better outdoor living at home spring

A New Fence & A Property Survey

Surveyor's transit

I’m having a new fence constructed along one of the side property lines in my yard. The contractor has been hired, and I’m in the process of putting the finishing touches on the design drawings and the specifications for the project, which I’ll give to the contractor to build from.  My husband and I both […]

Tips on Hiring a Contractor

An experienced local contractor was hired to build this deck

You have put a lot of time and effort into just the right design for your outdoor improvement, and selecting the right materials. And deciding on the right contractor is just as important. Here are some basic steps to follow when hiring a contractor: Get Recommendations from Reliable Sources: The best sources to find a […]

Outdoor Renovation Project Process

After Photo of My Gable Wall

Like all homeowners, when my husband and I moved into our home I quickly came up with a list of home improvements I wanted to do. Some were DIY projects, and some required the craftsmanship of a skilled contractor. One of the many things I have learned working as a landscape architect on projects for […]

Brick Wall Patterns


Classic outdoor brick walls have graced the outdoor spaces of all sizes of houses for centuries. Whether used to help define a property edge or accent a garden, the appeal of the outdoor brick wall has remained unchanged. Enhance your outdoor spaces with the beauty and classic tradition of brick … The traditional brick bonds […]

A Spring To-Do- List


Get organized with these tips for your spring to-do list. Get your yard ready for family outdoor fun and those special occasions. Spring is here and it is time to get outside, enjoy the warm weather, and start those outdoor projects on your spring to-do list. Spring holds so many great opportunities for us to […]

Concrete and Clay Brick Pavers

Clay brick pavers with mortar joints set on concrete base

Using pavers will add ambience and interesting detail to a new or old outdoor area. Both concrete pavers and clay brick pavers are long lasting, durable materials.   There are several alternative paving materials to use for a driveway, a walkway, or a patio or terrace besides poured concrete or asphalt. One of these alternatives […]

Outdoor Deck Inspection

All parts of deck including steps should regularly be inspected for safety

Just because you have a relatively new deck, and you are confident that it was built by a competent contractor, doesn’t mean that it does not need to be regularly inspected for safety. And older decks especially are prime candidates for more frequent safety inspections. Preserving and maintaining your deck involves more than simply cleaning […]

Building From Scaled Plans

Every outdoor project will benefit by using scaled plans.

Building from scaled plans or drawings, even for small projects, is important for the success of your outdoor project. Think of your house. What would it look like if all the different contractors involved in building your house, or an addition, hadn’t followed any plans, and just sort of made it up as they worked? […]

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