Archive for the ‘ Design Tips ’ Category

How To Make Your Yard Private?

July 16th, 2014

 

“When in a garden or on a patio, you want to feel that you’re in an intimate space — in a room not exposed as if you’re in the middle of the driveway or street,” says Risa Edelstein, president of the Ecological Landscaping Association.

That’s not so easy when your back yard looks out on your neighbor’s hot tub, your tranquility is constantly interrupted by road noise or your house sits in a new development with scant tree canopy. Here are some strategies for creating more privacy:

 

Fences. Privacy settings for fences range from private (solid tongue-and-groove or board) to semi-private (slat, picket, spindle or lattice) to rather public (rail). A topper made of lattice or circle cut-outs makes a solid fence feel less oppressive.

When considering materials, keep in mind the maintenance involved. Wood typically needs to be resealed, stained or painted every few years. Low maintenance options include powder-coated aluminum, vinyl and composite, all available in neutral shades of white, brown, black and green. Check local zoning regulations to ensure you have proper permits and do not exceed height restrictions, which are often lower for parts of the yard visible from the street.

US Aluminum Services offers fences in an array of styles in the following materials: Vinyl, Aluminum or Wood.

 

Evergreen Hedges. Living fences made of densely planted evergreens, especially columnar and upright conifers, offer privacy and tranquility by screening out busy street noises, reducing glare from headlights and acting as a wind break. While suitable for formal gardens, manicured privet hedges require frequent clipping. For a more natural looking barrier that’s low-maintenance, use shrubs planted close together as more of a screen than a hedge.

 

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Planning a Patio?

June 24th, 2014

Planning a Patio?

Think about your existing backyard when planning your patio remodel.

A patio is much more than a paved area adjoining a house for outdoor dining or lounging. It expands your living space by opening up your home to the outdoors.

For a small home, a patio is a great place to host a party that would otherwise be cramped inside your house. It’s a place for the kids to play and a place to grow containers full of colorful flowers or edibles like herbs and vegetables. A patio is also a retreat from indoors allowing you to take in nature unencumbered by walls and a ceiling.

The key to enjoying your new outdoor space is to make it as stylish and comfortable as the inside of your home. Furnish it with a spacious dining table, a place for cooking and a relaxing seating area.

Personalize it with plants, weatherproof accessories and you’ll find yourself visiting your outdoor room just as much as any other room in your house.

Key Variables to Address When Patio Planning

  • Size of the backyard
  • Orientation of sunlight
  • Connection and location of the patio to your home
  • Homeowner’s lifestyle
  • Budget
  • Condition of the backyard

Let US Aluminum Services help you plan and customize your dream patio.

 

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Party-Ready Outdoor Spaces

May 10th, 2013

Set the Scene

No matter how small your outdoor space — hard to believe but this is actually a carport — make it pop with paper lanterns, table linens and fresh flowers in look-at-me shades. Set up a beverage station so guests can help themselves and add cushions or pillows to chairs; comfortable furniture will invite guests to sit a spell. Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

Bring the Indoors Out

No patio furniture? No worries! Weather permitting, bring your dining table, chairs, china, glasses and utensils outdoors to turn your fête into a fine-dining experience. Guests will appreciate the extra effort and your carefully-prepared meal will look (and taste) much better served on china instead of a flimsy, disposable plate. Design by One Charming Party; photography by Nicole Hill Gerulat

Freshen Up Tired Surfaces

Turn a worn deck into a colorful outdoor room with a few coats of paint and coordinating draperies made from weather-resistant fabric. To ensure a lasting painted finish, first sand the deck to create a smooth surface then coat with exterior deck or porch paint which is specifically formulated to withstand foot traffic and weather. Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

Pick a Palette

The same rule of three (main colors, that is) that applies to selecting an indoor color scheme also works when planning an outdoor party. Choose three main colors to create a theme then carry those colors throughout with accessories like napkins, plates, place cards, paper pom-poms, pennants or balloons. Design by Kim Stoegbauer

Construct a DIY Buffet in a Snap

If you’re short on surfaces for serving guests, try this designers’ go-to trick: lay a hollow-core door or thick piece of plywood over evenly-spaced sawhorses, cover with fabric and voila — a beautiful buffet table with plenty of serving space that can be broken down again and stored when the party’s over. Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

