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.

Consider a Custom Outdoor Fireplace!

There’s nothing quite like a warm crackling custom outdoor fireplace on a cold, winter night. The familiar atmosphere, the bright glow of the fire, the stars in the sky, and your friends or family seated comfortably around it with a glass of wine or a cup of hot chocolate is picture perfect.  Outdoor fireplaces come in a wide variety of styles, and if you’re considering adding a custom outdoor fireplace to your home, then let the experts at Texas Outdoor Oasis help you with your planning and designing needs!

Consider a Custom Outdoor Fireplace!

Our photo gallery showcases some of our previous work and it could give you an idea as to what you’re looking for. We work with all different types of tile, stone, and brick and there’s no job too big or too small.  Close your eyes and just imagine the memories that could me made with friends, family, or coworkers at your home, as you laugh, visit and enjoy yourself around the warm heated glow of a toasty log fire. For the men, imagine watching that playoff ballgame with your buddies on the large flat screen tv that hangs above the mantel. And for you ladies, envision having some of the girls over for a movie night with a bottle of wine and a popcorn!

We at Texas Outdoor Oasis would love to help you design your outdoor fireplace.  Our team is a dedicated and friendly group that loves the outdoors as much as you do and they would love to help you design the fireplace of your dreams and make your back porch or yard the envy of the neighborhood! Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Three Reasons to Hire a Professional Landscaping Service for Your New Home

Finally purchasing your first home is obviously an exciting feeling. But a new home also comes with a lot of new responsibilities, one of which might be the landscaping and long term maintenance of your new yard. If you want to get things started on the right note, one thing you might want to consider would be to hire a professional landscaping service to help you get the ball rolling and keep things under control going forward. Here are three things a landscaping service can do for you and your yard after you move in. Three reasons to hire a professional landscaping service for your new home.

Three Reasons to Hire a Professional Landscaping Service for Your New Home

Help Focus Your Ideas

If you have plans for your yard that include more than just mowing the grass, a landscaping service can be a Godsend. Some homeowners make the mistake of biting off more than they can chew when they move into a new home with a big yard. Yes, a gazebo and a garden might be nice, but that could also be a huge time investment in addition to the money it’s going to cost. A professional landscaper can help you figure out exactly what you want and help you prioritize your list of ideas to ensure that the yard will look great every step of the way.

Help You Understand the Local Horticulture

Sometimes despite your best effort, things don’t go as planned. If you are having trouble growing a certain plant in a specific area of the yard, for example, you might end up trying multiple solutions or making multiple trips to the home improvement store or gardening center before you figure things out. Professional landscapers have likely encountered whatever your specific problem is before. They can help educate you on the best way to take care of your garden, tree or some other part of your yard so that it will look fantastic all year round.

Help Free Up Your Time for Other Tasks

Whether you have a family or a busy job, just about everyone these days wishes they had a couple more hours per week to tackle the projects they really want to do. If you’re the type that has a packed schedule, finding 2 to 3 hours every weekend to really give your yard the care and maintenance it needs to thrive could be hard to come by. Yes, hiring a landscaping service will cost money but getting back potentially hours of time to spend with your family or working on another important project may just be priceless.

A new home with a big yard is an exciting proposition if you were born with a green thumb, but be careful you don’t get in over your head. Maintaining a yard or landscape over the long haul can be a lot of hard work and it can be helpful to have a professional on your side. A landscaping service can help you plan out your dream garden, step in to help you tackle issues that arise with the local horticulture and most importantly, can help you free up more time to spend with your loved ones. Contact a local landscaping service today for more information.