olathe retaining wall installation

Everything You Need to Know About Retaining Walls

What, exactly, is a retaining wall—and what do you need to know about Olathe retaining wall installation? Simply put, a retaining wall is a free-standing barrier. This barrier prevents dirt and sediment from succumbing to the forces of gravity. That means a retaining wall can keep dirt where it is needed instead of letting it wash away—and that’s important for homeowners.

Talk of retaining walls typically includes words like “slope” and “gravity” and “gradation.” And those words are important, to be sure. But retaining walls are about more than just dirt, and they’re one of the elements of landscape design that can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

Why Might I Need a Retaining Wall?

The best Olathe landscape architects will tell you that reasons abound for building a retaining wall. It might be a logistical decision if there are issues of slope or runoff. Making sure your home’s foundation is protected is one of the most important considerations you’ll make as a homeowner, and foundations can be threatened by sliding hills, washout, and erosion. It might also be a design decision. For example, if you want a tiered garden to make the best use of a small space, a retaining wall might be a great option. It also might work for you if you’re looking for a way to add extra seating options.

A retaining wall can, in fact, be a multi-tasking element of your landscape design. It can provide practical, necessary protection to your home and landscape. I can also add a beautiful, unique design element to your yard. Even better, it can help create a unique focal point that expresses your personality and design tastes. The best way to ensure that you achieve each goal is to consult with a professional. Take that time to ask questions and to learn all you can about why a retaining wall might work for you.

There’s More than One Olathe Retaining Wall Option

A retaining wall should first be practical, for certain. There are too many issues to worry about if done shoddily, so be sure to consult with a professional. But that doesn’t mean it can’t look great, too. As you think of options, remember that you have choices.  You can opt for concrete, brick, stone, even wood. Remember to weigh the pros and cons of each option; for example, wood might better suit your design and personal taste, but likely won’t last as long as stone or concrete.

Knowledge is Power

Truth is, every yard is different and there’s no way to adequately tell you everything you need to know about retaining walls unless we actually have a conversation. But there is one important thing we can say to everyone: don’t go it alone. While we could give you a checklist of things to be aware of, there are technical issues that matter. This is especially true of the behind-the-scenes technicalities of properly constructed retaining walls. Remember that a proper retaining wall needs proper drainage, sturdy construction, and careful planning. Working together with a dedicated Olathe landscaping company can help you find just the right solution.  So reach out to ask questions, or to see examples of projects we’ve completed.

 

Retaining wall considerations

Do I Need a Retaining Wall?

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.

Why Would I Want a Retaining Wall?

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.

Best of Both Worlds

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.

Details Matter

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.

Ask the Right Questions

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.

How to Make the Most Out of Your Landscaping Projects

It’s summer. The heat has rolled into town. You may or may not be thinking about Olathe landscaping projects right now. But, if you are, we wanted to give you some quick tips and tricks to ensure you make the most out of them.

See, landscaping isn’t easy. In fact, it can be downright tough. For that reason and many more, it’s worthwhile to make the most out of your Olathe landscaping projects. No reason to sweat outside for hours on end and not see stunning results. Or spend a ton of money and not be thrilled.

Make the Most Out of Your Landscaping Projects

Let’s dive in and look at a few ways to get the most out of your efforts in Olathe:

  • Think Long Haul

When getting the most out of a project is on your mind, you shouldn’t be thinking seasonal. It should be long-term. I’m talking yearly.

Think outdoor kitchens, retaining walls, flower beds, and evergreen plants. You can get a great bang for your buck by building your landscape around long-term structures built to last years – not months.

  • Plant Perennials

We all love flowers. They bring beauty to an Olathe landscape in a way no other plants can. But you don’t want to replant them each and every year. You want them to continue blooming year after year.

If that’s you, then you’ll want to plant perennials all around your landscape. They take the same time to plant and prosper year one, but after that you’ll have flowers for years on end.

  • Pay Attention to HVAC

Your HVAC units can hinder your landscaping and hurt your plants. Luckily, this is an easy fix that’ll ensure you get great results from any landscaping in Olathe.

If you’re doing it yourself, make sure to keep any and all landscaping at least 2-3 feet away from your HVAC units. This will ensure the plants don’t bother the unit – and vice versa. A professional Olathe landscaper will do this automatically.

  • Build a Berm

One underutilized landscaping trick is building a berm. If you have a boring area around your landscaping that needs a little sprucing up, then add a berm. The berm will give your home that “golf course” look you’ve always dreamed of.

