3 Landscaping Changes to Make Before Setting Up an Outdoor Fireplace

Getting an outdoor fireplace set up in your yard can be just the thing to make yard cozy and more inviting when it’s cooler outside. If you’ve always wanted an outdoor fireplace, but don’t know how to get started with having it put in, it’s important that you look into what you can do to prepare the rest of your yard for the addition of the fireplace. Below we discuss 3 landscaping changes to make before setting up an outdoor fireplace.

3 Landscaping Changes to Make Before Setting Up an Outdoor Fireplace

Clear Out Any Nearby Landscaping

While you may love having a lot of foliage in your yard, some plants can be a hazard when you consider an open flame or embers from the fireplace. Clearing out any landscaping that’s especially close to the fireplace can help ensure that you don’t need to worry about the risk of a fire spreading to any of your plants in the yard.

Proper Ventilation

Having an overhang above the fireplace can be nice since it can provide some shade during the day and make the fireplace area cozy, but it can also be problematic since you need to make sure that ventilation won’t be an issue. Having an enclosed overhang can lead to there being no place for the smoke to escape, leading to breathing issues when you have a fire going. Pergolas or other overhangs with a lot of airflow can be a much better fit since it will allow the smoke to escape rather than be trapped.

Get Additional Supplies for the Fireplace

As you look into having a fireplace put in your yard, you need to make sure that you’re prepared for the care that they can come with. Having a fire guard, as well as all the accessories needed for a traditional fireplace, can make it much easier to care for the fireplace.

Contact us if you’re interested in having a fireplace installed to include your winter landscaping changes.

Add a Fabulous Arbor to Your Backyard

If you spend a lot of time in your backyard, either alone or with your family and friends, consider adding a fabulous arbor to your space. An arbor will increase the beauty of your property, can provide functionality, and will also add significant value to your home.

Add a Fabulous Arbor to Your Backyard

Uses for a Backyard Arbor

Highlight a Garden Entry — For homes with an outdoor flower or vegetable garden, an arbor can define or enhance the entry into that space. An arbor, constructed with latticework in a traditional arched design or a more modern flat-topped shape, will add a gorgeous aesthetic to your yard. Allow ivy or even climbing roses to decorate the structure for additional beauty and interest.

Create a Passageway — A large arbor can also create a remarkable tunnel-like passageway to guide visitors down a path leading from your gate to the patio or any other destination in your backyard. Such an arbor will add height to your yard, so it doesn’t appear as flat, and the design can match the architectural style of your house, making it look as if it has always been there and a part of your home.

Provide Shade and Shelter — During the hottest months, an arbor covered with ivy will provide shade so that you can spend even more time outside. An attached or freestanding arbor made from stunning-looking wood and covered in vines can also provide shelter from light rain showers. Place benches or other seating under the arbor to enjoy the environment in comfort while sitting in solitude or while spending time with others.

An arbor, available in various styles to meet your needs, will give a custom look to your home’s exterior that you will love all year around. For more information about arbors or other custom features for your home’s exterior, please contact us today.

3 Tips for Beautifying Your Home with Stonework

Distinctive stonework is an excellent choice for beautifying your home. It looks sophisticated, and will last for years. There’s a good reason why masonry materials like stone are highly prized, and many masons are regarded as artists. In addition to the aesthetics, stonework can also increase the value of your property and lower your maintenance costs. If you’re considering a home exterior project involving stone, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

3 Tips for Beautifying Your Home with Stonework

Select Your Colors Carefully. Choosing the colors of your stone will be one of the first and most important decisions for any home project. Today’s homeowners have many options given the wide range of natural and pre-cast stones available. For exterior jobs, it’s also important to keep in mind that the color of some natural stones may change over the years so talk with professional design and construction experts to help you make an informed decision.

Focus on Workmanship. The quality of workmanship will have a dramatic effect on the outcome of your project. If possible, check out nearby houses to see other examples of their work when you’re hiring a stone mason. Keep in mind that a higher hourly rate will save you money in the long run if the job is done correctly the first time.

Plan Ahead for Cleanup. Stonework can be messy so be prepared for how the project may affect other activities you usually do in your yard. You may have piles of stones to navigate around for a while. Also, discuss how cleanup will be handled at the end of your project so everyone has the same understanding, and you’ll be able to enjoy your beautiful new stonework without any loose ends to tie up.

At Texas Outdoor Oasis, we have over 20 years experience in providing superior home exterior services in the Dallas Fort Worth area, including custom stonework for patios, grills, masonry fireplaces, fire pits, outdoor kitchens, natural stone waterfalls and more. Contact us today for a free estimate.

