Tag Archives: outdoor living

The Hardware Store or Semco Outdoor?

Here’s the skinny, if you want a retail experience that’s unlike any hardware store in Columbus, where the staff are actually helpful, you want to come to Semco Outdoor. We know that dropping by stores like Lowe’s is convenient, but how valuable is convenience when they don’t have the quality products that will last for years (and look better!) or the staff to answer your questions about installing them?

Semco Outdoor Columbus Retail Showroom

We’re not bragging, nor are we picking on the chain hardware stores, we’re just the experts at what we do. The difference between Semco is like the difference between your dentist and your general practitioner, both are perfectly qualified doctors, but when you need a cavity filled, you call the dentist. The big box hardware stores are like the general practitioners, they have all the tools you need and can help you when you need a huge range of varied products and can give fine general advice, but you want to talk with the specialists who have the largest selection of what you’re actually seeking already in stock at Semco when you’re installing a new patio.

Every day, Semco helps people get the patio installations that they want. We’re the best in the business, and that’s why many of Columbus’s exterior remodeling and lawn & landscape contractors choose to work with Semco Outdoor (the next time you talk with one, go ahead and ask about us). We also work directly with individuals who are taking on home improvement projects themselves, and our inviting indoor retail showroom is where they come to shop, buy and get expert advice from Semco’s dedicated team of DIY pros. Customers tell us that seeing what the stone and pavers look like installed helps them visualize how their home will look using the same products. Many of our products are actually on display, installed, and featuring images of what other installations look like around the Columbus area, something you’ll almost never find at a hardware store.

Semco offers everything you need for installation, just like a hardware store would, but Semco will also deliver it directly to your house with a mobile-forklift-equipped truck. Our team will put your stone, pavers, boulders, polymeric sand and any tools you need right you request that they be placed – no more lugging heavy rock around to the back yard a piece at a time! Or, if you prefer, we’ll load up your own truck with as much or as little product as you need, and you can drive right through our brand new masonry lodge to get any installation products you need loaded too.

Our research has shown that one of the biggest problem people have with the hardware store is how difficult it is to find someone knowledgeable about specific products and the installation of those products. It makes the whole experience really frustrating for customers, and the end result is that quality can severely suffer because of that frustration playing out during installation, inferior product quality and a lack of knowledge. Whereas those who work with Semco are happier with the end result of their installation, and they’re not frustrated meaning they tend to do a better job of installing the products, especially when they know one of Semco’s DIY expert staff by name and can contact them at any time with questions.

We’re not trying to harp on the hardware stores here for doing a poor job, we just think it’s important that do-it-yourselfers understand the difference between the specialists at Semco Outdoor and their local Home Depot – where one shops has a big impact on the final result of project. With all of our products viewable online, and many installed at our retail showroom on the south side of the metro, we’re proud to offer the best retail experience with easy to understand pricing and the experts who can offer real advice while helping you pick products that are just right of you.

It’s worth the trip to Semco Outdoor to get your annual home upgrade done right, with the right people and the right products. This year, come by and experience what the contractors have known for years – the best place to buy the products to finish your patio are right here at Semco Outdoor!

Spring is (almost) Here!

Spring is the time for great works to take shape, when inspiration strikes and when winter planning can finally come to fruition! With spring nearly upon us, but while still firmly in the grasp of the frigid winter days, it is starting to feel like the right time to move from the planning phase to the making it happen phase for spring.

If you’re feeling this way – and sure, you may be jumping the gun a little – know that you are not alone! Lots of people are feeling the need to get out and shake off the cabin fever!

Wether you’ve just started planning or you’re already itching to get started, remember that the key rule to making a beautiful outdoor space is patience. When you’ve got the patience, you can clearly see the big picture and what you really want to get done first. Since most homeowners have a laundry list of things to deal with every year, sometimes the bigger picture can be forgotten or just sidelined while the important yearly tasks are taking place.

Taking small steps in your yard every year is the way to transform it into your paradise. The best things in life take time to create, and it’s no different with a home! Remember that taking small steps will net big results as they continue to build on one another year after year. Never get discouraged, remember that these projects are never really done anyway!

A great way to approach designing your yard is to think about it like you would an indoor space, without the walls. Each section of the yard can have a particular purpose, and the features you include will reflect that purpose. Planting large bushes privacy, for example, so you can stop staring into your neighbor’s yard or window (which is something you can both appreciate). It’s purpose then becomes to provide privacy, acting as a wall around the yard.

Have a ‘pond’ of sorts that really feels more like a mud pit? The space might be better used as something of a zen garden. Try filling this kind of space with a smooth gravel or with stones, and in the center consider adding a feature like a bubbling boulder. This way you can get the calm feelings associated with water in your relaxation space without having to stare at a glorified mud pit that only encouraged your children and dog to constantly track mud inside.