  • Plan and Prepare

When working with professional landscapers, we love it when you’re as specific as possible. Then we can get you an estimate and scope down to the dollar. This helps eliminate any issue moving forward.

We want to work with you for years on end. This means getting the job done right and on budget – our main goals. So, the more details you give us – the easier it is to stay on budget for you.

Olathe Landscaping Projects Made Easy

If you’re looking to get any Olathe landscaping projects done this year, please reach out. Our team at Huston Contracting is here to make your projects last a lifetime!

Olathe Landscaping Sure to Add Curb Appeal: 4 Fun Ideas Before the Fall

Summer isn’t even here yet and you’re already talking about the fall? Yes, that’s just how life goes here at Huston Contracting. But here’s the deal…

We don’t want you wasting the summer months and early fall with a subpar landscape. We want your lawn looking lovely and your landscape lavish as the weather cools off.

So, we wanted to throw together a few quick tips on how to add curb appeal to your landscape. Although, there’s more to it than that. For example, an Olathe outdoor kitchen installed in the fall wouldn’t get a bunch of use.

However, if you installed that same kitchen in the spring, you’d have 5-6 months of use before the cold weather kicked in and you had to go back to cooking inside. What a drag!

Olathe Landscaping Sure to Add Curb Appeal: 4 Fun Ideas Before the Fall

So enough with the fluff, let’s dive in and look at a few fun ways to add curb appeal:

Outdoor Kitchens

We may be biased, but an Olathe outdoor kitchen is a pretty great way to add curb appeal and get a ton of use out of your landscaping projects.

Seriously, we’ve found homeowners use their outdoor kitchens more than just about any other landscaping project. There’s just something about cooking a wonderful meal in the great outdoors that brings families together.

Fire Pit Fun

There’s not much better than roasting marshmallows on an open fire. So, why not add a luxurious fire pit to your Olathe landscape?

Fire pits look great, add insane curb appeal, and generally, get a lot of love during those warm summer nights and cool fall ones. Seriously, most people get a lot of use when they install a professional fire pit and it looks great.

Fertilizing Fun

Ok, so this might not be a huge project like the others on this list, but a little fertilizer can go a long way. With proper fertilizing techniques, you’re sure to find your curb appeal up as you landscape gets greener and greener.

Seriously, this is the best cheap way to take your curb appeal from lame to fame within the neighborhood.

Don’t Doubt the Drought

Last but not least, you should always expect a drought in the hot summer months. Your Olathe landscape just isn’t meant to cope with extreme heat.

So, you need to plan for it. This means planting drought-tolerant plants, prepping for the heat through fertilizing in the spring, and keeping those sprinklers on standby.

Curb Appeal and a Great Deal?

If you’re looking to add a little curb appeal before the fall, we’re here to help. At Huston Contracting, our job is to make your landscape look as lavish as possible. This means helping you add curb appeal in fun and creative ways. Get in touch if that sounds interesting.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Summer Landscaping in Olathe

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.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Summer Landscaping in Olathe

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.

Get Your Olathe Landscaping Down Pat!

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!

 

 

Going Green! 5 Ways to Conserve Energy Through Landscaping

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!

5 Ways to Conserve Energy Through Landscaping

So without further ado, let’s dive into the five ways you can conserve energy with your Olathe landscaping:

  • Shade Over Everything

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.

  • Wild Wind

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.

  • Landscape Design

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.

Go Green Today!

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!

4 Low Water Usage Olathe Landscaping Ideas

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.

Low Water Usage Olathe Landscaping Ideas

Let’s take a look at these ideas and how you can improve your Olathe landscaping without using much water:

  • Create an Outdoor Environment

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.

  • Find the Right Plants

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 Galore

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.

  • Maybe a Little Mulch

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.

Create Your Ideal Landscape…Today!

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!

 

There’s No Better Time Than Now! 3 Springtime Olathe Landscaping Tips and Trends

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 Focused

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.

  • Water Management

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.

  • More Tech, Newer Spaces

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.

Let’s Tackle These Trends Together!

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!

 

Landscaping Without the Lawn! 4 Fun Ways to Spruce Things Up

Your Olathe landscaping is so much more than some grass and a few shrubs. In fact, the greenery is only one part of an amazing landscape. There’s just so much to it once you really dive in.

