by Quality Brick Paving | Mar 31, 2016 | Landscaping St. Clair Shores
If you are looking for landscaping in St. Clair Shores, Michigan, contact Quality Brick Paving & Landscaping at (248) 837-9991 today to receive a free consultation.
Boost value to your home with landscaping
Forget wiring your new home for audio, video and data. Pass on the upgraded kitchen cabinets. Say no to thicker carpets. If you really want to add lasting value, opt for landscaping.
Done correctly, the addition of trees, shrubs, plants, walks, lighting and patios can increase the value of your property by 20 percent — almost instantaneously.
Real-estate professionals have always known this. A study by Arbor National Mortgage found that 84 percent of the agents questioned believe a house on a treed lot would fetch at least that much more than one on a lot without trees.
Another survey, this one in Greenville, S.C., showed houses with “excellent” landscaping could expect to sell for 4 percent to 5 percent more than homes with just “good” landscaping. But those with only “fair” landscaping would sell for 8 percent to 10 percent below “good” houses.
Some builders, on the other hand, don’t seem to get it. Indeed, landscaping is practically an afterthought for many of them. Sure, they deck out their models; but for the most part, they do very little when it comes to the houses people actually buy and live in.
For many builders, the standard is “four heads of broccoli and two asparagus” — four shrubs and a pair of spindly evergreens. In some jurisdictions, they have done such a poor job that lawmakers now require a minimum numbers of shrubs and trees.
But a growing number are finally waking up to the fact that landscaping pays, in more ways than one. For starters, nicely landscaped houses add curb appeal over and above the sample house. After all, what’s more off-putting to potential customers than driving through sections of newly built houses with brown lawns and a few scraggly bushes?
For another, there’s money to be made in landscaping. Big money. There’s no record of how much people spend planting stuff after they move in. But it’s typically the next thing they do after unpacking and hanging their curtains or blinds.
The National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C. reports that people are spending a lot more money on the outside of their houses than they used to.
One builder that has figured it out is St. Lawrence Homes in Raleigh, N.C. The company offers three different landscaping packages as standard at Trenton, its high-end, big-lot subdivision in Chapel Hill. But “just about everybody” goes beyond that, opting for $3,000 to $5,000 in extras, such as lighting, irrigation systems, pavers and vegetation, said sales vice president Rich Ohmann.
At Sun City Lincoln Hills in northern California, Del Webb offered four different upgraded landscape packages, plus an a-la-carte menu of upgrades. That’s in addition to a standard package of a 24-inch box tree in the front yard, 19 shrubs and sod, which is more than most builders offer.
Still, four out of five buyers in the now nearly sold-out project choose to upgrade, spending an average of $12,000 each.
Which begs the question: How much should you spend?
The Washington, D.C.-based American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) suggests you “invest” 5 percent to 10 percent of your home’s value on landscaping. That rule of thumb can be expensive, but the good thing is, you don’t have to do it all at once. Indeed, you can start small and watch your money grow . . . well, grow on trees.
Start by making a realistic budget. Next, ASLA suggests looking at books and magazines and start a file of plants, trees, gardens, yards, patios, decks and fences that strike your fancy.
ASLA also suggests you hire one of its members to bring your ideas to life. If you go that route, interview several companies and check their references. If you can’t afford an architect, check out the services offered by local nurseries and big-box retailers, such as Lowe’s and Home Depot. Many offer design services, sometimes without charge, if you are buying your plants at the same place.
Before you hire anyone, though, or before you purchase plants, you’ll need to find out exactly how your builder plans to landscape your house. Or better yet, how much he plans to spend. With that in mind, tell him you might be interested in doing your own landscaping work, and ask for a landscape credit.
Chances are you’ll be surprised how little you’re offered. But at least you’ll have a starting point. You’ll also want to determine whether the builder will use sod or seed — or a combination of both. Because sod requires more water to grow than seed does to germinate, it should be laid in late spring or summer. Already rooted, sod can better withstand dry, hot weather; it also covers poor soil preparation, which, after the lack of water, is the major reason new lawns fail. Seeding is best in the early spring or late fall, when rainfall is abundant and the cool nights give the grass relief from the heat. If the builder wants to seed during any other time of the year, be certain he will try again if your lawn doesn’t take.
If the builder won’t guarantee your grass — most won’t — and your local building code allows you to occupy a house with a barren lot, consider asking for a lawn credit and either do the work yourself or have it done by a professional after you move in.
If you are not satisfied with the builder’s landscape plan, ask that he spend the entire budget on one large tree and put in your own foundation plants, or take the entire credit and do your own thing altogether.If you are on a tight budget — and what new homeowner isn’t? — a few larger plants will have a greater visual impact than a bunch of smaller ones.