Protect Your Property Without Removing Your Trees

Sometimes trees don’t grow the way the original planters wanted. Trees can last hundreds of years, so it’s tricky to plant them far away enough from the home, nearby trees, and any potential or future structures. Planning ahead becomes even more difficult with larger roots systems and shifting soil. If your trees are getting too close for comfort but you don’t want to restrict them, give us a call!

Protect Your Property Without Removing Your Trees

Do you need to protect your home’s foundation?

One of the more serious problems with overgrown trees occurs when they were planted too close to a house. The root system fans outward over the decades. The roots can eventually grow through everything from rocky soil to concrete foundations. Once the roots start to butt up against the edges of a foundation, they can crack the concrete. This results in crumbling edges, widening splits, and even gaps in the soil that put pressure on the whole system. If the damage isn’t detected in time, the roots can even make their way into the pipes.

Have your trees and soil inspected. Professional tree care experts can analyze your trees’ root patterns and forecast future growth. They can also recommend the right foundation guards to divert your roots. Trees can continue to grow even with adjustments to the root system.

Is a tree trunk splitting?

Trees don’t always maintain a proper upward trajectory. Either through lop-sided pruning or just bad luck, tree trunks can split until they have a wide Y shape. Unless the trunk can fully support the split weight, the tree may start to slowly split and put its surrounding in danger. We can inspect the tree and recommend the right course of action. Oftentimes, the tree can be safely supported with wire and chains that restrict sideways growth.

Old trees that outgrew expectations can be dangerous if they’re left to grow uncontrolled. Call Texas Outdoor Oasis to protect your trees and your home.

How to Replenish Your Yard After Tree Removal

Sometimes trees have to be removed despite everyone’s best efforts to save them. This can happen after a property fire, heavy storm damage that devastates a small grove of trees, or even a quick-spreading disease. Once you have your tree management company cut down the trees and grind the stumps, it’s time to rebuild. Make sure you don’t rush by following these three steps:

How to Replenish Your Yard After Tree Removal

1. Get the soil inspected and add back missing nutrients.

A fire can burn up a lot of the nutrients and plant matter that go into the soil. It also leaves behind a hardened layer of ash. Before you plant new trees on the site, have an arborist inspect the area and recommend the right treatments to get the soil hydrated and healthy.

The soil near a disease outbreak or fungus needs even more preparation. It’s important to completely remove or counter soil that carries stubborn traces of any parasites or problems. Follow your arborist’s recommended guidelines for wait times before planting.

2. Don’t use fast-growing trees.

It could take decades for the replacement trees to look like the ones you lost, and that’s okay. Slow-growing trees are hardier and have better defenses against temperature changes, invasive species, and physical damage. Fast-growing trees that are bred just for quick expansion have weak wood. That means they can’t handle snow or windy weather. Their thin bark also can’t ward off disease or sunscald.

3. Use local varieties.

If your lost trees provided important shade or were a vital part of the overall landscaping, then you might not be able to wait for younger trees to grow into their place. If you need to plant mature trees, look for local varieties. Native Texas trees are more drought- and heat-resistant. They can also better handle the stress of a new placement than exotic varieties, and local varieties are sturdier.

Go to Texas Outdoor Oasis for a complete landscaping and hardscaping service.

4 Tips for Maintaining Your Outdoor Rugs

If you have an outdoor living space, a great way to decorate it is by using outdoor rugs. Outdoor rugs are designed to survive in any weather condition and prevent the growth of mold and mildew. However, it is still important to take proper care of your outdoor rug. Here are some tips for keeping your outdoor rugs clean.

4 Tips for Maintaining Your Outdoor Rugs

Vacuum

Vacuum your rug to remove any soil that got stuck in it. This will help prevent the growth of mold. Most outdoor rugs are made of synthetic material to prevent mold from growing. However, moisture gets trapped in the soil, and mold and mildew often follow.

Clean

Clean your rug from any dirt, debris, or food that may have gotten stuck on it. You can gently wash it off by rinsing both sides with a hose. You can also use a mild detergent or soap mixed with warm water and a gentle brush.

Remove Spots

When your rug gets stained with food, drink or pet waste, remove any solid material or excess liquid with a cloth. If necessary, use a soft brush. Then, use a soft cloth to blot out the stain. If it is a heavy stain, such as wine or tomato sauce, blot it out with a white cloth and use a mild soap or baking soda if needed. Avoid rubbing it, as that will just spread the stain further.

Store

When not using your rug, roll it up and put it away. Store it in a cool and dry place so that it stays clean. Don’t leave it outside, and make sure to keep it away from moisture.

Need help with creating and designing your outdoor living area? Outdoor living areas are a great way to enjoy the comforts of your home and the weather at the same time. Contact us today for professional help.

