdoor kitchen space, consider an indoor shutoff), drain each line, and either unplug or turn off circuit breakers that power these pieces of equipment. Letting water sit in pipes in freezing temperatures can cause pipes to crack or burst. Drain valves should remain open.
When you clean your refrigerator and ice maker, start by removing all contents, trays, and bins. Clean and then carefully wipe the interior to remove all traces of moisture—and don’t cover these appliances. Your intentions might be good, but moisture can build up and cause damage.
Remember to remove sink faucets and store them inside.
Not sure how to properly winterize your outdoor pipes for the winter? We’re here to help! Just give us a call or send a question.
If you have stone countertops, be diligent about sealing the surfaces before winter hits to prevent stains, chips, and cracks. Remember that freezing moisture isn’t your friend and can wreak havoc on your Olathe outdoor kitchen.
If you have an outdoor grill, be sure to secure its cover securely. Same is true with sinks. Covers that fit well and are secured help prevent debris from accumulating and settling in drains and pipes; they also help extend the life of your equipment.
We know how cold temperatures can plunge in Olathe and the Johnson County area! Make like a grizzly and let your outdoor space hibernate. Moving things around can cause breakage—just think about how brittle everything gets when ice heads our way. The chance of damaging equipment is just too high, so once you have everything in place, leave it be until next Spring.
Have other equipment in your Olathe outdoor kitchen and want to be sure your space is protected well before the elements hit? Curious what an Olathe landscaper can do to improve your outdoor space? We’re here to help and love customizing our solutions to each client’s wishes. Call us at 913-782-1333.
Investing is a tricky word these days. You’ve got the stock market. You’ve got your home. Maybe you even have some Bitcoin. These are all things people consider investments. Many consider the items listed above to be solid ones, too.
But your landscaping? Most don’t consider landscaping an investment. Some do, but most don’t. For most, landscaping is about planting a few flowers and mowing the grass.
If you’re reading this, you may have different thoughts. You may believe investing in your landscaping is worthwhile. Maybe you find it’s a great way to increase the value of your home.
That idea couldn’t be truer. Seriously, investing in landscaping can add huge value to your home. Most people don’t realize it, but landscaping is one of the easiest ways to increase the value of your home.
For example, some have suggested that proper maintenance and upkeep of your landscaping could lead to a 6-13% increase in the value of your home.
Think about those numbers:
You have a home that’s roughly valued around $400,000 right now. You invest a little bit of money each year on landscaping projects and upkeep. When you go to sell the home, you get a 13% increase in value due to your landscaping. Now your home is worth $452,000!
That’s a pretty huge increase in value if you ask me, especially when all you had to do was add a few landscaping projects here and there.
Now, how do you see this increase? Well, here’s a few ideas for the Olathe homeowner looking to add value through landscaping:
By investing in your landscaping, you’re investing in your home. You’re investing in selling your property for a higher value. Plus, you get to enjoy stunning landscaping while you live in your home. A true win-win.
If you need help doing just that, get in touch. The experts here at Huston Contracting, Inc. We love to help Olathe residents build the yard of their dreams – while building their future, too.
It’s here. The warm weather is almost upon us. Gone are the days of freezing cold weather and ugly brown Olathe landscapes. Coming are the hot months, pool days, and lavish landscaping weather.
If you take Olathe landscaping seriously, like I imagine you do, then you’ve prepared for this weather all year around. You planted seeds in the fall. You kept things tidy during the winter months.
When spring rolled around, you were more than ready to pay your dues and get those thumbs green. Your lawn has already started to look good, but you understand that the coming months are key to a solid landscape from June through October.
Let’s dive in and see exactly what to do and what not to do this summer:
Don’t Water When It’s Not Needed
There’s many times in the spring and early summer where your lawn won’t need any watering. So, don’t give it any.
There are too many times we see lawns and Olathe landscaping looking awful because of overwatering. Just don’t do it. Only water your lawn when it needs it. This means when they’re newly planted or if they start to look slightly unhealthy, starting to wilt, or brown.