Professionals suggest starting in the front yard with a large-caliper shade tree — one that’s 4 to 6 inches in diameter at a point 12 inches off the ground. This, they say, will immediately give your home an established look that otherwise would take five or six years to create.
As a rule, you can expect to save half the cost of landscaping if you do the work yourself. But unless you have a green thumb and can transport plants properly, it’s best to stick to the smaller ones and let the pros handle the bigger pieces.
Large trees are killed most frequently when carried uncovered in the back of the buyer’s SUV from the nursery to the house, not because they are planted poorly. And most nurseries won’t guarantee plants they don’t install.
Hire the top rated landscaping service in St. Clair Shores, Michigan. Contact Quality Brick Paving & Landscaping at (248) 837-9991 today to receive a free consultation.
by Quality Brick Paving | Mar 31, 2016 | Brick Patio Grosse Pointe, Brick Paver Grosse Pointe
Quality Brick Paving and Landscaping provides top rated Brick Paving in Grosse Pointe MI and surrounding areas. Call (248) 837-9991 to schedule a free estimate today!
Facts About Bricks and Brick Paving:
The surface texture of brick is very important to its overall appearance. Identically colored brick can look dramatically different simply by adding texture. There are a variety of textures available including wire cut and torn face (rough texture). Texture can also be created by applying coatings, machine made impressions, or other mechanical treatments.
The distressed and uneven textures frequently seen in handmade and wood mold brick can be simulated at a less expensive price by mechanical treatments. Mechanically treated extruded brick sometimes known as “tumbled brick” may have superior structural properties when compared to handmade and wood mold brick.
Tumbled and Rumbled Brick
Tumbled Brick are brick that are tumbled down a ramp prior to the firing process that gives the brick a “no-two-are-the-same” handmade look with the properties and color selection of today. Rumbled Brick are brick that are tumbled down a ramp after the firing process that gives the brick a weathered old world look with the properties and color selection of today.
The color of brick is determined by the raw materials it contains and the method used to fire it. Additives blended into the clay mixture can create color completely through the brick body. Sand coatings, ceramic slurries and other additives can be applied to the face of the brick to create different surface colors. Changing the firing temperature will also produce different shades of color from the same raw materials. Flashing is one method of firing brick which burns some of the brick darker. These flashed brick add color range and highlights to many styles of brick.
Mortar represents approximately 20 percent of the total surface of a wall, so picking the right mortar color is very important to the overall look of your home. Different mortar types and specifications are required for various applications and climates. The most common is called type S and is naturally gray in color. Mortar can be tinted to blend or to contrast with the brick color. It is important to keep mortar mixing and tooling practices uniform, especially when using colored mortar. A slight variation in mortar color can have a dramatic effect on the appearance of a finished wall. Also, sand color will affect the finished look of your mortar color. Lighter color sands are generally recommended for lighter colored mortars. Inquire about the common sand colors in your area. ¨The mortar joint is also an important factor in the appearance and functionality of the wall. “Tooling” the joints help seal the wall surface against moisture penetration. The concave, vee, and grapevine joints are best for exterior construction. These joint types compress the mortar at the surface and are the most weatherproof. Other joints are acceptable for interior use.
Mother Nature did not make soil and clay consistently one color. When manufacturers mine raw materials, the clay and shale composition will change slightly as the mining location shifts. This subtle change creates a color variation each time the clay is fired and helps give brick its warmth and character. So, every run of brick (any color) varies somewhat from the last run and can vary dramatically over a period of years. Plus, brick will weather in the wall and as a result it is impossible to accomplish a perfect match when adding on to an existing building, but we can generally get close.
The Four Basic Steps for Proper Brick Cleaning are:
1. Remove all excess masonry particles with a masonry tool or fiber brush;
2. Use plenty of water and thoroughly soak the wall;
3. Use the recommended cleaning product and carefully follow directions;
4. Rinse the wall thoroughly with water. Some brick cannot be wet cleaned. Check the brick tag or with the brick manufacturer for any special instructions before you begin cleaning.
Common Brick Terms
Allowance – $ Amount per thousand for brick allowed for in house estimate
Bullnose – Brick with one rounded end
Cement – The adhesive ingredient in mortar
Course – Horizontal row of bricks
Cube – Typical brick package; bricks stacked on one another bound by steel or plastic bands
Full Head & Bed Joint – Mortar joints filled from front to back
Joint – Gap between brick in wall, typically 3/8″ wide and filled with mortar
Jointing – Process of sealing mortar joints while the mortar is thumb print hard
Mason Sand – Fine granular sand with round particles used in mortar
Splits – Half high brick used to balance courses in a wall
Soldier Course – Row of bricks stood on end with its long face perpendicular to wall’s length
Stretcher – Brick laid with its long face parallel to a wall’s length
Wall Flashing – Flexible material used to direct water to weep holes
Wall Ties – Metal strips placed into mortar joint and attached to wall
Weep Hole – Open vertical joint between bricks allowing water to drain from behind wall
We recommend a base layer of 4” of compacted crusher run gravel (8” for a driveway) and then a setting bed of 1” of concrete sand (not masonry sand). This should provide a long-lasting stable base for your pavers. Laying pavers directly on the ground is not recommended.