Make a Splash

Pool parties are a great way to cool off on a hot day, but ensuring that everyone enjoys themselves without overdoing it can require a bit of planning ahead. Guests may forget to bring pool necessities like a towel, sunscreen, goggles and ear plugs, so it’s best to have several on hand along with plenty of iced beverages so partygoers don’t become dehydrated from too much fun in the sun. Image courtesy of Oxford Garden

Salad on the Fly

Designer Jamie Durie created this outdoor dining room for a California couple who were eager to combine two passions: gardening and entertaining. A pergola provides shade and gives this outdoor space a secluded feel while a wall covered in edible-plant-filled pouches puts fresh veggies within easy reach so guests can help themselves.

Set Up a Favors Table

Thank guests for coming and send them off with a souvenir by stocking a fabric-covered outdoor table with an assortment of small gifts and sweets. Place the table near the backyard’s exit so guests will be sure to grab a keepsake as they leave. Design by Manvi Drona Hidalgo

By H. Camille Smith

To Read the Full Article from HGTV Outdoors, Click Here.

About US Aluminum Services, Corp

Founded in 2004, US Aluminum Services, Corp. is a fully insured and state certified construction company that complies with all Florida Codes for the construction industry. US Aluminum Services offers the best designed, best installed and best backed warranty in the business. All services are executed to the exact specifications of our customers’ request. Our materials are top of the line, made exclusively to US Aluminum Service specifications by the top manufactures in Florida. Their services include: Florida screen rooms, patio and pool enclosuressunrooms, architectural columns, pergolas, seamless gutters, pavers and fences. http://us-aluminum.com/

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Planning a Patio: Things to Consider

March 1st, 2013

Photo courtesy of Joanne Kostecky

As with any major improvement or addition to your home, when you hire a reputable professional to design and build your patio it is their job to contact the local building department in your area to find out what the building codes, zoning and setbacks from the property lines are in your town.

Not all towns have the same codes and in fact, some municipalities may not require a building permit at all for patio construction. The professional will need to contact the town before they finalize plans for your patio. Often, towns require that the professional submit a copy of the plans for approval before a building permit will be issued and construction can begin.

If the plans do not meet the town code, the professional modifies them and the plans are resubmitted for approval. Any applicable fees required by the town for permits will be applied to the cost of the project.

If you want to check with your town yourself before you hire a professional, they will generally have printed guidelines for you to follow. Again, the professional you hire should be able to tell you what you can and cannot build before they begin.

Taxes

How much your property taxes will increase depends on how much you spend on the project and how much your home’s assessed value increases because you added a patio. This varies by town so there’s no blanket amount nationwide. Once the work is finished, the town will reassess the value of your home and increase your taxes accordingly.

Check with the tax assessor’s office in your town for advice on how much of an increase you can expect. You might want to factor that increase into your budget before you hire a professional to draw up plans and begin work. That way, you can adjust your budget and possibly, adjust the size of your patio if the additional taxes are more than you want to incur.

By Peter Walsh

To Read the Full Article, Click Here.

About US Aluminum Services, Corp

Founded in 2004, US Aluminum Services, Corp. is a fully insured and state certified construction company that complies with all Florida Codes for the construction industry. US Aluminum Services offers the best designed, best installed and best backed warranty in the business. All services are executed to the exact specifications of our customers’ request. Our materials are top of the line, made exclusively to US Aluminum Service specifications by the top manufactures in Florida. Their services include: Florida screen rooms, patio and pool enclosuressunrooms, architectural columns, pergolas, seamless gutters, pavers and fences. http://us-aluminum.com/

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Outdoor Lighting Ideas and Options

February 22nd, 2013

Whether you use your outdoor living space for entertaining, relaxation or both, you don’t want the fun to end when the sun goes down. As you explore deck and patio design ideas, consider that the right outdoor lighting ideas and options will help beautify the space and ensure it can be a ’round-the-clock destination.