If your lawn looks nice and green while there’s been consistent rain, leave the sprinklers off for a change. Your lawn will thank you.
Do Water Deeper
When you believe your plants and lawn need a little watering, then do it right. A typical sprinkler often doesn’t do much in the warmer months – because the water simply evaporates before the roots of any plant can get to it.
Instead, try using a soaker hose with a full stream of water. This type of watering will penetrate deeply into the ground and ensure the roots of plants actually receive the water they need to succeed.
Don’t Ignore Those Weeds
If you ignore the weeds in your lawn and let them seed, then they’ll soon spread. What was once a few weeds will become a massive problem.
Never ignore your weed issue. Always pull all the weeds you can find with a legitimate weeding tool – not just your hands. You need to get the roots out of the lawn.
Do Fertilize Your Lawn
Always. Be. Fertilizing. This is especially important during the rapid growth times of spring and early summer. During these months, your Olathe landscape can turn from good to great. You just need to add a little fuel to the fire.
By fuel, we mean some great fertilizers. Use fertilizer when the weather is a little cooler, either in the spring or in the morning during the summer months. This allows your plants and landscaping to absorb the nutrients and fight the summer heat.
With the do’s and don’ts above, you’re sure to have the best looking lawn on the block. If that doesn’t happen for some reason, just get in touch. Our professional team here at Huston Contracting will have your lawn looking lovely in no time!
Make no mistake about it! The winter is not easy on your lawn. From the brutally cold temperatures to the lack of sun, it’s easy for a lawn to go from green to lean when the winter months roll in. The good news is there are a few simple solutions.
By properly cleaning up your lawn after the tough winter months, you can get your lawn back on track quickly. That’s where we come in. At Huston Contracting, we specialize in getting your lawn looking great again – and fast! That’s what professional Olathe landscapers are supposed to do.
With that in mind, we wanted to talk a little bit about how to clean your lawn up after winter and share some tricks and tips to make life easier. So, that’s exactly what we did. Below you’ll find a detailed guide for cleaning up Mother Nature’s mess after wintertime:
Get Rid of Debris
First and foremost, you must get rid of any and all debris. Seriously, winter can spread trash, branches, road gravel, and so much more all over your lawn. All these items look bad, but that’s not even the worst part. They can affect how your grass grows and looks.
Don’t let debris fester throughout your property. Clean the stuff up before spring has sprung and flung. Or hire a team of Olathe landscapers to do it for you. Either way, this is the first step before moving on to anything else on the list.
Once you have a clean and debris-free yard, it’s time to get your lawn looking even lovelier. This means adding a little fuel to the fire by laying down grass seed and fertilizer. You want everything looking good as summer rolls in and a little fertilizer will surely do just that.
Some people opt for professional help here. At Huston Contracting, we offer fertilizing services in and around the Olathe area. For landscaping veterans, you could also do this yourself.
Add New Life
Once the lawn is cleaned up and the fertilizer laid down, it’s time to add to your Olathe landscape. This means bringing new plant life into the fold. Spring is the ideal time to add elements to your landscaping.
One of our favorite ideas? Spring is the perfect time for annual flower designs and installation. A few fresh flowers always make a landscape look lovely, especially when blooming.
Here at Huston Contracting, we’re all about quick tips that get great results. By implementing the three ideas above, you’re sure to turn that wintertime frown upside down and have your lawn looking amazing before the heat hits us.
If you need any Olathe landscaping help, we’re always here. Just reach out to the professionals at Huston Contracting and we’ll be in touch.
Going green has become popular in nearly every industry. We’re all trying to be environmentally-friendly these days, and that’s a great thing. However, most industries have to make huge changes to help the environment while improving their operations.
With Olathe landscaping, things are a little different. See, by changing your landscape just a little bit, you can also help the environment. There’s tons of ways to do this. Why? Because your landscape is the environment.
A tweak here and a change there can mean hundreds in savings for homeowners. Plus, the environment wins, too. A true win-win situation!
