You feel the chill in the air lately, don’t you? Mornings and evenings here in the Kansas City area are definitely starting to feel like Fall. And here in the Midwest, we know that when the leaves start to turn and sweaters become part of our everyday wardrobe, winter—and freezing temperatures—can’t be far behind.
But before we think too much about what’s to come, let’s think about the coziness of this season. As the temps start to dip, we can spend more time comfortably outdoors. We can fire up the bonfire or grill dinner without sweating through our shirts. And we can settle in on the deck for a drink as we enjoy the company of family.
If your idea of a perfect outdoor space includes a outdoor fireplace, keep reading! You’ll learn a bit more about the difference between natural and gas fireplaces and things you should consider before taking the plunge.
A natural fireplace is one that burns natural material—i.e., wood—for fuel. Constructed from a wide variety of materials including metal, stone, and brick, a natural fireplace can be an interesting way to add a fire element to your landscape.
Like other fire features, natural fireplaces require safety precautions. An obvious precaution is to ensure that the fireplace is not near trees or hanging limbs, or overhead electrical wires. Another precaution is to use the right fuel to stoke the fire, meaning wood meant specifically for burning. Never use trash, plastic, or other materials. Also, work closely with your landscape architect to ensure that embers from the fire move up, rather than out.
A gas fireplace is one that relies on gas as fuel. Think of this as the difference between a charcoal grill and a propane grill–a gas fireplace is like the latter. It’s similar to a natural fireplace in that it can be made from any number of materials. But unlike a natural fireplace, you have additional safety considerations unique to gas. Making sure there’s proper clearance between gas lines and structures is one. Ensuring proper ventilation is another.
No matter your choice of fuel source, there are things you must consider before building any outdoor fireplace. Location is one: a fireplace needs to be built an appropriate distance from other outdoor structures, like your home and garage. It also needs to be placed in a way that keeps the area around it safe. For example, if you have many trees, this might affect where you put an outdoor fireplace.
It’s also important to check with your town or city to make sure local ordinances allow the building of outdoor fireplaces. If they do, there might be additional parameters that you’ll have to be aware of before you start building. The same is true of homeowners associations. It’s best to make sure you comply with all applicable rules right from the start.
A 2018 survey conducted by Houzz found that 51% of homeowners spent more time outdoors after completing improvement projects. It also found that the addition of outdoor heating sources like fire pits and fireplaces encouraged people to entertain outdoors year-round.
Studies like this confirm what we already know: \when we create an outdoor space that makes us happy, we’ll do two things. We will spend more time outdoors, and we’ll invite others to join us. Adding an outdoor fireplace to your space might be the perfect way to ensure that even when the weather turns colder, you can still enjoy the outdoors with your family and friends.
No matter what type of outdoor fireplace you think will work best for you, it’s always a good idea to discuss your plans, budget, and timeline with an experienced landscaper. We’re here and eager to help when you’re ready.
Retaining walls offer countless benefits. They can be a gorgeous aesthetic element that shows your home design and landscaping personality. More than that, though, they’re functional. Retaining walls help prevent run-off, guard against erosion, and can protect your home’s foundation.
But there are three places in particular that retaining walls can be especially beneficial. Those places are at your driveway and/or stairway, around your flower beds, and when either placed next to, or used as, fencing.
One of the most important things a retaining wall can do for your landscape is provide additional support for architectural and functional features. This is especially true when it comes to your driveway and/or the stairway to your home. It’s all about the slope of your land, here: a retaining wall and help correct less than ideal slopes. This means that a retaining wall at your driveway and/or stairway is less likely to shift. An added bonus is that a retaining wall here can be both attractive and an added safety feature.
Retaining walls are one of the best ways to create the lawn of your dreams. By building retaining walls, you can turn a blank space into an array of raised beds full of color, texture, and height. All of these elements are pleasing to the eye and make the best use of every bit of available space.
Retaining walls that create flower beds don’t just provide an instant home for your favorite flowers and plants. These retaining walls also help do what all other retaining walls do: they help prevent excessive run-off, help control soil erosion, correct slopes, and protect the foundation of your home.
Let’s face it: replacing a fence isn’t an inexpensive endeavor. Why not consider a retaining wall instead? Doing so means you can maximize not just your budget, but the design potential of your space. This doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing decision: by working with a professional landscaping company, you can choose to use a retaining wall as a fence, install a fence on top of a retaining wall, or add a fence and/or guardrails around the retaining wall.
No matter where you want to install a retaining wall, there are serious concerns to keep in mind. Knowing the slope of your land and how the water drains is vital. So is having a clear understanding of what your city or town’s regulations are when it comes to building or installing new features.
As an Olathe landscape company that works throughout the Johnson County and greater Kansas City area, we know those requirements and can work with you to find the best option for your space. Reach out when you’re ready to learn more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For many a Olathe landscaper, increasing curb appeal is the number one thing on their mind. You might be in a similar position.
Sure, you enjoy the landscaping process and down a refreshing lemonade while admiring your work in the evenings, but let’s be real here.
Landscaping increases property value. You’re not sweating away in the hot summer heat just for giggles. No way, Jose. You’re doing it because curb appeal equals extra value for your home.
If that sounds like you, then keep on reading, y’all. In this article, we’ll detail exactly how to improve your curb appeal over the next few years. We’ll show you how to take your Olathe landscaping to the next level.
But enough with all the fluff and introductions, let’s dig in and take a look at how to improve your home’s curb appeal with unique Olathe landscaping projects.
Spring and Fall Cleanup
It’s baffling how many homeowners don’t do a deep clean once the weather changes. At Huston Contracting, we started offering this service professionally – as many homes were in need of dire cleanup come new seasons.
By properly cleaning your landscape, you’ll find curb appeal just pops. Sure, we like to keep things tidy throughout the year, but every now and then – you’ve gotta go the extra mile. That’s what spring and fall cleanup is for.
Add Natural Stone
One simple way to add an elegant, crisp look to your landscaping is through natural stone. And of course, a few stones here and there can add massive value to your curb appeal.
As Olathe landscapers, we’ve found creating natural stone pathways to certain areas around your home is an inexpensive way to make your lawn and landscaping look so much better.
Always Be Mowing and Mulching
Keep the basics covered. Your lawn should always look sharp. Mow that bad boy once or twice a week. Never too short. Heck, sometimes having a professional do it is a great idea.Then make sure you keep your mulch fresh. Fresh mulch adds a pop to your landscaping that faded browns will never be able to. Plus, it only takes an hour or two to add some mulch to your landscaping.
Sometimes your yard is just missing something. Maybe your front landscaping just doesn’t have anything extra. Your lawn looks lovely and your home is in pristine condition. But there’s nothing that says, “Put me on a postcard” – when people drive by. There’s no automatic seller.
In these types of situations, you can add an adult tree in the perfect area. In doing so, you create a focal point of your front yard landscaping and often, send curb appeal skyrocketing in one simple installation.
If you’re ready to increase curb appeal, then you need to make your Olathe landscaping effort count. You need to make a memorable impression. You might need to work with a professional landscape design team.
If that’s so, get in touch with our team at Huston Contracting.
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 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.
Let’s dive in and look at a few ways to get the most out of your efforts in Olathe:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
So enough with the fluff, let’s dive in and look at a few fun ways to add curb appeal:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!