At Huston Contracting, we get questions all the time about how to make landscaping improvements with bad weather, what changes to make in the winter, and so much more. 

4 Fun Ways to Spruce Things Up – Without the Lawn!

So, we put our landscaping minds together and came up with a short list of ways to improve your landscaping that have absolutely nothing to do with your lawn. Here are four of our favorites:

  • Outdoor Kitchens

One of the best ways to make the most of your landscape? Add an outdoor kitchen to your home. Outdoor kitchens have been all the rage as of late. Why? Because they look absolutely fantastic when done properly and they’re functional.

With a full-scale outdoor kitchen, you’ll be able to cook, clean, and eat meals outdoors while entertaining guests. That’s a huge value to any home and landscape. If you’re looking to make a big landscape change in 2018, an outdoor kitchen might be exactly what the doctor ordered.

  • Water Features

We may be biased here at Huston Contracting, but we’re huge fans of water features. There’s not much that can completely change the face of your landscape without working with green spaces. Water features are one of the few elements that can do that and so much more.

Koi ponds, pondless waterfalls, and natural creek beds are all stunning ways to alter your Olathe landscape without touching the lawn. While these aren’t quick fixes and require professional help, there’s no doubt your landscape will be upgraded once complete.

  • Outdoor Fireplaces

One of the best ways to make your outdoor spaces a place to gather and spend time with family and friends? Add an outdoor fireplace or fire pit. There’s just something about fire that brings people together.

Whether wood burning or gas, your new outdoor fireplace will change your whole landscape. While fire pits look fantastic as a standalone piece, many add outdoor fireplaces to their outdoor kitchen for added benefit.

  • Concrete Structures

Sometimes you need to add some concrete to your landscape. It could be to create a patio or a sitting area. Maybe you want to create a walkway from your outdoor kitchen to your koi pond. It all depends on your needs.

No matter how you utilize it, concrete is another great way to change your landscape without much worry about the lawn.

Your Landscaping Without the Lawn Experts

If you’re looking to make Olathe landscaping improvements before the grass turns green, get in touch with Huston Contracting. Here at Huston, our professionals specialize in creating your dream landscape – no matter what that may be!

What’s New in Landscaping For the New Year?

The New Year is finally here and it’s cold as can be! You walk outside and the cold air hits you like a ton of bricks. You shiver and shake as you start the car and wait for it to warm up. While those five minutes in the morning might be miserable, that’s all day, every day for your Olathe landscaping.

Luckily, the cold won’t last forever. Within a few months, the winter weather will be gone and spring will have sprung. The grass will green, again, and soon you’ll be sweating when you step outside.

What’s New in Landscaping For the New Year?

Before the grass gets green, it’s time to prepare your landscaping for the New Year. But, how do you do that? How do you capitalize on landscaping trends in 2018 and create an amazing yard?

Well, that’s where we come in. At Huston Contracting, we work to keep our clients ahead of the landscaping curve. As such, here are a few unique trends we’ve noticed:

  • Embrace Small Spaces

While you may have a ton of Olathe landscaping to work with, don’t neglect the small spaces. With a little attention to detail, you can take any yard and turn it into the amazing landscape you’ve always dreamed of.

One easy way to take a small landscape and make it look incredible? Add Japanese garden elements into your landscape. Japanese gardens focus on nature and completely natural spaces while incorporating streams and flowing water elements.

  • Stick Together

If you’re creating a stunning garden space throughout your landscape, it’s important to not spread yourself or your plants too thin.

What does this mean? Well, a lot of things. In 2018, one of the trends we noticed is planting same species plants in close proximity to create a “social network” within your garden. While plants can talk, that doesn’t mean they don’t communicate in some fashion.

We’re not trying to get too “new age” on you here. Just stating that it’s often beneficial for species to be plants close together. It’s great for the health of the plants, but it can also make your garden pop.

  • Water Features

Each and every year the popularity of water features throughout Olathe landscaping tends to increase. There’s just something soothing about watching water move while sipping a hot cup of coffee on a spring morning.

So, what type of water features are popular these days? Well, we’ve seen a couple trends. Most people are opting for pondless waterfalls or natural creek beds. Both offer a stunning, yet natural addition to landscaping.

Let’s Create Your Ideal Landscape in 2018!

If you’re ready to take your Olathe landscaping to the next level in 2018, then you’ve come to the right place. Get in touch with our landscaping professionals here at Huston Contracting and let’s put together the perfect plan.