One of the simplest outdoor lighting touches you can add to your patio, deck or hardscape is lantern table lighting. Candle lanterns will add the same soft, elegant glow as normal candles, but they won’t blow out in the slightest breeze. Kerosene lanterns can provide the same lighting style as candle lanterns, but they’ll burn longer.

Staying with the lantern theme, Asian-inspired vellum-paper lanterns housing votive candles can provide an elegant touch to any nighttime outdoor gathering. Another Asian-inspired design is hanging paper origami lanterns. Just place battery-powered lights in these and hang them throughout the space for a touch of whimsy.

Many people add holiday-style strands of lights to their outdoor space. These can be a lovely touch on their own, or you can cover them with colored shades for a design that’s more evergreen.

Flaming tiki torches are a familiar touch in backyards across the land. They can also provide a defense against mosquitos.

Placing candles in large hurricane vases, then decorating the outside with tissue paper is another simple and elegant idea for outdoor lighting.Lastly, consider combining contrasting elements by placing floating candles in a large bowl or a vase filled with water.

By Sean McEvoy

To Read the Full Article, Click Here.

About US Aluminum Services, Corp

Founded in 2004, US Aluminum Services, Corp. is a fully insured and state certified construction company that complies with all Florida Codes for the construction industry. US Aluminum Services offers the best designed, best installed and best backed warranty in the business. All services are executed to the exact specifications of our customers’ request. Our materials are top of the line, made exclusively to US Aluminum Service specifications by the top manufactures in Florida. Their services include: Florida screen rooms, patio and pool enclosuressunrooms, architectural columns, pergolas, seamless gutters, pavers and fences. http://us-aluminum.com/

Posted in Categories: Design Tips | No Comments »

How To Add Curb Appeal to Your Yard

February 15th, 2013

Curb appeal is all about first impressions, whether you’re trying to impress prospective buyers or put a smile on your own face whenever you pull up to your house.

Try to look at your yard objectively and analyze its logic and aesthetics. Where does your eye land first—on your latest horticultural mishap, a spectacular detail or nowhere at all? Is there a focal point such as a colorful herbaceous bed or specimen tree? Do the plantings complement the architecture? Is there a logical flow from sidewalk to door and from front to back? Is it obvious how to get to the main entrance? Do the various plantings and design elements feel balanced and unified? Do they form a bold, uncluttered statement? Is everything just a mess?

Identify the major problem or missed opportunity you want to address and make that the starting point for your design plan. Try these solutions:

Get a Haircut. Overgrown foundation plantings can block light from entering your house and detract from your architectural details. If you’ve inherited a mature landscape with your house, start by giving the leggy shrubs a haircut, removing dead or diseased plants, and splitting clumps of perennials and transplanting them to border beds.

Create a Focal Point. Whether it’s a traditional lawn with blooming borders, a streamlined contemporary garden, or a formal garden with strong architectural lines, every outdoor space needs a focal point that tells the eye where to look first. This element can be almost anything—specimen tree, sculpture, patterned hardscape, a perfect bench, fountain, you name it—as long as it’s bold enough to set the tone for the rest of the design. “One loud exclamation point, like one anchoring tree, helps make sense of everything,” says Risa Edelstein, president of the Ecological Landscaping Association.

Mix It Up. The shrubs in your front yard don’t have to all hug the house, especially if you have a home with low foundation walls, and they don’t have to be traditional evergreens. Try planting a deep border of evergreens interspersed with flowering shrubs. Group plants by height and then layer the groupings for visual interest. If you have an older home with a high foundation, you probably still want to hide that expanse of lower wall with plantings, but make sure they’re at least three feet from the foundation to prevent moisture issues with your house.

To Read the Full Article, Click Here.

About US Aluminum Services, Corp

Founded in 2004, US Aluminum Services, Corp. is a fully insured and state certified construction company that complies with all Florida Codes for the construction industry. US Aluminum Services offers the best designed, best installed and best backed warranty in the business. All services are executed to the exact specifications of our customers’ request. Our materials are top of the line, made exclusively to US Aluminum Service specifications by the top manufactures in Florida. Their services include: Florida screen rooms, patio and pool enclosuressunrooms, architectural columns, pergolas, seamless gutters, pavers and fences. http://us-aluminum.com/

Posted in Categories: Design Tips | No Comments »


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