Choosing The Right Pool Enclosure

For the various types of pool enclosures, it is necessary to provide care and cleaning. Regular maintenance will ensure that the enclosure lasts and requires fewer expensive repairs. Understanding the necessary care should play a big role in your pool enclosure choice. Here is a little insight into what to expect from each option:

Choosing The Right Pool Enclosure

1. Glass

  • Use warm water and soap to clean
  • Do not clean when it is hot
  • Do not use adhesives or tape around the glass
  • Take care when mowing the lawn near the glass
  • Never use cleaners with phosphoric acid
  • Regularly tighten and replace any fasteners, screws and bolts

2. Screen

  • Clean with a soft brush and mild soap or power wash
  • Clean on a bi-monthly basis during humid months
  • Use bleach for mold and mildew problems
  • Landscape around the screen so that overhanging trees and bushes don’t drop branches and leaves

3. Aluminum

  • Power wash or use a soft sponge to avoid scratching
  • Be mindful of the chemicals you use so that they don’t react
  • Inspect the aluminum frame annually to identify any potential faults in the structure
  • Do not allow individuals to climb on the structure
  • Replace and tighten screws, fasteners and bolts regularly

Related Projects

A pool enclosure is a beautiful addition to any home. It adds a new look to a backyard, but it can also be complemented by other features:

  • A stone or wood patio area for bonfires, barbecues or seating
  • A picket, iron or stone fence or wall
  • Themed decor from your region–or another region
  • Furniture for additional seating
  • A playground
  • A landscaped garden
  • A covered area for shade from the sun

Making permanent decisions about your property can be difficult. This is exactly when it is helpful to have an experienced professional around to guide you through the process of what will do best on the property market. To get an expert opinion on the optimal pool enclosure and other landscaping projects for your yard, please contact us.

Stonework: What Is The Difference Between Cross-Cut and Vein Cut Travertine?

So you’ve decided on travertine for your stonework. A beautiful, long-lasting stone that’s similar in many respects to both limestone and granite (but is different enough from both of them to be unique), travertine adds character and functionality to any design. However, while you’re sure it’s the stone you want for your outdoor space, you don’t know whether you want to invest in cross-cut travertine, or vein cut travertine.

If you aren’t sure on the difference, it’s actually pretty simple to understand. So take a moment to evaluate your options, because there is a noticeable difference between them.

What is The Difference Between Cross-Cut and Vein Cut Travertine?

Let’s start with cross-cut travertine. When travertine is sitting in a big, stone block, it has what’s called a bedding. It’s similar to the grain in a piece of wood. When the block is cross-cut, it goes across the bedding, and reveals circular patterns in the stone. Sort of like how, when you cut a tree against the grain, you see the rings in it.

Vein cut is, you guessed it, when travertine is cut in the direction of the bedding. By cutting with the grain the pattern that’s revealed is linear, and though it’s the same stone, it appears totally different from the pattern revealed with a cross-cut.

Which One is Right For Me?

That’s entirely up to you, and which design you feel would work best for your home. Both vein cut and cross-cut come from the same stone, so the base material doesn’t change. Cross-cut stone tends to have a softer feel due to the flowery pattern the cut reveals, whereas vein cut’s more linear design alters the flow of a space. In the end the cut of the stone is just like the color; you have to choose what you feel is best for your needs.

For more information on choosing the ideal materials for your stonework projects, simply contact us today!

Beat the Heat (and the Cold) with a Patio Cover

Patios are hardy, permanent additions. But long-term exposure to the elements and sunlight can start to damage the furniture and accessories you put on top of it. If you’re getting a new patio built, or you plan on getting more utility out of your patio in 2018, here are three reasons to add a patio cover:

Beat the Heat (and the Cold) with a Patio Cover

Patio covers protect your furniture and grill.

Water damage and rust can start to eat away at your furniture. Even wood and wicker is susceptible to mildew and rot. If you don’t want to zip away your patio furniture every time you’re done relaxing on your deck, then a patio cover can mitigate a lot of the damage. It can also stop UV radiation from weakening the materials. Everything from plastic to fabric becomes brittle with too much exposure to sunlight, and a patio cover can keep that radiation away. It will also keep the colors bright and fresh.

You can enjoy your patio during a wider range of temperatures.

A good patio cover means you can relax on your patio, rain or shine. But it also gives you a higher degree of flexibility when it comes to temperature. The shade drops down the heat even on the hottest summer day so you can still enjoy the breeze. But it also traps hot air during the winter. If you want to go out in your backyard with a hot cup of coffee, you still can. Patio covers keep heat localized, even if the cover doesn’t have sides so your body heat (and maybe a space heater on particularly chilly days) can keep the cold at bay.

Patio covers can do more than just protect your patio and make it more comfortable. They add curb appeal to your house, help you control even the interior temperature, and give you more space when guests arrive. Go to Texas Outdoor Oasis for even more benefits and to get started.