So without further ado, let’s dive into the five ways you can conserve energy with your Olathe landscaping:
The easiest way to save money on your landscaping is to shade your home. When the sun beats down on your home, things heat up inside. In the summer months, this means your home continually gets hotter and hotter. A hotter home always equates to higher A/C bills.
By using leafy trees to shade your home, you can drastically lower your utility bills in the warmer summer months. At Huston Contracting, we believe this is the best way to go green. Add some large trees to your property.
In the winter months, the cold wind actually does more damage to the inside temperature of your house than just the cold. As such, you’ll want to insulate your home from the wind as much as possible.
How do you do that? Simple, add some evergreen trees and shrubs around the sides of your home. These plants will take the brute force of the cold winds and keep your home as warm as can be. This will lower heating bills.
One costly concern for landscapers around the world is water. In Olathe, there are many months that our lawns need water. As such, many Olathe residents spend hundreds of dollars a year watering their lawns.
There’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s certainly not a “green” principle. Luckily, there’s a simple solution. By working with a landscape design professional, you can incorporate drainage solutions and irrigation systems into your landscape.
By adding these two things to your landscape, you’ll be able to significantly lower your water bills in the hot months. We believe this is one of the more efficient ways for Olathe landscapers to truly go green.
If you’re looking to increase efficiency within your home through landscaping, get in touch today. At Huston Contracting, we have dozens of ways for specific homeowners to lower energy bills through their landscape.
We look forward to hearing from you!
Some think your lawn can’t look great unless it’s April through July and the grass is as green as it’s ever been before.
At Huston Contracting, we know that’s just not true. So we wanted to show you a few low water usage Olathe landscaping ideas. Using these unique ideas, you’ll be able to improve your lawn and keep your landscape looking good.
It won’t matter if the rain isn’t falling or you’re looking to cut back on the watering, you can still implement these ideas.
Let’s take a look at these ideas and how you can improve your Olathe landscaping without using much water:
This is the easiest way to improve your Olathe landscape without using a ton of water. You can add features like an outdoor kitchen, retaining wall, or a covered porch. These unique features won’t cost any water and will add significant value to your landscaping, especially in the backyard area.
Don’t delay, though! By investing in an outdoor kitchen early in the season, you’ll be able to enjoy it even more this year.
Certain plants require water every single day. If you don’t water some species of plants daily, they will look withered and weak. On the other hand, there are some plants that look great year around – whether they get a ton of water or not.
If you plant species like Agave, Sage, Lavender Cotton, and more – you won’t have to water these plants often. These species simply don’t require a lot of water to look great, especially in the spring and summer.
Walkways are one easy way to change the whole face of your landscaping without using much water or breaking the bank. Using natural stone to create unique walkways to your covered porch, outdoor kitchen, or a sitting area is a great Olathe landscaping idea for the coming months.
Ok, this idea might be a little basic. We get that. But there’s really never a bad time to add a little mulch around your landscaping. Fresh mulch looks exactly like it sounds – fresh! You don’t need any water to add a little mulch and this small change will add a lot of life to your landscaping like never before.
You don’t need to waste water all the time to keep your lawn looking ideal, especially around this time of the year. Just get in contact with Huston Contracting. As the Olathe Landscaping experts, we’re here to help you create the lawn of your dreams. We look forward to working with you!
Spring has almost sprung for Olathe landscaping. The afternoons are starting to get warm and the sun is creeping out behind grey skies. It’s time to start focusing on the landscape once again. With that in mind, we wanted to talk about some amazing landscaping ideas for the spring.
With 2018 in full swing, we’ve had time to see what landscaping ideas will turn into trends this spring. We believe we’ve pinpointed exactly how to turn your Olathe landscaping from dull to darling in the least amount of time.