Clay paver color is permanent. Sealers are not recommended or necessary for long-term durability or color stability. In fact some sealers can actually harm the performance of the system.
Moss & Weeds
The existence of moss is an indication of poor drainage (in a shaded area) as the saturation of water creates an ideal environment for growth. The best solution is to keep the area dry by improving drainage or elevation although these remedies may not be practical. For moss and organic growth removal, a three-to-one solution of water and chlorine bleach is recommended or a one to one dilution in severe cases.
Weed growth in flexible base paving systems is common in lower traffic areas. Contrary to popular belief, growth takes place in the sand joint and not from underneath the pavers. Weed killer such as Round Up will handle existing growth while a pre-emergent weed killer can be used in the spring as a prevention measure.
Joint sand is the key to providing interlock between pavers and providing cushion between the pavers to prevent paver-to-paver contact and chipping. The sand joint between pavers should be between 1/16” and 3/16”. Concrete sand that has course and angular particles is recommended over mason sand which has rounder finer particles. The joints need to be completely full of sand to function properly and promote interlock in the system. If the sand joints between your pavers are not full then it is important to add more sand to prevent pavement failure. A proper installed base and edge system that drains properly will go a long way towards maintaining full joints.
Joint Sand Stabilization
For the vast majority of applications we do not recommend using joint sand stabilization products. If you do decide to use a joint sand stabilizer, we typically recommend moisture activated joint sand stabilizer and cannot stress enough the importance of the pavers being completely dry and the pavers being sweep and blown completely free on any residual stabilizer prior to activating the product.
We do not recommend a portland cement and sand mixture because the cement tends to get stuck in the small crevices of the pavers and subsequently stain. Efflorescence is also a concern when using a portland cement and sand mixture.
Efflorescence is a crystalline salt deposit on the surface on the pavers that is caused by the migration of contaminated water through the pavers that result in a white or gray powder on the surface of the pavers. The most common source of efflorescence is the use of deicers like rock salt. If you are going to use a deicer we recommend pure magnesium chloride as it will not cause efflorescence.
The simplest remedy to efflorescence is to allow the efflorescence to run its course provided that the paved area has good drainage. In a flexible base application, after 6 months, 90% of the water will run off the paving surface and away from the pavers versus down through the joints. This change should help carry the salts in solution away from the pavement. In all cases, free salts dissipate eventually and the problem goes away for good, generally within 18 months.
Efflorescence can also be removed quickly by dry brushing and then vacuuming up the powder or with clear water and a stiff brush. The crystals are superficial and do not affect the durability of the pavers, but may reappear.
Pressure washers are not recommended for use on flexible base applications. The pressure washer tends to remove joint sand which compromises interlock. We suggest using a stiff application brush and a normal pressured garden hose.
Removing Stains From Pavers
For general cleaning, we would recommend EaCo Chem’s NMD 80 or SureKlean 600. Do not use muriatic acid as the acid concentrations can vary from container to container and higher acid content can produce more stains.
The cardinal rules for cleaning brick are to always pre-test a small area first (preferably in a hidden area), pre-wet the area with water and follow directions carefully.
Sand Set vs. Mortar Set Paver Systems
Both systems have their own unique beauty and appeal. Sand set paver systems are cheaper to install than mortar set paver systems and are also much easier to install. Both systems are durable for many years when installed properly, but sand set pavers have better long-term system durability than mortar set pavers because the mortar joints will break down and create weaknesses in the system over time.
Quality Brick Paving and Landscaping provides top rated Brick Paving Service in Grosse Pointe MI and surrounding areas. Please call us at (248) 837-9991 to schedule a free estimate today!
by Quality Brick Paving | Mar 1, 2016 | Brick Paver Grosse Pointe
Quality Brick Paving and Landscaping provides top rated Grosse Pointe MI Brick Paving services. Hire the experienced team you can trust for your brick paving projects in Grosse Pointe MI today by calling (248) 837-9991 today.
Many benefits of installing brick pavers for your home or commercial project
USE OF PAVERS FOR HIGH TRAFFIC AREAS:
If you have a high traffic area such as a walk way or driveway then you should consider using Pavers. Their ability to withstand tremendous pressure and heavy a load makes them a number one choice for homeowners looking for lasting results. The variety of pavers is quite extensive, and the patterns can be quite simple or extremely elaborate. Using Pavers will increase the value of your home or property.
