- Friday, 01 November 2013 14:41
Daylight savings time may be coming to an end, but shorter days doesn’t have to mean less time spent outside. Instead, why not add lighting to your existing outdoor space? Depending on the type you choose, lighting can go a long way in helping set the tone of your space and creating a place you can enjoy whenever the weather allows.
The first step in choosing appropriate lighting is determining what type of space you have and what type of entertaining you do. Remember, anything you do now will still be useable next spring and summer, so think long-term. Do you typically have large social gatherings? If so, consider installing bright lighting that will provide the most visibility. While bright lights provide the most visibility, they are also the harshest, so you will probably want to keep bright lights to a minimum and supplement with softer lighting. One benefit of adding permanent, bright lighting is the increased safety and security it provides to your home in return, increasing your home’s property value.
If your space doesn’t lend itself to bright lighting or you’re not interested in making the investment, then soft, dimmer lighting may be the solution. You can either choose permanent lighting with subtle, low wattage bulbs or you can rely on candles and lanterns strategically placed around your space to add ambiance and warmth as well as needed light.
There are many types of lighting options available for your outdoor space. Take the time now, before winter arrives to think about what you want and what you need to make your patio or deck useful and enjoyable year-round.
The benefits of natural stone
- Thursday, 12 September 2013 06:43
We’ve talked a lot about adding stone to your home’s landscaping and interior but what exactly are the benefits of using natural stone? From its unique appearance to reduced heating and cooling costs, natural stone offers benefits that are sure to please any homeowner.
Unique appearance. With the different shades and size variations of natural stone, there is no cookie-cutter look to any installation. Each installation has its own distinct personality and can be customized to fit any home’s existing landscaping or decor. Durability and maintenance. Most natural stones are highly durable and will last for years with little maintenance. Natural stone is also environmentally-friendly. You do not have to worry about chemicals being released into your home or the environment throughout the years as you do with artificially made products. Stone can also be cleaned using just water and a mild soap so once again there’s not the worry of harsh chemicals being used in your home or outdoors. Increased property value. Natural stone adds a look of elegance and sophistication to a property, which increases the value of your property. The variety and uniqueness of each stone also gives a homeowner the security of knowing that his or her install is not going to be repeated in every home on the block, which will add to the resale value, should the property be sold at a later date. Reduced costs. Natural stone is a very good thermal conductor and has a large heat storage capacity making it an extremely energy efficient building material. It is able to slow down heat transfer and absorb heat, which results in lower heating and cooling costs for the homeowner. These are a just a few of the benefits that come with installing natural stone in your or your customer’s home all of which make natural stone a very attractive option. With a large variety of product offerings including an exclusive product, Brentwood, Semco can help you find the perfect stone for your space.
The Soothing Sounds of a Water Feature
- Friday, 23 August 2013 06:51
Are you looking for a way to add peace and tranquility to an outdoor space? Maybe you just want to give your existing landscaping a little extra oomph. If so, why not consider the addition of a water feature using natural stone?
Whenever water and outdoors are mentioned, the initial thought is a swimming pool. But there are so many ways to add the peaceful sounds of splashing water to your backyard. Whether you want a water fountain or a waterfall, there are many benefits to installing a water feature in your outdoor space. In addition to be aesthetically pleasing and creating dimension to any landscaping plan, a water feature also creates a soothing soundtrack to outdoor entertaining.
Depending on the size of your space, many different types of water features are available. If you’re looking for something grand, consider installing a cascade waterfall like this one using Holey Limestone Boulders. Maybe you have a smaller space or don’t want to make such a large commitment. No problem, you can always do something more simple like this feature using Weathered Limestone Ledge.
No matter what size space you have or what type of feature you choose, the most important thing to remember when installing a water feature is to use a stone that complements your landscaping and your existing outdoor space. Ideally you want all aspects of your landscaping from stone to plants to mulch to blend together seamlessly. Semco offers a wide variety of natural stone boulders to help you create the perfect water feature for your existing outdoor space.
The Landscaping Lowdown
- Friday, 02 August 2013 07:31
Last week’s blog discussed adding curb appeal to your home’s front yard with stone walkways and driveways. Want to do something more? Or maybe you’re looking for a way to tie it all together? What about adding landscaping your yard with custom stone accents?
When you think of landscaping, most just think of plants, flowers, shrubs, etc. But there’s more to it than that. Beautiful landscaping can add a new dimension to any yard, provide a nice visual when you arrive home for the day and increase your home’s resale value. From edging to boulders to cobblers, Semco offers what you need to finish off your home’s look.
Edging can be both decorative and practical. Many people use edgers to give their landscaping texture and dimension. These stones provide a good visual break between the lawn and other foliage such as shrubs. It can be used to line patios or walkways creating visual continuity from one part of your yard to another. Edging also keeps grass from growing in your flower beds and provides a barrier for mulch. Try choosing edging that complements the look of your home and yard like this Stoneybrook Tumbled edging from Semco.
Natural stone cobblers are another way to add depth and interest to landscaping. These flat stones provide protection for flower beds and prevent erosion. They come in a variety of colors and textures. You can choose to use just one kind throughout or you can spice things up by mixing and matching complementary stones.
The key to using boulders is to incorporate them seamlessly into landscaping. They shouldn’t just look like large rocks placed in the yard. Instead choose boulders that look natural in your environment from color to kind to size. We also suggest placing boulders in groups as opposed to individually and planting it into the ground as opposed to just sitting it on top. Boulders can also be used in outdoor water features such as this one using Holey Limestone boulders. Keep in mind that boulders are a big commitment due to the size and so it’s best to have a plan before the boulders are placed.
No matter your budget well-planned and well-maintained landscaping can really tie the look of a home together. Remember the key to good landscaping is making it look as natural as possible. From the plants to the stone, proper landscaping will add value to your home for years to come.
Creating Curb Appeal
- Friday, 26 July 2013 07:41
We’ve talked a lot about creating beautiful outdoor spaces in the backyard, but what about the front yard? With cooler temperatures this summer, outdoor projects don’t seem as daunting as they normally do during a hot, humid summer in the Midwest. Why not take advantage of the weather and add a little curb appeal to your home’s exterior by installing a stone walkway or driveway? Semco offers a variety of landscaping stone that will bring your home’s exterior from ‘eh’ to ‘wow’ in no time!
Does your current walkway provide a nice entrance to your home? If not, one way you can add ‘Wow’ to the front of your home is by adding a stone walkway or path. Use flagstone or pavers from Semco like the Pennsylvania Blue Pattern Flagstone shown above to create a beautiful path to your home’s front door and provide a warm, welcoming entrance for your family and friends.
Say goodbye to cracked concrete with bits of weeds growing through and add a stone driveway. Stone driveways are durable and add a look of elegance and sophistication to any yard. If you have already added or plan to add a stone walkway, one idea is to continue the look into the driveway by using the same stone. Or if you want to spice things up a bit, go with a different, yet complementary stone. With over 30 varieties of flagstone, Semco has many stones that work well together.
A great finishing addition to the front yard is to add stone steps from the walkway to the front door. We suggest picking steps in similar pattern and color to those used in your walkway to provide a seamless match. Semco offers a variety of stone steps to help make a stunning entrance to your home.
These are just a few ideas for adding curb appeal to an existing home. With so much time spent in the backyard on patios and outdoor spaces, it’s easy to forget the importance of creating a warm, welcoming entrance to the front of your home for your family and visitors. Durable, long-lasting stone from Semco will not only add to the beauty of your home’s exterior but also add to its resale value, should you ever decide to leave. In the meantime you’ll love arriving home to a beautiful space each day!