Taking it one step at a time, solving one problem at a time, is how you get to having an amazing outdoor space. Doing these projects yourself is no problem so long as you have planned out the proper timeframes to finish them, haven’t bitten off too much to finish in the available time and you have the budget to get it done!

Enjoying Labor Day Weekend Outdoors

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Ah, Labor Day. The unofficial end of summer and a long weekend for many. If you’re one of the lucky ones to enjoy a three-day weekend, why not utilize your outdoor space and spend the weekend in the comfort of your own home? Whether you decide to have a large gathering or just a few friends and family, here are a few tips for making the most of the long weekend.

1. Dine outdoors. Enjoy your outdoor space while the days are still long by planning an outdoor meal. Keep things simple by doing your entire meal on the grill. From a juicy steak to veggies on the side to grilled peaches for dessert, you can easily plan a menu that will satisfy the pickiest of eaters.

2. Set the mood with lighting. Hopefully you and your guests will be having such a good time the party will still be going on when the sun goes down. If so, you’ll want to have lighting to set the mood and create an ambience. To create a warm peaceful glow you can place lanterns and tabletop candles strategically around your space. Want to add something a little more permanent to your yard? If so, a fire pit or fireplace is a great addition to any space. It not only provides light but also warmth and a central gathering place for your guests.

3. Enjoy the sounds of nature. The sound of water is one of the most peaceful and relaxing sounds. To add this sound to your outdoor space year round consider the addition of a water feature from Semco. From elaborate waterfalls to bubbler boulders, Semco has the perfect water feature for your home to suit the size of your space.

4. Make your space comfortable and practical. Have you ever gone to a party or get together that was beautifully decorated and catered but there wasn’t enough seating for everyone? Keep this from happening at your party by making sure to have plenty of seating. Whether you use chairs, cushions or benches, like this Brentwood Bench, make sure there’s plenty of seating for everyone and that it is comfortable to ensure your guests will want to visit longer.

5. Stay safe. Most importantly when entertaining or spending time outdoors, make sure you are providing a safe atmosphere for you and your guests. Keep your grill away from structures or high traffic areas, never leave fires unattended and always have plenty of cold, non-alcoholic drinks on hand for your guests to prevent dehydration.

With a little planning and a little preparation you and your guests can enjoy a relaxing long Labor Day weekend in the comfort of your own home.

The Soothing Sounds of a Water Feature

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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.

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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.

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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.

Preparing for fall

Summer is winding down and while the days are still warm, the evenings are getting a little cooler. If you haven’t already, now is the time to think about making your patio or outdoor space one that can be enjoyed year round. From fireplaces and fire pits to outdoor lighting and decor, it’s never too early to start getting your patio ready for fall. Here are a few simple additions to extend the use of your patio and add to your home’s resale value.

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Fire pits
We talk a lot about fire pits but they really are a great way to make your outdoor space usable year round. They provide warmth when entertaining on chilly nights, as well as contribute to creating a beautiful ambiance. Semco offers all the tools you’ll need to get started, like this Blue River Fire Pit kit. Before installing a fire pit, be sure to take its placement within the space into careful consideration. You’ll want to make sure it’s centrally located to provide warmth while not being in the way and a fire risk. For more information watch our fire pit installation video.

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Fireplaces
Some spaces call for a larger, more dramatic look. If your space is one of these, we suggest installing an outdoor fireplace. A custom fireplace is the perfect addition to you or your customer’s outdoor living space to keep you enjoying it year round. It provides a focal point to your space as well as a gathering place for guests when entertaining. When installing a fireplace, as with any large project, it’s important to make certain the stone you choose complements your existing decor and works in the space. If you decide a fireplace is right for your space, Semco offers complete outdoor fireplace kits in a wide variety of stone, like our 42″ FireRock Fireplace Kit that is sure to work with most any landscaping or decor.

Outdoor lighting and decor
Good lighting is important, as you won’t have the light of the sun for as long in the afternoons and evenings later in the year. When choosing outdoor lighting, keep in mind the type of space you have and the type of entertaining you normally do. Bright lights provide the most visibility but can tend to be harsh and attract bugs. Soft, dimmer lights help add ambiance and warmth to your space but won’t light up the space as well. As for decor, you’ll want to have comfy pillows and blankets in deep, rich autumnal hues on hand for when the nights really cool off.

While you may not need these things right now, fall is just around the corner and you’ll want everything ready to enjoy before the fall season. Let Semco help you create a space for you and you family to enjoy year round.

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