THE DURABILITY OF PAVERS:
Pavers will last longer than poured concrete and hold their color better than decorated concrete. Pavers maintain their interlocking form better than tile. When the underlying earth moves and shifts (as it always does, especially in California) pavers will adapt to the movement in the foundation. The result: -your pavers won’t crack the way concrete will.
THE MAINTENANCE OF PAVERS VS. CONCRETE:
Cost-wise long term, interlocking pavers is the best choice. The maintenance is minimal and the durability is long standing beyond anything else on the market especially poured concrete which has a tendency of cracking. The repair to a paver walk way or paver driveway is a fraction of what replacing an entire driveway would be if you poured concrete. Pavers are also recyclable. If a single paver in the middle of your walkway becomes stained or cracked it’s very simple to just lift out the damaged paver and replace it with a new one. The overall maintenance cost and replacement cost of a paver driveway, walkway or stairs is minimal compared to say, concrete.
NON-SLIP VS. CONCRETE:
Pavers overall have an abrasive texture which reduces sliding which make them idea for driveways, and especially stairs. If you have an outdoor barbeque or fire pit, then you should consider using pavers as an increased safety measure. Brick pavers are also an excellent safety precaution against dangerous wet surfaces such as swimming pools and spa areas. Pavers are quickly installed and ready for use immediately. Ideal if you are planning events at your home for the summer!
HOW PAVERS ARE CREATED:
Using pavers for your driveway, walkway, stairs or pool deck is an environmentally wise choice; pavers are made from natural clay and solidified into hard compact form. Your brick pavers will not lose color over time or bleach out in the sun. They are a very financially sound investment for your driveway or walkway. The color of the brick paver is inherent property of the actual clay itself. There is no color that is added to the paver.
HOW TO CLEAN YOUR PAVERS:
The cleaning process of a paver driveway is much easier than that of a concrete driveway which is prone to stain and irreversible damage. To clean a paver driveway all you need is a little detergent some water and a scrub brush. A good paver driveway will last for generations, think of some of the streets in Boston, they’ve been around for 200+ years, or think about the well trafficked city streets in Europe. You can even power wash them. source: woodyslandscape.com
Quality Brick Paving and Landscaping specializes in brick paving in Grosse Pointe MI and surrounding areas. Let us take care of your Grosse Pointe brick paving as well as landscaping needs. Call (248) 837-9991 for a free estimate!
by Quality Brick Paving | Mar 1, 2016 | Brick Paver Driveway, Brick Paver Driveway Grosse Pointe
Quality Brick Paving and Landscaping provides top rated Grosse Pointe MI Brick Paving services. Call the expert Brick Paving team you can trust at (248) 837-9991 for a free estimate today!
The Many Benefits of Pavers for Your Driveway:
Pavers Mean Great Curb Appeal!
Want to visually set your home apart from everybody else’s? The first thing people see when they pull up to you home is your driveway. Make a first impression that will last. A paver driveway can set apart your home from everybody else’s in your neighborhood, in a good way.
Pavers Water Your Tree Roots
Sick of tree roots destroying your concrete driveway? Large trees have extremely large root systems. In fact, some trees’ root systems can spread 50-80 feet out from the trunk of the tree. If your concrete driveway was installed over that root system, those roots could push up your concrete driveway. As the trees grow, so do their roots, mostly because they are searching for water. Concrete and asphalt driveways cut off the water supply to the roots under the driveways. Paver driveways will allow more water through the surface than concrete and asphalt, thus not starving the roots of much needed water.
Pavers Provide Flexible Installation
The great thing about driveway pavers is the flexibility in installing them. With so many paver patterns, pavers colors, and designs available in the market place today, American Paving Design can achieve just about any look with paving stones. Once the paver driveway is installed, they are ready for use. The benefits of paver driveways go beyond being aesthetically pleasing to the eye. When installed correctly, paver driveways outlast both asphalt driveways and concrete driveways. Asphalt and concrete will crack and become an eyesore and potentially a hazard.
Pavers Come in a Variety of Colors
Another benefit of brick driveway pavers is their color. Driveway pavers come is so many colors for every taste and style. While some materials will fade dramatically over time and need to be replaced, brick driveway pavers are colored all the way through the brick and will retain a consistent color over their lifetime. source: americanpavingdesign.com
Quality Brick Paving and Landscaping is here to help you with your Brick Paving in Grosse Pointe MI and surrounding areas. Call the Grosse Pointe Brick Paving team you can trust at (248) 837-9991 today for a free estimate.