There’s No Better Time Than Now! 3 Springtime Olathe Landscaping Tips and Trends
Instead of waiting around, it’s time to take action and make the Olathe landscape of your dreams a reality. It’s time to get in touch with Huston Contracting and take control of your lawn. Here are a few ideas on how to do just that:
Climate matters in 2018, especially in Olathe, Kansas. If you’re making landscaping changes in the spring, you’ll want areas and spaces that you can enjoy through every season. At Huston Contracting, we found a few ways to help you with that.
If you’re building an Olathe outdoor kitchen or a covered porch, you could also consider an outdoor fireplace. The fireplace design and area could be close to the kitchen or porch and provide ideal heating for the space during the cooler months.
Managing how much water you use on your lawn and landscape is a huge trend coming into this year. You need to focus on low water usage Olathe landscaping trends. Obviously, an outdoor kitchen or patio won’t use much water.
You can also build walkways, incorporate an energy-efficient irrigation system, and add plants that don’t require a lot of watering. Sage and Lavender Cotton are two of our favorites here at Huston Contracting.
Keeping with the theme, eco-friendly innovations are all the rage in the landscaping world these days. Things like low emission lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and more have taken over the market.
The best way to help the environment while still keeping your lawn looking great? Install an irrigation system that use smart technology to keep the lawn watered, but conserve as much of it as possible.
At Huston Contracting, we’ve recently started installing some of these systems and have seen insanely positive results. Many of our customers who have said systems have cut their watering bills in half – while their lawns look better than ever before. Suffice to say, we’ve got a lot of great feedback from these systems.
With spring upon us, it’s time to start paying attention to your Olathe landscaping. If you’re ready to take your lawn to the next level, then get in touch with our team at Huston Contracting. We look forward to working with you this year!
The winter has come and almost gone. Spring is sure to be here sooner than later. It’s time to get your landscaping in order, especially if you’ve neglected things this winter. Luckily, that’s what we’re here for. At Huston Landscaping, we’re here to help you design the commercial landscape of your dreams in 2018.
With that in mind, here are a few tips, tricks, and trends to lookout for this year:
Each and every year, more companies are focusing on giving employees access to outdoor spaces designed for functionality. Most corporate areas have tons of unused space, especially outdoor.
If you have a rooftop, it’s not too tough to turn the space into a roof garden filled with unique landscaping elements and green space. Outdoor sitting areas are also very popular. Every employee needs a wireless area throughout the day and many commercial landscaping projects are taking this into account.
Speaking of making use of unused spaces, place-making does just that. Many commercial landscapes feature vacant spaces between buildings or structures. Instead of letting these spaces go to waste, many companies are incorporating place-making.
Place-making is the art of using these spaces to create sitting areas filled with fountains, sculptures, and more. Many times these spaces can change a corporate, commercial space into something uplifting and relaxing.
In many a roof garden or sitting area, it’s easy to incorporate native plants and flowers into these spaces. At Huston Contracting, this is one of our specialties. We can help you add plants to all your commercial landscaping spaces in Olathe, Kansas.
Green commercial landscaping has become a priority for many a business. Most companies have a green initiative in place to help them add plants, landscaping, and more. Occasionally, these plans include increasing the efficiency of a space with solar panels and more.
Gone are the days of just black and grey concrete and asphalt. While these are still used, many commercial landscapes also incorporate concrete that features different designs and colors. This is especially true in entrance ways and other areas with a lot of foot traffic.
If your commercial landscape could use a little sprucing, but you don’t have many green spaces options – we suggest stained concrete. This creates a unique contrast and can look absolutely stunning when installed properly.
At Huston Contracting, we always recommend commercial landscaping includes responsive irrigation. Often, commercial spaces are vast and hard to take care of. With responsive irrigation systems, you can stay on top of watering the green spaces without breaking the bank and wasting resources.
These systems often only provide irrigation when it is totally necessary. If Mother Nature is doing her job, then the system simply conserves resources. If responsive irrigation is what your commercial landscaping in Olathe needs, we’re here to help.
If you’re looking to improve your commercial landscaping in Olathe, get in touch today! At Huston Contracting, we have numerous design options available in 2018. Plus, it’s the perfect time as spring is just around the corner.